Defining Criminology• The scientific study of thenature, extent, cause andcontrol of criminal behavior• Goal ~ to create valid andaccurate theories of crimecausation(Siegel, 2004 & 2008)
What do Criminologists Do?• Collect facts & statistics aboutcrime and interpret them in ascientifically meaningful way• Develop empirically verifiablestatements (hypotheses) andorganize them into theories ofcrime causation• Identify the causes of crimeLarry J. SiegelNoted criminologist andtextbook author
What is Criminology?The scientific study of the nature, extent, cause and control ofcriminal behaviorThe development of a body of general and verified principles and ofother types of knowledge regarding this process of law, crime andreaction to crimeCriminology is the body of knowledge regarding delinquency andcrime as social phenomena.Part of criminal science which empirically describes criminalbehavior and explores individual and social factors associated withcrime and criminals.What does Criminology “Do?”Focuses on the behavior that violates the criminal law and seeksexplanations for that behavior.The origin of laws that define certain behavior as criminalHow certain behavior has come to be defined as criminal.explain why certain people violate the law whereas others do notelucidating the connection between crime and the personalcharacteristics of the offender or his environment
Roots in Sociology• Auguste Comte (father of Sociology): The studyof human social behavior, especially the study ofthe origins, organization, institutions, anddevelopment of human society; Analysis of asocial institution or societal segment as a self-contained entity or in relation to society as awhole• Emile Durkheim father of Criminology
Historical Development of Criminology: EmileDurkheimBrief bio from The Emergenceof Sociological Theory (5thed.).Sociological thinkers thatinfluenced Durkheim:Montesquieu, Comte, Rousseau,Spencer and MarxBelieved basic sociologyquestion was What forces holdsociety together?Examine social structures andvalues, beliefs and norms andthe relationship between allSocial forces influence behaviorEmile Durkheim
Did you know that early thoughts on thecause of crime focused on…• Body build• Genetic abnormalities anddeformities• Insanity• Shape of the head• Jaws and teeth• The devil made me do it.
Classical Criminology• Utilitarianism• Deterrence through punishment• People are egotistical and self-centered• Proportional punishment• Pleasure / pain principal• Purposes of punishment:* Prevent crime* When it cannot prevent crime,convince offender to commit aless serious offense* To ensure criminals use nomore force than necessary* Prevent crime as inexpensivelyas possibleCesare BeccariaJeremy Bentham
The Emergence of Rational Choice Theory• Criminal considers situational andpersonal factors• Weighs benefits vs. consequences• Considerations of:* Opportunity* Knowledge of criminal techniques* Type of crime* Time and place* Target• Criminals CHOOSE to commit crimeRoutine Activities Theory* Motivated offenders* Suitable targets* No capable guardians
Choice Theory: Preventing Crime• Situational Crime Prevention* Deflection * Surveillance* Screening * Target removal* Access control * Denying benefits• General Deterrence* Extinction * Diffusion* Displacement * Crime Discouragers• Specific Deterrence* Targeting known offenders• Incapacitation* PrisonTarget hardening IncapacitationWhich would this be?
Trait Theories• Maintain that criminality isthe product of abnormalbiological or psychologicaltraits• Cesare Lombroso ~positivism: criminality wasinherited, and that someone"born criminal" could beidentified by physicaldefects• 2 Categories of TraitTheoriesBiological and PsychologicalCesare Lombroso
Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory• Frued was addicted to cocaine• Id ~ primitive part of ourpersonality. Instantgratification w/out regard forothers• Ego ~ Controls the Id to helpyou behave according to socialconventions• Superego ~ Moral valuesshared with othersOur unconscious desires andconflicts control our behaviorSigmund Freud
More on Psychological Theories• Psychodynamic• Behavioral• Cognitive• Unconscious personalitydevelops in childhood &influences behavior in life• People commit crime bymodeling behavior from seeingothers rewarded for the act.Punishment reduces thesebehaviors.• Individual reasoninginfluences behavior; reasoningbased on how one perceivestheir environment