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Chapter 1

CC100 Chapter 1: Chapter 1 CC100

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Andrew Welsh

Chapter 1 CC100 Introduction ➢ Most of the crime we know comes from media coverage ➢ Criminal Justice system: the stages through which the offender passes including police, courts, and corrections ➢ Intimate violence: crime that occurs in the context of familiarity, such as spousal abuse, child abuse or elder abuse. ➢ People are very interested in learning about strange crimes. For example, why would Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka who both came from good family backgrounds and good neighbourhoods and who were seen as a couple with a bright future, kidnap, sexually assault and murder? ➢ Habitually aggressive behaviour is often learned in homes where children are victimized and parents serve as aggressive role models - the learned violence then persists in adulthood. ➢ Fear of crime creates a negative view of police and the attitude towards courts, and harsher punishments for criminals Criminology ➢ Criminology: The scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behaviour. ➢ Criminologist: one who brings objectivity and method to the study of crime and its consequences. ➢ Criminology combines elements from many other fields to understand the connections among law, crime, and justice ➢ Criminal justice scholars are different from criminologists since they describe and analyze the work of police, courts and correctional facilities, and how to design better and effective methods of crime control. ➢ Deviant Behaviour: Behaviour that departs from or doesn’t conform to social norms but isn’t defined as a crime by the law. ➢ How do deviant behaviours become crimes? Involves historical development of law ➢ When should acts considered crimes be legalized? Decriminalization: reducing the penalty for a criminal act and its illegality History of criminology ➢ During the middle ages, people who violated social norms or religious practices were believed to be witches or possessed by demons ➢ Classical criminology (Mid 18 century): This view was based on the philosophy of Unitarianism, which emphasized that behaviour is purposeful and not motivated by supernatural powers. o Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794): believed people want to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. If crime provides pleasure, pain must be used to prevent that crime. o Definition: the perspective that people freely choose crime, and that it can be reduced through the threat of criminal sanctions ➢ 19 century positivism: A branch of social science that sees behaviour as a product of social, biological, psychological, and economic forces. 2 elements: human behaviour has external forces which are beyond human’s control and the use of scientific method to solve problems. o During this time, abnormalities in the brain were being linked to criminal behaviour patterns ➢ Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909): Believed criminals were born criminals. ➢ The development of sociological criminology: Emile Durkheim: one of the founders of sociology. He believed that as long as there are differences in every human, crime is inevitable. If there was no crime, everyone would think and act the same way which would mean no creativity and independent thinking. ➢ The Chicago school (a group of sociologists): believed that social forces operating in urban areas create criminal interactions. Neighbourhoods with high levels of poverty can become disorganized; crime may be the only option. o During the 1930’s social psychologists believed that children who grow up in a wrecked home, attend an inadequate school, and associate with deviant peers become exposed to pro-crime forces. Another view was when parents didn’t punish or fail to control their children’s misbehavior. ➢ Conflict criminology: Karl Marx believed that the most important relationship is between the bourgeoisie and proletariat. The exploitation of the working class would lead to class conflict and the end of the capitalist system. (Concept summary 1.2 and 1.3 Page 13) What Criminologists do: The Criminological enterprise ➢ Criminological enterprise: The totality of criminology, which includes many fields, or subareas, of study. ➢ Criminologists interested in criminal statistics try to create valid and reliabl
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