PICT103 - Lecture 1.pptx

PICT103 - Lecture 1.pptx - PICT103 Introduction to...

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Dr James Martin Lecture 1: What is Crime? PICT103: Introduction to Criminology
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Questions for the criminologist What is crime? Determining what behaviours should/should not be considered crime Conducting field research and collecting data about crime How is it caused? Developing theories about crime causation Determining what makes crime better or worse What can we do about it? Critiquing the role of the criminal justice system – the 3 C’s (cops, courts and corrections) Developing policies to deal with crime
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Lecture outline Part I – Definitions Legal Harm based Human rights Process of criminalisation Part II – Course structure Learning outcomes & graduate capabilities Assessment Expectations and responsibilities
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Part I What is crime?
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Legal definitions of crime Crime is “simply what the law says it is” (White 2012:3). Behaviour that violates criminal law as defined by the state (i.e. federal or state governments) Attracts state sanction (e.g. fines or a prison sentence) Enforced by state agencies (e.g. state police forces, federal agencies, AFP, Border Force, etc.)
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Laws change over time
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Laws vary between jurisdictions
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Legal definitions – problems Vary according to jurisdiction and change across time – “no uniform or agreed approach to the types of behaviours identified as crimes either now or throughout modern history (Warren 2012:5). Ignores sometimes very serious, dangerous and harmful activities Focuses on street-level crimes rather than corporate/white collar offences which are handled under civil (rather than criminal) law Does not adequately address state- sanctioned crimes (e.g. genocide, torture, war crimes, etc.)
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Harm based definitions Used by sociologists and criminologists as an alternative to legal definitions Involve assessing the harm or
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