Intro to Criminal Justice, CRJS 181, 003, 23200, Mancini: Lecture Notes 9/5/13
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.
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?
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:
Environmental contaminants have been shown to influence brain functioning and intelligence
Some research has linked antisocial behavior to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food additives
and improper diet.
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.
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
Some people encounter problems during their early development that cause an imbalance in
View criminal behavior as learned through interactions with other (positive/negative
o Behavior that is rewarded becomes habitual
o Behavior that is punished becomes extinguished
o Conditioning rather than rationality
Misperceiving a certain act. Innocent actions seem sexual.