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Pearson Criminal Justice
Delinquency Theory's Week 3 ppt
Criminal Justice
Undergraduate 2

Additional Criminal Justice Flashcards




Defining Theory
A hypothesis that has withstood extensive testing by a variety of methods and in which a higher degree of certainty may be placed.
-A theory is NEVER a fact, but instead is an attempt to explain one or more facts.
-Hypothesis is a tentative statement or supposition which may then be tested through research.
Scientific Theory
-Scientific Theory = a general statement intending to explain nature that is confirmed by all available evidence such that it can be used to predict new, as yet unobserved phenomena.
Science as a fact
An objective, verifiable observation. It is the same everywhere. It can be and has been verified many times.
Scientific Law
A law is less general in the actual sense. They tend to be more mathematical in nature and are usually derived from first principles, that is simple statements about mathematical (ideal/not actual) systems and their behaviors. i.e. Ohm's Law: the voltage across a purely resistive element is equal t the current through the element times it's resistance.
Empirical Evidence
Derives it's data by means of direct observation or experiment, such research is used to answer a question or test a hypothesis.
- i.e. does something such as a type of medical treatment work? The results are based upon actual evidence as opposed to theory or conjecture, as such they can be replaced in follow-up studies.
Empirical research articles are published in peer-reviewed journals.
-Anecdotal evidence is derived from unscientific observations and are general based on hearsay. This form is unreliable but is often used in confusion with good observation practices.
Constructed most of all from facts
-Theories contain laws, but laws mean very little without facts.
-theories also contain logical inferences.
Classical theory of crime
Supposes that people have free will to choose criminal or conventional behavior.
-People choose to commit crime due to greed or personal need.
-Assumes that people are rationsal beings who choose between good and evil.
-Evil acts operate adversely for society progress and merit punishment.
-it calls for proportionality of punishment for the various levels of evil acts.
-the primary purpose of punishment is for deterrence and just desserts.
1. Retribution
2. Deterrence
3. Rehabilitation
4. Incapacitation
Biological Theory
Biological determinism: criminal behavior has psychological basis, genes foods and food additives, hormones, and inheritance that play a role in determining individual behavior, including criminality.
-Cesare Lombroso: Father of Criminology, linked criminal behavior with abnormal, unusual physical characteristics.
Argued that biological conditions render a person incapable of living within societal constraints.
-Considered that criminals could be distinguished from the general population and are evolutionary throwbacks to animals or primitive people.
Positive School of Criminology
Emphasizes analysis of criminal behavior through empirical indicators such as:
1. Physical features compared to biochemical explanations.
2. Claims that human behavior is a product of social, biological, psychological or economical forces.
Is the scientific study of the causal relation between genetic structure and social behavior.
-Sociobiology is a relatively new field and focuses on genetics and its role in human behavior.
Psychological Theory
Theories that link criminal behavior with mental conditions, antisocial personality, traits, and early psychological and moral development.
-Sigmund Freud:
1. Psychoanalytic theory: personality forms through the id, ego, and super ego during different stages of childhood.
2. Early life experiences influence adult behavior.
Sigmund Freud
Id- uncontrolled "I want"
Ego - As the child develops the id is suppressed somewhat by the ego and recognizes others and respects their rights and interests.
-Superego- Higher level moral development and conscience. this is manifested when children feel guilty for a wrong doing
Social Learning Theory
Theory stressing the importance of learning though modeling others who are criminal.
-Criminal behavior is a function of
copying or learning criminal conduct from others.
-This theory explains whether persons conform to or deviate from societal rules as being caused by their experiences while learning from others i.e. parents, adults from school, church, etc.
-Children learn from those who are most significant to them such as parents. Children will choose more role models as they grow up.
Sociological Theories
Social Disorganization:
-Attributed to an absence of or breakdown of communal institutions and relationships that traditionally encouraged cooperative relationships among people in a given territory. i.e. family, church, school
Concentric Zone Theory
Park and Burgess saw cities as consisting of five zones.
1. Central Business District.
2. Transition
3. workingman
4. residential
5. commuter
-each gradually invades and dominates the adjacent zones with an overall growth outward.
-Zonal hypothesis = delinquency is greatest in the zone of transition.
Anomie theory
Robert K Merton and Emile Durkheim
Anomie is a condition of feelings of helplessness and normlessness.
-Strain Theory
1. Conformist
2. Innovator
3. Ritualism
4. Retreat ism
Hirschi's Social bonding Theory
Similarly unattached youth drift together into delinquent groups because weak social bonds fail to prevent both association and delinquents from delinquency itself.
-Social Bond has 4 elements.
1. Attachment to parents, peers.
2. Commitment to conventional lines of action.
3. Involvement in conventional activities.
4. Belief in common value.
Social conflict Theory
role of government in creating a ciminogenic society.
1. The relationship of personal or group power in controlling and shaping eh criminal law.
2. The role of bias in the operations of the justice system.
3. The relationship between a capitalist free-enterprise economy and crime rates.
Social conflict Theory characteristics
1. Control of law and society:
those who hold economic power control the law and agencies that administer it.
2. Application of the law - The law is differentially administered to favor the rich and powerful and control the have-not members of society.
3. Demystification - The role of the social scientist is to oppose the power relations in society.
4. Criminal Careers - Youths who will not conform and fulfill the roles of menial laborers are defined as criminals.
Labeling Theory
Sociologist Howard Becker - Deviance is not a quality of the act because it is the result of personality factors associated with committing deviance.
- It focuses on the linguistic tendency of majorities to negatively label minorities or those seen as deviant from norms i.e. self fulfilling prophecy.
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