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Chapter 2: Criminology & Trends
Transcript of Chapter 2: Criminology & Trends
A Brief Video Break
Rational Choice Theory
Theories of Crime
Two Different Ways we can measure crime today:
Criminology = study of WHY people commit crimes
Criminal Justice = study of society's reaction to why crime occurs
Criminology & Trends
WHY people commit crime!
Drug Use & Abuse Explanations
Crime Theories, Continued...
Homicide rate dropped 39%
Robbery rate dropped 37%
early 2000's: crime rate flattened, then continued decreasing
Current Crime Trends
Correlation vs. Causation
Criminology vs. Criminal Justice
Correlation = variables that vary together
Causation = one variable causes (or is responsible for) another
What you need to know:
Basic Idea: weigh pros and cons before committing the act. Think of act as a rewards system; where will my net gain be?
perceived benefits > costs = crime
Katz added to this theory by bringing in non-monetary/materialistic rewards --> the danger, excitement, and rush received when committing a crime is the "seduction of crime"
Katz says that the intrinsic (inner) rewards matter
Biological & Psychological variables incline people toward criminal behaviors
1. Biochemistry - hormones...more male criminals? Testosterone associated with aggression
violent offenders have higher levels of testosterone
post partum psychosis: women have abnormal behavior because of change of hormones
2. Neurophysiology - study of brain activity; neurons release neurotransmitters! 3 Types!
Serotonin = regulates moods, appetite, and memory
Norepinephrine = regulates sleep-wake cycles, controls how we respond to anxiety, fear and stress
Dopamine = regulates perceptions of pleasure and reward
Lows serotonin & High norepinephrine
Dopamine = drug addiction factor
The Basics: Social Psychology
we view ourselves based on how we think others view us
*Act like those we admire, so they like us!
Stanford students: some became guards,some became prisoners
But then some guards began physically mistreating inmates
So, some inmates
rebelled with violence
Conclusion: People convince themselves that criminal behavior is OK when others say it is
Social Disorganization Theory:
Shaw & McKay, early 20th Century
Studied high-crime neighborhoods and found that crime rates could be seen in ZONES
Characteristics of crime zones: ??
Characteristics of organized communities: ??
Neighborhoods abandoned these values...results?
Families with some wealth leave these zones and escape the inner city
Role of the 'American Dream'
**Emile Durkheim (1850's-1917, French)-->Anomie Theory
***Robert Merton-->addition to anomie theory
Theory popular in the 1960's; blamed capitalism and used other social conflict theories to explain why crime occurred
Social Process Theories: Anyone can be criminal, it all depends on the interactions with different institutions and the processes of society
1. Learning Theory (Sutherland, 1940's): Differential Association
exposed to criminal behavior from family, friends, then more likely to commit crime
evolved to include the media
2. Control Theory: Hirschi; focused on why people do NOT commit crimes versus why the DO
Social bonds promote conformity to social norms...stronger the bonds, less likely we are to commit crime
**Wilson & Kelling: Broken Window Theory
--->Communities in bad condition invite more deviance because of implied acceptance of crime
Life Course Theories: Childhood
Social Control Theory
Hirschi & Gottfredson, 1990
low self control = personality trait that is formed before child is ten years old (result of poor parenting)
-->person is impulsive, thrill seeking, uses violence over intellect to solve problems
-->cannot be changed by later life events [continuity theory]
Terrie Moffit found two groups of offenders
1. Life-Course Persistent
2. Adolescent Limited
Learn drug use initially from popular culture (desirable behavior)
Some people have overly sensitive drug receptors in brains and are more disposed to drug use
Should drug abusers be punished, or do they need institutionalized help?
Medical model of addiction vs. Criminal model
1. Uniform Crime Report (UCR)
Department of Justice, formed in 1930
voluntary participation of law enforcement agencies
-Number of people arrested
-Number of crimes reported by victims, witnesses, or police
-Police employee data
-Reports as a Rate per 100,000 people & percentage change from previous year/time periods
2 Categories of Crime
-Part I Offenses: murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson
Covered by the media, cause the most fear
60% = larceny/thefts
21% = burglaries
-Part II Offenses: everything else! [misdemeanors]
2. National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
1980s; local agencies collect data on offenses, victims, offenders, arrestees
Victim Surveys-->researchers ask victims directly (email/phone)
3. National Crime Victim Survey (1972): 80,000 households.
Self-Reported Surveys: interview/ask offenders; shows a larger amount of crime than the UCR and NCVS reported!
-1970's: focus on victim protection begins
-2004 Crime Victims' Rights Act = right to be informed, present, hears
-Restitution = definition?
-Some neighborhoods have higher likelihood of victimization
Cohen & Felson's Routine Activity Theory
Absence of capable guardian
Race & Crime
Black Male 12 x more likely arrested for drugs
Black Female 5 x more likely arrested for drugs
Black Juvenile 3 x more likely involved in delinquent acts
Class & Crime
regardless of race, disadvantaged neighborhood takes prominence with likelihood of crime
correlated vs. causal factors?
Women & Crime
26% 2011 arrests were female...steadily increasing
1990-2011: men arrested declined by 90,000; women arrested increased by 700,000
Mental Illness & Crime
crime done as a result of mental illlness
drug and alcohol abuse a large factor