Midterm Exam Flashcards

Terms Definitions
the scientific study of the nature, extent, cause and control of criminal behavior
Psychosocial theory of crime causation
crime is viewed as a function of personality, development, social learning or cognition
biological theory of crime causation
correlates of antisocial behavior such as biochemical, genetic and neurological links to come
sociological theory of crime causation
social forces producing criminal behavior such as neighborhood condition, poverty, socialization and group interaction
punishment, sanctions and corrections
Cesare Beccaria
Creator of classic criminology
First scholar to develop a systematic understanding of why people commit crimes
Believed in utilitarianism - people want to achieve pleasure and avoid pain
Crimes occur when the potential pleasure and reward from illegal acts outweigh the likely pains and punishment
Punishment must be public, prompt, necessary, proportionate and dictated by law
Auguste Comte
Founder of sociology
Associated with positive criminology
Stated that societies change and go through stages that can be grouped on the basis of how people try to understand the world they live in
People in later social stages embrace rational, scientific world views
J.K. Lavater
Studied the facial features of criminals and found that the shape of the ears, nose and eyes and the distances between them were associated with antisocial behavior
Franz Joseph Gall & Johann Spurzheim
Studied the shape of the skull and bumps on the head
Concluded that these physical attributes were linked to criminal behavior
Believed that the size of the brain area could be determined by inspecting the contours of the skull and, further, that the relative size of brain areas could be increased or decreased through exercise and self-discipline
Their theories are no longer applied or taken seriously but they were an early attempt to use a scientific method to study human behaviors
Phillipe Pinel
Associated with positive criminology
One of the founders of French psychiatry
Coined the phrase manie sas delire to denote what eventually was referred to as a psychopathic personality
Benjamin Rush
Positive criminology
described patients with an "innate preternatural moral depravity"
Henry Maudsley
English physician believed that insanity and criminal behavior were strongly linked
Cesare Lombroso
Biological determinism
Father of criminology
Studied cadavers of executed criminals to determine scientifically how criminals differed from non-criminals
Criminals suffered from atavistic anomalies (head and jaw shapes)
L.A.J. (Adolphe) Quetelet
Sociological criminology
Used social statistics to investigate the influence of social factors on the propensity of crime
Discovered that season, climate, population composition and poverty were linked to draw
First to link crime rates to alcohol consumption
(David) Emile Durkheim
Sociological criminology
Crime=normal because the absence of crime is impossible
Believed that crime was inevitable because people are so different from one another and use a wide variety of ethods and types of behavior to meet their needs
Even if "real" crimes were eliminated, human weaknesses and petty vies would be elevated to the status of crimes
Suggested that crime can be useful and occasionally even healthful for society because it paves the way for social change
To illustrate: offered the example of Socrates, who was considered a criminal and was put to death for corrupting the morals of youth simply because he expressed ideas that were different from what people believed at that time
Anomie: norm and role confusion
Robert Ezra ParkEarnest W. Burgess
Louis Wirth 
Sociologists that examined neighborhood conditions and poverty levels that influenced crime rates
Challenged biological/psychological theories that held reasons for criminal activity
Karl Marx
Conflict theory
Critical criminoloy
Conflict Theory
View that human behavior is shaped by interpersonal conflict and that those who maintain social power will use it to further their own ends
Critical Criminology
View that crime is a product of a capitalist system
The economic system produces conditions that support a high crime rate
behavior that departs from social norm but not necessarily criminal
an act deemed dangerous and socially harmful that is specifically defined, prohibited and punished under law
Penalties are reduced rather than eliminated
Consensus View
belief that majority of citizens in a society share common values and agree on what behaviors should be defined as crime
Conflict View
(remember Karl Marx) depicts society as a collection of diverse groups (such as owners, workers, professionals, and students) who are in constant and continuing conflict. Groups able t assert their political power use the law and criminal justice system to advance their economic and social position
Interactionist View
the definition of crime reflects the preferences and opinions of people who hold social power in a particular legal jurisdiction. These people use their influence to impose their definition of right and wrong on the rest of the population.
Minor crime or petty offense (short jail time or fine)
Serious offense that carries penalty of imprisonment, usually for one year or more
Surveys and Official Records
Primary source of crime data
Uniform Crime Report
Information from law enforcement agencies used by the FBI
Part 1 Crimes (ALL FELONIES)
Non-negligent murder
Forcible rape
Aggravated assault
Motor vehicle theft
Part 1 Crimes are reported by
Officers who discover the infractions
Other sources
Part 2 Crimes
Sex crimes
drug trafficking
National Crime Victimization Survey
Collects information from victims through survey about their experiences with law enforcement
Asks victims about their experiences with the CJ system
Discusses crimes that victims did not report to the police
Problem: relies on victim's memory and honesty and that it omits substance abuse
Strengths of Self-Reporting Surveys
 include non-reported crimes, substance abuse and offenders' personal information
Weaknesses of Self-Reporting Surveys
relies on the honesty of offenders and omits offenders who refuse or are unavailable (because of incarceration) to participate (and who therefore may be the most deviant)
The Ecology of Crime
Most crimes are reported during July & August because of the following:
Teenagers are out of school, greater opportunity to commit crimes
People spend more time outdoors, become easy targets
Vacant homes during summer are vulnerable to burglary
Instrument Crimes
Offenses designed to improve the financial or social position of the criminal
Selling narcotics
Expressive Crimes
Offenses committed not for profit or gain but to vent rage, anger or frustration against society (alcohol, rape, assault)
Reasons why serious crime is more prevalent in socially disorganized lower-class areas
Deteriorating neighborhoods
Lack of informal social control
Income inequality
Presence of youth gangs
Resource deprivation
Age and Crime
Younger people commit crimes more than older people
Aging Out
People commit less crime as they mature
Gender and Crime:
Trait Differences
Females were weaker and more passive, less likely to commit crimes
Gender and Crime:
Socialization Differences
Males are taught to be more aggressive and assertive and are less likely to form attachments to others
Gender and Crime:
Cognitive Differences
Girls are superior to boys in verbal ability
Boys test higher in visual-spatial performance
Girls acquire language faster, learn to speak earlier
Boys do better on standardized math tests
Gender and Crime:
Social/Political Differences
Feminist view in criminality
Girls joining gangs
More women getting arrested 
Racial Threat Theory
As the size of the black population increases, the perceived threat to the white population increases, resulting in a greater amount of social control imposed on black 
Minority Crime Linked To...
Lack of opportunity
Chronic Offenders
Small group of persistent offenders who account for a majority of all criminal offenses (career criminals)
Early Onset
The view that repeat offenders begin their criminal careers  at a very young age; youth who are exposed to a variety of personal and social problems
Three Strikes
Laws that require offenders to serve life in prison after they are convicted of a third felony
The study of the victim's role in criminal events
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Psychological reaction to a highly stressful event
PTSD Symptoms
Reoccurring nightmares
Adolescent Stress
Undergone traumatic sexual experiences
Relationship Stress
Victims of spousal abuse
Relationship Stress Symptoms
Anxiety disorder
Panic disorder
Substance abuse disorders
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Cycle of Violence
Victims of crime, especially victims of childhood abuse are more likely to commit crimes themselves
(Victims commit crimes, create victims, in turn they commit crimes, create victims)
Crime in schools
Adult supervision is minimal before, during and after class
Kids leave valuables in lockers
Kids congregate in unguarded places, making them attractive to predators who come on school grounds
Victim's Household
African-American, western and urban homes most vulnerable to crime
Home owners less likely to be victims of crime than renters
Victim Characteristics:
Males are more likely to be victims of violent crime than females (except rape/assault)
Females more likely to be victimized by someone they know
Victim's Characteristics:
Younger people face greater risk of victimization than older people
Victim Precipitation Theory
The view that victims may initiate, either actively or passively, the confrontation that leads to their victimization
Victim Participation Theory:
Active Participation
Aggressive or provocative behavior or victims that results in their victimization (ex: running your mouth)
Victim Participation Theory:
Passive Participation
Personal or social characteristics of victims that make them attractive target for criminals
Deviant Place Theory
The view that victimization is primarily a function of where people live
Routine Activities Theory
The view that victimization results from the interaction of three everyday factors:
availability of suitable targets
absences of capable guardians
presence of motivated offenders
Victims Services Programs
Victim compensation
Victim-witness assistance programs
Victim advocates
Victim impact statements
Crisis intervention
Victim-offender Reconciliation Program
Victim's Rights
To be notified of proceedings and the status of the offender
To be preset at criminal justice proceedings
To make a statement at sentencing and to receive restitution from a convicted offender
To be consulted before a case is dismissed or a plea agreement entered
To a speedy trial
To keep the victim's contact information confidential
Classic Criminology
a theory of crime suggesting that criminal behavior is a matter of personal choice
Criminality (according to Gary Becker)
A rational behavior controllable by increasing the cost of crime and reducing the potential for gain
19th Century Positive Criminologists focus
Internal and external factors rather than personal choice and decision making (i.e. IQ, poverty, education)
Gary Becker
1960s economist
criminals=rational actors
They behave in a predictable or rational way
they examine gain of crime vs cost of going to jail
James Q. Wilson
Political activist
People who commit crimes
Unafraid of breaking the law
value the excitement and thrills of crime
have a low stake in conformity
are willing to take greater chances
Rational Choice Theory
The view that crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act
Rational Choice Theory: Personal Factors
Money, revenge, thrills, entertainment
Rational Choice Theory: Situational Factors
Target availability, security measures, police presence
The decision to commit a crime
Choice of target
Ability to move products for high net gain
Low risk of being caught
Th decision to not commit a crime
Stand good chance of getting caught and  being punished
Fear the consequences of punishment
Risk losing the respect of peers, damaging their reputations, and experiencing feelings of guilt or shame
Risk of apprehension outweighs the profit and/or pleasure of crime
Offense-specific crime
A crime in which the offender reacts selectivity to the characteristics of a particular criminal act
Offender-specific crime
A crime in which offenders evaluate their skills, motives, needs and fears before deciding to commit the criminal act
the excitement or exhilaration of successfully executing illegal activities in dangerous situations
Seductions of crime
the situation inducements of immediate benefits that draw offenders into law violations
Situational Crime Prevention
a method of crime prevention that seeks to eliminate of reduce particular crimes in specific settings
Defensible space
the principle that crime can  be prevented o displaced by modifying the physical environment to reduce the opportunity that individuals have to commit crime
General deterrence
a crime control policy that depends on the fear of criminal penalties, convincing the potential law violator that the pains associated with crime outweigh its benefits
General deterrence involves
Certainty of punishment
Severity of punishment
Swiftness of punishment
Specific deterrence
view that criminal sanctions should be so powerful that offenders will never repeat their criminal acts
confinement in jail or prison
repetition of criminal behavior
Deterrence is not effective when
Suspect is not given appropriate punishment
Case is dismissed or charges are dropped by victims
Incapacitation effect
the view that placing offenders behind bars during their prime crime years reduces their opportunity to commit crimes and helps lower crime rate
Death penalty
A deterrent to murder
Criminal will never commit crimes again
Murder rate has dropped since the return of capital punishment
There are issues associated with capital punishment
Trait Theory
the view that criminality is a product of abnormal biological or psychological traits
 the view that human behavior is motivated by inborn biological urges to survive and preserve the species
Principles of sociobiology
Behavior traits are inherited
Inherited behavior traits have been formed by natural selection
Behavioral traits evolve and are shaped by the environment
Biological and genetic conditions affect how social behaviors are learned and perceived
Behavior is determined by the need to ensure survival of offspring and replenishment of the gene pool
Biology, environment, and learning are mutually interdependent factors
Rimland (2008)
Personal traits and biological conditions explain behavior choices
Crime producing interactions involve personal traits and environmental factors
Personal traits (Rimland)
defective intelligence, impulsive personality, abnormal brain chemistry
Environmental factors (Rimland)
family life, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, neighborhood condition
Hormonal influence
abnormal levels of androgens produce aggressive behavior in males
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
abnormal levels of female sex hormones produce antisocial, aggressive behavior
the study of brain activity
Conduct Disorder
 a pattern of repetitive behavior in which the rights of others or social norms are violated
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
a developmentally inappropriate lack of attention, along with impulsivity and hyperactivity
ADHD: Lack of Attention
Frequently fail to finish projects
Doesn't seem to pay attention
Doesn’t sustain interests in play activities
Cannot sustain concentration on schoolwork or related tasks
Is easily distracted
ADHD: Impulsivity
Frequently acts without thinking
Often "calls out" in class
Doesn’t want to wait his or her turn in lines or games
Shifts from activity to activity
Parental Deviance
if criminal tendencies are inherited, then children are most likely to violate the law
Contagion effect
people become deviant when they are influenced by others with whom they are in close contact
Psychodynamic theory
Freud stated that human personality is controlled by unconscious mental processes that develop early in childhood
primitive part of people's mental makeup, unconscious biological drive
Seeks instant gratification without concerns for others
personality developed in early childhood that helps control the Id and keep's peoples actions within the boundaries of social convention
Compensation for the demands of the Id
incorporation within the personality of the moral standards and values of parents
Attachment Theory (John Bowlby)
The ability to form an emotional bond to another person
Failure to develop proper attachments cause people to fall prey to psychological disorders
Behavior Theory
human behavior is learned through a process of social reinforcement (rewards and punishment)
Social learning theory
people learn to be aggressive by observing others act aggressively to achieve some goal or being rewarded for violent acts
Behavior modeling
the process of learning behavior by observing others
Cognitive Theory
the psychological perspective that focuses on the mental processes by which people perceive and represent the world around them and solve problems
Information-processing theory
theory that focuses on how people process, store, encode, retrieve, and manipulate information to make decisions and solve problem
reasonably stable patterns of behavior, including thoughts and emotions that distinguish one person from another
Antisocial personality (sociopathic or psychopathic personality)
Combination of traits, such as
Inability to empathize with others
Nature Theory
Intelligence is genetic
Ancestry determines IQ
Low Q is linked to criminal behavior
Nurture Theory
Intelligence is not inherited
Low IQ parents do not necessarily produce-low IQ children

Intelligence is viewed as partly biological but primarily sociological
Mood disorder
a condition in which the prevailing emotional mood is distorted or inappropriate to the circumstance
Opposition defiant disorder (ODD)
a pattern of negativistic, hostile and defiant behavior
Child often loses their temper
Argues with parents
Actively defies or refuses to comply with adult's requests or rules
Hears nonexistence voices
Sees hallucinations
Exhibit inappropriate responses
Bipolar disorder
Affects a person's ability to
Understand reality
Think clearly
Respond emotionally
Communicate effectively
Behave appropriately
Culture of poverty (Oscar Lewis)
This culture is characterized by
Mistrust of social institutions
Social class
Segments of the population whose members are at a relatively similar economic level and who share
Stratified society
People who are grouped according to economic or social class; characterized by the unequal distribution of wealth, power and prestige
Social structure theory
disadvantaged economic class position is a primary cause of crime
Gunnar Myrdal
Swedish economist
Described a worldwide underclass that was cut off from society
Lowest social stratum in any country
Members lack the education and skills needed to function successfully in modern society
Child poverty
those who grow up in low-income homes
Less likely to achieve in school
Less likely to complete schooling that affluent children
Suffer from health problems
Receive inadequate health care
Likely to have health problems that impede long-term development
Social disorganization theory
focuses on the breakdown in inner-city neighborhoods of institutions such as the family, school  or employment
Strain theory
sees crime as a function of the conflict between people's goals and the means available to obtain them
anger, frustration, and resentment experienced by people who believe they cannot achieve their goals through legitimate means
Culture Deviance Theory
sees strain and social disorganization together resulting in a unique lower-class culture that conflicts wit social norms
set of values, beliefs and traditions unique to a particular social class or group within a larger society
Cultural transmission
values, beliefs and traditions are handed down from one generation to the next
Clifford Shaw & Henry McKay
Chicago sociologists
Linked life in transitional slums to the inclination of crime
Saw that Chicago had developed into distinct neighborhoods
Some affluent
Some racked by poverty
Transitional neighborhood (Shaw & McKay)
area undergoing a shift in population and structure, usually from middle class residential to lower class mixed use
Concentric zones
9 distinct ecological areas tat developed in the city

Zones in the transitional inner-city had most crime (large numbers of poor people settled)

Zones farthest from the city's center had lower crime rates

Found that multiple cultures and diverse values, both conventional and deviant, coexisted in the transitional neighborhoods
Children observed grown-ups with deviant lifestyle were financially successful (pimps, gamblers, drug dealers)
Children were force to chose deviant behavior
Community disorder
crime rates associated with
Community deterioration
Fear of crime
Deserted homes and abandoned building buildings serve as amgnet for crime
Boarded up buildings
Burned out buildings
Community fear
comes from
Rowdy youths
Trash and litter
Abandoned storefronts
High crime rates
Poverty (strain theory)
Relative deprivation
Feelings of inadequacy
Siege mentality (sense of powerlessness)
Theory of Anomie (Robert Merton)
Social inequality leads to perceptions of anomie
Found that two elements of culture interact to produce potential anomic conditions
Culturally defined goals
Socially approved means for obtaining them
Social adaptations (way of coping with inadequate means of attaining success) according to Robert Merton
embrace social goals, have means to obtain them
accept goals of society, but unable or unwilling to attain them by legitimate means; start selling rugs or stealing
gain pleasure from practicing traditional ceremonies, regardless if they have a real goal or purpose (religious orders, feudal societies, clubs)
reject the goals and means of society; escape lack of success by withdrawing mentally or physically through drugs or becoming drifters
substitute alternative set of goals and means for conventional ones (seek radical change in society, call for alternative lifestyles, goals, and beliefs)
Relative deprivation theory
envy, mistrust and aggression resulting from perceptions of economic and social inequality
General strain theory (GST)
view that multiple sources of strain interact with an individual's emotional traits and responses to produce criminality
Negative affective states
Anger frustration and adverse emotions produced by a variety of sources of strain
Consequences of strain
Social learning theory
suggests that people learn the techniques and attitudes of crime from close relationships with criminal peers; that crime is a learned behavior
Social control theory
maintains that everyone has the potential to become a criminal but most people are controlled by their bonds to society; crime occurs when these bonds are broken or weakened
Social reaction (labeling) theory
process of human development and enculturalization; it is influenced by key social processes and institutions
Family relations
Considered a major determinant in behavior
Parenting factors play critical role in determining whether people misbehave as children and later as adults
Proper discipline
Parental efficacy
suggest that parents who support and control their children in a non-coercive way are more likely to raise children who refrain from delinquency
Differential association theory
the view that people commit crime when their social learning needs leads them to perceive more definitions favoring crime than favoring conventional behavior
Neutralization theory - justifications
Criminals must learn and master techniques that enable them to neutralize conventional values and attitudes
Neutralization techniques that contribute to criminality
Denial of responsibility
Denial of injury
Denial of victim
Condemnation of the condemners (world is corrupt, dog-eat-dog world)
Appeal to higher loyalties (loyalty to peer group)
Hirschi's social control theory
Argues that the social bond a person maintains with society is divided into four main elements tat aid in controlling delinquent behavior:
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