Concepts of Crime, Law, and Criminology 1/31/2012 6:36:00 PM
People find out about crimes from media coverage.
Criminal justice system: stages which offender passes through
beginning with the investigation/ arrest followed by the release of
offender and re-entry to society (Page 4).
Intimate violence: violence occurring in the family such as child abuse.
Aggressive behaviour is very often learned in homes where parents are
aggressive role models and victimize their children –learned violence.
In assessing the likelihood of being victimized, people are influenced by
media coverage rather than personal experience.
Third-hand knowledge of crime has negative impacts: people believe they
are more at risk of being victimized, they trust less in the policing
system, and they favour harsher punishments for offenders.
Violent behaviours are also linked to observational learning, traumatic
experiences in childhood, and psychopathic personality structures.
Criminology: the scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and
control of criminal behaviour.
Criminologist: people who study criminology.
Criminology is the study of making laws, breaking laws, and reaction of
Criminology is an interdisciplinary science. It connects elements from
other fields in order to better understand law, crime, and justice.
Criminologist explain the origin extent and nature of the crime in society.
Criminal justice scholars describe and analyze the work of the police,
courts and correctional facilities and how to better design effective
methods of crime control.
Deviant behaviour: behaviour that departs from the social norm, but
which doesn’t always warrant a legal sanction.
Crime and deviance are commonly confused however something that is
deviant is not always a crime and a crime is not always an act of
Decriminalization: reduction of penalty of a criminal act but not making
Utilitarianism: Believes that punishment should be balanced and fair.
Classical Criminology: Theoretical perspective believing that (1) in
society, people have the free will to choose how they act and behave, (2)
people commit crimes due to personal reasons or greed, (3) crime can be controlled by instilling fear into people of the penalty, and (4) harsher the
punishments for a crime, the more it deters people from committing
Capital punishment bywords were “Let the punishment fit the crime.”
Positivism: uses the scientific method of the natural sciences to suggest
human behaviour is a product of social, biological, psychological, or
Physiognomists study the face structure of people to see if they were
associated with antisocial behaviour.
Phrenologists study the shape of the skill and head to see if any physical
attributes are liked to criminal behaviours.
Maine sans delire –psychopathic personality
Criminal Anthropology: efforts to discover biological basis of crime
through measurement of physical and mental processes. It was
associated with Cesare Lombroso and the biological positivists.
Atavistic anomalies: According to Lombroso, traits that criminals are
born with –they resemble those of animals or primitive people.
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Common Law: law originating from usage and custom rather than from
written statutes. Refers to non-statutory customs, traditions and precedents
that help guide judicial decision making.
Statutory Law: law in form of