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CRM1300E - Sept 11.docx

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What is Crime What do criminologists doCriminology is The prominent sociologist Edwin Sutherland described criminology as the body of knowledge regarding delinquency and crime as social phenomena It includes within its scope the process of making laws of breaking laws and of reacting towards the breaking of laws sutherland and Cressey 1960 This description accurately summarizes the three main branches of criminologySociology of law 60 of lawCriminologists examine and evaluate the origins nature application and modification of our criminal laws Criminologists recognize the fact that laws do not simply exist rather they are consciously created and maintained by members of a society Laws also reflect cultural values they will differ significantly across societies and will change over time to reflect changing values beliefs and social realitiesCriminal etiologyCriminologists attempt to identify the causes of criminal behaviour Most modern theories of crime are derived from the major sociological perspectives structural functionalism social conflict and symbolic interactionism Explanations of criminal behaviour range from individuals having ambitious goals but no legal way to reach them to the idea that like other behaviours criminal behaviour is learned from those we spend time with to the assertion that powerful members of society act to criminalize the behaviours that threaten their power and positionPenologyCriminologists explore the agencies and processes concerned with the apprehension and treatment of offenders These include police the courts and the correctional system The motives underlying the various societal responses to crime range from the desire for retribution an eye for an eye to the desire for restoration taking whatever steps are necessary to undo the negative effects of the offenseIn sum the discipline of criminology involves the systematic study of the nature and causes of crime in general as well as examining the institutions charged with responding when a crime is committed Criminologists seek to develop knowledge and interventions that can help to address the issue of crime as a social problemclass notesFields in Crime
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