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A2 Sociology - Crime control, punishment and Victimology lesson 9

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Amanda Lane

on 29 September 2013

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Transcript of A2 Sociology - Crime control, punishment and Victimology lesson 9

Crime prevention, Control and victimology
Focuses on reducing the opportunities for criminal activity to occur. Clarke (1992) identifies that there are three approaches:
Situation Crime Prevention
One criticism of situation crime prevention tactics is that it does not reduce crime it merely DISPLACES it. Displacement can take several forms:
Directed at specific crimes.
Altering the environment in which crimes occur.
Increase the risk and reduce the reward for committing crime.
Spatial - moving elsewhere
Temporal - different time
Target - different victim
Tactical - different method
Functional - different crime
Displacement of some sort is inevitable
Focuses to much on opportunistic crime - ignores corporate crime
Assumes that criminals are calculating - does not apply to spontaneous violent crimes
Ignores the root causes of crime such as poverty or under achievement.
The 'Broken windows' theory focuses on the signs that depict a lack of concern within the local community concerning disorder in neighbourhoods. These signs can take the form of:
Environmental crime prevention
Dog poo
In this situation, the lack of police and community vigilance leads to crime becoming more prolific as the area becomes a haven for criminal activity.
They way in which this can be prevented is through repairing the disorder swiftly and taking a 'Zero tolerance approach - tackling any sort of disorder even if it is not criminal.
Punishment follows 2 justifications: Reduction and Retribution
Reduction is the process whereby punishment prevents the criminal from committing further crime. There are 3 ways in which this can be achieved.
Deterrence - Punishment as a deterrent
Rehabilitation - Punishment reforms criminals
Incapacitation - Punishment removes the capability to offend by removing them from society.
Retribution refers to a criminal 'paying back' society for their crime. Society takes revenge on the criminal by ordering them to perform a duty such as community service.
The function of punishment is to uphold social solidarity and reinforce shared values. Public trials ensure that society feel a sense of moral unity as order is restored.
Functionalism and punishment
According to functionalists, there are 2 types of justice for 2 types of society:
Retributive = punishment is severe and cruel as the people respond to crime vengefully as the collective conscience is disturbed.
Restitutive = Society feels the need to repair the damage caused through crime (compensation) in order to restore things to how they were before.
Marxism and Punishment
Imprisonment is the favoured form of punishment as labour can still be exploited for the benefit of capitalism.
Capitalism puts a 'price' on workers time and labour - therefore offenders 'do time' to 'pay' back their debt to society.
Prisons are a reflection of capitalist life - subordination, oppression and loss of freedom.
Foucault asserted that there are two forms of punishment in the form of Sovereign and Disciplinary power.
Foucault: the birth of the prison
Sovereign Power was executed before the 19th century and was a form of punishment that involved inflicting physical harm to peoples 'bodies' as a form of public spectacle.
Disciplinary power became the dominant form of punishment in the 19th century. The idea was that control of offenders mind body and soul was achieved through surveillance.
Is there such as thing as a victim stereotype?
VICTIMOLOGY - who are the victims of crime and is there a pattern?
Focuses on the idea that there are certain types of people who are prone to becoming victims of crime. This can be psychological or social characteristics that make them more likely to victimised. Positivists identify three features of victimology:
Positivist Victimology
Patterns of victimisation
Interpersonal crimes of violence
People who contribute to their own victimisation
Perspectives such as Marxism and Feminism use critical victimology to identify conflict as the cause of people becoming victims of crime. They focus on 2 factors:
Critical Victimology
Structural factors - patriarchy and poverty for example great 'powerless' groups that become susceptible to victimisation.
'Victim' as a social construct - becoming a victim is a status that is applied when the police confirm that a crime has taken place.
Patterns of victimisation determines that there is an unequal distribution of risk between social groups.
Patterns of Victimisation
Repeat Victimisation
The poorest groups are more likely to become victims with the homeless being the most susceptible.
Ethnic minorities are the least protected in society
The youngest people in society are more likely to be victims of crime.
Victimology depends on the type of crime committed.
If you have been a victim of crime you are more likely to be a victim again.
Secondary victimisation
Impact of victimisation
Fear of victimisation
Victims may suffer further victimisation at the hands of the CJS.
Crime creates an irrational fear of becoming a victim of crime.
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