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Anita Lam (13)

Lombroso Part 2.docx

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Social Science
SOSC 2650
Anita Lam

October,17,2013 Midterm- December 17, 7-9 Lecture 5: Lombroso's legacy: Contemporary Biosocial theories 1) Recap : Lombroso and the born criminal 2) policy implications 3) Lombroso's legacy: contemporary biosoical theories • Biosocial theories of crime causation • Evolutionary psychology 1) Recap: Lombroso and the Born Criminal • born criminals have inherited criminal traits - Determined by factors beyond a persons control. • Richard Dugdale (1975) the Jukes: - “Fornication is the backbone of their habits, flanked on one side by pauperism, on the other by crime. The secondary features are prostitution, with its complement of bastardy; exhaustion, with its complement intemperance and its resultant unbalanced minds” - gave support to degeneration - 1200 descendants of the jukes: 7 murders, 60 habitual thieves, 90+ criminals, 50 prostitutes and 280 paupers best example of the degenerate theory • Vs. Edwards family • Degeneration; assumption that devolution was occurring in the society, human spices was not evolving into a civilized society but there was a form of regression • Lombroso and the born criminal • inherited biological traits are visibly manifested on the criminal's body - Criminal types - Physiognomy - Phrenology; analyze the bumps and indentation of the skull; would relate to the persons' intelligence or personality trait • Born criminals suffer from atavistic anomalies (abnormalities) - Darwinian evolution theory • Criminal anthropology: scientific study - Positivist school of criminology -Abnormality - Pathological perspective: Bad > sick; pathology in terms of sickness, criminals create crime because they are sick • under the classical school some people were bad because they freely made bad choices; some people are bad bec0ause they are sick and therefore could not properly reason; and their sickness is beyond their individual control that we cannot hold them fully responsible for their actions. • most crimes are not committed by ordinary individuals, but looking at abnormal individuals. Weakness in Lombroso's conclusions • Did not use a rigorous scientific method: no control group never compared his criminal theory with the population as a controlled group • Skewed sample of criminals all the people he studied in prison, and critic say what about the criminals and their traits who were never caught and put in his prison • Biological traits that Lombroso might not be purely hereditary - might be due to environmental conditions: e.g., poor health care or poor nutrition - Biochemical conditions associated with criminal behavior. The “Twinkies Defense” • Dan white; argue for diminished capacity because he was charged with first degree murder because he had attempted to assassinate the San Francisco mayor. • Suffering from depression and the twinkle was the reason he was so depressed and became a criminal. • Connection between violent behavior and diet high in sugar and carbohydrates some have found a connection and some have not • Hypoglycemia a condition where you have low blood sugar levels; lower than normal. 2) Policy Implications • Criminal types and offender profiling • Intermediate or indefinite sentencing -Mentally disordered offenders underlies our understanding of order in Canada; this can be possible; you get a disposition saying you're not criminally responsible but you still have to pay the consequences you can be released in society, you can be released in society with some limits (taking pills) and some can be sent to hospitals. - Dangerous offenders the modern equivalent to what Lombroso calls the born criminal; for Lombroso he says that there is no way to rehabilitate a person or to give them treatment; the best we can do is separate that criminal from society on the logic of social concern *Born criminal most dangerous types; recommend permanent segregation from the rest of society in the form of incapacitation * Incapacitation * social defence: protection of society against crime * Prison as warehouse Policy implications: when scientific theory used to justify normative theory • Dangerous state policies: -Social Darwinism: ** Concerned with reproduction among “degenerates” (chocaholics, criminals, lower classes, |colored races, the feeble-minded, e.t.c) • Eugenics: improve the genetic composition of the overall population - Nazi Germany and the creation of “pure” German race - Canada:Alberta and British Columbia occasion for sterilization ** IQ tests and the feeble-minded (mentally disabled, mentally deficient) • dangerous implications that theorists have in today's society • 1980s: return to biological theories - Micro unit of analysis and change ( the pathological individual) • Reaganism and conservative law-and-order ideology servedAmerican politics - Manipulate public fear of crime - Introduce increasingly harsher and punitive sanctions led to the possibilities of the tough on crime approaches • Canadian context: PM Mulroney (1984-1990) - Criminal Justice: security and liberty • should balance societies interest against the individuals interest in society Lombroso's legacy • Biosocial theory: human behavior is a product of interaction biological and environmental factors - Contemporary biosocial theories - Evolutionary psychology Contemporary Biosocial theories Basic premises 1) assumption that genetic makeup contributes significantly to human behavior • Not equipotentiality(assumption that all humans are born with equal potential to learn and to achieve) • the only two people that might be alike are genetic twins • Twin studies - If inherited traits cause criminal behaviors, then twins should be quite similar in their antisocial behaviors • if criminal tendency is genetically determined then twins should be very similar in behaviors; the problem is that twins also share the same environmental intelligence. So
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