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Why????? Theories of criminal existence

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1 Why????? Theories of criminal existence
CH 3 Adapted from: Frank Schmalleger’s CRIMINAL JUSTICE TODAY, 9E.PRENTICE HALL, Education Inc. ©2007 Pearson Education, Inc.

2 Ever wonder??? “Are people born wicked or is wickedness thrust upon them?” ~Galinda from Broadway musical Wicked

3 Criminologists Criminologists search for answers to
Criminally inspired questions. Why does a person commit a crime? What causes crime and deviance? Are people basically good? Why are some people violent and aggressive? Are people motivated only by self- interest?

4 Criminology A science that studies criminals and seeks to find the cause of crime and deviant behavior. Crime—violation of the criminal law for which there is no legal justification. Deviance—violation of social norms that specify appropriate or proper behavior under a particular set of circumstances (often includes crime).

5 Categories of Theory Explanations of criminal behavior fall into
8 general categories. Classical Biological Psychobiological Psychological Sociological Social Process Conflict Emergent Interdisciplinary, or integrated, theories could possibly be a ninth category.

6 Classical & Neoclassical Theories

7 Characteristics Basic Assumptions
Crime is caused by the individual exercise of “free will.” Pain and pleasure are the two central determinants of human behavior. Punishment is sometimes required to deter law violators. Crime prevention = swift and certain punishment

8 Cesare Beccaria: Crime and Punishment
In 1784, Beccaria published Essays on Crimes and Punishment. Beccaria: Was considered controversial at the time. Felt punishments should be more humanitarian. Called for the end of physical punishment and the death penalty. Posited that punishment needs to be: Certain Swift Severe Believed that punishment should fit the crime and not be excessive.

9 Jeremy Bentham’s Hedonistic Calculus
Concept developed by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) People make “free will” decisions to commit crime by weighing of advantages versus disadvantages of action. If advantages outweigh disadvantages, then a person will likely commit crime. To deter people from committing crime, the punishment/disadvantages need(s) to outweigh the rewards/advantages. Bentham called this philosophy utilitarianism.

10 The Neoclassical Perspective
Neoclassical criminology is rooted in the classical school. Emphasizes deterrence and retribution Individuals use free will to decide to conform or commit crime Places greater emphasis on rationality and cognition than classical criminologists Examples: Rational choice theory Routine activities theory

11 The Neoclassical Perspective
Rational choice theory = criminality is the result of conscious choice. Individuals commit crime when the benefits outweigh the costs Lifestyles contribute to the volume and type of crime found in society Motivated offender + a suitable target - a capable guardian = Criminal Act

12 Biological Theories

13 Characteristics of Biological Theories
Basic Assumptions Human behavior is genetically determined. Basic determinants of human behavior may be passed from generation to generation. Some behavior is the result of mutation in genetic evolutionary process.

14 Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828): Phrenology
Phrenology, study of the shape of the head and its relationship to human behavior, focused on the head and brain in what Gall called “crainioscopy.” The brain is the organ of the mind. The brain consists of localized faculties or functions. The shape of the skull reveals underlying development (or lack of development) of areas within the brain. A personality can be revealed by a study of the skull.

15 Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909): Atavism
Lombroso—the founder of the Positivist School of criminology. In his work, he: borrowed the term “atavism” from the work of Charles Darwin. “Atavism” implies that people are born criminals characterized by features thought to be common in earlier stages of human evolution. Examples of stigmata: long arms, large lips, crooked nose, large amount of body hair, eyes of different colors, ears lack defined lobes, etc…

16 Atavism really??? In 1913, Charles Goring and Karl Pearson:
compared 3,000 English convicts to army officers found NO significant differences between the two groups using Lombroso’s criteria In 1939, Ernest Hooten: compared 13,000 male prisoners in 10 states to 3,000 National Guard members, firemen, etc. found some support for Lombroso’s ideas, though his methods may have been flawed

17 Criminal Families Is it all in our heads???
In 1877, Richard Dugdale studied the Juke family. Over 75 years, the heirs of Ada Juke included 1,200 persons, mostly social degenerates. Goddard (1912) studied two lines of the Kallikak family. One line descended from a feebleminded bar maid. Over half of these descendants were feebleminded. The second line descended from a “virtuous Quaker girl.” 1/3 of these descendants were feebleminded.

18 William Sheldon (1893 – 1977): Somatypes
Somatotyping— classifying people according to body build. Mesomorph—predominance of muscle, bone, and connective tissue Ectomorph—thinness, fragility, and delicacy of body Endomorph—soft roundness throughout short tapering limbs, small bones, soft velvety skin Each body type has a characteristic personality, and mesomorphs were most prone to aggression, violence, and delinquency.

19 Psychobiological Theories

20 Characteristics of Psychobiological Theories
Basic Assumptions Focus is on the relationship of the following to criminal behavior: DNA environmental contaminants nutrition hormones physical trauma body chemistry in human cognition and behavior

21 Chromosome Theory First explored in the 1960s.
1965—Patricia Jacobs discovered “supermales,” men with an extra “Y” chromosome (XYY). She found that “supermales” were more common in prisons than in the general public. Other studies found that XYY males were more aggressive than other males and had a number of specific physical and psychological traits. Later studies disputed many of these findings.

22 Biochemical Factors and Imbalances
Biocriminology attempts to link violent or disruptive behavior to eating habits, vitamin deficiencies, genetics, inheritance, and other conditions which impact body tissues. For example, some studies have linked crime to: Hypoglycemia Allergic reactions to foods High levels of caffeine and sugar Testosterone levels Low levels of certain neurotransmitters A malfunctioning endocrine system

23 Heredity and Other Physical Factors
Adoption and twin studies have shown: Children adopted at birth have shown a tendency toward criminality of biological parents. Identical twins separated at birth indicate that they exhibit a greater similarity in terms of criminality than do fraternal twins, who exhibit greater similarities than ordinary siblings. Wilson and Herrnstein (1985) argue that inherited traits combine with environmental factors to produce crime.

24 Psychological Theories

25 Characteristics of Psychological Theories
Basic Assumptions The individual is the main unit of analysis. Personality is the major motivational element. Crimes result from inappropriately conditioned behavior. Abnormal mental processes may have a number of causes. Diseased mind Inappropriate learning Improper conditioning

26 Behavioral Conditioning
Behavioral conditioning is a psychological principle which holds that the frequency of any behavior can be increased or decreased through reward, punishment, and/or association with other stimuli. This was popularized through the work of Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) whose work with dogs won him a Nobel Prize.

27 Freudian Psychoanalysis
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) identified three elements of the personality: Id Ego Superego Psychoanalysis sees personality as a complex composite of interacting mental elements. Crime can result from: A weak superego Sublimation/dislike of one’s mother The death wish

28 Psychopathology and Crime
Psychopathology studies pathological mental conditions (mental illness). Psychopath—a person with a personality disorder, especially manifested in aggressively antisocial behavior, which is often said to be the result of a poorly developed superego. It is possible for the psychopath to inflict pain without appreciation for the victim’s suffering. Psychopathic people are likely to become criminal at some point.

29 The Psychotic Offender
Psychosis is another form of mental disorder. Psychotics are people who are said to be out of touch with reality. Some psychotics are classified as schizophrenic—people with disordered or disjointed thinking in which they make abnormal logical connections between things. Psychosis can lead to crime.

30 Sociological Theories

31 Characteristics of Sociological Theories
Basic Assumptions Social groups, social institutions, the arrangement of society, and social roles are all appropriate for study. Group dynamics, group organization, and subgroup relationships form the causal basis of criminality. The structure of society and the relative degree of social organization or social disorganization are important factors contributing to criminal behavior.

32 Social Ecology Theory Shaw and McKay related this theory to crime.
In the 1920s, Park and Burgess mapped Chicago based on the city’s social characteristics. They developed the Concentric Zone Theory. Concentric zones are likened to a bull’s eye with the center of the city being the target. Shaw and McKay related this theory to crime. Crime increased as one moved towards center of the city, with the highest crime rates in the “zone of transition,” where there was a lot of poverty, illiteracy, lack of schooling, unemployment, and illegitimacy (social disorganization). Social disorganization leads to crime.

33 Anomie Theory Emile Durkheim (1858–1917) introduced the term
anomie (normlessness) in the late 1800s. Robert K. Merton (1910–2003) defined anomie as a disjuncture between societal goals and legitimate means. He developed a typology of adaptations: Conformist—accepts goals and means (law abiding) Innovator—accepts goals, rejects means (property/white-collar offenses) Retreatest—rejects both goals and means (addiction/victimless crimes) Ritualist—rejects goals, accepts means (repetitive/mundane lifestyle) Rebel—rejects goals and means and substitutes his own goals and means (political crime)

34 Subcultural Theory Cohen (b. 1918)—reaction formation, lower class youth’s rejection of middle class values, leads to the development of gangs and reinforces the subculture. Miller—Lower class priority concerns of trouble, toughness, excitement, smartness, fate, and autonomy lead to crime.

35 Subcultural Theory Cloward and Ohlin proposed that an illegitimate opportunity structure allows delinquent youths to achieve success outside of legitimate ways. Wolfgang and Ferracuti coined the term “subculture of violence” after examining homicide rates in Philadelphia in the 1950s. Here, violence is a traditional, and often accepted, method of dispute resolution.

36 Social Process Theories

37 Characteristics of Social Process Theories
Basic Assumptions They highlight the role played by weakened self-esteem and the lack of meaningful social roles in crime causation. Relationship of individual to social group is stressed as underlying cause of behavior.

38 Differential Association
Edwin Sutherland ( ), in his third edition of Principles of Criminology (1939), viewed crime as a product of socialization. Crime is learned. It is learned by the same principles that guide learning of law abiding behavior of conformists.

39 Principles of Differential Association
Criminal behavior is learned. Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication. The principle part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within intimate personal groups. When criminal behavior is learned, it includes a) techniques of committing the crime, and b) the specific direction of motives, drives, rationalizations, and attitudes. The specific direction of motives and drives is learned from definitions of the legal codes as favorable or unfavorable. A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favorable to violations of the law over definitions unfavorable to violations of the law. Differential associations may vary in frequency, duration, priority, and intensity. The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anticriminal patterns involves all the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning. While criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by those general needs and values since noncriminal behavior is an expression of those same needs and values.

40 Social Process Theories
Social Learning Theory: … a perspective that says people learn how to behave from others whom they have the opportunity to observe.

41 Social Learning Theory
Ronald L. Akers and Robert L. Burgess applied learning theory constructs to the theory of differential association. Their theory of differential reinforcement is called social learning theory. Primary learning takes place through operant conditioning. People learn how to behave by modeling themselves after other whom they have the opportunity to observe.

42 Restraint Theories Restraint theories focus on
Constraints—those forces that keep people from committing crimes. Contrasts other theories that look to why people commit crimes.

43 Containment Theory One restraint theory, offered by Walter Reckless
( ) is containment theory. Containment—aspects of social bond and personality that prevent individuals from committing crime. There are two types: 1. Outer—elements outside of individual (friends, law, family, social position) control behavior. 2. Inner—those elements psychological in nature (conscience, positive self-image, tolerance) control behavior.

44 Social Control Theory Travis Hirschi in Causes of Delinquency (1969)
wrote that the stronger one’s social bond the less likely the individual would engage in delinquency. Elements of the social bond include: Attachment (to others) Commitment (to appropriate lifestyles) Involvement (in conventional values) Belief (in correctness of rules of society)

45 Techniques of Neutralization
In Techniques of Neutralization (1957), Gresham Sykes and David Matza put forth a list of escalating techniques of neutralization that allow a person to commit a delinquent act. The techniques are: Denial of responsibility Denial of injury Denial of victim Condemnation of condemners Appeal to higher loyalties

46 Labeling Theory Labeling theory sees continued crime as a
consequence of the limited opportunities for acceptable behavior that follow from the negative responses of society for those defined as offenders. In 1963, Howard Becker suggested that: Criminality is not a quality inherent in the act or the person. Crime results from social definition through law of unacceptable behavior. Deviance is “created” by society.

47 The Life Course Perspective
Social development theories represent an integrated view of human development that points to the process of interaction among and between individuals and society as the root cause of criminal behavior. An example, put forth in 1993 by Sampson and Laub, is the life course perspective. Crime is linked to turning points in one’s life. Turning points are transitional periods during which one can either walk toward or away from crime.

48 Conflict Theories

49 Characteristics of Conflict Theory
Conflict perspective: maintains that crime is the natural consequence of economic and other social inequities. Key elements of this perspective are: Society is composed of diverse social groups, and diversity is based upon distinctions which people hold to be significant. Conflict among groups is unavoidable because of differing interests and differing values. The nature of group conflict centers on exercise of political power. Laws are tools of power that further the interests of the lawmakers.

50 Radical Criminology Radical criminology sees crime as produced by the
unequal distribution of wealth, power, and other resources. Poverty and discrimination leads to frustration and pent-up hostilities expressed through crime. Karl Marx (1818–1883) assumed lower classes are always exploited by the “owners” of the means of production. Working class suffers under the consequences of a “false class consciousness”–the poor are trained to believe that capitalism is in their best interest.

51 Peacemaking Criminology
Peacemaking criminology holds that crime control agencies and the citizens they serve should work together to alleviate social problems and human suffering, and thereby reduce the amount of crime. Rooted in Christian and eastern philosophies. Referred to as “compassionate criminology.” Suggests that social control must also focus on victims and victimization. Popularized by the work of Richard Quinney and Hal Pepinsky.

52 Emergent Theories New and Developing Perspectives

53 Feminist Criminology Feminist criminology emphasizes gender
issues in criminology and seeks to develop greater appreciation of the role of women in crime causation, victimization, and crime control. Rita Simon—Women and Crime (1975) and Freda Adler—Sisters in Crime (1975) Attempts to explain differences in rates of crime for women and men as due primarily to socialization rather than biology Kathleen Daly and Meda Chesney-Lind Emphasizes need for a “gender-aware” criminology Gender—the central organizing principle

54 Constitutive Criminology
Constitutive criminology studies the process by which people create an ideology of crime that sustains the notion of crime as a concrete reality. George Herbert Mead’s symbolic interaction theory William Thomas An act’s significance depends on the intentions behind it and the situation in which it is interpreted. Stuart Henry and Dragan Milovanovic People shape their world while also being shaped by it.

55 Postmodern Criminology
Postmodern criminology includes a wide variety of recent, novel perspectives of crime that build upon the belief that past approaches fail to realistically assess the true causes of crime and provide workable solutions to crime. Examples: Chaos analysis Discourse analysis Topology theory Critical theory Realist criminology Constitutive theory Anarchic criminology

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