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Lecture 5

CRM 102 Lecture 5: LECTURE 5

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CRM 102
Kelly De Luca

CRM102 – LECTURE 5 ROADMAP I. What criminology is trying to explain II. Explanations that focus on individuals  crime choice theories III. Explanations that focus on communities OUTLINE FOR TODAY  Recap of last class  Deterrence  Routine activities theory  Implications for crime prevention RECAP  Key assumptions of psychological perspectives: criminals are different from non- criminals; criminals are made, not born  Role of early development in explaining criminality  Role of (poor) parenting in explaining criminality RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY  Crime is the result of deliberate choices made by offenders based on their calculation of the risks and benefits - Whether to commit crime - Choice of specific target  Conscious decisions made by individuals due to reasons that make sense to them at the time  Perceived costs and benefits; what we think are the benefits are going to outweigh what we think are the costs ($$) MONETARY BENEFITS ($$) MONETARY COSTS  Cash from crime – from theft,  Expenditure on tools used to commit robbery, etc. EX. crowbar  Stolen consumer goods (jewellery,  Cost of travel to offence site phones, cars) that can be re-sold for money  Stolen goods that can be used by the  Possible opportunity costs of time offender EX. Phones, cars (including: learning skills, search time, committing crime and escaping, selling stolen goods)  Stolen info, personal data  Missing out on time spent at a job earning a salary NON-MONETARY BENEFITS NON-MONETARY COSTS  Time and energy saved by cutting  Physical effort/energy corners  Excitement/thrill  Psychological and emotional effort/energy  Feeling power/control over others and  Shame, remorse, guilt; peer, family self and other condemnation  Kudos, peers’ and others’ esteem  Worry/concern about punishment DETERRENCE  C.f. Classical Theory, Beccaria et al - Modern theories that build on the idea that criminals make decisions based on reasons that make sense to them at the time  Imprisonment as deterrence? - Politicians believe that in order to deter crime we must lay down a harsher sentence; if the costs outweigh the benefits, then people will stop committing the crime - “We can end the crime problem by increasing punishment” - Costs more to keep criminals in prison, they are already overcrowded, are we willing to pay that much?  Mandatory minimum sentences as deterrence? - Increasing not only the severity of the sentence but the certainty of a sentence as well - “If you are convicted you will serve at least three years” LIMITATIONS ON DETERRENCE  Low risk of getting caught  Mandatory minimums don’t apply to all crimes - At best only targeting a same percentage of crime, weakens our response to the crime we are targeting - Judge may decide that given the circumstances of the case it is best to lay a different charge - It is likely the system will manipulate the charges to lay down a sentence; the offender thinks there is a high chance which will then lower the deterrence  Influence of drugs/alcohol  Lack of knowledge of consequences - Offender cannot be deterred by things they don’t know about - Maybe they are not aware of California’s 3 strike law or the mandatory minimum sentence  Short-term benefits vs. long-term risks - They want to steal the TV because they would be getting it right now and they put more weight on it than going to prison because that is so far in the future DETERRENCE  Severity or certainty? - Hot spots policing – specific areas of policing - Policing area where there is more crime, where they think it will have the most affect - Criticism – how much effect does it have on the overall picture of crime, displaces crime - PROBLEMS? Racial profiling, breaks relationship between community and the police, marginalization - Individualized deterrence - People we think have a higher risk of offending, target them - Someone on parole, they might reoffend so they will have to report back to parole office more than normal FOR DISCUSSION: Based on what you have learned about the relationship between increasing the certainty of punishment and crime prevention, develop a strategy that could be effective in reducing crime in (a) Toronto (b) a small town in Canada  Small –town you’re more likely to get caught, in Toronto you won’t know who stole your car… if we’re more likely to be caught, deterrence is more likely to be effective  Smaller town – more deterrence because you are more likely to get caught, this is reverse for bigger towns (Toronto)  Fewer escape opportunities for smaller towns (larger distance to travel, etc.)  Issue of police corruption is higher in smaller communities (greater use of officer discretion)  Extent of social stigma – comment earlier about Toronto being more anon which makes certain deterrence less effective, in a smaller community police can say they want publish it on the newspaper and everyone will know who you are, in Toronto there is more than one newspaper, and we are more anon here  Maintaining society’s cleanliness  Vandalism/graffiti – one of the benefits they feel if they are committing that crime is the satisfaction of seeing their painting on the wall – way to prevent this is if it is painted over right away, so that they don’t get the reward, which will deter them from doing it (this could work better in a smaller community)  Shoplifting – in a small town: much more likely to get caught, because ur friends etc. will know who you are and turn you in (they might take pictures of you from the security camera and people will remember you)  Car theft – make it harder to get away with the crime with technology (car tracking devices on every car), random road checks in smaller towns (might be a deterrence effect if you know cars get checked randomly), smaller towns you have to watch out for the people around you (rewards for citizen who turn people in – incentives)  Break and enters – Toronto: increase surveillance, encourage neighbours to look out for each other, “neighbourhood watch” signs can deter people because they know the neighbours are watching and could call you in ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMINOLOGY  A.k.a. crime pattern theory - Theory is focused on geography: day to day life is routine, tend to go to the same places and travel the same routes to get there (where is crime more likely to occur, not human geography but we are talking about distribution of crime through our urban environment generally), where should we use more resources to deter crime?  Nodes - Places where humans go during their daily life (home, university, shopping malls, destinations you go to are nodes, they are your endpoints – objectives)  Paths - Routes you take between your nodes, whatever route you take from home to work, or any other destination, we tend to take the same route most of the time - most crimes are going to occur during our paths of the nodes - most crimes are opportunistic, common explanation: if a teen is thinking about stealing chocolate, he will probably pick the convenience store that is between school and home cause that is what is easiest, it takes more effort to go somewhere else, are you will to spend an extra 20 minutes to swipe a chocolate bar or will you go somewhere near by? - Paths are likely to be high crime areas, this is usually for impulsive crimes  Edges - Border lines – commercial part of town, residential – at one point these two areas will meet together, when they meet it would be the edges - These transitional spaces tend to have high crime because there is less surveillance, because you are on the edges of the two communities - Deterrence: put up more surveillance, if we know this is where the crime is more likely to occur we should allocate more resources there LIFESTYLE/EXPOSURE THEORY - Makes predictions about likely incidents about crime, who is likely to be a victim - Theory of crime victimization that acknowledges that not everyone has the same lifestyle and that some lifestyles expose people to more risks than others do  Victim precipitation - Idea that some people are more likely to become victims of crime than others because of the kind of life they lead -
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