Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Criminology"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Criminology Defining CriminologyThe Criminal LawDevelopment of Academic CriminologyTheories of CrimePolitics/IdeologyIntroduction to Criminology
2 Defining Criminology Edwin Sutherland’s definition The scientific study of lawmaking, lawbreaking, and the response to lawbreakingLawmaking = how laws are created/changedLawbreaking = nature/extent of crimeReaction = police, courts, correctionsScience vs. other ways of knowing stuff
3 Criminology vs. Criminal Justice The study of agencies related to the control of crimeCriminologyThe study of crime trends, nature of crime, theories of crimeReality? Two sides of the same coin
4 Criminology vs. Deviance Criminology focuses on crimesCrime = violation of criminal lawDeviance focuses on violations of societal normsThese may or may not also be law violationsCan you think of a norm violation that is not a law violation?How about a law violation that does not violate a norm?
5 Types of Law Criminal Law Civil Law Procedural vs. Substantive Statutory vs. CommonCivil LawTort law
6 Substantive vs. Procedural Law Substantive LawWritten code that defines crimes and punishmentsProcedural LawGoverns actors in the criminal justice system (e.g., when can the police search your vehicle?)
7 Common Law v. Statutory Law Common Law is judge-madelaw. The law is found inpreviously decided cases.Statutory Laws are derived fromlegislative acts that decide thedefinition of the behavior that iscodified into law.
8 Criminal and Tort Law A public offense Enforcement is state business Punishment is often loss of liberties or sometimes deathFines go to the stateState doesn’t ordinarily appealProof beyond a reasonable doubtA civil or private wrongIndividuals bring actionSanction is normally monetary damagesBoth parties can appealIndividuals receives the compensation for harm done“Preponderance of the evidence” is required for a decision.
9 Seriousness of Crimes I Mala in seMala prohibitaWrong or evil in themselvesCore of legal codeHomicideRobberyWrong because they are prohibitedChange over time and across societyProstitutionGambling
10 Seriousness of Crimes II More serious offensesPunishable by deathor imprisonment formore than a year in astate prison.FELONYLess serious offensesPunishable by incar-ceration for less than ayear in a local jail orhouse of correction.MISDEMEANOR
11 A criminal law must indicate a type of intent and a specific behavior Actus ReasPhysical act must be voluntaryIf crime is“Failure to act,” there must be legal obligation.Statutory Obligation, Relationship between parties, ContractMens ReaGeneral or specific intentTransferred IntentNegligenceStrict Liability Offenses
12 Specific Criminal Defenses Deny the Actus Reas (I didn’t do it)Deny the Mens ReaIgnorance / MistakeIntoxication?Insanity Defense
13 Who does the law serve? Consensus view Conflict view Which is correct? Law results from societal agreement on what behaviors are most harmfulLaws apply to all citizens equallyConflict viewLaw results from conflict over what behavior should be criminalizedThose with the most power define what is criminal and often use the law to protect their interestsWhich is correct?
14 Criminology as a Discipline Until the 1970s, there was no “criminology” or “criminal justice” degreeSociology became the dominant discipleStill contributions from biology, psychology, political science1980-PresentCriminology emerging as separate entityPhD in Criminology/Criminal Justice now the normStill debate about whether Criminology is a distinct disciplineOrganized around a class of behaviors rather than a distinct way of looking at the worldSociologists still see criminology as a “sub-discipline” of sociology
15 Sociological Criminology—Good & Bad Good: Focus on social structure and inequality; healthy skepticism (debunking)Bad: Ignore/ridicule “outside” disciplines and their focus on individual differencesThe Irony? Psychologists and biologists believe that social forces are as (or more) important than individual differencesThis class will explore crime from a multidisciplinary lens
16 A Crude History of Criminology Demonic Perspective pre-1750sCrime as god’s will, result of demonic possessionClassical School (1750s-1900; 1970s to now)Utilitarian philosophy (Becarria, Bentham)A response to an unjust/arbitrary legal systemFree will, humans use a “hedonistic calculus”Rational legal code less crimeBasis of deterrence theory
17 Crude History—Part II Positive School (1900-present) Crime is “caused” by outside forces (determinism)Solution is to fix these causes (medical model, rehab)Scientific research on offenders, crime (not law)Different types of positivismBio/psych determinism ( s)Sociological theory (1920s-Present)Critical theories (1960s-early 1970s)Developmental Theory (1990s-present)
18 Crime Theory Backbone of criminology Scientific Theory Must be able to test theoryA GOOD theory survives empirical testingEmpirical = real world observationsSome theories are sexier than othersParsimonyScopeUsefulness of policy implications
19 Flow Chart for Evaluation NO = Useless, stop hereEvaluate theFollowing:ScopeParsimonyPolicy ImplicationsFalsifiable?Logical?YesEmpiricalEvidence?YESNO: Modify/Discard
20 Empirical Evidence is the KEY Theories attempt to demonstrate cause-effectCriteria for causation in social science using a poverty crime exampleTime ordering: poverty happens before crimeCorrelation: X is related to YRelationship is not spurious (e.g., low self-control causes both poverty and crime)
21 Methods for generating evidence ExperimentKey is randomly assigned groupsOnly factor that effects outcome is group difference at start of experimentLimit = artificial nature
23 Methods for generating evidence II Non-experimentalSurvey researchCross sectional Stimulant StudyLongitudinalLimit = how to rule out spuriousnessUpside = ask whatever you want
24 Ideology in Criminology Walter MillerIdeology is the “permanent hidden agenda of Criminal Justice”What is “Ideology?”American Political IdeologyLiberal/Progressive IdeologyConservative IdeologyRadical Ideology
25 Dominant Ideologies in U.S. CONSERVATIESLIBERALSValue order/stability, respect for authorityPeople get what they deserveCrime caused by poor choice (Free will)Value equal opportunities and individual rightsSuccess depends on outside forces & where you startCrime is caused by outside influences
26 Implications of Ideology for Crime and Justice Conservatives tend to fit with “Classical School”“Neo-Classical” = deterrence, incapacitationJames Q. Wilson’s “policy analysis”Liberal/Progressive fit with positive schoolFavor decriminalizing some acts“Root causes” of crime only fixed by social changeRehabilitation may be possibleElliott Currie = ample evidence that government can address social ills and prevent crimeRadical = Marxist/conflict theory
27 Ideology as “hidden agenda” Many policies and programs are driven more by ideology than empirical evidenceIntensive supervision probation (conservatives)Restorative justice (liberals)
28 The “Martinson Report” (MR) The “Martinson Report” was review of studies on rehabilitation published in the early 1970sConcluded that not much is workingUsed by politicians as the reason for abandoning rehabSocial Context of the 1960sHippies, Watergate, Attica, Viet Nam, Kent State…Conservatives? SKY IS FALLINGLiberals? Cannot trust the governmentReality = liberals and conservatives were both “ready” to pull the plug on rehabilitation
29 The Limits of Empirical Evidence Criminologists tend to be cautions with conclusionsAll studies are flawed in some wayPoliticians and public tend to “over generalize” from a single studyThis can lead to bad policyRAND Felony Probation studyDomestic Violence Experiments
30 Good theory makes good policy… In a perfect world, programs and policies would flow from empirically supported theories of crimeUnfortunately, people often “shoot from hip”Policy without TheoryThe “panacea” problem: scared straight, intensive probation, boot camps, warm and fuzzy circle…Some hope in “evidence-based” movementMultisystemic Therapy (MST)Targets for change = parental supervision, delinquent friends, reducing rewards for deviance…