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Crime why-and_how_much

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Philosophical Foundations
 Criminology: The Scientific study of crime as a
social phenomenon, of criminals, and of penal
treatment.
 People who explore the causes of crime are
interested in both the formal systems for the
control of behavior, such as the legal system, and
the informal systems of control, such as the
family, school, social group and religious
affiliation. They are interested in observing how
these systems influence behavior and what
happens when there are conflicts among these
various control systems.
 By studying such behaviors and gathering
reliable data about individuals and their social
environment, the criminologist seeks to
construct theories that can be used to predict
behavior.
 The purpose of a theory is not to predict what
a specific individual will do in a specific case.
Rather, theories attempt to define general
principles that will apply in a number of
similar cases, but not necessarily in all cases.
 Early nonscientific theories
emphasized moral weakness
and evil spirits as the cause of
criminality. Early explanations
of deviant and criminal behavior
were derived primarily from
nonscientific methodologies.
Most of these nonscientific
investigations searched for
principles underlying human
conduct and thought based
upon logic or beliefs assumed to
be true, and were often based
on social and religious morals
instead of empirical
observations and facts. It was
believed that people are, or can
be, inherently evil.
 Modern theories of crime causation are complex
because they recognize the interaction of many
variables as necessary and sufficient in
explaining criminal behavior.
 Modern theories explaining criminal behavior are
based on scientific inquiry, which involves
observation and isolation of variables relating to
cause and effect.
 Modern scientific explanations of criminality have
evolved from simple theories with few variables
to complex theories built upon extensive data
and research.
 In classical and neoclassical theories, the
explanation for crime is based on the assumption
that criminal behavior is a matter of choice. The
individual has free will to choose to commit or
refrain from criminal behavior.
 The individual’s choice of behavior is influenced
by a rational analysis of the gain to be achieved
from committing the criminal act versus the
punishment or penalty that could be suffered if
sanctioned by society for the criminal behavior.
 Theories that share this assumption of free will
and rational choice are commonly called classical
school theories and neoclassical school theories.

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Crime why-and_how_much

  • 2.  Criminology: The Scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, of criminals, and of penal treatment.  People who explore the causes of crime are interested in both the formal systems for the control of behavior, such as the legal system, and the informal systems of control, such as the family, school, social group and religious affiliation. They are interested in observing how these systems influence behavior and what happens when there are conflicts among these various control systems.
  • 3.  By studying such behaviors and gathering reliable data about individuals and their social environment, the criminologist seeks to construct theories that can be used to predict behavior.  The purpose of a theory is not to predict what a specific individual will do in a specific case. Rather, theories attempt to define general principles that will apply in a number of similar cases, but not necessarily in all cases.
  • 4.  Early nonscientific theories emphasized moral weakness and evil spirits as the cause of criminality. Early explanations of deviant and criminal behavior were derived primarily from nonscientific methodologies. Most of these nonscientific investigations searched for principles underlying human conduct and thought based upon logic or beliefs assumed to be true, and were often based on social and religious morals instead of empirical observations and facts. It was believed that people are, or can be, inherently evil.
  • 5.  Modern theories of crime causation are complex because they recognize the interaction of many variables as necessary and sufficient in explaining criminal behavior.  Modern theories explaining criminal behavior are based on scientific inquiry, which involves observation and isolation of variables relating to cause and effect.  Modern scientific explanations of criminality have evolved from simple theories with few variables to complex theories built upon extensive data and research.
  • 6.  In classical and neoclassical theories, the explanation for crime is based on the assumption that criminal behavior is a matter of choice. The individual has free will to choose to commit or refrain from criminal behavior.  The individual’s choice of behavior is influenced by a rational analysis of the gain to be achieved from committing the criminal act versus the punishment or penalty that could be suffered if sanctioned by society for the criminal behavior.  Theories that share this assumption of free will and rational choice are commonly called classical school theories and neoclassical school theories.
  • 7.  Two theorists representing the classical and neoclassical theories are Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794) and Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), respectively. Their theories were a radical departure from the contemporary thought of their time, which credited spirits and demons as the cause of “bad” behavior.  Salem Witch trials of 1692 Cesare Beccaria (1738-1794)
  • 8.  While Cesare Beccaria’s ideas actually preceded the development of criminology as an academic discipline, he is known as the founder of classical criminology because his theories about crime marked the beginning of a new approach to criminological thought that would eventually lead to modern theories.  Beccaria was an Italian nobleman and jurist who was dissatisfied with the justice system of his time and attempted to bring about change. During the 1700s, the Italian criminal justice system was a barbaric system that leaned toward extreme punishments and questionable justice.  Laws were unwritten, arbitrary, and unfairly applied. The situation was made worse by unschooled judges whose decisions were often arbitrary and based to a large degree on the social class of the accused. The penalties handed out by the courts consisted of corporal and capital punishments that were considered a source of public entertainment. Defendants had no rights, there was not due process, and torture was regarded as an effective interrogation method. Examination of a Salem Witch
  • 9.  Beccaria composed a single volume addressing his concerns about the criminal justice system in Italy, Dei delitti e Delle Pene, published in 1764 and translated into English in 1768 under the title Of Crimes and Punishments. In 1771, he was appointed Counselor of State and a magistrate. Beccaria probably had no idea that his short test would become the single work responsible for a revolution in the philosophy of criminal justice.
  • 10.  His essay clearly summarized the concept of the criminal justice system as a social contract based on logic, goal orientation, and humanistic principles. The concepts in his books – innocent until proven guilty, trial by a jury of one’s peers, the right of appeal, the classification of crimes, equal treatment of all people before the court, and so on – reflect the principles of American jurisprudence.
  • 11.  Beccaria was influenced by the Age of Enlightenment. His ideas on the cause of criminal behavior were based on the philosophical axiom that people are rational.  He reasoned that people seek to do that which brings them pleasure and to avoid that which causes pain. He further assumed that members of society are responsible for their actions. There are no mitigating circumstances or excuses for one’s criminal behavior.  The same standard of justice and punishment should be applied to people of all ages and mental abilities.
  • 12.  Beccaria advocated certain, swift punishment of appropriate intensity and duration for the offense committed, for the purpose of deterring people from committing crimes.  According to Beccaria, the reason for the continued presence of crime in eighteenth- century Italian society was that the criminal justice system did not provide for swift, certain, and appropriate punishment.  This concept – that criminal behavior is a matter of free will and choice and that certain, swift, and appropriate pain will deter people from criminal behavior - is the basic premise of the classical theory of criminology.
  • 13.  English philosopher and scholar Jeremy Bentham is credited with the formation of the neoclassical school of criminology, which is similar to the classical school in that the basic foundation is the concept that criminal behavior is a matter of free will and the choice to commit criminal behavior can be deterred by pain and punishment.  The major difference between Beccaria’s classical theory of criminology and Bentham’s neoclassical theory is that Bentham believed that Beccaria’s unwavering accountability of all offenders was too harsh. Bentham believed in mitigating circumstances.
  • 14.  Whereas Beccaria would hold a child of age 5 or 6 just as responsible for a violation of the law as an adult, Bentham argued that children under the age of 7 and offenders suffering from mental disease should be exempt from criminal liability.  Both Beccaria and Bentham opposed the death penalty.
  • 15.  Like Beccaria, Bentham reasoned that people are calculating human who logically evaluate the pleasure to be gained by the commission of an act versus the punishment to be suffered for it.  When the pain of punishment outweighs the pleasure to be derived, the individuals refrain from criminal behavior.  Bentham’s theory regarding the balancing of pain and pleasure as a means to discourage criminal behavior is known as the felicitic calculus – the pain versus the pleasure principle.
  • 16.  Bentham’s philosophy is called “utilitarianism”, and states that a rational system of jurisprudence provides for the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.  Based on the principles that people act rationally and that the punishment should fit the crime, Bentham’s neoclassical philosophy became the foundation of the English jurisprudence system, and hence the American jurisprudence system.
  • 17.  The twentieth century ushered in a new era of scientific inquiry. Many of the scientific fields that emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, such as sociology, psychology, and psychiatry, offered innovative theories to explain human behavior. Scholars quickly adopted this new knowledge to explain criminal behavior, and often, the validity of these new explanations was tested through the criminal justice system.
  • 18.  The scientific method emphasizes that knowledge about criminal behavior should be gathered using tools such as observation, surveys, case studies, and experimentation.  The positive school includes most modern theories of criminology.  The positive theories can be divided into three major schools based upon the emphasis of the primary cause of crime: biology, psychology, and sociology.  Theories based upon psychology and sociology have a greater impact upon the criminal justice system than biological theories have.
  • 19.  Modern theories of crime are based upon the premise that, contrary to the assumption of classical theories that individuals have free will and choose to commit crime, people commit crimes because of uncontrollable internal or external factors that can be observed and measures.  These positivist scholars and scientists were also known as determinists.
  • 20.  Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859)
  • 21.  Darwin’s writings provided an important portal for the development of new positive criminological theories.  One of the dilemmas in the advancement of premodern criminological theories was the belief commonly held in Christian theologies that humankind was created by God in God’s image and therefore is inherently good.  This foundational belief, while consistent with the free will school of thought, posed great difficulties for any theory asserting that some people are not created good, but are bad from birth.
  • 22.  To say that one was born “bad” seems to place the fault with God or to deny the goodness of God’s creation. If people are good from birth, on the other hand, it becomes necessary to explain how one becomes bad.  The theory of evolution and adaptation of the species provided an answer to this question.
  • 23.  Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) was an Italian medical doctor who took an interest in the causes of criminal behavior. He was particularly influenced by previous scholars whose writings suggested that criminality was inherited. He was also influence by Darwin’s theory of adaptation and nonadaptation, and he assumed that criminals were throwbacks to an earlier stage of evolution.
  • 24.  Lombroso collected extensive data from Italian prisoners and Italian military personnel. He believed that criminal behavior was a characteristic of humans who had failed to fully develop from their primitive origins, such that criminals were closer to apes than to contemporary humans. ◦ Protruding jaws ◦ Sloping foreheads ◦ Left-handedness ◦ Red hair
  • 25.  Lombroso concluded that criminals were cases of atavism – reversions to primitive times.  Because criminals were born inferior and prehuman, little could be done to prevent such persons from becoming criminals or to rehabilitate them.  Lombroso made extensive physical measurements to define what he called the “criminal man”.  The study of physical traits of criminals was called atavistic stigmata.
  • 26.  Garofalo and Ferri further developed Lombroso’s theories. Although their theories deviated significantly from Lombroso’s, the central theme was that criminals should not be held morally responsible for crimes because they did not choose to commit the crimes.  Ferri was more hopeful that preventive measures could overcome congenital tendencies.  Garofalo focused more on psychic anomalies and the reform of the judicial system.
  • 27.  Despite the fact that Lombroso’s theory was later invalidated, it was and continues to be influential in the study of criminology and upon the criminal justice system. ◦ His theory influence the way in which convicted persons were treated in prison ◦ Emphasis on corporal punishment and moral correction through religious instruction was replaced by an emphasis on identification, isolation, and extermination. ◦ Castration was a common correctional treatment based on the belief that criminality is an inherited characteristic.
  • 28.  “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.” ◦ U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
  • 29.  GENETICS: As the contribution of genetics to various human conditions was recognized, several studies revisited Lombroso’s basic axiom that criminality is inherited.  Karl O. Christainsen: Studied sets of identical twins and concluded that if one twin engaged in criminal behavior, the probability that his or her identical twin would be a criminal was statistically significantly higher.
  • 30.  Proponents of the biological perspective on criminal behavior argue that some people are born with a biological predisposition for criminality.  Biocriminlolgy: The study of the roles played by genetic and neurophysiological variables in criminal behavior.
  • 31.  Modern biology-based theories identify a diverse number of variables suspected of contributing to criminal behavior. Often, these theories have emerged after scientific discoveries have revealed new knowledge about how the brain works and the contribution of genetics to behavior. ◦ XYY Chromosome theory
  • 32.  Freud and Psychoanalysis:  At the end of the 1800’s, Austrian Neurophysiologist Sigmund Freud introduced his new psychoanalytic theory. In the twentieth century, the science of psychoanalysis became universally accepted as a way of understanding previously unexplainable human behavior.  Freud based his theory on the underlying assumption that behavior is not a choice of free will, but is controlled by subconscious desires. Furthermore, not all behavior is rational. Some desires are not only irrational, but destructive.
  • 33.  Freud argued that despite the self-destructive nature of some behaviors, people are unable to control them.  At the root of Freud’s theory is the concept that human thoughts and actions are controlled by the three components of the conscious mind:  The Superego  The Ego  The Id
  • 34.  Freud did not focus on the study of criminal behavior, but his theory of psychoanalysis has been extensively applied to the study of criminals.  When Freud’s theory is applied to criminal behavior, it could be said that crime is a symptom of a person’s unresolved psychological conflict. This conflict is caused by “free floating” feelings of guilt and anxiety.  The person feels guilty, but does not know why.
  • 35.  To alleviate the feelings of guilt, the person commits a crime so that he or she will be punished.  The punishment brings temporary relief, however, because the punishment is not truly related to the source of the feelings of guilt, the guilt returns, and it is necessary for the person to commit another crime.  This dysfunctional cycle of guilt and criminal behavior continues because in reality, the punishment received cannot alleviate the feeling of guilt.  SERIAL MURDERERS
  • 36.  The University of Chicago established the first sociological department in the United States. Robert Ezra Park (1864-1944) was one of the founders of this department, and he focused on explaining and understanding social disorder.  Park believed that human behavior is influenced by the environment and that an overcrowded and disordered environment leading to social isolation contributes to deviant and criminal behavior.
  • 37.  Park and his students gathered data from the surrounding Chicago area and engaged in a comprehensive study of the relationship between urbanization and social isolation, based on Emile Durkheim’s theory of anomie.  Anomie is a feeling of “normlessness” and lack of belonging that people feel when they become socially isolated.  According to Durkheim, people with anomie lack the ties to society that would inhibit them from committing crimes against society.
  • 38.  Park’s research demonstrated that criminal behavior was independent of individual characteristics and much more dependent on disruptive social forces. This is called social disorganization theory.  Subsequent studies by Clifford Shaw and others demonstrated that Chicago was divided into territorial patterns with distinct populations. Each population had a distinct ecological niche and a life of its own that was more or less conducive to crime. This environment based theory of criminal behavior became known as zone theory. Robert Ezra Park (1864-1944)
  • 39.  Zone Theory: According to zone theory, social environments based on status disadvantages: ◦ Poverty ◦ Illiteracy ◦ Lack of schooling ◦ Unemployment ◦ Illegitimacy are powerful forces that influence human interactions. Studies by Shaw and McKay showed that from 1900 to 1933, the highest rates of delinquency persisted in the same neighborhoods, even though the ethnic composition changed. Thus, the basic cause of delinquency was not the ethnicity of the juveniles, but the social structures, institutions, and environmental variables in that zone.
  • 40.  Based on the assumption that social conditions such as unemployment, poor schools, and substandard housing are significant factors contributing to delinquency and crime, many government-sponsored programs have attempted to fight crime by improving employment opportunities, social services, and housing.  Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) was founded on the theory that crime prevention is related to environmental design, particularly housing design. ◦ Broken Window Theory
  • 41.  Differential Association Theory: criminal behavior is learned entirely through group interaction.  Sutherland argued that criminal behavior is learned in intimate peer groups that reward or reinforce antisocial or delinquent behaviors. Thus, a life of crime is culturally transmitted through peer groups.  Sutherland emphasizes that criminal or deviant behavior is simply a learned behavior. ◦ Behavior is learned ◦ White collar crime ◦ Crime by upper-class adolescents
  • 42.  Social control theory emphasizes that social and cultural values exert control over individuals’ behavior and that social institutions enforce those values. ◦ Family ◦ School ◦ Neighborhood ◦ Church (Religion) ◦ Government  Informal Sanctions and Formal Sanctions  The influence of informal and formal systems of social control make people basically law abiding to the extent that they indentify with and conform to social expectations.
  • 43.  Social control theories emphasize that both environmental variables and individual self-control are influential in preventing or suppressing criminal behavior.
  • 44.  Neutralization theory is based on the assumption that one cannot completely resist criminal behavior and that most people have committed some criminal or deviant act at one time or another.  It is argued that deviant and criminal behavior produces a sense of guilt, and that the pains of conscience are sufficient to keep most people from engaging in extended and extensive criminality.  Criminals, on the other hand, learn neutralization techniques that allow them to avoid being guilt ridden.  Neutralization techniques include psychological defenses, such as rationalization, denial, and appeal to higher loyalties.
  • 45.  Sociologist Robert Merton formulated a popular theory called strain theory, which is based on the assumption that people are law-abiding but will resort to crime when they are frustrated in finding legitimate means to economic success.  According to Merton, people attempt to adapt means to goals in five basic ways ◦ Conformity ◦ Innovation ◦ Ritualism ◦ Retreatism ◦ Rebellion
  • 47.  Merton believed that social conditions, especially poverty and ethnicity, are powerful factors in determining the adaptations that individuals make to socially prescribed goals and the lifestyles that develop as a result. It was predicted that the greatest proportion of crime would be found in the lower classes because, Merton believed, lower-class people have the least opportunity to reach middle-class goals legitimately. Also, in such a diverse society as the United States, it might be presumptuous to assume that everyone shares the same value system and common goals.
  • 48.  Strain theory has had a major impact on the government’s response to crime. Programs such as Head Start, Job Corps, and others aimed at providing economic opportunities to the poor and disadvantaged are justified by the belief that economic opportunity deters crime.
  • 50.  Cultural deviance theories are based on the idea that the values of subcultural groups within the society have even more power over individual behavior. Organized crime families, juvenile gangs, and hate groups can be described as deviant subcultures.  Cultural deviance theorists focus on differences in values and norms between mainstream society and subcultural groups, including immigrants who entered the United States during the first half of the twentieth century.
  • 51.  Thorsten Sellin (1938) advocated that crime was not necessarily a case of bad people engaging in deliberate or negligent harm to others. Sellin argued that cultural diversity could be the cause of crime. In a homogeneous society with strong identification with the values of the group, there is little need for formal enforcement of laws, as most people will conform to the group norms and values.
  • 52.  Sellin believed that criminal law reflects normative values of the dominant culture or ethnic group. In a society where there is a diversity of cultural or ethnic groups, the behaviors of the members of the minority culture or ethnic group may be rejected and labeled criminal.  There are two types of cultural conflict: ◦ Primary conflict ◦ Secondary conflict
  • 53.  Primary conflict occurs when the norms of two cultures clash.  Secondary conflict occurs within the evolution of a single culture, as when children reject the values and conduct norms of their parents.  Examples of cultural conduct norms that may be contrary to the law include: ◦ Parents who do not believe in childhood immunizations ◦ Compulsory schooling ◦ Medical interventions to save lives ◦ Religions who believe in polygamy
  • 54.  Conflict theorists focus on how a society’s system of social stratification (the division of society into social classes) and social inequality influence behavior.  Conflict theories are based on the assumption that powerful ruling political and social elites – persons, groups, and institutions – exploit the less powerful and use the criminal justice system to their own advantage to maintain their power and privilege. In this view, criminology is the study of crime in relation to society’s haves and have-nots.
  • 55.  Theories of crime based on social inequality have their roots in the social criticisms of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in nineteenth-century Europe. Marxism assumes a division between the poor (workers) and the rich (property owners and capitalists) in which the rich control the various social, political, and economic institutions of society. The rich use their power and position to control the poor.  Present-day conflict theorists suggest that reducing social inequality is the only or best way to reduce criminal behavior.
  • 56.  In the 1960’s, Richard Quinney argued that the criminal justice system is a state-initiated and state-supported effort to rationalize mechanisms of social control, which are based on class structure. The state is organized to serve the interests of the dominant economic class. Quinney saw criminal law as an instrument that the state and the “ruling class” use to maintain and perpetuate the social and economic order.  Some conflict theorists went so far as to claim that there is a deliberate conspiracy to suppress the lower classes, especially the “dangerous poor”.
  • 57.  Feminist criminology assumes that the underlying cause of criminal behavior by females is the inequality of power between men and women. Advocates such as Kathleen Daly, Freda Adler, Meda Chesney-Lind, and Rita J. Simon argue that the inequality of political, economic, and social power and wealth is the root cause of female criminal behavior.
  • 58.  Conflict theorists have strongly criticized mainstream criminology and the criminal justice system. Research data began to support claims that inequality of opportunity contributes to crime, and inequalities were found to exist in the operation of the criminal justice system. It was found, for example, that disproportionate numbers of poor and minority citizens were being stopped, arrested, and incarcerated compared with other groups.
  • 59.  Radical criminologists such as William Chambliss saw the law and the system as a means of institutional discrimination rather than a means of providing fairness in justice. While efforts have been made to address these criticisms of the criminal justice system, conflict-based theories of crime causation have not had a role in crime prevention or rehabilitation programs.
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