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York University
CRIM 2650
Anita Lam

CRIM2650 LECTURES FALL 2012 1 September 6 2012CSI effect motion that jurors have inflated expectations about value of forensic evidence in criminal trials Theory as perspectivea way of seeing the world as argument for seeing the world in that particular wayTheory as way of speaking about crime criminal justiceTheory as conversation and dialogue 2 September 13 2012TheoryWhat is theory o Dictionary definitionsConjecture based on limited amount of knowledgeAbstract knowledge or reasoningSet of principles used to explain a group of factsphenomenaTheatreWhat does theory mean in criminology o Criminology is an interdisciplineno singular approach to theoryo No actual agreement about which criminology theory should be applied 3 Approaches to Theorymeant to address different research questions has a different standard of proofo Scientific theoryfactsCriminology as social science modeled on physical sciencesGeneral universal laws to describe human behaviour Reduce phenomenon to variablesmeasure correlations between variablesGeneralizabilityPredictabilitypredict future behaviourscases Good scientific theory has good predictive powerability to generate hypothesis to test theory against immune facts Eg What is X How does X work Why does X work that wayMeasuringStatistics UCRpolice statistics o Normative theoryvaluesMala in seinformal serious violent Eg Homicide Mala prohibitaformal prohibited by law but do not trigger the same moral responsesCriminology as ethicallegal enterpriseAssociated with policycourse of action designed to solve a problemselected from other courses of action Goal is to create plan of action of what should happen Prescribes plans and reforms Take form of argumentalways making a plan for the kind of criminal justice system we want to see What kind of values do we want underlying the justice systemEg How should X workGoal change criminal justice systemCan creep into scientific theorycritical theorywhen researchers have to make conclusions about what should be done scientific enters normative realmo Critical theoryquestioned whether science should be royal road to truthImplicationsconditions of doing criminologyNot interested in accumulating facts like scientific not interested in judging rightwrong like normative Interested in inquiring into possibilities of knowledgelimits of knowledge Critiquequestion underlying assumptions Not about future as much as it is about the present Eg What are historical material economic or sociopolitical conditions that gave rise to X What makes X possible Evaluating Theoryjudging a good theoryo Empirical validity is theory tied to data supporting its existence Accurately describesexplains given phenomenonScientific theoryCritical o Testabilitycan it be verified Testing the theoryScientificpossibility always exists when using statisticso Logical consistencyclearly define conceptsScientificCriticalNormative o Usefulnesspolicy implicationscan it be applied to affect actual criminal justice practices Scientific NormativeEach approach has different understanding Terrie Moffitt AdolescencelimitedLifecourse persistent offenders o As scientific theoryWhat is a adolescencelimited offender Thinks it works because adolescence wants to declare boundaries at that ageitll stop when you are an adulto Normative theorypolicy implications for lifecourse persistent offenders 510 of males If they have antisocial personality disorder can be responsible for 15 of crime Eg People persist in crime because things have happened when they were teens causing a deviant lifestyleAttempt to rehabilitate themo Critical theoryadolescence laworder ideology Need more lawsharsher lawstough on offendersTheoryContext o Theory changes with changes in social contextcreated and applied in social contexto GarlandSparks Reflexiveputting criminology into social context Modern Criminology Criminology in late modernity thEnd of 19 century1970s Rehabilitation as goal of punishment Retribution Politics based on scientific research Policies based on politicalcultural findings about causes of crime considerations Scientific research informs policyonly Scientific research no longer has strong impact done by academic criminologistson policypoliticians listen more to public opinionsCriminology is domain of academic Criminology is no longer domain of criminologists criminologistsinterdisciplinary No longer monopolize discourse on crimecriminal justice Disconnect between Academic criminologypolicyculture o Harpers Safe StreetsCommunities ActMarch 2012 Law and order ideologyresponse to peoples fear in crime Context for Reading Beccariao CrimesPunishment 1764o First theory on penal law immediate impact on Europe countriestho Criminal justicepunishment 18 century continental Europe Death penaltybodily mutilationsSecret meetingsPresumption of guiltburden of proof on them got accused by somebody who thinks you did something wrongallegations made behind closed doorsTorture until confession Torture was supposed to be used for capital crimeso Cesare BeccariaItalian aristocrat Brothers PietroAlessandro Verri Had a law degree never practiced law Didnt have knowledge on penal law3 September 20 2012BeccariaClassical CriminologyCesare Beccarias on CrimesPunishmentso Enlightenment as contextBelief in human reasonapplied it to how he thinks we should structure criminal justice system Wanted to change judicial thinking Postenlightenment society
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