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CRIM 101 (452)
Lecture 8

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CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

THE AFTERMATH OF CRIME A BRIEF REFRESHER  Precursors—circumstances that lead up to the criminal event  Transactions—what happened, where it happened, who was involved  Aftermath—how do victims respond? How do offenders respond if they‟re caught, convicted, and punished? How does the general public react to crime? What are the actual costs of crime? ANALYZING THE COSTS OF CRIME - The real costs of crime – difficult to measure accurately - Direct financial losses (stolen money/property) are easiest to evaluate - How do you place a value on the pain caused by a minor injury, or by fear of further victimization? - If somebody moves to different neighbourhood, purchases automobile tracking system or burglar alarm system after being victimized, should these by included in costs of crime? VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE  One of main ways we find out about cost of crime is through victimization surveys  According to the GSS, 25% of all violent incidents resulted in some form of physical injuries  Only about 10% of victims of violence seek medical care for injuries ROBBERY  35% of robbery victims reported difficulties in carrying out main activities (ex. Work, school, etc.)  39% said they were affected for period of between 2 days and a week  16% said their main activities had been disrupted for over 2 weeks HOUSEHOLD VICTIMIZATION  Includes break and enter, theft of household property, car theft, etc.  63% of all reported losses were less than $500 per incident  42% were less than $100 after victims received compensation from insurance company THEFT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY  Having credit cards, money or jewellery stolen while in shopping malls, commercial buildings, etc.  42% involved out-of-pocket expenses of less than $100 ROUGH ESTIMATES  Annual cost of crime in Canada estimated to be around $57 billion  $46 billion attributed primarily to health issues, lost wages, and insurance settlements  $11 billion spent on operation of criminal justice system READING THE FINE PRINT Figures do not include expenditures on private security, burglar alarm systems, or other theft prevention devices. If figures from GSS used (rather than figures from UCR), the total annual cost of pain and suffering for all types of crime would be over $35 billion (not including direct economic losses, insurance cots) - If this wasn‟t added to estimate = actual cost of crim in Canada (including pain and suffering) would be closer to $92 billion a year EMOTIONALAND BEHAVIOURAL CONSEQUENCES  GSS reports that overwhelming majority of people in Canada (94%) feel safe from crime  Majority of Canadians (59%) feel their neighbourhood is safer than other neighbourhoods VULNERABILITY CONVERSION  Some individuals do become fearful of crime – may go through process known as vulnerability conversion  Feel they are more susceptible to dangers of life than they thought  Being the victim of a serious (especially ”random“) crime can cause people to re- evaluate notions about world making sense, or about life being fair  Victims may feel weak and helpless; start to blame themselves  Having home broken into = tantamount to invasion of privacy  May suffer additional distress if personal possessions to which they are emotionally attached are damaged/stolen AVOIDANCE BEHAVIOURS  Steps people take to distance themselves from situations they perceive to be dangerous  Moving to new neighbourhood, or staying away from downtown core at night (avoiding potential offenders) DEFENSIVE BEHAVIOURS  Precautionary measures people take to reduce risks of being victimized  Getting a guard dog, installing burglar alarm system in home – defending personal space OTHER REACTIONS  Many victims of crime react by talking about it with friends and neighbours, family members and co-workers  Even if they do eventually report to the police, victims often consult first with friends and neighbours, family members or co-workers  Suggests that decision about reporting to police is influenced socially, through contact with significant others THE FEAR OF CRIME  Fear of crimeis disproportionate to actual amount of crime  Fear of crime might be as serious a problem as crime itself  Fear is difficult to define, and just as difficult to measure THE GENDER DIFFERENCE  95% of men and 93% of women express general satisfaction with their personal safety  Women are at least twice as likely as men to be fearful if they are on public transit alone at night, if they are home alone at night, or if they are walking alone after dark  Increased level of fear could be due to fact that women are smaller or weaker than the average male offender, or they have been socialized into regarding themselves as weak and vulnerable  In reality, rate of violent victimization is quite similar for men and women, except men are more likely to be physically assaulted or robbed, whereas women are 5x as likely to be victim of a sexual assault  Both genders are less fearful if they frequently use public transportation or walk alone at night AGE DIFFERENCES  Violent victimization rates lowest for people over age 65, and highest for those between 15 to 24  Older people continue to express concerns about their personal safety  Might be caused by tendency to regard themselves as being weaker and more vulnerable than the typical offender  Media images of older people being preyed upon by younger, stronger people (seemingly ruthless and eager to take advantage of them) may contribute to this fear WHY THE DIFFERENCE?  More likely to encounter strangers from different cultural/social backgrounds  More likely to encounter physical incivilities (ex. Broken windows, graffiti, run-down buildings…)  More likely to encounter social incivilities (ex. Drug/alcohol use in public places, panhandlers, squeegee kids on street corners…)  GSS reports that rates of victimization are indeed higher in urban areas, especially those with high number of rental units and high turnover in population LABELLING AND SOCIAL STIGMA  Labelling theory addresses the issue of what happens to offenders if they are apprehended and punished in the aftermath of criminal event  Advances an explanation for why certain individuals engage in ongoing criminal activity THE SOCIAL REACTION TO DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR  From perspective of labelling theory – once a label (ex. Juvenile delinquent, criminal, convict) – is affixed, it‟s difficult to get rid of  Offenders might start to view themselves in accordance with label they‟ve been given MORAL ENTREPRENEURS  Also known as moral crusaders/claims-makers  Individuals or groups who have power to create and/or enforce social norms  Includes lobbyists, pressure groups, professionals, specialists, gov officials or agencies ENTER THE MUGGER  1978 book policing the Crisis (by Hall et al)  Between Aug 1972-Aug 1973, “mugging” attracted massive attention from the media, politicians, interest groups and various reps of British criminal justice system  Sudden interest sparked by robbery in which an elderly man was stabbed to death, leading to public outcry, demands for stiffer sentencing, and war on violent crime EXIT THE MUGGER  Interest in the subject of mugging warned after about a year  Never clear whether there was actual increase in violent crime during time period  Never clear whether ”mugging" was any different from what had previously been referred as “robbed” THE FAMILY & THE HOUSEHOLD  Sacco and Kennedy define the family as “any relatively enduring pattern of social relationships through which domestic life is organized‟  Broad enough to include common-law and same-sex relationships  Sacco and Kennedy define the household as „social and physical setting within which family life is organized‟ THE CHANGING PROFILE OF THE FAMILY  According to 2006 census figures, 38% of couples had no children living at home with them, compared with 34% 2 decades earlier  Can be explained by increases in life expectancy, declining birth rate, more couples choosing not to have (or d
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