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Test 2
Study Guide
Undergraduate 3

Additional Criminology Flashcards




Know the 7 different ingredients to crime and be able to explain the different requirements
o The act requirement
o The legality requirement
o The harm requirement
o The causation requirement
o The mens rea requirement
o The concurrence requirement
o The punishment requirement
Know the difference between felonies, misdemeanors, and violations/infractions
Felonies = serious crimes
Misdemeanors = medium-serious crimes
Violations = crimes of petty character
Three major reasons for measuring characteristics of crimes and criminals
1. Researchers need to collect and analyze information in order to test theories about why people commit crime.
2. Enhance our knowledge of the characteristics of various types of offenses
3. Criminal justice agencies depend on certain kinds of information to facilitate daily operations and to anticipate future needs.
What are the different methods we have for collecting data and be able to describe them
o Survey research
o Experiments
o Observation
o Case-studies
Know how to compute a crime rate and the advantage of using crime rates instead of raw counts
o Crime rate = number of reported crimes/total population X 100,000
o Figures on reported crime are of little use in categories such as larceny, in which the majority of crime is not reported
o The statistics present the amount of crime known to law enforcement agencies, but they do not reveal how many crimes have actually been committed
What are crime trends?
o The increases and decreases of crime over time
According to your text, why did crime decrease gradually after 1980? What explanations do the authors give? More attention given to this use in the “Debatable Issues” section of the chapter…pay attention to the arguments suggested here.
o The baby-boom generation reached its crime prone years in the 1960s, and the crime rate duly rose. As the generation grew older, the crime rate became more stable and in the 1980s began to decline.
Be familiar with Wolfgang’s study on the seriousness of specific crimes…which crimes were found to be the most serious?
o People base their decisions on such factors as the ability of victims to protect themselves, the amount of injury and loss suffered, the type of business or organization from which property is stolen, the relationship between offender and victim, and the types of drugs involved
o Respondents generally agreed that violent crime is more serious than property crime.
o They also considered white-collar crimes, such as engaging in consumer fraud, cheating on income taxes, polluting, and accepting bribes, to be as serious as many violent and property crimes
What is the aging-out phenomenon?
o The decline in criminal activities with age
What do social control theories focus on? How are they different from other classes of theory?
o Focus on techniques and strategies that regulate human behavior and lead to conformity, or obedience to society’s rules
Know the difference between micro and macro-sociological studies
o Macro-sociological studies – explore formal systems for the control of groups
• The legal system, laws, and particularly law enforcement
• Powerful groups in society
• Social and economic directives of governmental or private groups
o Micro-sociological studies – focus on informal systems
• Researches collect data from individuals, are often guided by hypotheses that apply to individuals as well as to groups, and frequently make reference to or examine a person’s internal control system.
Know Hirschi’s four social bonds and be able to describe them
1. Attachment – attachment to parents, to school, and to peers.
2. Commitment – investment in conventional lines of action – that is, support of and participation in social activities that tie the individual to the society’s moral and ethical code
3. Involvement – preoccupation with activities that promote the interests of society
4. Belief – consists of assent to the society’s value system
Know Sykes and Matza’s techniques of neutralization, what is drift?
o Drift – a period when he or she exists in limbo between convention and crime
According to Reiss, delinquency is the result of what?
1. a failure to internalize socially accepted and prescribed norms of behavior;
2. a breakdown of internal controls
3. a lack of social rules that prescribe behavior in the family, the school, and other important social groups
Know about Reckless’ containment theory: know inner vs. outer containment's
o Containment theory – assumes that for every individual, there exists a containing external structure and protective internal structure, both of which provide defense, protection, or insulation against delinquency
o Inner containment – personal control
 A good self concept
 Self-control
 A strong ego
 A well-developed conscience
 A high frustration tolerance
 A high sense of responsibility
o Outer containment – structural buffer that holds the person in bounds, can be found in the following
 A role that provides a guide for a person’s activities
 A set of reasonable limits and responsibilities
 An opportunity for the individual to achieve status
 Cohesion among members of a group, including joint activity and togetherness
 A sense of belongingness (identification with the group)
 Identification with one or more persons within the group
 Provisions for supplying alternative ways and means of satisfaction
Gottfredson and Hirschi’s general theory of crime--key personality trait, what determines how much of this trait someone has?
o Assumes that offenders have little control over their own behavior and desires
o When the need for momentary pleasure and immediate gratification outweighs long-term interests, crime occurs
o In short, crime is a function of poor self-control
o Key personality trait
1. Low self control
o What determines low self control?
2. Inadequate socialization and poor child-rearing practices, coupled with poor attachment, increase the probability of impulsive and uncontrolled acts
Be able to contrast the conflict and consensus models of conflict theory
o Consensus model – assumes that members of society by and large agree on what is right and wrong and that law is the codification of these agreed-upon social values.
o Conflict model – a model of crime in which the criminal justice system is seen as being used by the ruling class to control the lower class. Criminological investigation of the conflicts within society is emphasized
o Be familiar with the work of Karl Marx and the role of the economy in social life: bourgeoisie, proletariat—be able to define these groups
o Marx – argued that all aspects of social life, including laws, are determined by economic organization.
o Bourgeoisie – own the means of production
o Proletariat – workers, who labor for them
What is radical criminology?
o A criminological perspective that studies the relationships between economic disparity and crime, avers that crime is the result of a struggle between owners of capital and workers for the distribution of power and resources, and posits that crime will appear only when capitalism is abolished
What is peacemaking criminology?
o Promotes the idea of peace, justice, and equality in society.
o Suggests that mutual aid, meditations, and conflict resolution, rather than coercive state control, are the best means to achieve a harmonious, peaceful society.
o Advocates humanistic, nonviolent, and peaceful solutions to crime
Who are penologists? What do they do?
o A social scientist who studies and applies the theory and methods of punishment for crime
Cornish and Clarke’s rational-choice perspective
o Based on two main theoretical approaches
1. Utilitarianism – assumes people make decisions with the goal of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain.
2. Traditional Economic Choice theory – argues that people evaluate the options and choose what they believe will satisfy their needs.
o Assumes that people make these decisions with a goal in mind and that they are made more or less intelligently and with free will.
• Know the different components of Cohen and Felson’s routine activities approach as well as how the interaction of these events has altered crime post WWII
a. Components
i. Suitable target
ii. Crime
iii. Likely offender
iv. Absence of a capable guardian
b. Alterations
i. The workforce created new crime opportunities.
ii. Increase in female participation in the labor force, out of town travel, automobile usage, and technological advances as factors that account for higher risks of predatory victimization
What are target-hardening techniques?
a. A crime prevention technique that seeks to make it more difficult to commit a given offense, by better protecting the threatened object or person
i. Ex: Steering column locks, vandal-resistant construction, enhanced street lighting, and improved library checkout systems
• What is the idea of displacement? Know what happened in Germany with the motorcycle helmet legislation and how it relates to displacement
o Displacement – the commission of a quantitatively similar crime at a different time or place
o Germany – as a result of a large number of accidents, legislation required that motor-cyclists wear helmets was passed and strictly enforced.
 It worked, head injuries decreased dramatically.
 The risk of stealing a motorcycle became too high because a would be offender could not drive it away without wearing a helmet
What are the three typologies of frequent auto theft offenders and the characteristics of each?
o Acting out Joyrider
 Most emotionally disturbed of the offenders – derives status from having his peers think he is crazy and unpredictable
 Engages in outrageous driving stunts – dangerous to pursue – possesses a kamikaze attitude
 Vents anger via car – responsible for large portion of the totaled and burned cars
 Least likely to be deterred –doesn’t care what happens
o Thrill seeker
 Heavily into drugs – doing crime is a way to finance the habit – entices others to feel the “rush” of doing crime
 Engages in car stunts, but also steals them for transportation
 Steals parts for sale
 Thrill-seeking behavior to be transferred into other activities
o Instrumental Offender
 Doing auto theft for money
 Doing the crime while young affords them lenient treatment
 Rational, thinks about outcomes
What was the most commonly stolen vehicle in 2001?
o Toyota Camry
Know about Jeffrey’s CPTED and Oscar Newman’s “defensible space” ideas
o Improved architectural designs, particularly of public housing, in order to provide increased security.
o Design can enhance surveillance, reduce offenders escape possibilities, and give residents a feeling of ownership that encourages them to protect their own space.
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