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Criminology (2,101)
CRIM 101 (448)

The Aftermath of Crime.docx

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Simon Fraser University
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, when it happened, who was involved - Aftermath: how do victims respond- how do offenders respond if they’re caught, convicted, and punished -> how does general public react to crime, what are the actual costs of crime Analyzing the Costs of Crime: - The real costs of crime can be difficult to measure accurately - Direct financial losses (money or property stolen) are easiest to evaluate - How do you place a value on the pain caused by a minor injury, or by the fear of further victimization - If somebody moves to different neighbourhood, purchases automobile tracking system or burglar system after being victimized, should these be 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 injury - Only about 10% of victims of violence sought medical care for their injuries Robbery: - 35% of robbery victims reported difficulties in carrying out their main activities (eg work, school, etc) - 39% said they were affected for a period of between two days and a week - 16% said their main activities had been disrupted for over two weeks Household Victimization: - Includes break and enter, theft of household property, automobile theft, etc - 63% of all reported losses were 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 the 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 costs) - If this figure was added to estimates provided above, the actual cost of crime in Canada (including pain and suffering), would be closer to $92 billion a year Emotional and 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 Reactions to Violent Crimes: - 32% are angry, while 26% don’t feel anything towards the incident Vulnerability Conversion: - Some individuals do become fearful of crime, and may go through process known as vulnerability conversion - Feel they are more susceptible to the dangers of life than they thought - Being the victim of a serious (especially “random”) crime can cause people to re-evaluate their notions about the world making sense, or about life being fair - Victims may feel weak and helpless, and even start to blame themselves - Having home broken into is tantamount to invasion of privacy - May suffer additional distress if personal possessions to which they are emotionally attached are stolen or damaged 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, especially at night (avoiding potential offenders) Defensive Behaviours: - Precautionary measures people take to reduce their risks of being victimized - Getting a guard dog, installing a burglar alarm system in their home – defending their personal space Other Reactions: - Many victims of crime react by talking about it with friends and neighbours, family members, and even co-workers - Even if they do eventually report to the police, victims often consult first with their friends and neighbours, family members or co-workers - Suggest that decision about reporting to police is influenced socially, through contact with significant others - Neighbourhood watch helps to deter offenders The Fear of Crime: - Fear of crime is disproportionate to the 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 five times 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 Ignoring Correctional Treatment and Research: - Cullen et al say that criminologists are aware of the policy implications of their theories - However, they neglect to examine the research of correctional rehabilitation programs to see whether their theories are adequate Pointing Fingers: - Cullen et al blame the sociologists - Edwin Sutherland’s extensive (and at times vociferous) critique of the Gleucks aimed at discrediting psychobiological explanations and strengthening sociology’s position - Robert Merton’s strain theory located crime in the social structure (blocked opportunities to achieving cultural goals) - Howard Becker’s labelling theory argued that stigmatizing offenders created a self-fulfilling prophecy Nothing Works: - Subject of famous 1974 essay by Robert Martinson - Analyzed 231 studies from 1945-1967 and concluded that the net result was close to zero - Confirmed “what criminologists already knew;” that “rehabilitation is a myth” - Became the “established wisdom” for decades to follow Something Works: - Cullen et al say its true that half the studies showed negligible or even negative results - Even so, average size effect on recidivism was still r = 0.10 - Martinson and Wilks failed to distinguish between programs or to specifically examine cognitive- behavioural programs - Cognitive-behavioural programs achieved 20-30% reductions in recidivism (r = 0.20 or 0.30) And the Conclusion is: - Overall, correctional research provides strong and consistent support for social learning theory and cognitive behavioral programs - Also confirms that criminality is not stable over the life course - Criminal behaviour can be altered or “unlearned” through reinforcement, punishment, targeting anti-social values and criminal rationalizations, and isolating or insulating criminals from pro- criminal associations Age Differences: - Violent victimization rates lowest for people over age 65, and highest for those between ages of 15 and 24 - Older people continue to express concerns about their personal safety - Might be caused by tendency to regard themselves as being weaker than the typical offender, and hence more vulnerable - Media images of older people being preyed upon by younger, stronger people (who are 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 or social backgrounds - More likely to encounter physical incivilities (eg, broken windows, graffiti, run-down buildings, etc) - More likely to encounter incivilities (eg, drug and alcohol use in public places, panhandlers and squeegee kids on street corners, etc) - GSS reports that rates of victimization are indeed higher in urban areas, especially in those urban areas with a high number of rental units and a 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 f the criminal event - Advances
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