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CRM 100
Scott Clark

CRIM NOTES WEEK 1 Criminology  body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon  Making sense of observations about “crime” that are consistent with particular understandings of our social world  scientific study of crime and social responses to crime Social Control: the organized ways in which society responds to behaviour and people it regards as deviant, problematic, worrying, threatening, troublesome or undesirable in some way or another Criminal Justice: Criminal justice is the complex system, with many aims and agencies, which is used in the main by government to maintain social control, curtail crime, enforce laws and administer justice Norms: Established rules of behaviour or standards of conduct Deviance: Any behaviour or belief that is a violation of social norms that is likely to result in informal or formal condemnation Crime (Legal definition): Crime is an act that violates the criminal law and is punishable with jail terms, fines, and other sanctions. Unfounding: police don't believe there is enough evidence to support a crime Moral Panic: A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to…Sometimes the panic passes over and is forgotten, except in folklore and collective memory; at other times it has more serious and long-lasting repercussions and might produce such changes as those in legal and social policy or even in the way the society conceives itself Crime as a Social Construction:  Social construction: Knowledge is defined socially, through social interactions (crime is socially defined)  But who in society makes the decisions about what behaviours will be defined as “crimes” and how they will be responded to? WEEK 2 Brennan: Police Reported Crime Stats 2011  Police-reported crime decreased in 2011, continuing the downward trend seen over the past 20 years  Crime rate and severity dropped 6% in 2011 most parts of the country  Highest in the territories and SK, MB, BC  Lowest in ON, NB, PEI  NS above national index for eastern provinces  census metropolitan areas reported decreased CSIs - Regina had highest values, lowest in Guelph, QC, Tor and Ott.  declines in most violent offenses; increase in homicide, sexual offenses children, harassment, impaired driving and most drug offenses  homicide rate increased by 7%, largest increases in AB and QC, ON dropped 16% to lowest point since 60s  Winnipeg had highest homicide rate among CMAs (census metropolitan areas)  youth crime and CSI dropped 10%  Property crimes higher than violent crimes (reported)  General Social Survey (GSS) conducted every 5 years about victimization in sexual assault, robbery, physical assault, theft of personal property, break and enter, theft of motor vehicles or their parts, theft of household property and vandalism.  Good because it collects info on crimes not reported -- two- thirds of crime go unreported to police  Males account for 4/5 adults charged but female rates are increasing Sacco  Stats come to general public in 1 of 3 ways: 1) Data release 2) Debunking alleged statistical error 3) Use as background info Trends in Major Crime Categories:  Decreasing violent crime, property crime rate per 100, 000 for both Tor and CAN  Homicide crime rates really increased from mid 60s to mid/ late 70s and then decreased in 90s (CAN)  Homicide rates highest in '91, mainly decreased since then  Glasgow highest homicide rates; Lisbon lowest 2006 (Europe)  Detroit highest homicide rates; Toronto & Ottawa lowest (Can & Us) Issues in Measuring Crime:  Reliability: The consistency of results over time; i.e., would the methods & techniques used for data collection produce the same results again and again?  Validity: The extent to which the survey instrument (e.g., questionnaire, interview guide) actually measures what it is intended to measure.  Anecdotal Evidence: usually unreliable b/c small sample  Limitations of official crime statistics: • Subject to the resources of individual police departments • Subject to changes in legal definitions of crime • Does not capture crimes that are not reported to the police • Does not capture crimes that police designate as “unfounded”  SEXUAL ASSAULT unfounding extremely HIGH (30%)  Victimization Rates in order: household, violent, theft Limitations of victimization Survey: • Does not measure homicide • Subject to respondent disclosure – Telescoping – Memory & recall – Sensitivity • Response rates • Under represents certain groups of the population Uniform Crime Reporting Survey • Accessible • Fairly reliable – Based on Criminal Code definitions – Based on physical evidence & witnesses – Identify trends • Allows for comparisons – Between cities – Between provinces & territories Advantages of GSS •Includes unreported crime • Representative sample of the population • Measures the nature of victimization • Reliable & valid survey instrument **** Importance of using multiple forms of data and acknowledging their advantages and limitations WEEK 3 Social Organization: Small-scale hunting & gathering societies: • Main form of social organization up to about 10,000 years ago • No centralized power structure • Cooperation, mutual aid, kinship • Disputes resolved through self-restraint, mediation, public criticism, shaming rituals, temporary ostracism, expulsion from group From Small Scale to State -- As communities get bigger & more developed… • Growth and expansion of agriculture & farming • Tribalism • Concept of private property • Division of labour • Growth of inequality “The state”: A political institution with a centralized government that claims exclusive right to the legitimate exercise of force in a certain territory Early forms of state-based dispute resolution: • Elders’ Councils; Chieftainships; County courts • Feudalism in Western Europe (1000-1500) – Blood feuds & private revenge – Trial by ordeal • Entrenchment of Kingdoms – Magna Carta, 1215 – Legal tradition of common law Malleus Maleficarum: increased witch hunts b/c printing press SOCIAL CONTROL through public executions 18th C-
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