CH 6 - Chapter 6: Crime and Criminal Justice Norms Norms...

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Chapter 6: Crime and Criminal Justice Norms Norms are rules and expectations by which a society guides the behavior of its members Some informal norms enforced with comments or looks Others more formal norms enforced by laws Laws Norms created through a society’s political system enacted by executive orders . Main source of law is a legislature (Congress) Civil law defines the legal rights and relationships involving individuals and businesses (one person sues another after an accident) Criminal law focuses on people’s responsibilities to uphold public order (drunk driver). Violations end in arrest and punishment Crime: A Serious Problem Crime - Violation of the criminal laws enacted by federal, state, or local governments (12 million serious crimes yearly) Misdemeanors are less serious offenses punishable by less than one year in prison Felonies are more serious crimes punishable by at least one year in prison Intent is key, what the person meant to do The Crime Problem Most people in the U.S. think crime is a serious problem Much greater crime problem compared to other high-income nations More handgun murders than any other high-income country Fear of crime is itself a social problem, because it limits the things people do and the places they go Crime Statistics The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) is a main source of crime statistics providing data on o Crime against property (burglary, larceny-theft, motor-vehicle theft, and arson) o Crime against a person (murder and manslaughter, aggravated assault, forcible rape, and robbery) *** Includes only crimes known to the police ***Only 1/3 of serious crime is reported to police Crime Statistics Problems with the Uniform Crime Report (UCR)
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Only includes crimes reported to police…how much crime goes unreported? Only gathers statistics on “street crimes” committed by ordinary people, not the more “elite” crimes (e.g., fraud, price fixing, and toxic dumping) Violent Crime: Patterns and Trends Crime rate for property offenses is 7 times than for violent crimes against persons Violent crime rose quickly from 1960 until the early 1990s After that, the trend turned downward Stronger economy More police Tougher sentences Drop in crack cocaine use Murder -Violent Crime 77% of murder victims are males 2/3 as a result of shootings FBI data show that nearly half of all murder victims knew the offender Interracial crime Committed every 5 minutes 3% of male murder victims are killed by their wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends. 32% of female victims are slain by their husbands, ex-husbands, or boyfriends Stalking-Violent Crime Stalking - persistent effort by someone to establish or reestablish a relationship against the will of the victim 2% of men 8% of women 1990 California passed first anti-stalking law Forcible Rape -Violent Crime Rape statistics do not reflect attempted rape, sex with a minor, or attacks on males
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CH 6 - Chapter 6: Crime and Criminal Justice Norms Norms...

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