Chapter 3 Lecture Notes: Understanding Crime and Victimization

4 Pages

Criminal Justice
Course Code
CRJS 181
Christina Mancini

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Intro to Criminal Justice, CRJS 181, 003, 23200, Mancini: Lecture Notes 9/5/13 Chapter 3 Terms Referenced: General Deterrence, Specific Deterrence, Neurotransmitters, Antisocial personality, Strain, Social Control Theory, Social Reaction (labeling) theory, Critical criminology, Developmental theories, Latent trait theories, Life course theories, Routine Activities theory. Choice Theory  People chose to commit crime. Radical thought in 17 century. Radical because crime was attributed to demons, evil spirits. Introduced free will. Is environment conducive to crime? Isolated target?  We want to make the offender think the punishment is going to be swift and certain. Situational Crime Prevention  Increase the effort needed to commit the crime (e.g. target hardening)  Increase the risks of being apprehended after committing crime (e.g.; better lighting)  Reduce the rewards for committing the crime (e.g. personalizing property)  Induce shame or guilt (e.g. MADD, “John’s lists”).  Reduce provocation (e.g., early closing time for bars to reduce drinking exposure/ aggression).  Remove excuses (e.g., flashing roadside speed monitoring, brightly colored litter boxes). General Deterrence – Instilling fear into all of us so we don’t even think about committing a crime Specific Deterrence – Instilling fear in someone who has already broken the law ex) death penalty, mandatory sentencing, aggressive policing. Trait Theories- something within offender is wrong  Crime is caused by inherited and uncontrollable biological and psychological traits: o Pathology  Intelligence  Body build  Personality  Biomedical make-up Biochemical factors  Environmental contaminants have been shown to influence brain functioning and intelligence levels.  Some research has linked antisocial behavior to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food additives and improper diet. o Hypoglycemia o Excessive levels of testosterone have been linked to violence and aggression. (ex) rapists. Child molesters have been shown to have lower levels of testosterone. o Lead – indirect effect, lower IQ, effects the brain. Neurological Factors  Some suspect that the cause of abnormal neurological function is impairment. Genetic factor Are violent tendencies hereditary? Ex) twins raised in different environments are still very similar in personality and interests. Genetics does have a certain affect. Psychological theories – something psychologically wrong with offender. Ex) mental illness. Not all mentally ill commit crime. Mentally ill folks are more likely to come under the attention of law enforcement. Psychodynamic theory  Some people encounter problems during their early development that cause an imbalance in their personality Behavioral Theory  View criminal behavior as learned through interactions with other (positive/negative reinforcement) o Behavior that is rewarded becomes habitual o Behavior that is punished becomes extinguished o Conditioning rather than rationality Cognitive theory  Misperceiving a certain act. Innocent actions seem sexual.  Concerned w
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