Ch13_LPPT - Napa Valley College

Report
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Chapter 13:
Crime
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Measuring Crime: Crime Statistics

Crime:
• Violation of norms written into law

Two basic types of street crime
• Violent and nonviolent crimes
• Violent crime:
 An illegal act committed against another
person
• Nonviolent crime:
 An illegal act committed against property
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued


Nobody wants crime in their neighborhood, but
people like crime in their TV programming
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Bones
• May make crime sexy and interesting
• Don’t capture complicated process of solving and
preventing crime as done by real-life officers and public
officials
 Paperwork is one piece of the process rarely seen
 Paperwork is an important aspect of detective work
• Tracking and analyzing crime statistics
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Criminology:
• Scientific study of crime, deviance, and social policies
that the criminal justice system applies

Uniform Crime Reports (UCR):
• UCR data comes from official police statistics of reported
crimes and is collected by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI)

UCR crime index uses eight major offenses to
measure crime
• Four are violent crimes: homicide, rape, robbery, and
aggravated assault
• Other four are property crimes: burglary, larceny-theft,
motor vehicle theft, and arson
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
• One of nation’s largest ongoing household surveys
• Calculates how many violent and nonviolent crimes U.S.
residents aged 12 and older experience each year
• Survey reaches nearly 70,000 households in US and
reports higher rates of crime than the UCR
• Supports the rule of thumb that about half of the crimes
committed in the United States go unreported
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued



Criminologists (sociologists who study
crime) often use both UCR and NCVS data
UCR data useful as source for reliable and
timely statistics on crimes reported to law
enforcement agencies nationwide
NCVS data useful as a source for
information on the characteristics of
criminal victimization and the details
behind unreported crimes
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Crime Demographics

Age
• Majority of criminal behavior occurs between ages of 15
and 25
 After age 25, criminal behavior less likely to occur
throughout life
• Age/crime relationship important when developing
target audiences for crime prevention programs
• This demographic factor most important aspect in
predicting the rise and fall of crime rates in the US
• Type of crime correlates to age of those most likely to
commit it
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Gender
• Historically, crime’s a male-dominated activity
 77% of people arrested are men, as are 90% of
inmates in U.S. state and federal prisons
 Statistics more startling because men make up less
than half the population in the United States
• Differences are fluid
 Number of female inmates in US growing steadily
• Bureau of Justice statistics
 1.2% increase in number of incarcerated women
 Number of incarcerated males only increased by
0.7%
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Race
• Relationship between race and crime very controversial
 More so than any other demographic
• Due to long history of racial inequality in US
 Many questions can be raised regarding legitimacy of
statistics
• African Americans represent approximately 12% of
population
 Yet account for 27% of arrests in the United States
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued
• Minorities hold more negative views of police
and criminal justice system than whites
 More likely to be victims of police brutality
 More likely to perceive police actions as
racially motivated
• Criminologists suggest this statistic may be
skewed due to practice of racial profiling
 Act of using race to determine whether a
person is likely to have committed a crime
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued
• No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American
Criminal Justice System, author David Cole
 Although 95% of residents in Florida County were
white, 70% of drivers stopped by the police were
African American and Latino
 Findings give support to the claim that “driving while
black” is considered a criminal offense in some areas
• Minorities tend to be poorer and may live in
neighborhoods where crime more frequent
 Such areas also attract more police surveillance
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Socioeconomic Status
• Social class can be linked to crime
• Direct correlation between those caught and lower
social class
• Author Jeffrey Reiman
 More crimes reported in deprived areas due to fact
that poor people are easier to catch and convict and
lack access to same resources that the affluent do
• Every step of the criminal justice system wealthy
weeded out by a system of:
 Bail, public defenders, and plea bargains that all work
in their favor
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Media and Crime

Crime is sensational
• Scares, enrages, and intrigues

NCIS, The Mentalist, CSI: Miami, and CSI:
New York
• Nielsen’s list of top 10 TV programs
• Do not portray accurate depiction of crime or
crime solving
• Shows add exaggerated details that make
viewers think most crime is dangerous, tense,
and provocative
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Criminologist Marcus Felson
• The “dramatic fallacy” of crime
 Offenses most publicized by media are far more
dramatic than those found in real life
 Lead viewers to develop a misperception of crime
• Particularly true regarding murder
 Murders account for less than 1% of violent crimes
and even smaller percentage of overall crime
 Offense most commonly portrayed in television
shows
• Media use real-life crime as a ratings boost
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Psychological Perspectives on Crime

Stanton Samenow
• Criminals think differently than non-criminals
 Tend to engage in chronic lying (even to themselves)
 View others’ property as their own
 Have an inflated self-image

American Psychiatric Association
• Criminals are antisocial and unable to conform to the
norms of society
• Criminals are impulsive, aggressive, and irritable; they
deceive often and feel no remorse for their actions
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Functionalist Theories

French social scientist Emile Durkheim
• Crime is always present in society and must
serve some function
• Crime provides a clear moral contrast between
what is right and what is wrong
 Helps unify society
• Crime unites people in the fight against it
• Crime can also bring about social revolution
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

American sociologist Robert K. Merton
• Social factors play a role in criminality
• Theory of Anomie
 Argues that criminal activity results from an
offender’s inability to achieve certain goals
 There is a structural problem in America – poor
people blocked from achieving goals they believe
they should be able to reach
• Social Disorganization Theory
 Poor neighborhoods with weak social institutions
have higher rates of crime
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Symbolic Interactionist Theories

American criminologist Edwin Sutherland
• Differential Association Theory
 Criminal activity is a learned behavior that
stems from the people with whom we
interact
 The more a person associates with
delinquents, the more likely it is that the
person will learn criminal behavior
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Criminologist Ronald Akers & Psychologist Albert
Bandura
• Social Learning Theory
 Learning is the key component of criminality
 People learn all kinds of things, from aggression and
violence to kindness and peace
 Social learning comes about in the same way as
other types of learning – from being enforced
 Potential “learning experiences” can come from those
closest to us, and from other interpersonal
interactions as well, such as media
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Social Control Theories

Social control theories
• People are self-interested, and these natural traits can
prompt criminal activity

Walter Reckless
• Criminality influenced by both internal and external
forces
 Internal forces include sense of morality and
knowledge of right and wrong
 External forces are factors such as police presence
• Containment theory
 Criminals cannot resist the temptations that surround
them
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued
• Criminologist Travis Hirschi
 There are four social bonds that affect personal
restraint
• Attachment, commitment, involvement, and belief
• People who lack these social bonds often become
involved in criminal behavior




Attachment, refers to our relationship with others
Commitment, refers to our dedication to live a
socially acceptable life
Involvement, refers to participating in conventional
activities
Belief, refers to a person’s dedication and conviction
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Conflict Theory

Social conflict theories
• Focus on how issues of social class, power, and
capitalism relate to crime

Dutch criminologist Willem Bonger
• Capitalism causes crime because it encourages
people to be egoistic and selfish
• Creates a conflict in society that the poor
cannot win
 Turn to crime as a way to combat social
injustice
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Jeffrey Reiman
• Capitalism creates a system in which actions of
the rich are not considered criminal, yet
actions of the poor are
• Your boss and/or your doctor are more likely
to kill you than a stranger, and yet whom do
you fear?
• Capitalism creates egoism, whereby people do
not care about others, and the ends (obtaining
wealth) justify the means
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
General Theories of Crime Causation

Robert Agnew
• General Strain Theory
 Strains from society lead people to perform
criminal activity
• From individual goals or needs
• Strain can result from unpleasant life events
• Person might suffer strain from negative
experiences such as abuse and pain
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Continued

Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi
• Self-control Theory
 Criminals simply lack self-control
 Criminals are not able to delay gratification, so they
seek short-term rewards at the expense of long-term
consequences
 Most crimes involve spur-of-the-moment decisions
 Most people learn this form of self-control from their
parents
 Criminals are raised by people who fail to teach the
importance of rejecting short-term, brief rewards in
favor of more pleasurable long-term ones
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2011 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

similar documents