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Behind the Bars.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 229
Professor
Fred Desroches
Semester
Winter

Description
Behind the Bars Chapter 1: pgs. 1-19  Robbery is a crime that is primarily motivated by the need or desire for Monday  THEORY OF ANOMIE o ROBERT MERTON’S  Argues that North American society holds out as available and desirable the goal of financial success  This cultural phenomenon will tempt individuals to take the most efficient means to reach their goals even if that involves criminal conduct  Legitimate means to obtain financial gain for most lower class persons are blocked since they have few educational and job opportunities  Offenders think, plan, calculate and choose their courses of action  Crime is not simply a matter of will, requires illegitimate opportunity  Includes knowledge about techniques needed to commit the crime and target vulnerability  RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY o Based on the idea that offenders do indeed think and make choices o Would-be robbers mentally calculate possible financial gain, what actions are required, the risks involved and how he or she feels about undertaking these actions o If there appears to be an acceptable chance at not getting caught and a desirable amount to gain, then the individual should decide in favour of committing the crime o If the perceived risk of capture is high and the expected penalty is great, the would-be criminal should be deterred o Expected to give careful thought to the choice of target and the development of a plan for reducing chances of arrest o Behavior may be planned and premeditated but not fully rational o Decisions are made under time and other constraints o At the time offender feels the risk is worth the potential gain even though in retrospect he or she view his or her rationality as lacking - Early success increases confidence and contributes to the offender engaging in a pattern in successful holdups which eventually results in their arrest and imprisonment - Need convinces men to rob banks in the first place, greed motivates them to continue - Having no responsibilities or money worries is described as fun and the bar scene is the focus of much of their time and energies - Most express a “live for today and to hell with tomorrow” philosophy - Several motivational components--- a need for money, the assessment of banks as easy and opportunistic targets and a degree of rationality in selecting their target and modus operandi SENIOR CITIZEN o BACKGROUND o Age 68 o Offender was arrested when he attempted to rob the same bank a second time in the same week. o Sentenced to four years and expresses no regrets for his crimes - Three offences within the same block, which was my bug foul-up - There were a couple stupid things I did, I accept this now. Like going back to the same bank a second time - I wasn’t very observant - I was reading the papers and it seemed that everybody was doing them and nobody was being caught. It entered my mind and I dismissed it. I read up a little on it, cased the bank, and it just came slowly together - After robbing the bank, I just walked out and crossed the street to my apartment. No problem - I handed her a note ‘this is a bank robbery. Hand over the money quick’. She wasn’t impressed or shattered. Her composure wasn’t ripped down at all. She was good. Perfect - Availability came up to have a gun for $50 and I wasn’t going to rob a bank without one - The thing is, if some good from the police force comes into the line-up and says ‘I’m a policeman’, see how much of a hero he is with a .32 in his face. See if hes a smart guy then. That was the only reason. There was a 10% chance I was eliminating the hero factor. It was loaded, but I had absolute control - One cop came straight at me and I assumed I could do one of two things- shoot it out or hand over my gun. I handed him my gun as soon as he arrived - I wasn’t wearing a disguise, but I took my teeth out for the first one - I blame the government for a lot of my troubles - Navy dismissed me on a misconduct charge - I don’t get any pension. We have access to lawyers in prison and I’m looking into it - Computers are a lot faster at detecting us (robbers). That’s why I moved to armed robbery - It’s a fast 25-30 seconds – you cant make 2500 dollars any faster - I needed money. It was logic with me. If you want bread, you go to a bread store and if you want money, you go to a money store - My kids were amazed when I first went to jail but little did they know that three-quarters of their education was paid through various criminal escapades. I don’t regret what I did for a minute. WHEN NEED TURNS TO GREED  BACKGROUND o Age 29 o Serving 10 years on 14 counts of bank robber o Modus operandi never changed; wore no disguise, operated alone, drove own vehicle and robbed banks that were empty and did not have cameras - TV, radio, newspapers told me how they did it - I had to support my wife and kids. I was laid off and had to go to court rent was past due - Landlord was evicting them; needed the money - When you get desperate like that you’ll do anything. I did it for my family - Happens quickly, in seconds, then you’re gone - I’d rob a bank and the go to my bank and make a deposit the same day - I was happy, everyone was happy - I did so many (banks) that I didn’t think I was ever going to get caught - Would say it was his last one, but it never was. Greed and stupidity played huge factors - Lied to his wife about where the money was coming from, after he was caught she still stood by him PLANNING TO GET MARRIED o BACKGROUND o Four men in early twenties attempt to rob a bank o One of the men are killed in the robbery - Tried to give one of the men 10 years for something he didn’t do; fire the gun - Other guys got either 3 or 5 years - All had immigrant status - Wanted to get married to stay in the country - Had the necessary things to hold up a bank - Did not feel like saying no to the other guys that asked him to rob a bank with them - Other guys informed him that he had nothing to worry about and everything was going to be ok - Wanted to rob the bank to have a wedding the proper way - When they were robbing the bank they only had one bag so they had to keep doing down to one another with money - He was eager to prove himself to the other guys - One of the men fired the gun in the air to scare the people, police did not see it this way (Porter) - Getaway car saw them, and continued to drive past them - After one of the men was shot (person telling the story; convinced by other to rob bank) he could not believe how he could get involved in this robber. It was not like him. - Boss and family were surprised by his actions. They did not give up on him - Acknowledges his mistake and understand he’s paying for the crime he committed and claims it will never happen again. EXOTIC DANCER  BACKGROUND o Age 24 o Convicted of nine robbers over a three month period o Operated arm and with a Crown Royal Whiskey Bag o Wanted to maintain a lifestyle that his previous employment allowed him to do - Exotic dancer at the age of 21 - 1200-1500 a week earnings in cash - During his job he obtained a vertebral disease; warts - Couldn’t dance anymore because of the warts - State of mind became suicidal - Claimed robbing a bank was always on his mind; met a lot of guys who talked about robbery and that how he learned how to do it - Grew up in a rough neighborhood with heavy crime - Went to crime because he didn’t care - Regrets what he’s done but says it was fascinating and if you want a high rob a bank - Believed he had to set a dangerous and deathly vibe in the room otherwise a hero will try to tackle you - Said it was an act because you’re not actually going to shoot someone - Used the robbery money on drugs such as hash and coke and go party - Did the banks to maintain his lifestyle and reputation - Stupidity at being caught was that I did them – but the real stupidity was he got greedy and that it becomes a game - Gave money to single mothers on welfare – Robin hood Chapter 2: The Tricks of the Trade - Cultural Transmission and Differential Association Theory o Both models agree: o Crime is a learned behavior and that high crime rate areas of the city expose residents to criminal values, norms, attitudes and role models. o A tradition of crime and delinquency is culturally transmitted from on generation to the next within specific neighborhoods - Differential Association Theory o Delinquent or criminal peers interaction is significant in the learning process (both crime and vocabulary motives are learned o Older criminals act as role models o Contact with experienced criminals represents illegitimate opportunities to learn new types of criminal conduct o Offenders learn techniques of neutralization to justify actions  These techniques are rationalizations that allow people to justify deviant conduct, protect their self-concepts and help release individuals from social controls and
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