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CRIM 2650
Anita Lam

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CRIM 2650 [email protected] – office hours: Thursdays from 10:45-12:00pm Room 721 South Ross [email protected] – miles wiesel – office hours: Tuesdays 12:00-2:00, Wed 1:00-2:00 th September 6 , 2012 September 13 , 2012 Scientific Theory - Criminology as social science modelled on physical sciences - Reduce phenomenon to variables and measure correlation between variables - Q: what is x? how does x work? Why does x work that way? - Example: Poverty vs Crime – reduce concepts into measurable variables [operationalize] Poverty - education, social status(individual), household income, geographical location, employment [operationalize] Crime - individual event (where the law is broken [formal definition of crime]), motivation - violent, sexual offenses follow a normative definition of crime (crimes that violate basic cultural norms or standards of behaviour in our society, resulting in punishment). Follow category of “Mala in Se” that are immoral - Formal definitions of crimes known as “mala prohibita” because they are prohibited by law, but due not trigger same moral responses - end goal is to find a general universal law that we can apply to a comparison – “poverty in Canada is related in X way by looking at homicides”. A good theory is one that has good predictive power* - A theories predictive power is based on being able to create hypotheses…testing theory against new facts -> testing a theory proves whether it is empirically valid or not Normative Theory - Answering questions about how things SHOULD work - No longer understood as only social science, but also as an ethical and legal enterprise - We begin to question values and ethics – normative theories usually associated with policy and policy choices (a choice of action designed to solve a problem -> a particular course of action chosen among alternative courses of action) - Two are compared because at the end of the day, policy choices are choices based on values - What is the best criminal justice system? What is the best model of society? What is the best possible law in X case?  example questions* - Less about facts, more about values  take the form of an argument, because we are making a claim for the kind of world we would want to see - Scientific theories are descriptive and predictive, meanwhile normative theories are PRESCRIPTED  e.g. prescribe a particular course of action – deals with reform - “” if we do find this comparison between two variables, what do we do? (once we ask what do we do, we enter the normative theory section) Critical Theory - Primarily found when we look at critical criminology  different because it focuses on implications of doing criminology - Not interested in cumulative facts, nor does it judge what is right or wrong - Acquiring into possibilities of knowledge, inquiring into the limits of knowledge - What are the historical, material, economic or sociopolitical conditions that give rise to X? What makes X possible? What makes our PRESENT circumstances possible? - Critical does not mean CRITICISM, it means CRITIQUE - What makes the relationship between and crime possible in the first place? Why do we find this relationship?  In a capitalistic society there is bound to have class conflict b/w those with more resources than others. Certain classes making the laws to maintain their power base over other classes. Evaluating Theory - Scientific Theory – empirically valid, testability, logical consistency, usefulness and policy implications - Normative Theory (values) – logical consistency, usefulness and policy implications - Critical Theory (conditions of possibility) – empirically valid, logical consistency Terrie Moffit: Adolescent-limited and life-course persistent Offenders - Group of people who show observable antisocial conduct during a young age and continue to an old age. Estimated to make up 5-10% of the male population. - A scientific theory: what is an adolescent limited life course offender? How does it work?  you want to declare your independence - Why do people persist and why do people desist? Is there a psychological difference? Is it a matter of environmental conditions?  questions that help test validity - Normative Theory: what should we do? We can rehabilitate life-course offenders or divert them to a better path - Critical Theory: adolescent limited offenders only make sense in western cultures, where we have cultural assumptions of what adolescence entails. Concept of life course persistent offenders is intuitive, because in our culture we have pervasive understanding that good people exist that are law abiding, and bad people who are criminal. - Law and order ideology – we need more laws and harsher laws to create order – be tough on offenders. Theory and Context - Theory is not created/applied in a vacuum, it is created in a social context, and applied in one as well. Garland and Sparks - Reflexive exercise: criminology is put into a social context th - Modern criminology (emerged end of 19 century) VS 1970’s and Onward - Before it was only scientific theory, discovering the causes of crime – goal to better rehabilitate criminals  policies were based on scientific findings - Today, academic criminologists would say criminology is failing, stating that it no longer helps change policies - Policies are mostly based on political and cultural considerations – with much less interest in rehabilitation and retributive components - Criminology is no longer the domain of criminologists, many people believe they can speak as authoritatively regarding criminology as academics The Disconnect between academic criminology and policy/culture - Since 1960s to early 1990s, Canadian politicians have been on same page regarding criminal justice policies – always in favour of rehabilitation, and showing restraint when handing out prison sentences (always think of alternatives to prison sentences) - With election of Harper, a shift of rehabilitation to retributive goals was made  harsher punishments were the better solution to crime (new mandatory minimum sentences) - Harper has a law and order ideology – a response to people’s fear of crime - Canada has a declining crime rate, and an overall decline in violent crimes - Although there is a decrease in crime, majority of people believe that crime has actually increased  a DISCONNECT Context for Reading Beccaria - Considered first theory on penal law – had immediate impact on European countries - Torture of the accused was immediately abolished th - 18 century continental Europe – death penalty was common and used wildly, along with torture and bodily mutilation - Criminal punishments were decided behind closed doors – Judges decided on their own whims, not with a rationale - Presumption of innocence before the law did not exist – the accused had to prove their innocence - Confession after torture would be used as conclusive truth Cesare Beccaria - Italian aristocrat - Was an introvert - Had no empirical or scientific evidence on penal law – his theories were all normative - His brothers wrote a book on torture/visited prison – this was his knowledge that based his theories SEPTEMBER 20 , 2012 - FOCUS ON BECCARIA’S ESSAY Context: The Enlightenment - Theory is developed in a context  enlightenment as a context is crucial in understanding ideas in crimes and punishment - Belief in human reason and applied it in how we should structure justice system - Goal was to change judicial thinking to a new approach based on reason & humanity th - Enlightenment occurred in 18 century, a movement that aimed to mobilize reason and the power of reason  need reason to reform current practices in society & advance knowledge - Knowledge and reason spreads the universal appeal of liberty th - 18 century Europe was a time of peace and prosperity  arts/culture flourishing - People had believed in progress  progress tied to advancement of knowledge - Knowledge was considered universal truth  middle ages had two forms of knowledge: religious texts, and classical texts (if knowledge was not from there it was suspicious). Values and traditions were important in middle ages th - Knowledge came from new discovers, explorations, and inventions in 18 century - Idea that new knowledge would lead to progress - Argued that we should free ourselves from shackles of authority and tradition - Immanuel Kant: What is Enlightenment (essay)  defined enlightenment as the freedom to use our own intelligence. We can only become free and enlightened when we free ourselves from our self- incurred tutelage (state of being tutored) - Need enlightenment to continue self-improvement, and self-education (kant notes) - Enlightenment is built on reason  reflexivity - Two sources of where we got new knowledge: philosophy (important for eliminating prejudices, biases, th and superstitions), and science (believed it was important to be empirically valid in 18 century) – - Liberty enlightening the world ~ statue of liberty – “The Light of Reason” - Most theories include symbols and rhetoric – binary opposites: Reason – Passion  believed you can’t have both at once Light – Darkness Science & philosophy – ignorance: prejudice, superstition, tradition, barbaric customs Order – Disorder Good – Evil Humane – Cruel - Darkness and passion were associated with darkness of spiritualism - Spiritualistic explanations of crime depended on belief of god and evil demons - In middle ages when this idea grew, it became known as the “Dark Ages” - Crimes were Sins and Sins were Crime  crimes were morally bad if they were a sin - Crimes were going against God’s laws, not humans laws - Believed that if a crime was committed in this framework, it was because you were possessed by demons - Used “Trial by Battle” (ancient form of conflict resolution b/w private parties)  victory would go to the person who believed/trusted God the most - Also used “Trial by Ordeal”  God would save the innocent in all situations - “Trial by Water”  tied hands and legs; if you were guilty you would float (because of magic). If you were innocent then you would sink - Beccaria advocating for secular criminal justice system - Darkness was also associated with ignorance  passion understood as ignorance - Judges were said to hold prejudice when deciding solely on whims and passion - Sentencing Disparity: Same Crimes punished in Different manners in same court - Application of law is application of reason, and when we apply reason we get order - Passion leads to sentence disparity, which leads to disorder  creates evil/injustice - Reason takes form of consistency  meant to minimize inconsistency - Judges would sentence without regard to accused race, age, socio-economic status, gender, or sexual orientation - Would only consider: severity of offence, and offenders criminal history - Beccaria’s framework would solely be based on severity of offence committed - Concept of reason was different from reason today  it was rational but it included component of humanitarianism - We assume that good scientific facts are separate from values th - Facts & Values went hand in hand in 18 century - Rational actions were humane actions - When we are to have rational punishments, they should not be severe, because they should also be humane punishments - All our punishments should be as less severe as possible, because state should not be cruel to its citizens - This cruelty could lead to a brutalization effect (18 century version)  “the countries and times most notorious for severity of punishments were always those in which the most bloody and inhuman actions and the most atrocious crimes were committed; for the hand of the legislator and the assassin were directed by the same ferocity” - When the state gives out severe punishments, it is no better than violent criminal - Today, brutalization effect studied in regards to capital punishments: number of homicides slightly increase before/during/after the event  desensitizes the public to the idea of murder, and the state is engaged in killing which legitimizes the killing of people with past deeds - This is bad because the state typically provides the guidelines for how we could act nd - 2 major assumption of beccaria’s work is that he assumes we have rational actors - Human beings are assumed to be rational actors because we can reason - Reason assumes that people can choose how they act by calculating pros/cons - Hedonism  model of human behaviour that beccarias thought is used by - Considered the father of Rational Choice Theory  whatever we choose to do, or should do, we should consult the human heart to find foundation of sovereign’s right to punish - Today, reason is privilege over passion Social Contract Theory - In state of nature, humans were naturally free and independent individuals who looked out for self- interests - Lived in a continual state of insecurity because they were living in continual state of war - Thomas Hobbes, in 17 century, wrote Leviathan (1651)  described state of nature as war of every man against every man - Hobbes assumed all human beings were naturally aggressive and self-interested. Meanwhile, Beccaria felt that our self-interest and aggression was tempered by some sense of humane feeling - Humans had to give up some of natural liberty to live in society together - We are considered equals because we all gave same portion of liberty - Sum of all those portions of liberty was used to constitute sovereignty of the nation - Sovereign before was a royal figure, today it is the government - Once social contract occurs, we have a sovereign (giving the power to create laws/punish)  offenders are violating the social contract - [social contract] This means we should be treated equally before and under the law - As Beccaria writes “I understand nothing more than that bond which is necessary to keep the individuals united, without which men would return to their original state of barbarity” - Sovereign must make just laws, JUST laws are those that are absolutely necessary for preserving the social contract  anything above that is abusive and tyrannical What are the effects of using Social Contract Theory? - 1. We assume societal consensus between equal individuals. We should all be treated equally before and under the law. People are equal because we are all naturally free and independent. We all have the power to reason. We can choose to commit crime if it brings pleasure or helps avoid pain. Therefore, no distinction between criminals and law-abiding citizens. - 2. When using Beccarian or Social Contract theory, it focuses on acts not the people who commit them. By focusing on crime you are focusing on criminal, and we can all be criminals (refer to point 1 if confused). - 3. Assumed that liberty and security would go hand in hand. If we had more freedom we would have more freedom. Patriots act has instated certain things that have helped security, but limited liberty. This provided more police power in name of security, but this helped create profiling which ultimately takes away liberty. - 4. It is a normative theory. Essentially a good theory because it is logically consistent and has led to policy implications Theories of Justice and Ethics - Two main theories of justice and ethics: The Deontological approach, and the utilitarianism approach - Deontological Approach: followed the rules set by authority or tradition (example: divine command). Something is either morally right or morally wrong, there is no grey area. EXAMPLE: 10 commandments - Utilitarianism approach: believed we should think for ourselves, instead of blindly following rules by higher authority. Societies response to crime should not follow deontological approach, but instead the utilitarianism approach: 1. which is based on state policies providing the greatest happiness to the greatest number  should be based on majority 2. What defines crime  crime should be defined according to heart and soul. Crime is any act that harms or injures society (victim is society rather than individual*) Deterrence and Prevention - By focusing on crime rather than criminal, Beccaria is not interested in retribution or rehabilitation for the criminal  how do we prevent further occurrences of crime - Deterrence is a form of crime prevention In this framework  we will not look to the past, we look to the future (how do we prevent more crimes) 1. Specific Deterrence: Relates to the offender, how do we prevent X person from committing another crime  Beccaria suggests imprisonment b/c it was humane in sense that it gave lasting impression but did not cause any physical pain 2. General Deterrence: idea that we need a punishment to prevent other people in society from committing similar acts of crime th September 27 , 2012 Beccaria’s impact on contemporary criminological research - In order for punishment to have a deterrent effect, it needed to be swiftly, certainly enforced, and with a slightly severe punishment - Now it is considered a scientific theory, for Beccaria it was a normative theory - General Deterrence  celerity (speed), certainty, severity - Expected for an inverse relationship if above is increased, crime is decreased – vice versa A. Celerity of Punishment - Court Delays – 2007: an average of 9.2 court appearances before charge is brought to completion in Ontario courts  average of 205 days before criminal case ends - Speed at which punishment occurs depends on speed of enforcement (police activity) - In 2010, Toronto police homicide department hit historical low in Clarence rates B. Certainty of Punishment - if we increase certainty in enforcement and punishment, there should be decline in crime - If we were to make arrest in 30% of all reported crimes, crimes should decrease - Relationship between crime and certainty of crime and punishment is group-specific - Relationship between crime and certainty of crime is also crime-specific EXAMPLE: if people are charged for burglary often, people won’t be burglars - Regardless of mixed research findings, idea that if punishment occurs certainly then we can reduce crime rates has been used for greater police resource arguments C. Severity of Punishment - If we increase severity of punishment, then we can decrease crime in society EXAMPLE: Increased mandatory minimum penalties for impaired driving (2008). Increasing penalties in fines as well as jail time is not enough because drivers are sensitive to certainty that they will be pulled over (low certainty) Rethinking Deterrence - Criminologists decided to reconceptualise parts of deterrence theories Perceptual Deterrence Theory - People do not take into consideration the objective risks of punishment of getting caught  instead take in their perceptions of getting caught and punished - People’s perceptions will affect their behaviour more than the objective risks of actions - Perceptions of certainty of enforcement, and perceptions of severity of punishment - Mixed results b/w the importance of perception of certainty > perception of severity Interaction between specific and general deterrence - Everyone has had experience with specific and general deterrence in their lives - Punishment avoidance  getting away with something people disagree with - We need to consider people’s experience with vicarious deterrence (when you know of someone who has been deterred by punishment) - Cancelling out effect: SD+GD+VD-PA = 0  reason for mixed results - Resetting: idea that we know that we do not get caught/punished every single time - Resetting decreases our perceptions that we will get caught EXAMPLE: Analogous to Gambler’s Fallacy  believe loss is bad luck, but at some point they win. Similarly offenders believe they are on streak of bad luck, but may not be caught next time Informal Sanctions - People are afraid of informal sanctions  a form of public humiliation - Occurs when significant others express anger, indignation, disapproval of your actions - Non-legal costs of committing crime: 1. Stigma of arrest  loss of respect from job, family and friends, etc 2. Attachment Costs  sometimes if you are caught, you lose loved ones 3. Socially-imposed costs  feel embarrassed if crime is brought up in social setting 4. Self-imposed costs  personally feel shame or guilt Rational Choice Theory: Beccaria’s Legacy - Beccaria: People have free will and their behaviour can be explained by hedonism - Assumed that committing crime is a way to achieve pleasure - Assumed that human beings were rational beings  choose to commit crime or not - Criminal Inclination is normal  all motivated offenders in right circumstances EXAMPLE: what is the percentage of men that would commit rape if they could be sure that they would not be caught? - 51% males said they would (self-report) rape a female if they would not be caught - Motivated offending exists in all of us as a potential - Instrumental crimes (assumed to be rational, designed to improve financial or status of offender) VS. Expressive Crime (not necessarily committed when they are not at most rational, AKA crimes of passion, designed to vent emotions EXAMPLE: assault/murder) - Changes for purposes of deterrence change instrumental, but not expressive crimes EXAMPLE: explains why we can’t change murder rates, because they are usually expressive crimes. THUS, increasing death penalty would not change anything because these crimes are committed when human is not rational - Rationality of Irrationality  if someone is delusional and believes everyone is aliens, we are still thinking rationally of how we would react to these aliens - Reason can be defined as a binary opposite, which is why we know what it is (opposite to passion) - Meanwhile, we do not know what rationality truly means, because there is no binary opposite  it is a constant loop (when we are irrational we are still rational) Contemporary Rational Choice Theory - Theories appear and disappear depending on context - Idea of a rational actor disappeared in 19 century because we saw emergence of another influential criminal theory - In 19 century Cesare Lombroso became interested in the offender (biological, psychological interests, etc) - To study offender, we had to give up the idea that we are all possible offenders - In 1970’s people began to question rehabilitation, which led to slogan “nothing works when it comes to rehabilitating offenders”  crimes increased, lack of control in prison - Some criminologists thought to vacate theory, and revolve rational choice theory - Offenders are not abnormal, any criminal behaviour is result of someone being able to weigh information on costs and benefits of committing a crime - In general, people are being rational when they choose to commit a crime because they came to the conclusion that crime pays Does Crime Pay? - Took sample of incarcerated offenders: Two groups: High rate and mid-rate offenders - “Do these inmates earn more by committing crime than otherwise would if they held a legitimate job?” - Mid-rate burglars earn an average of 32% of what they could have earned at a job - High-Rate burglar earns roughly the same amount if you commit ~193 burglaries - NET PROFIT = CRIMINAL PROFIT – COSTS OF CRIMINAL CAREER (psychological costs in prison, legal fees, bail costs, loss of income for time in prison) How Does Crime Pay? - Criminals think crime pays because they tend to overestimate amount of money they can actually earn from crime  about 12 times more than realistic calculation - Some criminals have no legitimate job opportunities  have no choice but to commit crime  2/3 of criminals actually did have a job, but were unemployed for some time - Criminals overly optimistic about chances of getting away with crime  do not take long-term assessment into account Routine Activities Theory - Holds that crime is a production of convergence in time and space of 3 factors: - Motivated offenders, suitable targets, and absence of capable guardians must all occur at one time for crime to happen - Event of crime, not criminal, because we all have criminal inclination - Criminal Opportunity must be explained - Takes a macro view of crime - In contrast, rational choice theory is micro view of crime - Structure of criminal opportunity is based on: interdependence between routine activities of law- abiding citizens and routine activities of motivated offenders - We cannot consider criminal activity without considering the activity of potential victims and potential offenders - Number of opportunities change when social context changes EXAMPLE: increase in non-household activities because more people were going to work and more people taking time off work (vacation) in 1947-1974 - Progress  suggest that social and technological progress is not necessarily lead to a better society with less crime, but more crime because there are now more criminal opportunities. Can be associated with increase in crime rates EXAMPLE: new inventions  in 1947-1974 there was automobiles arising, so people can now steal the cars. Also the telephone  you can call to see if they are home or not - Crime rates in 1960’s linked to: 1) more suitable targets, and 2) decrease in guardian presence A. Motivated Offender - Motivated if they have a criminal inclination - Need the skills required to carry out crime - Human nature responds to rules of hedonism B. Target Suitability - Value, visibility, accessibility, and inertia (extent to which target can be removed) - Accessibility depends on offenders routine activities - Offender’s do not like to travel long distances to commit crimes - Target Hardening: strategies to increase offender’s effort to commit/finish crime EXAMPLE: Fencing house property, locking doors, unbreakable windows - Target Reduction: reducing value of target/crime EXAMPLE: take out sound system in car at night, having call display for prank calls C. Capable Guardians - Houses with pets are less likely to be broken into - Ordinary citizens can be mobilized as neighbourhood watch groups - Technology: locks, and security alarm systems, electronic surveillance Policy Implications: Crime Prevention Strategies - Crime Prevention through environmental design (CPTED) - Strategies that reduce crime by reducing number of criminal opportunities Oscar Newman: Defensible Space - Primary concepts of crime prevention through environmental design - Strategies that use architecture or residential design to reduce crime - Design Out crime EXAMPLE: railings on bus seats to bring away homeless people who sleep there - Defensible space was assumed to be space that people cared about - Natural Surveillance: idea that there is a good line of sight, entire area visible Are situational crime prevention and CPTED effective at reducing Crime? - Though we can reduce crime in particular spaces, we may be displacing crime onto other spaces  thus, we cannot conclude there is an overall effect on society - Temporal Displacement: offenders commit crimes at times less risky - Target Displacement: offender’s go on pursuit of easier targets - Spatial Displacement: offender’s move from high target areas to less protected areas - Tactical Displacement: offender’s change tactics to get around security measures  Extinction: crime-reduction may experience short-term positive benefit, but it will dissipate over time once offender’s adjust to new conditions TH OCTOBER 4 , 2012 Re-Evaluating Lombroso - People dismissed his work because his theories were not supported by empirical evidence, but instead “jump science”, and because his work included racist and sexist assumptions - After the year 2000 there was a renewed interest in his work, because English translations of his works were available - Lombroso’s analysis of cranial abnormalities suggested that these abnormalities were signs that offenders were suffering from psychological deficits  we can test these abnormalities now - Lombroso wrote about the born criminal, which we would now term “life-course persistent offenders”  tied to psychopathy - There are currently lots of interest in evolutionary psychology  evolutionary psychologists are interested in how human behaviour can be explained as by-products of adaption and sexual selection - J. Phillipe Rushton published a controversial book  we can categorize and classify three main kinds of biological races in the human races, which range on an evolutionary spectrum o Distinct because they have different biological, psychological, and social factors o Brain size could be correlated with mental intelligence o Focus on personality traits and social traits (e.g. aggressiveness, cautiousness) - Book got him in trouble because he thought race was a useful biological concept that completely determines a groups social behaviour o If we look at genetic, evolutionary factors it is a better predictor of our social behaviour, than looking at political, economic, or social factors o Assumed we can reduce race to biology Lombroso and Positivist Criminology - Father of the positivist tradition in criminology o Positivists believe that our human behaviour is a function of external and internal forces that our beyond our individual control  Believe instead of free will, that the reason we choose to engage in criminal behaviour is already pre-determined by things outside of our control  Because of deterministic theories, question has come about the responsibility of the criminal. We punish you because you have chosen to do something wrong, but if criminal was already determined to commit a crime, it is hard to punish someone Deterministic Theory and Criminal Responsibility - Criminal justice system works under rationale choice theory  because they chose to commit crime, we can punish them - Mentally disorder offender o Section 16 of the criminal code:  Everyone is presumed to not suffer from a mental disorder (everyone is a rational actor, everyone can make rational choices unless you can show us why you can’t)  No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission, and knowing it was wrong o Because mental disorder is beyond the person’s control, we cannot hold them responsible Lombroso and Positivist Criminology - Use scientific method to solve problems, and empirical methods to test hypotheses - Empirically studied actual prisoners and criminals through what we considered was science o Created a new branch called: Criminal anthropology  Combined study of the human species and the study of criminality - When studying under criminal anthropology, those people would be established as experts - He believed that truth was cumulative  regardless of how disparate info was, as long as it was added up It made sense - Lombroso used two scientific methods in 1900’s o Phrenology  study of skulls – bumps and indentations were related to intellectual and personality traits o Physiognomy  exterior and facial body type mirrors their interior, their inner moral states, character, and personality traits  If we look at a person’s visible exterior, we can assess a person’s inner moral character - Though he did not use what was good scientific practice today, he did use a form of scientific reasoning o Inductive reasoning  refers to the drawing of general rules and conclusions from the observations of numerous specific cases Social Contract Theory vs. Evolutionary Theory - Social Contract Theory vs. Evolutionary Theory = o Free will vs. Determinism o Similarity vs. difference o Universal vs. specific o Criminal inclination vs. criminality as abnormal, but natural o Social defense is agreed upon in both theories - Lombroso’s understanding of evolution is based on Darwinism (foundational text of evolutionary biology) - Within each species, there are individual variations that are important because they can give an individual an important advantage in the struggle of survival - Social contract theory assumed we are all created equal, while evolutionary theory assumes that people were created with important differences that are heritable - Lombroso believed we can’t employ the same justice system towards every group, because every group is not at the same stage of evolution, and because they are not in the same stage we cannot treat them the same way - Lombroso holds that criminality is abnormal (while in social contract theory criminal inclination is normal). He holds that criminality is natural; it exists throughout the natural world - Both believe that crime in society is unacceptable th 19 Century Social Darwinism - Ideological enterprise that held that social evolution progressed in the same way that biological evolution progressed o Like the evolution of biological species, social evolution would also operate on natural selection of heritable traits - In the animal and plant world there was a struggle for existence, which would weed out the biologically un-adapted - Competition of different organisms for resources to survive - Natural selection: refers to organism’s ability to have a greater number of offspring reach sexual maturity. This is more likely to occur if the organism possesses traits that are advantageous in a given environment - Society and social progress is also founded on the idea of the struggle for existence  necessary for civilization in itself to progress Degeneration - Considered an obstacle to social progress - Suggested devolution  instead of evolving as a society, we were regressing into more primitive barbaric forms - Jean-Baptiste Lamark’s evolutionary theory: acquired character cultural traits could be inherited o Idea of giraffe’s  if the mother giraffe stretched her neck a little longer, then her children would have longer necks (stretching neck is a social behaviour, it is an acquired trait not a biological trait) o Led to consequences: degeneration theory led to justification of domination of ‘lower orders’ of class  The higher orders adhere to the norm of the non-deviant (the upper middle-class white male) - In earlier times, we assumed that we can inherit culture the same way we inherit biological concepts ATAVISM AND THE BORN CRIMINAL - There are multiple causal factors of criminality o Example: Occasional Criminal - Heredity and heredity alone can explain criminality, and the behaviour of born criminals - Atavism refers to a reversion of a more primitive stage of evolution o Born criminals are considered atavists because they are primitive/evolutionary throwbacks - French criminologists were using Lamarke’s theory, and under that framework it was assumed that genetic mutations were predictable  we can predict who will inherit what kinds of traits o If we can make this prediction, it can be very easy to segregate who should go where with policy o We can predict with some accuracy who will be a higher/lower order individual - Meanwhile, Lombroso believed our traits that we inherit are random, and that we cannot predict when and in who they will occur - Atavism was considered a random genetic mutation  we cannot actively predict who will manifest these atavistic traits Policy Implications - Entire goal for Lombroso’s criminal anthropology was to provide justice systems with empirical evidence on criminal types - We need to know about criminal types because it will help determine appropriate punishment - Argues that severity of punishment should be proportional to the dangerousness of the offender - Beccaria wanted to eliminate/minimize judicial discretion. Meanwhile, Lombroso wants to keep judicial discretion because judges, when sentencing, should take into account the offender’s criminal type o Based on the criminal type, the offender profile, judges need to sentence differently - In order for individualized punishment to be taken into account, judicial discretion is necessary TH OCTOBER 11 , 2012 - Lombroso and the positivist school believed that people who commit violent crimes have clear distinct differences from the everyday man that Lombroso and the classical school believed would commit it, assuming that everyone has the capability to commit a crime based on their rational choice - Under the classical perspective: someone is bad because they made a bad choice - Under Lombroso’s, pathological perspective, if you did something bad it was because you were sick  mental disorder stopping you from having guilt, getting a diminished level of responsibility Weaknesses in Lombroso’s Conclusions - Did not use a control group  only used criminals in prison, rather than having a comparable ground of non-criminals - The good people he used in his comparison were those from the Italian army, nothing close to the average man - When he did look at criminals, he was using a skewed sample  he never looked at the shape of the heads of the criminals who never got caught - Focused on traits, which he thought were biological, but they perhaps may be produced by environmental conditions instead o E.g. health care and nutrition o Biochemical conditions are partly associated with environment and partly associated with nutrition The “Twinkie Difference” - Dan White used the twinkie defence for diminished capacity - During trial he argued that he suffered from diminished capacity because he was suffering from severe depression (the mental disorder one cannot control) o During depression, Dan White changed his diet  from healthy foods to sugary foods (a lot of twinkie’s) o His diet led to irrational behaviour that caused him to shoot the mayor - Hypoglycemia  genetic predisposition which explains why sometimes we find a connection between sugary foods and violence, and sometimes we do not o Commonly known with having low levels of blood sugar o Levels below needed for functioning of the brain o Without sugar there is no alternative fuel for the brain Policy Implications - Lombroso’s work was meant to give the justice system criminal profiles of offenders - Depending on the criminal type, some are more dangerous than others o Saved the harshest punishments for the born criminal  Permanent segregation from society  Indeterminate or indefinite sentencing - Today there are two categories of offenders who fall under the indeterminate or indefinite sentencing o Mentally disordered offenders (insanity defense)  not responsible so you’re not convicted or acquitted  You can be discharged, discharged with conditions, go to mental hospital o Dangerous offenders (special designation given to people who repeatedly commit serious violent or sexual offenses  modern day born criminal)  May spend entire time in prison, or be under long term supervision in community  Using Lombroso’s theory his punishment would be: separate them from the rest of society under the logic of social defence (protection of society against crime and against criminals is paramount, trumping all other concerns such as individual liberty and rehabilitation)  Prison becomes a warehouse, a storage where we put people to serve their time Policy Implications: When Scientific Theory is Used to Justify Normative Theory - Biologically deterministic theories have led to very dangerous state policies - People don’t appreciate when these determine normative theory of who is more or less superior in society o People get angry when we use a theory of individual difference to justify normative claims - Social Darwinism assumed that the struggle for existence was necessary for society to progress o In order for society to progress, it had to have a policy that dealt with degenerates o Worried when scientific theory is used to justify normative claims that will then be put into practice - Theoretical claims that Lombroso and biological determinist theorists made claimed that degenerates reproduce, and reproducing would contaminate societies gene pool o For social Darwinists, the reproduction of these people was unacceptable o This was attempted at being solved by eugenics  what Hitler used to try and create a “pure” German race - Alberta and British Columbia had eugenics programs and sexual sterilation acts, allowing the countries to forcibly sterilize those who were mentally deficient individuals (feeble-minded) o We could measure intelligence through IQ tests  Depending on IQ tests, it would be decided what to do with the people  This was an issue because in the 1920’s there was a lot of immigrants, people who did not master the language yet, would get a lower score because they did not understand, resulting in them being forcibly sterilized - Because of the consequences of putting biological theories into practice, a lot of academics stopped using biologically oriented theories all together  moving to sociological theories - Theories appear and disappear in different social contexts, so we saw a return of biological theories back in the 1980s o Popped back in to justify conservative ideologies - Reaganism  biological and psychological theories reappeared to support the political, conservative regime o Crime is treated as an individual problem  unit of analysis is the individual, and the unit of change is also the individual (thus, it is a micro analysis) o Crime is treated as a problem of individual pathology, rather than a social problem  No need to institute social solutions, instead we lock them up, removing the problem from society o Law-and-order campaign  increasing the fear of crime, which led to harsher crime policies, which led to harsher and punitive sanctions - Under Mulroney (1984-1990) Canada did not declare a war on crime o Policies appeared to be tough on crime, but instead were the same policies that were around when the liberals were in power o Even though there was a conservative government, criminal justice was still under the liberal ideology o We believed security should never trump everything, balancing security against liberty Lombroso’s Legacy - Biosocial theories assume social behaviour is a product of interacting biological and environmental factors Basic Premises: 1. Assumption that genetic makeup contributes significantly to human behaviour o Does not believe that all humans have the equal potential to learn and achieve (not equipotentiality)  No two people are born with the same propensity – except for born twins o Twin studies: Monozygotic twins (100% genes), Dizygotic twins (50% genes)  nature significantly contributes to human behaviour, more than nurture or the environment  If inherited traits cause criminal behaviour then we can say that twins should be similar in their antisocial behaviour  60% of MZ twins share criminal behaviour, whereas 30% of DZ twins share criminal behaviour patterns  Genes have an enormous influence on your behaviour o Adoption Studies:  Genes can significantly explain why we do what we do. In contrast, if we can better explain as adopted children being similar to their adoptive parents, we can show that environment has a huge impact on the behaviour we attain  Hutchings and Mednick  143 male adoptees with criminal records  Matched 143 criminal adoptees with 143 non-criminal adoptees  Found that criminality of the biological father was still a strong predictor for the child’s criminal behaviour, rather than the adoptive father  Concludes that our propensity to commit crime is present at birth, and cannot be altered much 2. Individual human behaviour is produced by the interaction between biology (gene) and the environment o Environment can inhibit from criminal propensity, or trigger the antisocial behaviour o Can trigger the behaviour if you are already predisposed to it  Different from Lombroso’s theory, it is not the theory that biology is destiny, because the environment also counts  Watching violent television can cause aggression in children who are already predisposed to that type of behaviour 3. Shift from determinism to probabilities and risk factors  if you have a gene or predisposition for a behaviour then you MAY be subject to criminal behaviour in the future o People inherit tendencies (not behaviours) that lead people to act a certain way o In Lombroso’s time, if you have a criminal trait then you are a criminal. In contrast, there are now criminogenic traits (known as risk factors) that gives you a tendency to have criminal behaviour o Risk factors are known as the scientific language of probability  Uncertainty  No longer certain that behaviour would be engaged in, it is just likely you may  Risk Management  managing risks by present behaviour  Risk Profiles  if you are high-risk you are more likely to recidivate (re-commit). By distinguishing high-risk and low-risk offenders, the punishments are different (from solitary confinement to community supervision)  If prisons are warehouses and don’t provide any programming to help offenders, the criminal’s risk will never decrease, always staying as a high-risk offender Evolutionary Psychology - Believe that crime is “natural” - Just because something IS natural, it does not mean we OUGHT to condone in that behaviour - The minute we talk about animals, there is an issue if we take a Beccarian Stance o Hard to talk about rational choices that animals make  Do animals make choices the way humans make choices? - All our choices are instead determined by what Richard dawkins calls “selfish genes” o All controlled by our innate need to have our genetic material survive and dominate others o All our efforts are directed towards reproduction  everything we do is geared toward reproducing our selfish genes - Two evolutionary theories of crime: o R/K theory  they explain why men are more aggressive than females  All organisms can be located along a continuum based on their reproductive drive  R-strategy: reproduce rapidly and invest very little in offspring  Strategy works because you reproduce rapidly, so even though some won’t make it to sexual maturity, others will  K-Strategy: reproduce slowly and take care of offspring  more sensitive and co- operative because they need to enter partnership o Cheater theory  not about all men, but a subpopulation of men  Evolved with genes that inclined them towards low parental investment  Cheater (known as the “cad”) has been known to be sexually aggressive  Problem is that most women will not choose them as mates, so males become cunning and deceptive to appeal to women’s preferences - Both share common assumption, coming from Darwinian evolutionary theory, relating to idea that we can explain sex differences in the rate of violent crime with reference to mammalian mating patterns o Assumed that it is beneficial for males to mate with as many females as possible  Each female can potentially bare their offspring o Female puts a large amount of parental investment into their offspring, so they are looking for a single, stable nurturing partner that will take part in the nurturing process Explaining Female Aggression - Anne Campbell used evolutionary theory to describe female aggression - Competition is an inherent part of our biological status o Need competition and individual variation in order for the process of natural selection to occur o All competing for the best possible mate in a monogamous relationship o Men in long turn relationships will have much more criteria in picking their mates, but will drop their criterions if they are having short-term sexual relations often o In competition, women do not escalate their competition to direct and physical aggression  Fighting is too costly  a woman can be injured, ruining reproductive capacity - Women tend to use indirect or relational aggression o Gossiping: attacks the opponents reputation, social standing, social support  Spreads information that is damaging to someone else’s reputation  Generally competition to get the best possible mate  Gossip about other women’s level of attractiveness and appearance (qualities important for men), sexual history (best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour) o Women will fight each other under certain conditions  As a response to gossip spread about their sexual reputation  Very crucial to a man’s decision whether to enter in a monogamous relationship with a woman  Under conditions of extreme competition  when there are a limited amount of suitable mates (sex ratio) Criticisms of Biosocial Approach - In order to take a biosocial approach, one must buy into deterministic theory at some level o Biology is destiny, even though the environment may trigger a bit of the behaviour o Behaviour is predetermined to a significant extent by genes o Everything we do is reducible to our biology - Taking a biosocial approach also leads to unsettling conclusions: o EXAMPLE: criminologists have found that poor and minority-group members commit a large percent of street-crimes. These people are biologically distinct (inferior). Tells us nothing about upper middle class people who commit crime. Though biosocial theorists have explained street crime, they have not explained white-collar crime. o Evolutionary psychology creates theories as just-so stories (a narrative, origin story that is not verifiable  cannot be proven)  Story we tell about a cultural practice that is linked to biology TH OCTOBER 18 , 2012 Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) - Most notably he was one of the founders of a sociological criminology o Sociological positivist  Would be applying scientific method to the study of crime in society  His theory was also deterministic because he assumed that the character or structure of society would determine the kinds of social solidary you would have - In the deterministic sense, his theory is a theory of structural determinism o Social structure of society determined the character of that society  By character of society, we are looking at that societies organisations, social solidary, and types of law that society would have - Unlike many people in the turn of the 20 century, Durkheim was interested in “how we maintain social order” o Thought france lacked social unity o He believed that we needed a solution where we can create social cohesion - Was one of the first professors of academic sociology, but was also appointed a professor of social education o Theory of moral education  believed it would unite society  Moral = non-physical values  Non-phsysical values = psychological and emotional - Believed that schools should have civic classes where it would socialize and unite students - National unity is also created through symbols (e.g. in Canada, Tim Hortons and Hockey) The Division of Labour in Society - Examining law as a source of social order in modern industrial society - As societies change and evolve, they form a social solidarity that also changes and evolves o Social order = deep underlying pattern of social organization  Deep underlying pattern of social organization is what Durkheim called social solidarity - Social Solidarity refers to an integrated system of social relations, social practices, and social norms - What holds society together? o He argues that crime and punishment are what hold society together o Crime provides an opportunity for punishment. Punishment is a ritualistic celebration and re- affirmation of our social solidarity o Because crime and punishment are what holds society together, crime has a positive social
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