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SOCL 3371 Study Guide - Fall 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - Federal Government Of The United States, Criminal Justice, Dna Profiling


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCL 3371
Professor
C.Chauvin
Study Guide
Final

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SOCL 3371

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Socl 3371
Chapter 1
Norms and Laws
Norm: Rule that makes clear what behavior is appropriate and expected in a particular
situation
Examples: wearing shoes, using utensils to eat
Deviance: violation of a norm
Ideas of deviance change over time
A particular act is considered deviant depending on context, place, time, and
individual(s) judging it
Crimes are a particular kind of deviance
Not all crimes are deviant
Example: speeding, underage drinking
Not all deviance is a crime
Social Norms
Social norm: specifies how people are expected to behave
Informal social norms are not written but are known and followed
Learned from parents, school, media, etc.
Example: waiting in line
Formal social norms are formally written
Called legal norms
Violation of these norms sets the criminal justice system in motion
Classifying Crime
Mala in se: behavior categorized as morally wrong
Implies that a given behavior would be wrong in any context, even if there were
no law against it
Examples: rape, murder, robbery
No act can be inherently criminal
Its criminal because someone said it was
Society created crime by labeling specific behaviors as deviant
Mala prohibita: statutory crime that reflects public opinion at a moment in time
Statutory crime: act that is criminal because it is prohibited by law
Consensus and Conflict Perspectives
Consensus perspective
View of crime that sees laws as the product of social agreement or consensus
about what criminal behavior is
Criminals are individuals whose behavior expresses values and beliefs at odds
with hose of mainstream society
Conflict perspective
Outlook of crime as one outcome of a struggle among different groups
competing for resources in their society
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Holds that laws are influenced and created by those who control the political
and economic power within the society
Example: one guy was convinced by faulty science that marijuana was worse
than cocaine and heroin and convinced congress of this and it has been illegal
ever since
Sanctions
Sanction: prescribed consequences intended to reinforce people’s conformity to norms
Can be positive/rewarding or negative/punishing
Can be formal or informal
Criminal justice system delivers a range of formal negative sanctions in response
to criminal behavior
Impact of Crime in Victims
Victim: someone who has been hurt by someone’s criminal behavior
More often criminals and their victims are of the same:
Race
Age range
Neighborhood
Socioeconomic status
Gender with the exception of rape
Victims are neglected and abused by the criminal justice system at times
Victims rights’ movement initiated reforms in the criminal justice system
Victims are being treated better and can receive compensation for their injuries
Components of the US Criminal Justice System
Law enforcement
Courts
Corrections
Law Enforcement
Most familiar part of the criminal justice system
Law enforcement officers are:
Expected to resolve many of society’s problems
Entrusted to use force only when necessary
Police responsibilities have moved into educational settings and community-based
initiatives
The Courts
State Courts: system in which state crimes are prosecuted
Includes both trial and appellate courts
Appellate courts: courts that hear appeals from trial courts and other lower
courts (tax court, civil court, drug court)
Federal Courts: system in which federal crimes are prosecuted consisting of:
District courts, appellate courts or circuit courts, and the US Supreme Court
Judicial Process
Prosecutor first decides whether to prosecute a case
Grand jury decides if the case should go to trial
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