Criminology, Law & Society Final Review

funomefu's version from 2015-12-06 05:50


Question Answer
Uniform Crime ReportsPublished by FBI, Reflect Crimes “known to police”, Part I—Serious crimes– Violent Crimes—intentional homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, – Property Crimes—burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson. Part II—Other offenses – E.g., fraud, embezzlement, vandalism prostitution, gambling disorderly conduct. Data collected – Characteristics of victims and offender (if known). Problems with UCR Data 6 – Underestimate amount of many types of crime – Affected by factors other than crime rate – Political manipulation of data – Affected by focus of police investigations • Street crime rather than white collar • Arrestees and suspects
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)Conducted by US Dept. of Justice • Every 6 months to random sample of pop. • About Part I and II offenses (other than homicide and arson) • Including more details about crime than recorded for UCR
Age and CrimePeople are most likely to commit crime between ages 14 and 24 • Rates of crime drop rapidly with age.
Crime Rates in UsBegan rising in early 1960’s. Demographics – Cohort effects (Blumstein)? – Social tensions • Continued rising in the 1980’s – Despite passage of the “baby boom” – But may reflect changes in drug trade • Peaked in late 1980’s or early 1990’s – Have been falling since
Theories of Crime and DevianceTypes of Theories (Jenness & Goodman, 2006) – Normative—who violates norms and why? – Reactive—why do we stigmatize and punish certain behaviors (and not others)? – Macro—level of society – Micro—level of individual
Classical Theories of Crime (aka Control Theory)Utilitarianism/Rational Choice Theory (Jeremy Bentham, 1748-1832) • People seek to maximize pleasure; minimize pain • In deciding whether to commit crime, they weigh benefits against costs (punishment, opprobrium) • Crime results from low situational control (benefits appear to outweigh costs), micro normative
Policy Implications of Classical Theories To control crimeFocus on certainty, severity and celerity (speed) of punishment • Or give people more attractive options
Positivism Efforts to explain human behavior (including crime) “scientifically”Notion of criminal propensity – Implies criminals are different, defective • E.g., Cesare Lombroso’s theory of “atavism” and forensic phrenology
Problematic PositivismDiscredited theories based on questionable data, poor science – E.g., Cesare Lombroso’s forensic phrenology – Somatotyping – XYY • Modern manifestations of positivism – Psychopathy/Sociopathy and Anti-Social Personality Disorder – Criminal Profiling
Micro-Normative TheoriesCrime as sin • Crime as rational calculation • Criminal proclivities – Genetic – Psychological – Socialization • Lack of Self-Control
Problems with Classical TheoryPersistence in crime (when it doesn’t pay • Passionate crimes • Seemingly irrational crimes
Positivism and Public Policy If crime is the product of defective human beings, then what do we do about crime?Identify and incapacitate offenders – Eugentics?
Genetic Theories of CrimeLombroso—atavism (an evolutionary throwback) • Phrenology • Hereditary weakness
Genetic DeterminismEfforts to link genes to behavior, social desirability • Historically associated with racism, fascism, eugenics (and bad science)
Psychological IssuesMental illness and crime • Psychopathy/Sociopathy
Learning TheoriesEdwin Sutherland’s (1939) “differential association” theory • Gresham Sykes and David Matza (1957)—techniques of neutralization – Denying responsibility, injury or harm; denying victim; appealing to higher loyalty
Self-Control TheoryMichael Gottfredson’s and Travis Hirshchi’s General Theory of Crime (1990) We have not been able to establish important differences between criminals and non-criminals beyond their tendency to commit criminal acts • Nevertheless, this difference tends to be stable. People with low self-control are: • Impulsive—Difficulty delaying gratification • Thrill-seeking/risk-takers • Shortsighted—Poor skills and planning • Insensitive—Lack of empathy for others • Physical • Non-Verbal And that’s why they tend to commit crime. If the theory is true, people who commit crime should also show other signs of being: • Impulsive—Difficulty delaying gratification, Thrill-seeking/risk-takers • Shortsighted—Poor skills and planning • Insensitive—Lack of empathy for others • Physical • Non-Verbal
Causes of Low Self-Control Inadequate parentingLack of attachment • Lack of supervision 19 p • Failure to recognize deviant behavior • Failure to punish deviant acts • Parental criminality.
Elliott Currie’s Perspective“What’s wrong with the conservative view is not the belief that the moral and cultural condition of America’s families and communities is important in understanding crime, but the denial that those conditions are themselves strongly affected by larger social and economic forces.”
Macro-Normative TheoriesEmile Durkheim’s (1858-1917) structural theories • Focus on rates of homicide, suicide, alcoholism • Ask how rates are influenced by – Social structure – Connection of individuals to society and social norms
Durkheim’s Normative TheoriesSocial structure affects – Anomie—absence of social norms; tendency for individuals to become disconnected from collective moral authority – Egoism—weakness of the normative order; individuals not integrated into society, macro normative
Ecological Theories, Sometimes called “Chicago School” theoriesFocus on geographic location of crime • Link location to strength of social norms, macro normative.
Other macro-normative theoriesRobert K. Merton’s (1957) strain theory • Cloward & Ohlins (1960) subcultural theory – In disordered environments, subcultures arise that focus on crime, conflict or “retreatist” activities • Routine Activities Theory (Cohen & Felson, 1979)—crime requires – Motivated offender, suitable target, absence of a capable guardian
Durkheim’s Reactivist TheoriesFunctional perspective – Crime serves a purpose – Reinforces groups solidarity and social norms – Crime is therefore inevitable (“normal”) • This a macroreactivist perspective
Is crime “normal”?According to Durkheim: • Crime is not pathological • Crime “is a factor in public health, an integral part of all healthy societies…” • Crime “must no longer be conceived as an evil that cannot be too much suppressed.”
Other macro-reactivist theoriesSutherland on sexual psychopathy • Ericson on “Wayward Puritans” • Chambliss on vagrancy • Gusfield on prohibition • Valerie Jenness on efforts to decriminalize prostitution (“Making it Work”)
Micro-Reactivist TheoriesErving Goffman (1963) on stigma; management of social identity • Edwin Lemert (1967) on primary and secondary deviance, labeling – E.g., consequences of being labeled a juvenile delinquent, a psychopath
Crime and ImprisonmentRising crime rates (1960’s thru early 1990’s) • Led to “get tough” efforts (Blumstein) – Determinant sentencing (1978 in California) – Diminished importance of parole 12 – Rapidly increasing sentences – Three-strikes laws (1994 in California) • And a dramatic increase in imprisonment – 1971—200,000 in state and federal prisons – 1996—1.2 million – 2006—2.2 million, •Since beginning of prison build-up in 1975, crime rates have declined, but not steadily •Experts estimate levels of incarceration account for about 25% of variance in crime rates •Are we incarcerating the right people?
Using Crime Rate Data An International Perspective (Zimring & Hawkins)Does the United States have an unusually high crime rate compared to other 16 industrialized nations? – No, if you are talking about property crimes like burglary and theft – Definitely yes, if you are talking about homicide and robbery, Homicide rates vary independently of the rates of other crimes
Issues Raised by Zimring & HawkinsWhy does the US have so much more violent crime than other industrialized nations? – Is it because we have more criminals? (the Bob Dole theory) • What is the best way to deal with violence? – Longer prison terms for all offenders? • Only 15% of crimes involve violence – Can the criminal justice system provide the answer?
Annual State Cost Per Prisoner$50,000
Alternatives to IncarcerationPrevention Efforts – Early childhood care – Juvenile interventions • Greater Use of Intermediate Sanctions – Supervised probation – Post-prisons/Half-way Houses • Surveillance and Monitoring • More effective rehabilitation
Substantive Criminal LawDefines offenses, specifies punishments – Based largely on statutes • Common law origins • Codification—e.g., California Penal Code
Crime and CulpabilityGeneral Assumptions – Human beings are rational actors – Who can freely choose to commit crime or not – And must therefore be held responsible if they commit crime • But – Defining crime is tricky business – Classifying behavior is difficult
Examples of Homicide and CulpabilityHunter shoots naturalist in Moose suit • Hiker starts fatal rock slide in National Park • Gangsters shoot dead accountant • Shipwrecked sailors eat colleague • Bystander shot by clerk during robbery • Man kills unfaithful wife and paramour • Delusional killer followed “God’s instructions” • Seven-year-old gangbanger shoots rival • Olympic swimmer fails to save drowning child.
Defining CrimeBasic Elements – Actus reus—the criminal act – Mens rea—the culpable mental state • Defenses – Justification – Excuse • Mitigation.
Elements of MurderMurder = Homicide + Malice (intent to kill, wantonness, dangerous felony) w/o justification, excuse or mitigation – 1st Degree—requires premeditation and deliberation – 2nd Degree—does not – Capital murder • Enumerated method or victim, multiple victims, aggravating>mitigating.
Defenses to CrimeJustifications – Defense of self or other – Law enforcement (fleeing felon) • Excuses – Reasonable mistake of fact – Coercion – Infancy – Insanity – Involuntary intoxication – Entrapment • Migitations – Heat of passion – Unreasonable mistake of fact – Diminished capacity/actuality (Twinkie defense).
Criminal ProcedureRules for arrest, detention, trial and sentencing of offenders • Based largely on constitutional law – 4th Amendment—limits police investigations – 5th and 6th Amendments—requirements for prosecution, trial procedure – 14th Amendment—no state shall deprive citizens of life liberty or property without due process of law.
The constitution limits government efforts to control crime Examples• Warrant requirement • Miranda warnings • Privilege against self-incrimination • Exclusionary rule Why do we place these limits on governmental power?
Basic dilemma of crime controlTo control crime through criminal sanctions, the government must have power to investigate and to punish • But… • "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” – Lord Acton, British historian, 1887.
Abuse of Government Power1500’s – early 1700’s – Political turmoil (Catholics vs. Anglicans vs. Protestants (Puritans) – King’s Court of the Star Chamber (abolished 1641).
Perspective of the Framers of the US Constitution Prevent abuse by• Limiting government power • Protecting individual rights. Abuse • Political and religious persecution • Punishment of dissent • Shutting down newspapers • Punishment of political demonstrations. Limitation Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Abuse • Searches and arrests based on mere suspicion • Use of power to investigate as a tool to harass and intimidate. Limitation Amendment IV: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Abuse • Pretext arrests • Re-charging after acquittals • Coerced confessions • Confiscation of property Limitation 14 Amendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury…; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Abuse • Detention without trial • Secret trials • Kangaroo Courts • Biased trial procedures. Limitation: Amendment VI: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed …, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
The Making of the US Criminal Justice SystemConsistent historical themes – Abuse of power – Political and religious persecution • Controlling notions – Government and citizens are potential adversaries – Citizens need protection from the government
Constitutional limitation on government power to investigate and prosecute crime4th Amendment—limits police investigations • 5th Amendment—no double jeopardy; privilege against self-incrimination • 6th Amendment—speedy, public trial; impartial jury; confrontation; compulsory service of process; right to counsel • 8th Amendment—no excessive bail, fines, or cruel and unusual punishment;