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any behavior that violates criminal law and is punishable by fine, jail, or other negative sanctions
serious offenses which include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault which are punishable by more than a year's imprisonment or death
minor offenses, such as traffic violations, that are punishable by a fine or less than a year in jail
biological and psychological theories on Crime
biological: focus on how individuals are biologically predisposed to criminal behavior
psychological: focus on individual personality development, moral development, or mental disorders
- state of normlessless
- a structural condition where there is no or little regulation of behavior, which leads to deviant or criminal behavior
Functionalist Perspective (Durkheim's argument)
- crime is functional: separates acceptable from non-acceptable behavior in society
- society and its rules are what makes us human: without any social regulation, humans are able to pursue their own desires(even criminal ones)
Robert Merton's Strain theory
- we are socialized to attain traditional material and social goals
- when opportunities are blocked due to discrimination, social position, or talent we experience anomie
- leads to crime
- criminal activity would decline if economic conditions improve
Agnew's expanded strain theory
- three types of social-psychological sources of strain
- failure to achieve positively valued outcomes because of individual inadequacies due to ability or skill
- removal of positive or desired stimuli from the individual
- confrontation with negative action ( or stimuli) by others
Agnew's theory provides insight into criminal offending differences by ___________
- situational variations of crime
Social Contol: four elements
- attachments: relationships with others
- commitment: acceptance of conventional goals and means
- involvement: participation in conventional activities
- beliefs: acceptance of conventional value and norms
conflict perspective of crime
- criminal laws do not exist for our good; they exist to preserve the interests and power of specific groups
- criminal justice decisions are discriminatory and designed to sanction offenders based on their minority or subordinate group
- while the powerful are able to resist criminal labels, they seem to stick to the powerless-the poor, youth, and minorities
feminist perspective on crime
focuses on how women's criminal experiences are different from men, and also from each other based on race, ethnicity, class, age and sexual orientation
gender inequality theory--explanation of female crime
patriarchal power relations shape gender differences in crime, pushing women into criminal behavior through role entrapment, economic marginalization, victimization, or as a survival response
interactionist perspective on crime
- examine the process that defines certain individuals and acts as "criminal"
- race and class matter in our perceptions of crime
labeling theory (interactionist)
it isn't the criminal or his/her act that is important, but the audience that labels the person or act as "criminal"
differential association theory (interactionist)
individuals are likely to commit deviant acts if they associate with others who are deviants
Uniform Crime Report (UCR)
- reports two categories of crime- index and non index
- index: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, car theft, arson, and larceny
- non-index: all others
problems with the UCR
- data only reflects reported crimes
- only 3 to 4 percent of crimes are actually discovered by police
National Crime Victimization Survey (what does it do)
identifies crime victims, regardless if the crime was reported or not
Conclusion from comparing NCVS(National Crime Victimization Survey) and UCR(Uniform Crime Report)
- suggests that the number of crimes committed is actually higher than the number of crimes reported
- therefore suggests that the UCR may not be an adequate measure of violent crime
actions that involve force or threat of force: aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery
besides rape, what group has higher victim rates of violent crimes
- blacks-since 1973
- taking money or property from another without force or the threat of force against the victims
- makes up about 3/4 of all crime in the US
Juvenile status offender
a juvenile who has violated a law that only applies to persons 7 to 17, like cutting school and consuming or buying alcohol
Most juvenile crime is committed by _______ but rates for _______ are increasing.
White Collar Crime
" a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation"
Examples of Cybercrime
- internet fraud and abuse: identity theft, online credit card fraud schemes, theft or trade secrets, sales of counterfeit software, and computer hacking
- **most widespread form of white-collar crime
what group (race and gender) is overrepresented in incarceration statistics
african american males
explanations for racial differences in inequalities of offenders
- culture of violence
- family structure: female headed households in particular
- discrimination in the law enforcement and criminal justice system
who have higher rates of victimization
- single people
- central city residents
___(race)____ __(gender)____ have the highest rate of violent victimization, while ___(race)____ __(gender)____ have the lowest.
black males; white females
what is the community policing approach?
efforts to increase the interaction between officers and citizens, including the use of foot patrols, community substations and neighborhood watches
Despite (increasing/decreasing) crime rates, prisons populations are (increasing/decreasing).
since 1979, how many executions( death penalties) have occurred in the US?
Department of Justice (DOJ) leads....
the federal justice system
Department of Justice is led by ____________ of the US.
The department of justice is comprised of ___ separate component organizations.
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Programs-purpose
attempts to provide national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization
benefits of Private correctional institutions
save taxpayers' money, providing more services with fewer resources
Prison Litigation Reform Act
prisoners must exhaust all internal remedies before filing federal lawsuits to challenge the conditions or report civil rights violations. has made it extremely difficult for valid complaints to be heard.
what does cops stand for
Community Oriented Policing Services
what is the Innocence Project
a nonprofit legal clinic that only handles cases "where postconviction DNA testing of evidence can yield conclusive proof of innocence"