Crime in america

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Crime in america
2011-03-05 18:01:59
Vocabulary Key Terms

Key terms
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  1. Acquaintance Robbery
    Robbery in which the victim or victims are people the robber knows.
  2. Active Precipitation
    Aggressive or provocative behavior of victims that results in their victimization.
  3. Adolescent-limited offender
    One who follows the most common criminal trajectory, in which antisocial behavior peaks in adolescence and then diminishes.
  4. Adversary System
    The U.S method of criminal adjudication, in which prosecution( the state) and defense (the accused) each try to bring forward evidence and arguments, with guilt or innocence ultimately decided by an impartial judge or jury.
  5. Age-Graded Theory
    According to Robert Sampson and John Laud, discreted factors influence people at different stages of their development, so the propensity to commit crimes is neither stabloe nor unyielding. The likelihood of committing crime is linked to the accumulation (or absence) of social capital, social control, and human decision making.
  6. Aging Out
    Phrase used to express the fact that people commit less crime as they mature.
  7. Alien Conspiracy Theory
    The belief, subscribed to by the federal government and many respected criminologist, that organized crime is a direct offshoot of a criminal sociaety that was imported into the United States from Europe and that crime cartels have a policy of restricting their membership to people of their own ethnic background.
  8. American Dream
    The goal of accumulationg material goods and wealth through individual competition; the process of being socialized to pursue material success and to believe it is achievable.
  9. Androgens
    Male sex hormones.
  10. Anomie
    A lack of norms or clear social standards. Because of rapidly shifting moral values, the individual has few guides to what is socially acceptable.
  11. Anomie Theory
    The view that anomie results when socially defined goals (such as welth and power) are universally mandated but access to legitimate means (such as education and job opportunities) is stratified by class and status.
  12. Antisocial Personality
    Combination of traits, such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, hedonism, and inability, impulsivity, hedonism, and inability to empathize with others, that make a person prone to deviant behavior and violence; also referred to as sociopathic or psychopathic personality.
  13. Arousal Theory
    The view that people seek to maintain a preferred level of arousal but vary in how they process sensory input. A need for high levels of eviromental stimulation may lead to aggressive, violent behavior patterns.
  14. Arraqignment
    The step in the criminal justice process in which the accused is brought before the trial judge, formal charges are read, defendants are informed of their rights, a plea is entered, bail is considered, and a trial dete is set.
  15. Attachment Theory
    Bowlby's theory that being able to form an important aspect of mental health throughout the life span.
  16. Authority Conflict Pathway
    Path to a criminal career that begins with early stubborn behavior and defiance of parents.
  17. Behavior Theory
    The view that all human behavior is learned through a process of social reinforcement (rewards and punishment).
  18. Biosocial Theory
    Approach to criminology that focuses on the interaction between biological and social factors as they are related to crime.
  19. Booster (heel)
    Professional shoplifter who steals with the intention of reselling stolen merchandise.
  20. Bucketing
    Skimming customer trading profits by falsifying trade information.
  21. Capable Guardians
    Effective deterrents to crime, such as police or watchful neighbors.
  22. Capital Punishment
    The execution of criminal offenders; the death penalty.
  23. Chicago School
    Group of urban sociologist who studied the relationship between environmental conditions and crime.
  24. Chiseling
    Using illegal means to cheat and organization, its consumers, or both, on a regular bisis.
  25. Chronic offenders (career criminals)
    The small groups of persistant offenders who account for a majority of al criminal offenses.
  26. Churning
    Repeated, excessive, and unnecessary buying and selling of a client's stock.
  27. Classical Criminology
    Theoretical perspective suggesting that (1) people have free will to choose criminal or conventional behaviors; (2) people choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal need; and (3) crime can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions.
  28. Code of Hammurabi
    The first written criminal code, developed in Babylonia about 2000 BC.
  29. Cognitive Theory
    Psychological perspective that focuses on the mental processes by which people perceive and represent the world around them and solve problems.
  30. Collective Efficacy
    Social control exerted by cohesive communities and based on mutual trust, including intervention in the supervision of children and maintanance of public order.
  31. Commitment To Conformity
    A strong personal investment in conventional institutions, individuals, and processes that prevents people from engaging in behavior that might jeopardize their reputation and achivemts.
  32. Common Law
    Early English law, developed by judges, which became the standardized law of the land in England and eventually formed the basis of the criminal law in the United States.
  33. Community Policing (problem-oriented policing)
    A proactive form of policing: Rather than merely responding to crime after it occurs, police departments are shaping their forces into comunity change agents in order to prevent crimes before they occur.
  34. Compensation
    Financial aid awarded to crime victims to repay them for their loss and injuries; may cover medical bills, loss of wages, loss of futore earnigs, and or counseling.
  35. Compliance Stategies
    Methods of controlling white-collar crime that rely on the threat of economic sanctions or civil penalties to control potential violators, creating a marketplace incentive to obey the law.
  36. Conduct Disorder (CD)
    A pattern of repetive behavior in which the rights of others or social norms are violated.
  37. Concentration Effect
    As working-and middle-class families flee inner-city poverty -riddlen areas, the most disadvantaged population is consolidated in urban ghettoes.
  38. Confidence Game (con game)
    A swindle, often involving a get-rich-quick scheme, and often with illegal overtones so that the victim will be afraid or embarrased to call the police.
  39. Conflict Therory
    The view that belief that criminal behavior is defiend by those in power in such as way as to protect and advance their own self-interest.
  40. Consensus View
    The belief that the majority of citizens in a society share common values and agree on what behaviors should be defined as criminal.
  41. Constructive Possession
    A legal fiction that apllies to situations in which persons voluntarily give up physical custody of their property but still retain legal ownership.
  42. Contagion Effect
    People become deviant when they are influenced by others with whom they are in close contact.
  43. Convictability
    Existence of condictions sorrrounding a criminal case that indicate it has a good chance of resulting in a conviction.
  44. Corporate (organizational) Crime
    Powerful institutions or their representatives willfully violate the laws that restrain these institutions from doing social harm or require them to do social good.
  45. Courtroom Work Group
    Prosecution, defense, and judges working together to resolve criminal cases quickly and efficiently through plea bargaining.
  46. Covert Pathway
    Path to a criminal career that begins with minor underhanded behavior and progresses to fire starting and theftl
  47. Crime Control Model
    View that the overriding purpose of the justice system is to protect the public, deter people from criminal behavior, and incapacitate kown criminals; favors speedy, efficient ju8stice and punishment.
  48. Criminology Enterprise
    The various subareas included within the scholarly discipline of criminology, which, taken as a whole, define the field of study.
  49. Criminology
    The scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior.
  50. Crisis Intervention
    Emergency counseling for crime victims.
  51. Critical Criminologist
    Members of a branch of criminology that focuses on the oppression of the poor, women, and minorities, thereby linking class conflict, sexism, and racism to crime rates. Critical criminologists examine how those who hold political and economic power shape the law to uphold their self-interests.
  52. Critical Criminology
    The branch of criminology that holds that the cause of crime can be linked to economic, social, and political disparity. Some groups in society, particularly the working class and ethnic minorities, are seen as the most likely to suffer oppressive social relations based on class conflict and racism and hence to be more prone to criminal behavior.
  53. Criminal Feminism
    Approach that explains both victimization and criminality among women in terms of gender inequality, patriachy, and the exploitation of women under capitalism.
  54. Cultural Deviance Theory
    Branch of social structure theory that sees strain and social disorganization together resulting in a unique lower-class culture that conflicts with conventional social norms.
  55. Cultural Transmission
    Process whereby values, beliefs, and traditions are handed down from one generation to the next.
  56. Culture Conflict
    Result of exposure to opposing norms, attitudes, and definitions of right and wrong, moral and immoral.
  57. Culture Of Poverty
    A separate lower-class culture, characterized by apathy, cynicism, helplessness, and mistrust of social institutions such as schools, governmet agencies and the police, that is passed from one generation to the next.
  58. Cycle Of Violence
    Victims of crime, especially victims of childhood abuse, are more likely to commit crimes themselves.
  59. Date Rape
    A rape that involves people who are in some form of courting relationship.
  60. Death Squads
    Covert military or paramilitary groups that carry out political assassinations.
  61. Decriminalized
    Having criminal penalties reduced rather thatn eliminated.
  62. Defendant
    In criminal proceedings, the person accused of violating the law.
  63. Defensible Spece
    The principle that crime can be prevented or displaced by modifying the physical environment to reduce the opportunity that individuals have to commit crime.
  64. Delinquent Subculture
    A value system adopted by lower-class youths that is directly opposed to that of the larger society.
  65. Demystify
    To unmask the true poupose of law, justice, or other social institutions.
  66. Denial-of-service attack
    Extorting money from Internet service users by threatening to prevent them from accessing the service.
  67. Disist
    To spontaneously stop committing crime.
  68. Determinate Sentencing
    The principle that all offenders who commit the same crime should receive the same sentence.
  69. Deterrence strategies
    Methods of controlling white-color crime that rely on the punishment of individual offenders to deter other wouold-be violators.
  70. Develomental Theories
    Theories that attempt to explain the "natural history" of a criminal career: its onset, the course it follows, and its termination. These theories maintain that criminality is a dynamic process, influenced by social experiences as well as individual charcteristics.
  71. Deviance
    Behaviorthat departs from the social norm but is not necessarily criminal.
  72. Deviance amplicication
    Process whereby secondary deviance pushes offenders out of mainstream society and locks them into and escalating cycle of deviance, apprehension, labeling, and criminal self-identity.
  73. Deviant place Theory
    The view that victimization is primarily a function of where people live.
  74. Differential Association Theory
    The view that victimization is primarily a function of where people live.
  75. Differential Opportunity
    The view that lower-class youths, whose legitimate opportunities are limited, join gangs and purse criminal careers as alternative means to achive universal success goals.
  76. Diffusion
    An effect that occurs when efforts to prevent one crime unintentionally prevent another.
  77. Discouragement
    An effect that occurs when crime control efforts targeting a particular locale help reduce crime in surrounding areas and populations.
  78. Discretion
    The use of personal decision making by those carrying out police, judicial, and sanctioning functions within the criminal justice system.
  79. Displacement
    An effect that occurs when crime control efforts simply move, or redirect, offenders to less heavily guarded alternative targets.
  80. Disposition
    Sentencing of a defendant who has been found guilty; usually involves a fine, probation, or incarceration.
  81. Diversion Programs
    Programs of rehabilitation, that remove offenders from the normal channels of the criminal justice process, thus enabling them to avoid the stigma of a criminal label.
  82. Dizygotic (DZ) twins Fraternal (nonidentical). twins
  83. Drift
    Movement in and out of delinquency, shifting between conventional and deviant values.
  84. Drug-dependent personality
    A personal trait characterized by a pervasive psychological dependence on mood-altering substances.
  85. Due Process model
    View that focuses on protecting the civil rights of those accused of crime.
  86. Early Onset
    The view that repeat offenders begin their criminal careers at a very young age.
  87. Economic Compulsive Behavior
    Violence committed by drug users to support their habit.
  88. Edgework
    The excitement or exhilaration of successfully exhilaration of successfully executing illegal activities in dangerous situations.
  89. Egalitarian Families
    Families in which the husband and wife share similar positions of power at home and in the workplace. Sons and daughters have equal freedom.
  90. Ego
    The part of the personality developed in early childhood that helps control the id and keep people's actions within the boundaries of social convention.
  91. Ehooking
    Using the Internet for purposes of prostitution in order to shield identities and contact clients.
  92. Eldercide
    Murder of a senior citizen.
  93. Embezzlement
    A type of larceny in which someone who is trusted with property fraudulently converts it to his or her own use or for the use of others.
  94. Enterprise Crime
    Use of illegal tactics to gain profit in the marketplace. Enterprise crimes can involve either the violation of law in the course of an otherwise legitimate occupation or the sale and distribution of illegal commodities
  95. Enterprise Theory Of Investigation (ETI)
    A standard investigative tool of the FBI that focuses on criminal enterprise and attacks the structure of the criminal enterprise rather than criminal acts viewed as isolated incidents.
  96. Equal Justice Model
    View that emphasizes fairness and equal treatment in criminal procedures and sentencing.
  97. Equipotentiality
    The view that all humans are born with equal potential to learn and achieve.
  98. Eros
    The life instinct, which drives people toward self-fulfillment and enjoyment.
  99. Etailing Fraud
    Using the Internet to buy or sell merchandise illegally.
  100. Exclusionary rule
    The rule that evidence against a defendant may not be presented in court if it was obtained in violation of the defendant's rights.
  101. Exploitation
    Forcing victims to pay for services or contracts to which they have a clear right.
  102. Expressive Crimes
    Offenses committed not for profit or gain but to vent rage, anger, or frustration.
  103. Expressive Violence
    Acts that vent rage, anger, or frustration.
  104. Extinction
    An effect that occurs when crime reduction programs produce a short-term positive effect, but benefits dissipate as criminals adjust to new conditions.
  105. False Pretenses (fraud)
    Misrepresenting a fact in a way that causes a deceived victim to give money or property to the offender.
  106. Fence
    A buyer and seller of stolen merchandise.
  107. Filicide
    Murder of an older child.
  108. First-degree Murder
    Killing a person after premeditation and deliberation
  109. Focal Concerns
    Values, such as toughness and street smart, that have evolved specifically to fit conditions in lower-class environments.
  110. Front Running
    Placing broker's personal orders ahead of a customer's large order to profit from the market effects of the trade.
  111. General Deterrence
    A crime control policy that depends on the fear of criminal penalties, convincing the potential law violator that the pains associated with crime outweigh its benefits.
  112. General Strain Theory (GST)
    The view that multiple sources of strain interact with an individual's emotional traits and responses to produce criminality.
  113. General Theory of Crime (GTC)
    Gottfredson and Hirschi's developmental theory, which modifies social control theory by integrating concepts from biosocial, psychological, routine activities, and rational choice theories.
  114. Globalization
    The process of creating transnational markets, politics, and legal systems and thus forming a global economy.
  115. Grand Jury
    A group of citizens chosen to hear testimony in secret and to issue formal criminal accusations (indictments).
  116. Grand Larceny
    Theft of money or property of substantial value, punished as a felony.
  117. Guerillas
    Fighters who are usually located in rural areas and attack military, police, and government targets in an effort to unseat or replace the existing government.
  118. Hate Crimes (bias crimes)
    Violent acts directed toward a particular person or members of a group merely because the targets share a discernible racial, ethnic, religious, or gender characteristic.
  119. Heavy Drinking
    having five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days.
  120. Hung Jury
    A jury that is unable to agree on a decision, thus leaving the case unresolved and open for a possible retrial.
  121. ID
    The primitive part of people's mental makeup, present at birth, that represents unconscious biological drives for food, sex, and other life-sustaining necessities. The id seeks instant gratification without concern for the rights of others.
  122. Incapacitation Effect
    Placing offenders behind bars during their prime crime years reduces their opportunity to commit crime and helps lower the crime rate.
  123. Infanticide
    Murder of a very young child.
  124. Influence Peddling
    Using one's institutional position to grant favors and sell information to which one's co-conspirators are not entitled.
  125. Information
    A filing before and impartial lower-court judge who decides whether the case should go forward (this filing is and alternative to the use of a grand jury).
  126. Information-processing Theory
    Theory that focuses on how people process, store, encode, retrieve, and manipulate information to make decision and solve problems.
  127. Institutional anomie theory
    The view that anomie pervades U.S. culture because the drive for material wealth dominates and undermines social and community values.
  128. Instrumental Theory
    The theory that criminal law and the criminal justice system are capitalist instruments for controlling the lower class.
  129. Instrumental Violence
    Acts designed to improve the financial or social position of the criminal.
  130. Insurgents
    Individuals or groups who confront the existing government for control of all or a portion of its territory, or to force political concessions in sharing political power.
  131. Integrated Theories
    Models of crime causation that weave social and individual variables into a complex explanatory chain.
  132. Interactionist view
    The belief that those with social power are able to impose their values on society as a hole, and these values then define criminal behavior.
  133. Interdisciplinary
    Involving two or more academic fields.
  134. Interrogation
    The questioning of a suspect in police custody.
  135. La Cosa Nostra
    A national syndicate of some 25 Italian-dominated crime families who control organized crime in distinct geographic areas.
  136. Landmark Decision
    A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that serves as a precedent for similar legal issues; it often influences the everyday operating procedures of police agencies, trial courts, and correctional institutions.
  137. Larceny
    Taking for one's own use the property of another, by means other than force or threats on the victim or forcibly braking into a person's home or workplace; theft.
  138. Latent Trait
    A stable feature, characteristic, property, or condition, present at birth or soon after, that makes some people crime-prone over the live course.d
  139. Latent trait (propensity) Theories
    Theories reflecting the view that criminal behavior is controlled by a master trait, present at birth or soon after, that remains stable and unchanging throughout a person's lifetime.
  140. Law of Criminal Procedure
    Judicial precedents that define and guarantee the rights of criminal defendants and control the various components of the criminal Justice system.
  141. Left Realism
    Approach that sees crime as a function of relative deprivation under capitalism and favors pragmatic, community based crime prevention and control
  142. Liberal Feminist Theory
    A view of crime that suggests that the social and economic role of women in society controls their crime rates.
  143. Life-Course Persister
    One of the small group of offenders whose criminal careers continue well into adulthood.
  144. life-course Theories
    Theories reflecting the view that criminality is a dynamic process, influenced by many characteristics, traits, and experience, and that behavior changes accordingly, for better or worse, over the life course.
  145. Lifestyle Theories
    Views on how people become crime victims because of lifestyles that increase their exposure to criminal offenders.
  146. Mafia
    A group that originated in Italy and Sicily and now controls racketeering in major U.S. cities.
  147. Manslaughter
    Homicide without malice.
  148. Marginalization
    Displacement of workers, pushing them outside the economic and social mainstream.
  149. marital Exemption
    The formerly accepted tradition that a legally married husband could not be charged with raping his wife.
  150. Monozygotic (MZ) Twins
    identical twins.
  151. Mood Disorder
    A condition in which the prevailing emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstances.
  152. Moral Entrepreneur
    A person who creates moral rules, which thus reflect the values of those in power, rather than any objective, universal standards of right and wrong.
  153. Mosaic Code
    The Laws of the ancient Israelites, found in the Old Testament of the Judeo-Cristian Bible.
  154. Motivated Offenders
    People willing and able to commit crimes.
  155. Murder
    The unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought.
  156. Naive Check Forgets
    Amateurs who cash bad checks because of some financial crisis but have little identification with a criminal subculture.
  157. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
    A pattern of traits and behaviors indicating infatuation and fixation with one's self to the exclusion of all others, along with the egotistic and ruthless pursuit or one's own gratification, dominance, and ambition.
  158. Narcotic
    A drug that produces sleep and relieves pain, such as heroin, morphine, and opium; a habit forming drug.
  159. National Crime Victimization Survey
    The ongoing victimization study conducted jointly by the Justice Department and the U.S. Census Bureau that surveys victims about their experiences with law violation.
  160. National Incident-Based Reporting System
    Program that requires local police agencies to provide a brief account of each incident and arrest within 22 crime patterns, including incident, victim, and offender information.
  161. Nature Theory
    The view that intelligence is largely determined genetically and that low intelligence is linked to criminal behavior.
  162. Negative Affective States
    Anger, frustration, and adverse emotions produced by a variety of sources of strain.
  163. Neurophysiology
    The study of brain activity.
  164. Neurotransmitter
    A chemical substance, such as dopamine, that transmits nerve impulses from one neuron to another
  165. Neutralization Techniques
    Methods of rationalizing deviant behavior, such as denying responsibility or blaming the victim.
  166. Neutralization Theory
    The view that law violators learn to neutralize conventional values and attitudes, enabling them to drift back and forth between criminal and conventional behavior.
  167. Nolle prosequi
    A declaration that expresses the prosecutors decision to drop a case from further prosecution.
  168. Nonintervention model
    View that arresting and labeling offenders does more harm than good, that youthful offenders in particular should be diverted into informal treatment programs, and that minor offenses should be decriminalized.
  169. Nurture Theory
    The view that intelligence is not inherited but is largely a product of environment. Low IQ scores do not cause crime but my result from the environmental factors.
  170. Obscenity
    Material that violates community standards of morality or decency and has no redeeming social value.
  171. Occasional Criminals
    Offenders who do not define themselves by a criminal role or view themselves as committed career criminals.
  172. Offenders Specific Crime
    A crime in which offenders evaluate their skills, motives, needs, and fears before deciding to commit the criminal act.
  173. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
    A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior, during which a child often loses her or his temper, often argues with adults, and often actively defines or refuses to comply with adults's requests or rules.