Presentation on theme: "Nature & Origin of Crime"— Presentation transcript:
1Nature & Origin of Crime MIAN ALI HAIDERL.L.B., L.L.M(Cum Laude) (UK)
2It is criminal to steal a purse, It is daring to steal a fortune.It is a mark of greatness to steal a crown.The blame diminishes as the guilt increases.Johann Schiller ( )We sow an act and reap a habit:We sow a habit and reap a character:We sow a character and reap a destiny.William Black (1893)
4Crime can be defined… Form of normal behavior Violation of behavioral normsForm of deviant behaviorLegally defined behaviorViolation of human rightsSocial harm/injuryForm of inequalitySocial, Legal, and Moral dimensions involved
5Emile Durkheim (1893)Made three specific claims about the nature of crime:Crime is normalCrime is inevitableCrime is useful
6Crime is normal As normal as birth and marriage Crimes occur in all societiesThey are closely tied to the facts of collective lifeCrime rates tend to increase as societies evolve from lower to higher phases
7Crime is normalIn societies with mechanical solidarity punishment was more severeCriminal act offends the strong, well-defined common consciousnessA crime against another person=crime against the entire societyRejection was the most terrible punishment
8Crime is inevitable No society can ever be entirely rid of crime Imagine a community of saints in a perfect and exemplary monasteryFaults that appear venial to the ordinary person will arouse the same scandal as does normal crimeAbsolute conformity to rules is impossibleEach member is society faces variation in background, education, heredity, social influences
9Crime is useful Crime is indispensable to the normal evolution of law and moralityCrime often is a symptom of individual originality and a preparation for changes in societyRosa Parks (was a criminal) is a hero nowHer simple act of protest galvanized America's civil rights revolution
10What is crime? Crime can be defined in a variety ways At least four definitional perspectivesLegalisticPoliticalSociologicalPsychological
11Crime as legally defined behavior Rooted in the criminal law (without law there can be no crimeThe most precise definitionThe narrowest definitionClassic definition of crime is often quoted from Paul Tappan’s writings “crime is an intentional act in violation of the criminal law committed without defense or excuse, and penalized by the state as a felony” (1947)
12Legalistic definition Crime is human conduct in violation of the criminal laws of state, the federal government, or a local jurisdiction that has the power to make such lawsIs anything wrong with this definition?Moral definitions of crime suggests that a lot more victimization and injury occurring than is accounted for by the legal order.
13Political view of crime Powerful groups of people label selected undesirable forms of behavior as illegalPowerful individuals use their power to establish laws and sanctions against less powerful persons and groupsOfficial statistics indicate that crime rates in inner-city, high-poverty areas are higher than those in suburban areasSelf-reports of prison inmates show that prisoners are members of the lower class
14Political perspective Crime of inequality includes a lot of behaviors that are omitted by legalistic definitionCrime is a political concept used to protect powerful peopleCrimes of power (price fixing, economic crimes, unsafe working conditions, nuclear waste products, war-making, domestic violence, etc)
15Sociological perspective A more comprehensive sociological definition of crime was offered by Julia and Herman Schwendinger (1975)“Crime encompasses any harmful acts, including violations of fundamental prerequisites for well-being (such as food, shelter, clothing, medical service, challenging work and recreational experiences, as well as security from predatory individuals or repressive and imperialistic elites”
16Sociological perspective Schwendingers have challenged criminologists to be less constrained in what they see as a crimeViolation of human rightsWhen a man who steals a paltry sum can be called a criminal while agents of the State can legally reward men who destroy food so that price level can be maintained while a sizable portion of population suffers from maltinutrition
17Psychological perspective (moralistic view) Any behavior which stands in the way of an individuals developing to his/her fullest potential would be considered crimeIf criminologists adopted this view of crime, the scope of criminology would be greatly expanded..
18Introduction to Criminological Theory Several theories attempt to explain criminal behavior. Some theories assume:Crime is part of human nature.Crime is based on biological, psychological, sociological, and/or economic aspects.
19Classical TheoryOne of the earliest approaches to explaining the causes of crime was classical theory.In 1764, criminologist Cesare Beccaria wrote An Essay on Crimes and Punishments, which set forth classical criminological theory.He argued that the only justified rationale for laws and punishments was the principle of utility.
20utilityThe principle that a policy should provide “the greatest happiness shared by the greatest number.”
21Classical TheoryBeccaria believed the basis of society, as well as the origin of punishments and the right to punish, is the social contract.The only legitimate purpose of punishment is special deterrence and general deterrence.
22classical theoryA product of the Enlightenment, based on the assumption that people exercise free will and are thus completely responsible for their actions. In classical theory, human behavior, including criminal behavior, is motivated by a hedonistic rationality, in which actors weigh the potential pleasure of an action against the possible pain associated with it.
23social contract special deterrence An imaginary agreement to sacrifice the minimum amount of liberty to prevent anarchy and chaos.special deterrenceThe prevention of individuals from committing crime again by punishing them.continued…
24general deterrenceThe prevention of people in general or society at large from engaging in crime by punishing specific individuals and making examples of them.
25Neoclassical TheoryClassical theory was difficult to apply in practice. It was modified in the early 1800s and became known as neoclassical theory.
26neoclassical theoryA modification of classical theory in which it was conceded that certain factors, such as insanity, might inhibit the exercise of free will.
27Neoclassical Theory Neoclassical theory introduced the idea of: Premeditation as a measure of the degree of free will.Mitigating circumstances as legitimate grounds for diminished responsibility.
28Neoclassical TheoryClassical and neoclassical theory are the basis of the criminal justice system in the United States.
29Positivist Approaches to Explaining Crime The theory of the positivist school of criminology grew out of positive philosophy and the logic and methodology of experimental science.
30The Positivist School of Thought The key assumptions of the positivist school of thought were:Human behavior is determined and not a matter of free will.Criminals are fundamentally different from noncriminals.Social scientists can be objective in their work.Crime is frequently caused by multiple factors.
31Biological TheoriesBiological theories of crime causation (biological positivism) are based on the belief that criminals are physiologically different from noncriminals. The cause of crime is biological inferiority.
32biological inferiority According to biological theories, a criminal’s innate physiological makeup produces certain physical or genetic characteristics that distinguish criminals from noncriminals.
33Heredity StudiesSeveral studies have attempted to determine if criminality is hereditary by studying:family treesstatisticsidentical and fraternal twinsadopted childrenAll of these methods fail to prove that criminality is hereditary, because they cannot separate hereditary influences from environmental influences.
34Modern Biocriminology Ongoing research has revealed numerous biological factors associated either directly or indirectly with criminal or delinquent behavior:chemical, mineral, and vitamin deficiencies in the dietdiets high in sugar and carbohydrateshypoglycemiacontinued…
35Modern Biocriminology ingestion of food dyes and leadexposure to radiationbrain dysfunctions
36Positivist Approaches Today, most criminologists believe that criminal behavior is the product of a complex interaction between biology and environmental or social conditions.
37Positivist Approaches Biology or genetics gives an individual a predisposition to behave in a certain way.Whether a person actually behaves in that way and whether that behavior is defined as a crime depend on environmental or social conditions.
38Psychological Theories There are many theories regarding psychological causes of crime, including:Intelligence and crimePsychoanalytic theories
39Intelligence and Crime The idea that crime is the product primarily of people of low intelligence has been popular occasionally in the United States.A study in 1931 showed no correlation between intelligence and criminality.
40Psychoanalytic Theories Psychoanalytic theories of crime causation are associated with the work of Sigmund Freud who believed that people who had unresolved deep-seated problems were psychopaths.
41psychopathsPersons characterized by no sense of guilt, no subjective conscience, and no sense of right and wrong. They have difficulty in forming relationships with other people; they cannot empathize with other people. They are also called sociopaths or antisocial personalities.
42Sociological Theories Sociologists emphasize that human beings live in social groups and that those groups and the social structure they create influence behavior.Most sociological theories of crime causation assume that a criminal’s behavior is determined by his or her social environment and reject the notion of the born criminal.
43The Theory of the Chicago School In the 1920s, a group of sociologists known as the Chicago School attempted to uncover the relationship between a neighborhood’s crime rate and the characteristics of the neighborhood.
44The Theory of the Chicago School Studies found that neighborhoods that experienced high delinquency rates also experienced social disorganization.
45social disorganization The condition in which the usual controls over delinquents are largely absent, delinquent behavior is often approved of by parents and neighbors, there are many opportunities for delinquent behavior, and there is little encouragement, training, or opportunity for legitimate employment.
46Anomie or Strain Theory Robert Merton in 1938 wrote about a major contradiction in the U.S. between cultural goals and social structure. He called the contradiction anomie.
47anomieFor Merton, the contradiction between the cultural goal of achieving wealth and the social structure’s inability to provide legitimate institutional means for achieving the goal.
48Anomie or Strain Theory Merton argued that the limited availability of legitimate institutionalized means to wealth puts a strain on people. People adapt through:Conformity—playing the game.Innovation—pursuing wealth by illegitimate means.continued…
49Anomie or Strain Theory Ritualism—not actively pursuing wealth.Retreatism—dropping out.Rebellion—rejecting the goal of wealth and the institutional means of getting it.
50Learning TheoriesEdwin H. Sutherland—in his theory of differential association—was the first 20th-century criminologist to argue that criminal behavior was learned.This theory, modified, remains one of the most influential theories of crime causation.
51differential association Sutherland’s theory that persons who become criminal do so because of contacts with criminal patterns and isolation from anticriminal patterns.
52Learning TheoriesAmong the policy implications of learning theory is to punish criminal behavior effectively, according to learning theory principles. This is not done effectively in the U.S.Probation does not function as an aversive stimulus.Most offenders are not incarcerated.continued…
53Learning Theories Punishment is not consistent and immediate. Offenders are generally returned to the environments in which their crimes were committed.There is no positive reinforcement of alternative, prosocial behaviors.
54Social Control Theories The key question in the social control theory is not why people commit crime and delinquency, but rather why don’t they? Why do people conform?
55Social Control Theories The most detailed elaboration of modern social control theory is attributed to Travis Hirschi who wrote the 1969 book, Causes of Delinquency.
56Social Control Theories Hirschi argued that delinquency should be expected if a juvenile is not properly socialized by establishing a strong bond to society, consisting of:Attachment to othersCommitment to conventional lines of actionInvolvement in conventional activitiesBelief in the moral order and law
57Social Control Theories More recently, Hirschi wrote with Michael Gottfredson that the principal cause of deviant behaviors is ineffective child rearing, which produces people with low self-control.
58Critical Approaches to Explaining CrimeCritical theories grew out of the changing social landscape of the American 1960s.Critical theories assume that human beings are the creators of institutions and structures that ultimately dominate and constrain them.Critical theories assume that society is characterized primarily by conflict over moral values.
59Labeling TheoryThe focus of labeling theory is the criminalization process rather than the positivist concern with the peculiarities of the criminal.
60criminalization process labeling theoryA theory that emphasizes the criminalization process as the cause of some crime.criminalization processThe way people and actions are defined as criminal.
61Labeling TheoryThe labeling theory argues that once a person commits a first criminal act and gets processed in the system, they are labeled negatively as a criminal.The label becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
62Conflict TheoryConflict theory focuses on the conflict in society between rich and poor, management and labor, whites and minorities.
63conflict theoryA theory that assumes that society is based primarily on conflict between competing interest groups and that criminal law and the criminal justice system are used to control subordinate groups. Crime is caused by relative powerlessness.
64Radical TheoryRadical theories argue that capitalism requires people to compete against each other in the pursuit of material wealth.The more unevenly wealth is distributed, the more likely people are to find persons weaker than themselves that they can take advantage of in their pursuit of wealth.
65radical theoriesTheories of crime causation that are generally based on a Marxist theory of class struggle.