CRCJ 1000 Final: Crim final exam review

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Carleton University
Criminology and Criminal Justice
CRCJ 1000
Lara Karaian

CRIMINOLOGY 1000 EXAM REVIEW CLASSICAL THEORY OF CRIME Proposed radical new theory of the causes of crime: • People have free will-can choose to commit crime Ex. crime and deviance - not the result of some supernatural force or demonic possession • Crime is rational-People broke the law to advance their own interests • Crime is calculated (following a cost-benefit analysis) • Laws are used to control behavior (the response to crime is punishment) Laws are most effective in preventing crime if they are clear and simple enough that people can understand them. To be effective, punishment should be swift and certain: - If punishment takes too long after the act, or unlikely to happen at all, the law would not be an effective deterrent to crime - Deterrence: certainty that punishment is coming it was stops someone from committing a crime Specific reforms: • Stop executing people for minor offences • Criminal matters should be dealt with in public according to the dictates of the law • Laws should be accessible to all • Separate the lawmaking power of the legislature from the role of judges ▫ Laws to be set by legislatures while judges determined guilt and administered punishment CEASARE BECCARIA • All humans are responsible for their behavior • Little law • More due process • Nobody should be exempt from the law • Prevention better than punishment • Punishment should be used to deter • Punishment must be proportionate • Law should be written and punishments publicized • Punishment must be swift and certain and applied without prejudice Beccaria: ▪ People are rational and all human beings are responsible for their behavior. • Says the system needs to change. Death penalty was used to much, was inhumane and wanted that to change. • Utilitarian: acting In society in ways that benefit the greatest good. Greatest happiness for greatest number of people. Prevention of crime is a result of: - Shift away from capital punishments to prisons - More effective sight of meeting utilitarian goals of fixing the offender and protecting society - Certainty – how likely - Celerity – how quickly - Severity – how much pain BIOLOGICAL POSITIVISM (LOMBROSO) Used the scientific method (controlled observation) to study the causes of crime • compare criminals and noncriminal • Deterministic – Crime was caused by biological factors beyond the individual’s control • These theories were accepted at the time because ▫ They were “scientific” ▫ They blamed the individual, not society (unlike the Statistical school), which appealed to the ruling class Physiognomy- the study of facial features and their links to crime Phrenology – using the shape of the skull/bumps on the skull to determine whether these physical attributes are linked to criminal behaviour Lombroso observed physical differences between criminals and noncriminal. • Applied Darwin’s evolutionary theory to criminals who were deemed atavists (less evolved) • They are born criminals who can be distinguished by stigmata: the physical signs of their atavism Lombroso’s most lasting contribution was in relation to the criminal justice system 2 • Classical theorists said punishment should fit the crime, he said punishment should fit the criminal ▫ As such, he called for different treatment in the justice system for different kinds of criminals • Born criminals should be incarcerated to protect society ▫ But they should be treated leniently as they have no control over their behavior DANGEROUS POLICIES FROM BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS Biological explanations of crime could produce undesirable consequences such as:  Lower class citizens are punished more  Ignore flaws in the structure of society  Less concern for social programs  More jobs in the criminal justice system but it still remains inefficient  More jobs for Dr.s/ therapists to “correct” deficiencies PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY OF CRIME Examines criminality through theories of personality or learning that account for a person’s behaviour in a specific situation Most theories entail one of two assumptions: ▫ Assumption of offender deficit  Something is psychologically wrong with the offender ▫ Assumption of discriminating traits  Offenders differ from non-offenders, esp. in impulsivity and aggression PSYCHOANALYTIC THEORY Associated with Sigmund Freud, although he did not apply his theory to criminality Others have tried to explain criminal behavior with psychoanalytic concepts ▫ Interested in subconscious and how it impacts of behaviors Basic premise is that individuals go through different stages of development: (1) oral, (2) anal, (3) phallic, (4) latency (5) genital Personality is composed of three forces: • Id: biological drives • Ego: directs the impulses of the id and acts as a reality tester 3 • Superego: conscience Id: Part of personality that is unconscious. Including primitive instincts. Primary part of psychology, personality. Driven by the pleasure principle. Want to gratify desires. Ego: Reality principle. When the child faces the real world. Personality that helps the Id Function in socially acceptable ways. Helps you deal with the fact your desires are not being met Superego: Internalized moral and social standards that guide behavior. Develop a conscience. • Crime results when ego and superego cannot control themselves. Harsh Super Ego - Leads to act in ways to alleviate extreme guilt and acting act. - Seek out punishment Weak Super Ego - Self centered and impulsive. - Lack guilt Deviant Super Ego - Through development process, exposed to deviant norms and deviant parents now developed deviant super ego and might actually commit crime. MORAL DEVELOPMENT Criminal behavior understood by focusing on how we develop (or fail to develop) a sense of morality and responsibility Jean Piaget ▫ Studied children playing ▫ Moral reasoning was learned in stages ▫ Children go from egocentrism (because they lack empathy) to cooperation (by age 11 or 12) Kohlberg Three levels & 6 stages ▫ Everyone goes through them in order, but pace may vary and some get stuck 3 Levels: Preconventional: the roles and social expectations are external to the individual Conventional: the person understands and accepts and upholds rules of society Postconventional: the person critically examines customs from chosen principles; few attain this level 4 6 stages of moral development: 1. Preconventional: act out of self interest 2. Late Preconventional: individuals become more practical 3. Conventional: strive for social approval 4. Late Conventional: the conscience develops a sense of duty to society 5. Postconventional: appreciates larger principles and rights of individuals 6. Late Postconventional: individuals are oriented to decisions of conscience and ethical principles CLASSICAL CONDITIONING Ivan Pavlov ▫ Salivating dogs experiment Eysenck’s Theory of Crime and Personality The dimensions of personality: ▫ extraversion vs. introversion ▫ neuroticism vs. stability ▫ Psychoticism ▫ Extraverted, neurotic, and psychotic persons are more likely to be delinquent or criminal However, research shows mixed results in their association with crime OPERANT CONDITIONING B.F. Skinner Rewards and punishments can increase the probability of a given response ▫ Reward reinforces a behavior ▫ Punishment weakens a behavior ▫ This technique is used as the basis to change the antisocial behavior of delinquents and criminals STRAIN THEORY • Fits with the Consensus perspective • Crime is a social phenomenon • Crime is caused by social disjuncture, or social processes that represent social strain within a society 5 • Main focus of analysis is strain associated with “structural opportunities” and “cultural processes” EMILIE DURKHEIM - French sociologist, wrote Division of Labour in Society (1893) Demonstrated the close relationship between social structure (the organization of society) and the norms and values of society (social and cultural life) • Emphasized social cohesion and the social restraints that prevented crime Societies operate in one of two ways  Mechanical solidarity  Organic solidarity Both societies are characterized by a particular form of collective conscience ▫ The nature of the society in which one lives will determine how deviants are dealt with A certain amount of crime is normal and plays a number of important functions: - adaptive function: it introduces new ideas and practices into society. - boundary maintenance function: it reinforcing social values and norms. Durkheim and ANOMIE State of normlessness – explained crime rates; confusion about social norms  Due to rapidly changing society  When systems of regulation and moral constraints are insufficient to effectively limit individual desires  Anomie and Suicide ROBERT MERTON & ANOMIE Applied the idea of anomie to the American situation in 1938 Modified Durkheim– anomie theory became a theory of relative deprivation rather than a theory of a lack of norms and social regulation Merton shifted focus to opportunity structures  Crime was primarily lower class, so less evenly distributed than Durkheim would have predicted Society has two parts 6  Cultural structure (goals of society)  Social structure (means by which goals are pursued) ‘A strain to Anomie’ - Disjunction between goals and means creates strain - Crime is the result of the gap between culturally prescribed aspirations and the socially structured means of realizing the aspirations - People respond to strain in 5 different ways (some deviant, some not) - Conformity; innovation; ritualism; retreatism; rebellion MERTON & MICRO ANOMIE Micro-anomie: • The individual is in a state of anomie • The individual places more emphasis on self-interest than collective values • Konty: students who favoured self-enhancing values over self-transcending values were more likely to have reported criminal and deviant acts Messner and Rosenfeld’s theory of institutional anomie • American Dream emphasizes monetary success but places less emphasis on legitimate means of achieving that success • This directly encourages people to use illegal means to get money • It indirectly encourages crime by emphasizing the economy above all other institutions GENERAL STRAIN THEORY Robert Agnew Strain can be experienced directly, but it can also be anticipated and vicarious ▫ Ex. if one anticipates being attacked on the way to school, one may skip school, which could lead to other problems Three types of strain: 1) Failure to achieve positively valued goals. ▫ - Disparity between aspiration and achievement, ▫ - Expectations and achievement. ▫ - what is perceived as an outcome and what is the actual outcome. 2) Denial or removal of previously attained positive achievements (privileges, opportunities, relationships) 3) Exposure to negative or noxious stimuli (abusive relationships at home or work) 7 Strain alone does not always produce delinquency Strains are more likely to lead to delinquency if they have certain characteristics: • High in magnitude • Unjust • Linked to low social control • When the crime pays off • When strain is resolved through contact with people who are involved with crime Assessing Strain Theory Strengths include: • 1)Drawing our attention to the social, cultural and economic circumstances that lead to crime • 2) Pointing to the relationship between particular forms of social organization and particular levels of crime • 3)Drew attention to the unintended consequences of the social goals of a drive for an individualistic economic achievements • 4)Demonstrated the vulnerability of the working class to and poorer communities to strain and crime Criticisms include: 1) Overemphasis on the crimes of the poor and the ignoring of the crimes of the powerful or middle class - such as corporate crime 2) Exaggerates the idea that financial success is the main goal or the general acceptance of middle-class values and the American dream 3) Doesn’t’ look closely enough to the socio-political circumstances of crime , 4) Not clear how general anomie theory explains the crimes of the middle class 5) Not clear how it explains the variety of forms of offending- such as sexual violence 6) Generally doesn’t take into consideration human agency 7) Doesn’t look closely enough at how social control produce some people as deviants and others as not deviants GROUP CONFLICT THEORY • focuses on crime that occurs due to conflict between competing “interest” groups • Law-making is a political process involving conflict between interest groups 8 • “Those who produce legislative majorities win control over the police power and dominate the policies that decide who is likely to be involved in violation of the law” (Vold, 1958, 209) 2 classes of group conflict can result in criminal behavior • Crime occurs - conflict between the behavior of a minority group and the laws of the dominant majority • Crime occurs - conflict between competing interest groups vying for power Conflict theory criticized for only explaining a narrow range of crimes QUINNEY’S GROUP CONFLICT THEORY Six propositions: 1. Crime is a product of legal definitions 2. Crime is behavior that conflicts with the interests of segments that have the power to shape policy 3. Powerful segments also enforce and administrates the law 4. People in less powerful segments of society are more likely to have their behavior criminalized 5. Conceptions of crime are constructed and diffused in the segments of society by various means of communication (the mass media) 6. The social reality of crime is constructed by the formulation and application of criminal definitions KARL MARX Concerned with relations of production in industrial capitalist societies - Capitalist Class (bourgeoisie)-owned the means of production - Working Class (proletariat)-had to sell their labor in order to survive - Lumpenproletariat-a class of people who are denied productive work and thus their human nature - In our postindustrial, capitalist society, property, wealth and power become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands- those of the capitalist class - A capitalist economic system invariably produces haves and have-nots. - economic competitiveness is the essence of capitalism, this breeds conflict and destabilizes both social institutions and social groups MARXIST CRIMINOLOGISTS - DEFINITION OF CRIME 9 • Crime is a political concept • Concept of crime is designed by those in power and position of the upper classes at the expense of the poor • determining what is “crime” is difficult if the laws reflect the interests of the ruling class • many types of social harm may not be incorporated into the criminal law if they go against capitalist interests MARXIST CRIMINOLOGISTS - CAUSES OF CRIME Depending on the class position of the offender and the choices they make: ▫ Economics and State Crimes of the powerful ▫ Economic and socio-cultural Crimes of the less powerful MARXIST CRIMINOLGY – CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION • Punishment of crime in a capitalist society is understood by Marxist criminologists as a way to police and regulate those who threaten private property relations and the public order • Crime prevention involves radical democracy; collective ownership and control over means of production; redistribution of social resources according to need LABELLING THEORY • Is concerned with what happens after an act is committed, not what happens before; • Argues that deviance doesn’t reside in the person or in the act, but in the reaction to it; • Pays attention to how reactions to people/acts consist of applying labels, and the impact that those labels may have on the person and our understanding of the act • Influential in ensuring Diversion from the CJS is practiced wherever possible, particularly with youth • Does not provide any explanation for why people offend in the first place (primary deviation) • There are still a number of crimes that are characterized by high social agreement (consensus) (ex: murder)-focusing on social reaction alone distorts the reality of this harmful criminal behavior • Not always clear what gives people the capacity to reject labels (there is extreme variability to how people respond to labels in practice) • Others actively embrace deviant labels or reject the labeling of the CJS as itself deviant (the labeling of their protest as terrorism by the state as what is deviant) • Focusing on the power of CJS actors to label misses an analysis of the wider distribution of power and inequality in society 10 STIGMA Ex. Easy A movie HIRISCHI AND THE SOCIAL BOND • Individuals are more likely to turn to illegitimate means if their bonds to society are weak or broken 4 linked aspects of social bonds constrain our behaviour: a. Attachment b. Commitment c. Involvement d. Belief DELINQUENT PEERS • By combining differential association theory and control theory, a better overall explanation of crime is obtained ▫ Differential association’s emphasis on ties to deviant peers exposes social bonds as multidimensional: conventional and unconventional ▫ The adolescent’s lack of ties to the conventional order will increase association with deviant peers since the adolescent has nothing to lose by this affiliation ▫ These ties will increase the probability that the adolescent will be involved in deviance COPORATE AND WHITE COLLAR CRIME • How do white collar and corporate crime differ from one another and from other forms of crime? • Why is it that white collar and corporate crime are subject to relatively little attention by criminal justice agencies? • Why, even when punishment is imposed, are the penalties relatively slight? • Why do such questions remain largely marginal to the preoccupations of mainstream criminology? EDWIN H. SUTHERLAND (1939) White-Collar Crime • Introduced the term White-Collar Crime (WCC)— “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation” (1940) • Crime stats paint a false picture-based on unequal application of criminal law • Revealed widespread illegality among the 70 largest corporations in the U.S 11 • White-collar offending is not only prevalent but also serious in terms of costs to society (more costly than street crime) Employed Labeling theory- not all acts that are harmful are labeled as criminal, not all actors who perpetrate harm are labeled as criminals • “normal business” vs. “criminal act” • Limited role of criminal justice system with respect to WCC WHITE COLLAR VS. CORPORATE CRIME Occupational (White Collar crimes): Commercial crimes committed by people within corporations or businesses during the course of their employment for personal gain (such as embezzlement) Organisational (Corporate Crimes): Crimes committed by corporations or businesses via the people within them, with the aim of furthering the interests of the corporation as well as those individuals involved (such as fraud, failure to observe health and safety legislation to help cut costs).
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