CRIM 101 Lecture Notes - General Social Survey, Motor Vehicle Theft, Environmental Criminology

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Published on 21 Apr 2013
School
Simon Fraser University
Department
Criminology
Course
CRIM 101
Page:
of 7
THE FAMILY AND THE HOUSEHOLD
FOLLOWED BY A LITTLE LEISURE TIME ACTIVITY
ASSAULTS AGAINST CHILDREN
Approximately 60% of assaults against children under the age of six are committed by
family members
Close to two-thirds of those assaults are committed by parents (including step parents,
foster parents, and adoptive parents)
Two-thirds of homicides against children and youth also committed by close family
member; 60% committed by the father, and 32% by the mother
*SEXUAL ASSAULTS AGAINST CHILDREN
One-third of sexual assaults committed by family member
Half of sexual assaults committed by family members when victim is under age of six,
slightly less than half when victim is between the ages of six and ten
In most cases, offender in family-related sexual assaults is a male relative; over one third
it’s the father, slightly less than one third its brothers, rest are other male relatives
*ABDUCTIONS OF CHILDREN
More than two-thirds of all abductions are parental abductions
Distribution of offenders evenly split between fathers and mothers
*THE PRECURSORS
In most cases of physical assault and homicide against children and youth, the main
contributing factor (or precursor) is either frustration or an argument
Young children and female children/ youth more likely to be assaulted or killed in private
dwelling (usually their own home)
Males over age of 11 more likely to be assaulted on streets, at school, in parking lots, or
in other public spaces
In the case of younger children, it may be difficult for them to leave an abusive
environment, thus explaining their increased risk of victimization in their own home
*THE CONSEQUENCES (AFTERMATH)
In both physical and sexual assaults, almost half of children and youth do not sustain
injuries of any kind
If they are injured, most involve minor injuries that do not require medical treatment
Only 2% of females and 1% of males sustain serious injuries
Long-term consequences of family related-violence against children and youth should not
be underestimated
Abused children and youth more likely to be aggressive, abusive towards their future
spouses or children, and to suffer from other emotional problems
Children/youth who have been victims of family-related violence or have witnessed
family related violence are more likely to engage in violent criminal activity when older
CRIMES AGAINST THE HOUSEHOLD
THE UCR vs. THE GSS
2004 Uniform Crime Report suggests that property crime, motor vehicle theft, and break
ins have generally been on the decline since the early 1990s
2004 General Social Survey suggests that household victimization (as reported by survey
participants) has continued to climb, increasing by 14% since 1999, and by 28% since
1993
RETURN OF THE RAT
According to routine activities theory, opportunity theory and environmental
criminology, crimes against the household due to contemporary lifestyles
People spending more time away from home-at work, at school, at play, or travelling
between these points
Leaving their homes and their personal property unprotected
*RISK FACTORS FOR CRIMES AGAINST THE HOUSEHOLD
Risk of household victimization considerably higher in urban areas than in rural areas
Risk of household victimization higher amongst those who have lived in their dwelling
for less than a year
Risk of household victimization higher amongst those who rent (rather than own) their
dwelling, and who live in duplexes, row houses or semi-detached houses
SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION
*HIGH INCOME HOUSEHOLDS
Sacco and Kennedy say that there is no clear-cut relationship between household income
and the risk of household victimization
According to most recent GSS, however, households with annual incomes of $60,000 or
higher had highest rate of victimization-17% higher than middle income households, and
88% higher than lower income households
STRAIN THEORY
Findings contradict arguments by theorists such as Gottfredson and Hirschi-i.e., that most
crimes are committed on the spur of the moment, because of the thrill or excitement
involved, and that offenders are not motivated by the prospects of economic gain
Findings that higher income households experience higher rates of victimization than
lower income households tend to support explanations premised upon social strain, social
inequality, and relative deprivation
*SEARCHING FOR TARGETS
According to Brantinghams’ environmental criminology, offenders are unlikely to
explore distant, unknown areas in search of suitable targets
Offenders most likely to search for targets that fall within their normal activity space (i.e.,
where they conduct their day to day, routine activities)
Offenders prefer targets close to their own homes, because of time and difficulty involved
in travelling long distances, and dangers associated with venturing into unknown territory
Households most susceptible to victimization are those that offer the offender easiest
access, and lowest risk of detection and apprehension
Prefer corner dwellings on (or close to) major transportation routes, especially
inconspicuous dwellings that are partially hidden or where there is little or no
surveillance
LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND CRIME
LEISURE DEFINED
S & K define leisure as free time or spare time that is used specifically for recreation or
play
Activities that people voluntarily choose to engage in, because they are a source of
pleasure or satisfaction
*WHO HAS THE TIME?
Teenagers have more leisure time than married couples who are raising a family, or
people who are working full time
Some forms of teen offending are also forms of leisure-e.g., painting graffiti on schools
or joyriding in stolen automobiles
Even when not forms of offending, leisure-time activities often take place in venues
where there is a considerable amount of crime and victimization-e.g., raves, internet
cafes, bars and sporting events
*LEISURE AS A CORRUPTER
Oft-repeated claims that certain leisure activities cause people- especially young people-
to become criminals
In the past, attention focused on corrupting influence of everything from comic books to
rock and roll music to movie violence
Attention now shifted to contemporary leisure-time activities, such as internet usage and
violent video games
VIOLENCE IN THE MEDIA
*THE WHOLE TRUTH
Some observers claim that murder rates doubled during 10-15 year period following
introduction of “free” television in Canada and the US
Also claim that 10% of youth violence is caused by television viewing
*AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Some studies found negative effects (i.e., watching media violence actually reduces
violent behaviour in real life)
Other studies found weak effects that could be explained by other factors (e.g.,
individuals who already display violent tendencies may be inclines to watch violent
movies or violent TV programs)

Document Summary

Approximately 60% of assaults against children under the age of six are committed by family members. Close to two-thirds of those assaults are committed by parents (including step parents, foster parents, and adoptive parents) Two-thirds of homicides against children and youth also committed by close family member; 60% committed by the father, and 32% by the mother. One-third of sexual assaults committed by family member. Half of sexual assaults committed by family members when victim is under age of six, slightly less than half when victim is between the ages of six and ten. In most cases, offender in family-related sexual assaults is a male relative; over one third it"s the father, slightly less than one third its brothers, rest are other male relatives. More than two-thirds of all abductions are parental abductions. Distribution of offenders evenly split between fathers and mothers.