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Lecture 3

SOC*2700 Lecture Week 3

8 Pages

Course Code
SOC 2700
C Yule

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Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 Routine Activities Theory Routine Activities Theory - people are motivated to commit crime - doesn’t work for explaining domestic violence because it says that you are safe in the home - criminal offenses are related to the nature of everyday patterns of social interaction - targets are “suitable” to the extent that offenders see them as having VIVA: - Value - value more targets than others - Inertia - we steal things that are easier and lighter, we attack smaller people - Visibility - easier to find - Access - ability to get to the target and away from the scene of the crime, people com- mit crime in areas that they know because they are comfortable getting away Patterns and Changes in Crime due to Changes in Targets and Guardians - transient, single parent neighborhoods - overcrowded schools - large apartment complexes - may not know neighbours, lots of opportunities to exit - houses on main streets with varier entrance and exit strategies - leisure activities/active “night life” - prostitutes love really drunk guys, they go back to their place and steal their wallet Preventing Crime - cannot eliminate motivations to offend very easily, so focus on reducing opportunities - target hardening - security measures, deadbolts, neighborhood watches - make entrance and exit from a crime scene more difficult - increased presence of formal and informal guardians - Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) - changing the physical in order to change perceptions CPTED Example 1) What are the physical and social predictors of break and enter victimization 2) What do the results suggest about the efficacy of Crime Prevention Through Environ- mental Design 3) How do the findings speak to the foundational theories of rational choice and routine activities? Key Findings - homes with a detached garage or an attached garage were 2.5 to 2 times more likely to be victimized than houses without a garage, respectively - poorly kept houses were 2.8 times more likely to be victimized that very well kept hous- es - houses with at least 2 sides of the property that border non-residential land were 2.5 times more likely to be burgled than houses surrounded by residential land use Implications - 3 of the 11 CPTED-type variable assessed were statistically significant in predicting break and enter victimization - CPTED would benefit from revision and improvement - design principles overlap and contradict one another - design principles are not consistently defined - focuses on only the physical environment - the theory doesn’t do a particularly good job in all jurisdictions Quiz 1 - According to Cohen and Felson’s Routine Activities theory, changes in which of the fol- lowing are most relevant to changes in rates: - answer = suitable targets and capable guardians - (nothing we can do about motivated offenders, the motivation is constant) - which is the least important for causing an increase in crime rate” - the increase in motivated offenders - brutalization effect - death penalty may actually increase the rate of violent crime Biological & Psychological Theories Are some people ‘born evil’? - Robert Pickton - the pig farmer - Michael Lafferty & Terri-Lynne McClintic - Colonel Russell Willliams Questions to Consider... - do you agree that is we see crime in families (for generations) that we have evidence that crime is inherited - if we agree that some genetic mutation affects criminal behaviour, do you think that it would override free will? - if a “crime gene” exists, how should the criminal justice system respond to offenders? Key Characteristics of this Perspective Include: 1. Focuses on identifying the criminogenic traits and offenders - inborn defects that could be detected - trait-based theories 2. No concept of free will 3. Deterministic - if people had these characteristics linked to crime, they were bound Chronology of Biological Determinism (The Rise of Positivism) “Bumps and Grunts” School of Deviance - Franz Joseph Gall (1758-1828) - “phrenology - study of bumps on the head - criminals had a different shape of their heads - remained popular until the 1930s - mind had a set of different faculties and each faculties represented a portion of the brain The Positivist School - Cesare Lombroso (1935-1909) - the father of positivist school - identified “born criminals” by physiological type (“atavists”) - criminals were distinctive physiological people - atavists were throwbacks to earlier and less evolved forms of man Sheldon’s Somatypes - endomorphs - chubby - likely to be involved in violent, property crime - mesomorphs - muscular (likely to be involved in violent crime - ectomorphs - skinny - property crime, more likely to end up in mental institution Problems with these Early Theories 1. Most empirical tests on inmates - not generalizable, not a random sample, only have a sample of the less successful offenders that got caught 2. Unsuitable control groups - men enrolled in college, firemen and policemen - highly developed set of cognitive skills and stronger physical builds - biological theories have come a lot way since these early attempts Genetic Theories: Criminal Families - criminal behaviour is the result of inherited biological defects - looked at families - Dugdale (1877) - the Jukes - 140/1000 criminal family members - felt that was a large enough # that it was proof of the heredity of crime - Goddard (1912) - the Kallikaks - Martin & “feeble-minded” woman - 189/480 descendants had ‘defects’ - Martin & woman from “good” family - 3/496 descendants had ‘defects’ - both of these studies are flawed because the social piece is missing - people from good families may have more resources to hide their discretions - ignore life chances associated with class - no attempt to explain why people in both families were not involved in crime - don’t work very hard to disprove the theory - we find many criminals from good families - Glueck’s (1950) - delinquent and non-delinquent boys - loo
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