UI 309 Carol Veneziano. Definition of crime n Crime is an act n or the omission of an act n In violation of the penal codes n without defense or justification.
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Definition of crime n Crime is an act n or the omission of an act n In violation of the penal codes n without defense or justification n sanctioned by the state as a felony or misdemeanor
Is the U.S. crime prone? n Murder n 4 times the rate of Italy n 9 times the rate in England n 11 times the rate in Japan
Is the United States too lenient? Highest incarceration rate in the world n U.S. 426/100,000 people n South Africa 333/100,000 n Great Britain 97/100,000 n The U.S. incarcerates at similar rates for violent crimes n We incarcerate at significantly higher rates for nonviolent crimes
Why is the U.S. crime-prone? n Large underclass n Urban areas in which poor and wealthy live in close proximity n Racism n Failure of the educational system n Troubled American family n Culture that defines success in terms of material wealth n Easy access to handguns
Crime, morality and deviance n Some acts defined as crimes might be considered moral ( I.e., protesting) Some unethical acts might not be considered crimes (ignoring someone in danger) n Although there is considerable overlap, crime and morality are not always the same n Similarly, although many acts we call deviant are crimes, not all deviant acts are crimes
Criminology n SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF THE NATURE, EXTENT, CAUSE AND CONTROL OF CRIMINAL AND DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR n Description: how many crimes, what types? n Prediction: when and where will crime occur? Who will commit it? n Control: How might crime be decreased? n Explanation: What causes crime?
Interdisciplinary nature n Sociology n Political Science n Psychology n Criminal Justice n Economics n Anthropology n Biology - Genetics, Neuroscience
Criminal Justice n Scientific study of the agencies of social control which deal with crime and delinquency n Agencies: Police, courts and corrections n Distinction between criminology and criminal justice
Subareas of criminology n Criminal Statistics: amount and trends of criminal activity n Sociology of law: role social forces play in shaping criminal law, and the role of criminal law in shaping society n Theory construction: explanations of crime causation n Criminal behavior systems
Subareas (continued) n Penology: correction and control of known criminal offenders n Victimology: study of the victims of crime
History of criminology n Preliterate societies n Early criminal codes n Inconsistent justice n 1700s--the Enlightenment u Development of concept of democracy u Emphasis on rationality and scientific thinking
History (continued) n Classical criminology n 1800s : Positivism n Biological explanations (Lombroso) n Development of Psychology and Sociology n 1900s: Sociology predominates n Social process and social structure theories n 1970s: re-emergence of classical
History (continued) n Re-emergence of Psychology n Increase in crime rate and fear of crime n Disenchantment with rehabilitation n Increase in incarceration rates n 1980s: Increase in drug use and lethal gang violence n 1990s: search for alternatives