Crime and Criminal Justice
Criminology-Scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal
Criminologist-Someone who brings objectivity and method to the study of crime and it’s
Deviant behaviour-Behaviour that is different from the social norm but isn’t always bad
or needing the enforcement of the law.
Hagen’s varieties of deviance-Shows the link between crime and deviance which shows
the more severe the deviations the more likely there is agreement of social action and the
more harmful the reaction.
History of criminology
Christian theory-Idea that criminals are sinners and that they are going against God;
banishment and other punishments are needed and people see it as their community duty to
strike down the person in the name of God.
Roman-Made dramatic changes to law by writing things down.
Dark ages-went back to the unreasonable punishment.
Enlightenment-Look more to reason, rights of the individual and just punishments. Look
to punishment more as a form of deterrence now (17th C) with the law being preventative
instead of punishable. Equal punishment for all.
Jeremy Bentham- Notion of utilitarianism; all behaviour explained by rational choice and
balancing benefits. Individual choice to be a criminal; more at what’s best for society.
Positivism-Uses scientific method of the natural sciences and suggests that human
behaviour is a product of social, biological, psychological or economic forces.
Classical Criminology-Theory suggesting that people have free will to choose criminal or
conventional behaviours, people choose to commit crime for greed or personal need and
crime can be controlled by fear of criminal sanction.
Criminal Anthropology-Early efforts to discover a biological basis for crime through
measurement of physical and mental process.
Atavistic Anomalies-According to Lombroso; physical characteristics of criminals that
indicate they are throwbacks for animals or the primitive. E.g. skull shapes etc.
L.A.J. Quetelet-First sociologist that used scientific and mathematical statistics as ways of
analyzing criminal behaviour and the demographics.
Emile Durkheim-He was a founder of sociology and believed that all things have a
function in society; crime has a necessary function in society. Crime is useful because
people then know what is right and wrong, is a deterrent etc. Also believes in anomie.
Anomie- Condition produced because of shifting moral values, individual has few
guidelines and occurs when personal goals cannot be met by conventional means.
Chicago School-Type of sociological research (20th C) by Park, Burgess, Wirth etc who
pioneered research on the social ecology of the city and study or urban crime.
Conflict Criminology- Marx believed that the world was split into 2 classes; the
bourgeoisie (who control the means of production: capitalists) and Proletariat (sells the
labour). Wants the capitalists to be overthrown.
Criminal Statistics-Gathering crime date and devising new research methods as well as
measuring crime patterns and trends.
Sociology of law-Determining the origin of law and measuring the forces that can change
laws and society
Theory construction-Predicting individual behaviour and understanding the cause pf
crime rates and trends.
Criminal behaviour systems-Determining the nature and cause of specific crime patterns
and studying violence, theft, organized, white collar crime.
Penology-Studying the correct and control of criminal behaviour.
Victimology-Studying the nature and cause of victimization; aiding crime victims.
Consensus View-Crime is considered wrong in itself and most people agree with what’s
wrong; it is rooted in society (mala in se). Harms of property, to people (murder, theft);
pretty black and white.
Conflict View-Basically the idea that there are different levels of groups (e.g. workers,
professionals etc) who are continually in conflict which results in the use of the law.
Interactionist View-People like George Herbert Mead who hold the position that people
act according to their own interpretations of reality, they learn the meaning of a thing from
others and react to it and they re-evaluate and interpret their own behaviour.
Code of Hammurabi-First written criminal code developed in 2000BC. Idea of “lex
talionis” which is basically an eye for an eye.
Mosaic Code-Agree to obey the laws of Moses and Christian teachings.
Wergild-In the medieval times this was the monetary compensation for the victim based
on the offence. They also have “oath helpers” who are basically witnesses for the accused.
18th Century-Moved from a chaotic justice system and more controlled.
Stare Decisis-Courts bound to follow the precedent of other cases.
Common Law-Early English law developed by judges etc that defined the customs,
practices and everyday rules of people. Became the standard law of the land in England and
eventually formed the basis of criminal law in Canada and USA.
Inchoate Crimes-Incomplete crimes like attempt and conspiracy to do things.
Tort Law-The law of personal wrongs and damage. Tort actions include negligence, libel,
slander, assault and trespass.
Indictable Offences-Serious offences that carry a serious penalty.
Summary Offences-Minor offences which the penalty is restricted to a max of 6 months in
jail or a fine (or both).
Criminal Law-Crime is a public offence, punishment is incarceration, enforcement
belongs to the state, fines go to the state and guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable
Mala prohibitum-Crimes that involve violation of laws that reflect current public opinion
and social values
Mala in se- Crimes are rooted in the values in our culture.
Functions of law-Providing social control, discouraging revenge, expressing current
morals, deterring criminal behaviour, maintaining the social order.
General deterrence-Show potential law violators the consequences of their actions; should
Specific deterrence-Works as a direct punishment to stop repeat offending.
Deterrence-Varies along 3 dimensions; severity or punishment, certainty of punishment
and celerity/swiftness of punishment.
Intent- Carrying out an act intentionally, knowingly and willingly.
Transferred intent-Idea that if an illegal yet unintended act results from the intent to
commit a crime; the act is also considered illegal.
Constructive intent-Unintentional criminal act that is a result of negligence or
Mistake of law-Doesn’t really work, ignorance or mistake of law.
Mistake of fact-Accidentally buying stolen goods; not knowing being mistaken.
Self Defence-Justification of a violent attack; only reasonable force.
Necessity-Compelled by someone else to commit a criminal act; e.g. having to feed your
Consent of the victim-e.g. sexual assault; would a reasonable person know the consent.
Consent does not apply to statutory rape.
Entrapment-Being tricked or trapped by the police; if they are encouraged to do the act
this is entrapment.
Duress-Blackmail or kidnapped family; you were forced to do it.
Insanity-Includes drug or alcohol impairment; was the person in their right mind when
they committed the act.
Report sensitive crimes-crimes that are sensitive to victims reporting them. E.g. if a
person does not report sexual assault it is unlikely the police will ever know about it.
Policing sensitive crimes-Crimes sensitive to law enforcement. E.g. proactively
investigating drug crime is the only reason drug offences are detected.
Definition sensitive crimes-Crimes sensitive to legislative activity. E.g. gambling has been
decriminalized by loosening criminal punishment around gaming.
Media sensitive crimes- Crime that is sensitive to media attention. E.g. youth crime being
shown on TV increases public concern which increases reports to police.
Uniform crime reports-a census based on reports from police forces across Canada,
official basis for criminological research in Canada.
Collecting the UCR-each month police agencies compile the number of crimes
known/reported (incidence). Based on all complaints of crime.
-Only reports that are founded (are genuine and investigated by the police) and counted;
reports found to be false or unfounded are not counted.
-The percentage change (the increase or decrease of crime rates over a period of time) is
-The crime rate is calculated which is calculating the ratio of crimes in the whole
population expressed as per 100,000 people.
-Also police agencies report the number or crimes which are cleared (crimes that are
determined as founded and then solved or cleared away by the police.
Criminology-scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behaviour. Criminologist-someone who brings objectivity and method to the study of crime and it"s consequences. Deviant behaviour-behaviour that is different from the social norm but isn"t always bad or needing the enforcement of the law. Hagen"s varieties of deviance-shows the link between crime and deviance which shows the more severe the deviations the more likely there is agreement of social action and the more harmful the reaction. Christian theory-idea that criminals are sinners and that they are going against god; banishment and other punishments are needed and people see it as their community duty to strike down the person in the name of god. Roman-made dramatic changes to law by writing things down. Enlightenment-look more to reason, rights of the individual and just punishments. Look to punishment more as a form of deterrence now (17th c) with the law being preventative instead of punishable.