Criminal Justice Notes

Criminal Justice Notes - Criminal Justice Notes [17 Mar,...

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Criminal Justice Notes [17 Mar, 2011] Age-Crime Relationship: The Debate—Latent Trait vs. Life Course Latent Trait Approach A. Age distribution of crime is invariant across social and cultural conditions B. Age has a direct effect on crime C. No factor (or combination of factors) can explain the Age-Crime relationship Gottfredson and Hirschi’s Self Control Theory (1990) Definitions Crime – An act of force or fraud undertaken in pursuit of self-interest (or pursuit of pleasure) Opportunity – The specific condition under which low self control most likely leads to crime Definition of Self Control The tendency of individuals to consider long term consequences of their acts Focus placed on early childhood socialization in the family which can produce an enduring criminal predisposition called low self control CONTROVERSIAL: By the age of 8, the child’s level of self control will be formulated —it will NEVER change from that point Posits a single, one-dimensional trait of self-control that persists over the life course Six Components of the Personality Trait of Low Self Control 1. Tendency to respond to tangible stimuli in the immediate environment “here and now” orientation High self control—defer gratification 2. Tendency to “lack diligence, tenacity, or persistence in the course of action” “easier or simple self gratification and desires”
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Criminal Justice Notes Avoid complex tasks 3. Tendency to be “adventuresome” rather than “cautious” Prefer “exciting, risky, or thrilling” acts 4. Embraces a preference for physical activity over “cognitive” or “mental activity” 5. Tendency to be self centered, indifferent or insensitive to the sufferings and needs of others 6. Have minimal tolerance for frustration and an inability to respond to conflict through verbal rather than physical means Theory of Criminality: Low self control X opportunity = criminal behavior High self control X opportunity = no criminal behavior Summary Individuals do not change (trait), criminal opportunity changes (opportunities decrease with age) Early childhood experiences can reduce criminal propensity General theory of Crime—various behaviors [22 Mar, 2011] Age-Crime Relationship Life Course Approach A. Age distribution of crime is not invariant B. Age has an indirect effect on crime C. Age is correlated with important events or factors which are highly related to crime Important Terms Onset – the age at first offense Frequency – how many times you offend and the duration of offenses
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Criminal Justice Notes Desistence of crime – age at which you stop offending Trajectory – pathway of development (longterm) Transitions – life events Turning Points – change in the life course Context of behavior over time Qualitative and Quantitative Is criminal propensity set by age of 8 (G&H self-control theory) –or are later life transitions and processes important? If latter is true, what transitions and processes matter to adult offending?
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course CJ 2350 taught by Professor Todd during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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Criminal Justice Notes - Criminal Justice Notes [17 Mar,...

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