Survey of Criminology Notes Chapter 1 Crime and Criminology.docx

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ADJ 107
Claudia Lefeve

Survey of Criminology Notes Chapter 1 Crime and Criminology Criminology – scientific approach to studying criminal behavior Criminal Justice – study of the agencies of social control (police, courts, corrections) Criminologists are concerned with identifying the causes of crime and criminal justice scholars focus on identifying effective methods of crime control Deviance – behaviors or actions that depart from social norms, values, and beliefs Not all crimes are deviant or unusual acts, and not all deviant acts are illegal Deviant behavior becomes criminal behavior when it is specifically defined, prohibited, and punished under the criminal law Question: Can behavior be deviant but not criminal? Deviancy or Criminality Deviancy – an action that departs from the social norms of society Deviant Behavior – becomes criminal behavior when it is specifically defined, prohibited, and punished under criminal law Major Criminology Perspectives Classical/Choice – Crime is a function of free will and personal choice. Punishment is a deterrent to crime Biological/Psychological – Crime is a function of chemical, neurological, genetic, personality, intelligence, or mental traits Structural – Crime rates are a function of neighborhood conditions, cultural forces, and norm conflict Process – Crime is a function of upbringing, learning, and control. Peers, parents, and teachers influence behavior Conflict – Crime is a function of competition for limited resources and power. Class conflict produces crime Integrated – Biological, social, psychological, economic, and political forces may combine to produce crime History th 18 Century Classical Criminology People have the free will to choose criminal or noncriminal solutions to meet needs or problems. Criminal solutions can be attractive because for little effort they hold the promise of a big payoff, People will not commit crimes if they believe the pain of punishment is greater than the reward for an effective crime deterrent, punishment must be severe, certain, and swift to convince criminals that crime does not pay. History 18 Century Classical Criminology All people are guided by free will All behavior is guided by hedonism (pleasure/pain calculation) All crime is a result of free will and hedonism All punishment should fit the offense (equal treatment under the law) Bad people are nothing more than the result of bad laws Let the punishment fit the crime. If there is too much torture (death/harsh/routine use), there would be no incentive for criminals not to escalate the severity of their crimes Punishment should be fair, balanced, and proportionate History 19 Century Positivism All people are neither born “good” nor “bad” Human behavior is guided by a variety of forces (society, political, psychological, personal) All punishment should fit the criminal (not the crime) Criminals can be treated, rehabilitated, or corrected Positivism is the search for other multiple factors as the cause of human behavior. It represents a distinct shift form a focus on law and crime control to the inner workings of the criminal mind and what makes it tick People are a product of their social and psychological traits, influenced by their upbringing and environment History The Chicago School Focused on human behavior as determined by social structures and physical environmental factors, rather than genetic and personal characteristics Researchers under this model concluded that social forces operating in urban areas create “natural areas” for crime These urban areas maintain such a high level of poverty that critical institutions of socialization and control (school/family) begin to break down These urban
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