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Understanding Crime. Causes Of Crime We left off discussing theories why crime occur. There are differing opinions. The opinion you hold affects crime.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Crime. Causes Of Crime We left off discussing theories why crime occur. There are differing opinions. The opinion you hold affects crime."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Crime

2 Causes Of Crime We left off discussing theories why crime occur. There are differing opinions. The opinion you hold affects crime fighting tactics That impacts quality of life, schools, taxes... Choice Theory Biological Theories Psychological Theories – Sociological Theories – Conflict Theories – Integrated Theories – Victimization Theories

3 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories – Social Structure Theory Strain Theory – Social Process Theory Differential Association Theory Social Control Theory Labeling Theory

4 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Sociological explanations of crime are most common

5 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Why are sociological theories of crime so important?

6 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory – Obvious social class distinctions in America. Upper, Middle and Lower Class

7 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d – Conflicts and problems of urban social life and communities control the crime rate. Transitional Neighborhoods Social Disorganization Value Conflict

8 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d – Poverty: $17,029 income for family of four (4) – Median US Household Income: $40,800 – Are there racial differences in the poverty rate? – If so, what is the effect on people and society?

9 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d Life in deteriorated housing areas These areas attract crime, drug dealing,prostitution These problems, and the criminal environment that goes with them, are more acute for racial and ethnic minorities. Negative racial and ethnic stereotyping can lead to lower employment opportunities and greater income inequality.

10 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d – Culture of Poverty

11 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d – Effects of being “Truly Disadvantaged”

12 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d – Realities of being “Truly Disadvantaged” Inner city poverty is eternal and unchanging Manufacturing jobs formerly available disappearing Scarce work results in loss of discipline & structure Children are not socialized in mainstream society

13 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d – Does racism really still exist in America? – If it does, is it becoming more subtle? How? – What exacerbates the problem?

14 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Structure Theory—cont’d – What would be the effect of constant assaults on your self image and sense of worth?

15 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Middle Class Values Education Hard Work Sexual Abstinence Honesty Sobriety Lower Class Values Being Cool Promiscuity Intemperance Fearlessness Scorn Authority Live for Today Seek Excitement Shun Formal Education

16 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Why do lower class youth often have such different values?

17 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Lower Class Focal Concerns – Trouble: Status from fighting, drinking, sex – Toughness: Reject sentiment, Accept fighting, athletic – Smartness: Streetwise, Outsmart, Con, Gambling – Excitement: Sex, fighting, gambling – Fate: Believe in spiritual forces; Hitting the jackpot – Autonomy: Losing control is weak, Independence from parents, teacher, police is cool.

18 Social Structure Theory Practical Implications Social Structure Theory – Linked to the Rehabilitation Perspective – If poverty and strain cause crime, efforts to improve economic opportunity should be able to help reduce crime.

19 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories 2. Strain Theory – A subset of Social Structure Theory – Robert Merton: Formulated Strain Theory

20 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Recall – Anomie: The absence or weakness of rules, norms, or guidelines as to what is socially or socially acceptable.

21 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Strain Theory—Cont’d – Inability of lower class to achieve culturally defined goals results in alternative solutions to meet their need for success. Innovation: Steal, Sell Drugs, Extort Money Retreatism: Drug Abusers, Alcoholics, Wanderers Rebellion: Revolutionaries

22 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Strain Theory—Cont’d  Robert Agnew: Expanded Anomie Theory  Recognized sources of strain besides financial  Negative Experiences  Child Abuse  Loss of Positive Supports  End of Romantic Relationships

23 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories 3. Social Process Theories – Learning Theories Differential Association Theory – Control Theories Social Control Theory – Labeling Theory

24 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories – Theories that people learn to commit crime by exposure to Antisocial Behaviors – They believe criminal behavior depends on experience with rewards and punishments. Rewards for deviance leads to crime. – NOTE: Similarity to Behavioral Theory

25 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories – Fact: People abuse drugs in all strata of society – Fact: Most poor people have conventional values – Fact: Most poor people are not criminals Conclusion: Something common to all social strata must be affecting crime.

26 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories – Crime and Delinquency Risk Home:

27 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories – Crime and Delinquency Risks Educational:

28 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories – Crime and Delinquency Risks Peers:

29 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories--Learning Theories – Differential Association Theory

30 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories--Learning Theories – Social Control Theory

31 Social Control Theory Practical Implications Social Process Theories--Learning Theories – Social Control Theory Linked to the Rehabilitation Perspective Advocates programs to strengthen: –Societal Bonds –Family Involvement –Counseling Programs –School Prevention Programs –Inmate Treatment and Educational Programs

32 Causes Of Crime Sociological Theories Social Process Theories--Learning Theories – Labeling Theory

33 Labeling Theory Practical Implications Social Process Theories--Learning Theories – Labeling Theory Linked to the Noninterventionist Perspective Advocates limited offender contact with CJ System Prefers: –Deinstitutionalization –Restitution Programs

34 Causes Of Crime Political Theories Conflict Theory

35 Conflict Theory Practical Implications Conflict Theory – Linked to Restorative Justice Perspective – Advocates restoration of damages social relations by Mediation Arbitration Restitution Forgiveness

36 Causes Of Crime Integrated Theories Integrated Theories – Latent Trait Theory – Developmental Theory

37 Causes Of Crime Integrated Theories Integrated Theories – Latent Trait Theory Belief that some people have a personal characteristic that controls their likelihood to commit crime. –Low Intelligence –Impulsive Personality –Genetic Defect

38 Causes Of Crime Integrated Theories Integrated Theories – Best Known Latent Trait Theory General Theory Of Crime –Criminals have a “here and now” orientation –Refusal to work for long term goals –Lack diligence, tenacity and persistence Criminality Appeal: Immediate Gratification –Money without work –Sex without courtship –Revenge without court delays

39 Causes Of Crime Integrated Theories Integrated Theories – Developmental Theory

40 Causes Of Crime Integrated Theories Integrated Theories – Developmental Theory Key Turning Points in a Criminal Career There is a positive combined effect

41 Developmental Theory Practical Implications Integrated Theories – Developmental Theory Fact: Building social capital (positive relationships that foster self worth and inhibit crime) and social bonds reduces long term criminality. Fact: Life events help terminate of sustain criminal careers.

42 Causes Of Crime Theories Of Victimization Some theories of crime examine the role victims play in provoking or encouraging crime. – Lifestyle Theory – Routine Activities Theory

43 Causes Of Crime Theories Of Victimization Lifestyle Theory Partying and drug use increases likelihood of violent crime involvement

44 Causes Of Crime Theories Of Victimization Routine Activities Theory

45 Break Read assignments. Participate in class discussions. Review notes weekly.


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