CRIM 2650 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Routine Activity Theory, Environmental Criminology, Crime Prevention

69 views7 pages
12 Oct 2016
CRIM 2650 Lecture 03 Neo-Classical Criminology: Rational Choice, Deterrence
and Routine Activity Theories
Summary of Classical Criminology (Social Contract Theory)
Assumptions about the individuals of society (potential criminals) are free-willed,
rational, equal and calculating human beings
Assumptions about society: individuals enter into a binding agreement (social
contract) to find security and peace. They give p some of their rights and liberty to
the government in exchange for the government to protect them by making laws,
whoever violates this social contract will be punished
Summary of Key concepts
Rule of law: fixed and coded laws that apply to everyone equally (equality before
the law) and is opposed to arbitrariness without taking into consideration of class,
status, gender, etc. At this time, wealthy individuals influenced judges, as they
were corrupted and arbitrary in making decisions. Protection of individual rights
(right to protection from arbitrary power, and presumption of innocence) and the
law must be clear and precise.
Privilege of the aristocracy and the church have been limited in the rule of law,
and the new emerging class the Bourgeoisie has more power and influence over
the system
Issue of conflict in the rule of law regarding the privileged and the poor
Punishment: deterrence, proportionality to crime, certainty and swiftness.
Deterrence over vengeance.
Influence and Decline of Classical Criminology
The main idea here is about the rule of law and punishment, and how it shaped
modern CJS from the late 19th century
From the 19th century, research factors focused on biological, social, familial,
cultural or other factors that understand criminal behaviour besides rationality and
Many conventional criminology theories endorse some or most aspects of the rule
of law contribution to classical criminology, even when they disagree with the
rational actor and deterrence factors it is critical that criminology’s are more
critical, they problematize the legalistic definition of crime as its more limited
so the rule of law is a more grounded principle (to equal protection, rights,
presumption of innocence, etc.)
Historical Background of Neo-Classical Criminology
Despite the critiques against classical criminology, there is a renewal of interested
in classical criminology that is reformatted and applied to contemporary context
Neo-classical criminology emerged and mainly focused on deterrence assuming
that individuals are rational
Four factors that influenced the renewal:
1. Decline of the Welfare state 1945-WWII mid 1970s, political and economic
conditions were generally terrible to the welfare provision and the public
find more resources at
find more resources at
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 7 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
expanding of social services. Welfare driven approaches to become dominant
in criminology. The general idea was that individuals become criminals
because of lack of education and employment opportunities, poor family
socialization and psychological and biological problems. 1980s dismantling
of the welfare state and emergence of neo-liberal policies focused on cutting
public spending and social services and promoting individualistic issues such
as poverty and how its understood. Did not focus on reforming society but
crime prevention majors.
2. Unwillingness to discuss social conditions of crime; Structural problems
began to be understood as individualistic problem; if you’re poor it’s your
fault. Social problems of crime such as poverty were avoided, as it was
costly. They avoid theoretical discussions of why people commit crime as
they were much more practical.
3. In most cases these what works approaches follow common sense
approaches based on everyday observations without theoretical depth and
they make generalizations of what they see. Individuals without theoretical
knowledge will say idiomatic assumptions these approaches (similar to
today) focused on making models to reduce crime rates such as increase of
CCTV and surveillance (there is no long term thinking of crime as it
4. Rise of neo-conservatism ideology and the policies regarding the prevention
of crime. Both perspectives emerged disgusting the root causes of crime,
getting tough on criminals and crimes. The crime policies promote similar
approaches towards crimes (classical and conservatism). What are
differences? How they understand criminals and the way they behave is
different. Conservatism is more immoral and evil people, they like self
discipline and they do not agree with neo-classical discourses of criminology.
Crime is not only harmful but also offends the morals of society.
Neo-Classical Criminology (assumptions about individuals and society)
Mirrors the assumptions of classical criminology with a renewed emphasis on
individual responsibly, private property rights and minimal state intervention and
social policies to cut the social spending
Neo-classical is more practical while classical is more theoretical (rule of law)
Assumptions about individuals they are rational, competitive, and possessive
beings with free will. They are fully responsible for their actions (Every criminal
is fully individual and no excuse if they commit crime as they are held
Assumptions about society society and state are organized to protect individual
rights (primarily property rights). There should be minimal state intervention. The
state should be focused on protecting individual liberty and property and making
social reforms
This perspective is not to state for root cause of crimes or provide social services
but to make sure that individual liberty is protected or punished if disobeyed
Security and law provisions should be private to cut the public spending of
criminal justice issues
find more resources at
find more resources at
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 7 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Notes+

Unlimited access to class notes and textbook notes.

YearlyBest Value
75% OFF
$8 USD/m
$30 USD/m
You will be charged $96 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.