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Lecture 11

SOC205-lecture 11

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Paula Maurutto

SOC205-THEORIES IN CIRMINOLOGY LECTURE 11:4/4/2014 The Rise of Punitive Theories (Conservative Theories in Text book) Context: The United States in 1980’s and Early 1990s: the Economic Decline of the United States -by the close of WWII, the U.S’s share of the world manufacturing was nearly 50% -as a decline, there become more punitive practices -with military commitments, the USs position in the world manufacturing began to decline -during the 1980sthe defense spending increased rapidly as the national debt grew at a remarkable speed -the US faced stiff international competition in many products -f you are coming from Marxist side, you will look at how it affects economy -others will look at cultural shifts -also started to focus on the world of drugs -zero tolerance in drug use -more laws were in place -Marxist argue this coincided with trying to diffuse the spending going on in the military -start to turn away the focus on social causes -questing of the Supreme courts occurred -therefore this lead to more incarcerations -incarceration rates reflect the way in which we define crime -drug laws lead to increase in penalties (ie/. 3 strikes law) Varieties of Conservative Theory 5 types: 1. Revitalize early positive emphasis on ingrained individual differences a. What are the differences between who commits crime (biological or psychological differences) b. Rise is in body type theories, parenting theories etc. 2. Rise of rational choice theory a. Concedes of ppl as logical actors. Ppl choose crime when benefits outweigh the risk or the cost of crime b. The notion here is criminal offenders assess the costs and risks i. Leads to other theories (broken windows theory) ii. Ex. Increased street lighting, changing park benches so ppl cannot sleep at them at night etc. 3. Revitalize psychological approaches that offenders think differently a. Offenders think differently than others 4. Crime linked to permissive culture or moral poverty a. Moral poverty refers to secular culture that has moves away from being more religious b. Permissive: change in drug culture, sexual revolution, movies about crime i. If that were the case, we would see crime rates increasing, instead of decreasing 1. Therefore, these things do not lead to crime 5. Focus on public disorganization or incivility as cause of crime a. Linked to Broken Windows theory: if you have public disorganization, therefore this leads to more serious crime (ie. Garbage on streets) *conservative theories (Republican Party in America, in Canada it is not tied to political parties) Logic of these Theories -deny economic inequality or concentrated disadvantage populations -rather crime is considered a choice (a rational choice) by individuals -the policy response is to enhance deterrence and punishment through get though policies -lead to more punitive approaches -also happening in UK and the U.S (but both currently withdrawing back from) Wilson and Herrnstein: Assessing Crime and Human Nature -their work implied that certain biological predispositions found disproportionately among the poor and may be responsible for excessive criminal behavior -the solution to crime (harsher punishments by parents and governments to teach morality) could not be backed with evidence not did they discuss the biases of the CJS and how rehab works Choosing to be Criminal: Crime Pays
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