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Lecture 4

Crim 101 Week 4.docx

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CRIM 101
Adrienne Peters

Crim 101 Week 4 September-28-12 Today we focus on theory. Time, place, and people involved. Chapter 4 -Criminological Theory  General (rather than individual) explanations of crime patterns.  Theories should also be falsifiable - we should be able to test or measure them. -Before the classical school  A presumption of guilt, unless proven innocent.  Confession of guilt, or proof of innocence, through inquisition, often involving torture.  Physical torture as punishment for the few crimes that did not result in the death penalty. CLASSICAL SCHOOL important figures -Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)  Torture was unfair - confession might have nothing to do with innocence or guilt.  If you were innocent, you were tortured anyway; if you were guilty, you were tortured too, usually twice  The death penalty was used often at random  The presumption of innocence.  Specific criminal codes. (Wrote down the laws)  Limitations on the severity of punishment (Different degree of crime, different punishment)  The duration of punishment as a more effective deterrent. Need an end point for punishment.  Public (Visible) punishment as a more effective deterrent. -Jeremy Benthan (1748 - 1832)  People were rational, and exercised free will.  Would employ a hedonistic calculus in deciding whether a certain action was more likely to result in pleasure than in pain. *clicker question What is the classical school closely aligned with A: Economic After the classical school came the positive school Positive school  Used "scientific" methods to explain criminal behaviour  Involved notion of "determinism", as opposed to "free will" or "rational choice"  Behaviour of criminals was pre-determined by their genes or evolutionary condition. -Cesare Lombroso (1835 - 1909)  Founder and most prominent member of the Positive School  The atavistic criminal - a degenerate throwback on earlier forms of evolution. Modern Biological Approaches  Generally ignored in criminology  Recent resurgence based on the idea that biology might predispose a person to criminal behaviour, but the social environment has an influence on whether those predispositions result in crime -Genetics  Idea that genes passed from parents to child result in criminal behaviour.  Nature versus Nurture #Parents and children may share genes, but the also share a similar social environment. Which maters more? (Nature -> Genes. Nurture -> Environment) -Diet  Possibility that what a person eats can affect their mental state and/or their behaviour.  "Twinkie defence" - too much sugar can make a person hyperactive and aggressive.  Vitamins and Omega-3s -Intelligence and Crime  Lower IQ could have negative effect on school performance  Poor school performance leads to an increased risk of delinquency Five different hypotheses -The school failure hypothesis  Learning disabilities may contribute to school failure  Student may become frustrated, angry, and aggressive as a consequence  Ends up being identified by teachers as "troublemaker" -The susceptibility hypothesis  Learning disabilities may result in impulsiveness, irritability, and inability to see the consequences of certain actions  These characteristics may lead to delinquent behaviours -The differential arrest hypothesis  Individuals with learning disabilities more likely to be arrested, because they are less able to conceal their criminal activities  Less able to interact effectively with the police due to poor social perceptions -The differential adjudication hypothesis  More likely to be convicted because they cant understand/cope with compliated court proceedings -The differential disposition hypothesis  More likely to receive harsher sentence  Often school drop-outs  Less employable and appear to be at higher risky of recidivating. The Psychopath  Often used to describe serial killers, sexual predators and other offenders we consider to be exceptionally dangerous  Considered "different" from "normal" people  "Psychopath" used interchangeably with "sociopath" and anti-social personality disorder  "Psychopaths" are not only criminals. Evolutionary Psychology  Idea that people (and other organisms) evolve in ways that benefit them and this explains much human behaviour  Male aggression: o Related to eliminating competition for females o Related to increased social status  Female aggression avoidance: o If she dies, the kids die --------------------------------------------------------------------------
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