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Becceria Part 2.docx

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York University
Social Science
SOSC 2650
Anita Lam

October, 3, 2013 Lecture 4” Beccaaria's legacy: Contemporary deterrence theory, rational choice theory, routine activities theory and CPTED Lecture overview: Beccaria's Legacy • Recap • Beccaria's impact in contemporary criminological theory and research -Deterrence Theory - Rational choice Theory - Routine activist Theory. Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson (1979) • Policy implications: situational crime prevention and crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED 1) Recap • Enlightenment = Rational approach to punishment • Utilitarian approach: Crime defined as harm to society (rather than morality) • crime prevention: Deterrence • Because we put the same amount of liberty, we are equal within the law = Beccaria. • Laws need to be publicly available • Severity of punishment should be proportionate to the severity of the offense not be overly sever • No consideration of offender's intent (Mens Rea) - No Rehabilitation • different offenders have different intents; his theory is not about criminality. We are all motivated offenders *when you do not consider the offender then there is no reason for you to be rehabilitated • Classical criminology 2) Beccaria's Impact on contemporary criminological research • Empirically testing deterrence theory • General deterrence - Celerity (speed) of punishment - Certainty of punishment • severity of punishment • we should see a decrease in crime if we see these three deterrence theories. A) Celerity of punishment • Court delays - 2007: an average if 9.2 court appearances before charge is brought to completion in Ontario courts -Average of 205 days before one criminal case is completed problematic because not all people are out on bail by their trial time, • Celerity of Law enforcement - Toronto Police homicide clearance in 2010 all the crimes that are to be committed; the rate to which police can solve crimes and can make an arrest • what are we looking at? In the 1960 's they solved 95% of such a low clearance rate demonstrates that we can not have a deterrence late because the speed of law enforcement is so low and the certainty is low B) Certainty of Punishment • if the probability of arrest, conviction and punishment increases, then crime rates should decline -arrest in * of all reported crimes • Ambivalent research findings because the certainty of punishment is Group-Specific • Crime-Specific • Justification for greater police resources C) Severity of punishment • Severe punishment by itself cannot deter would-be criminals and reduce crime • E.G. Increased mandatory minimum penalties for impaired driving (2008) - 1 offence fine increased from $600 to $1000 - 2 offence: 14 days in jail increased to 30 days rd - 3 offence: 90 days in jail increased to 120 days Rethinking Deterrence • Perceptual deterrence theory • Interaction between specific and general deterrence • informal sanctions Perceptual deterrence theory • perceptions of the costs and benefits of committing crime, not objective risks and benefits • what do you think are your chances of getting caught? What do you think will happen to you once you are caught? • Mixes Results - Perception of certainty more important then perception for severity • connected to specific and general deterrence Interaction Between Specific and General Deterrence • people have directly experienced punishment (specific deterrence) and indirectly experience the dear of punishment (general deterrence) • Vicarious deterrence (a kid who is being punished in the park) • Punishment avoidance ( its not true that in every case you do something wrong that you will get into trouble; experienced by carelessly) • Canceling our effect (one mistake cancel's the other one out( • resetting and the gambler's fallacy (an experienced gets caught maybe numerous times, but he doesn't stop offending, he thinks that maybe next time he wont get caught) Informal Sanctions • significant others express disapproval, anger and indignation toward offender parents, friends, loved ones show anger or diapration towards you over you offending; you suffer a loss of respect.Aform of public humiliation and increase the cost of crime • Non-Legal costs (see textbook p.281): stigma of arrest, attachment costs, socially-imposed costs and self-imposed costs • you might lose family members, or you might feel embarrassed when walking out or feel guilt or shame • people are far more influenced about what family and friends think about you rather than what the police will think of you Rational choice Theory: Beccaria's Legacy • Beccaria: people have free will and their behavior can be explained by hedonism (Human Nature and reason) crime is a choice because we have free will - Criminal inclination is normal; if people thought committing crime could give them pleasure then they would do it. • We are all motivated offenders given the right situation and circumstances - E.G. What is the percentage of men that would commit rape if they could be sure that they would not get caught? (Malamuth et al. 1980) - Self-Report Rational choice Theory • Enlightenment reason vs. passion - instrumental crime vs. expressive crime - E.
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