D E F I N I N G C R I M I N O LO GY T H E C R I M I N A L L AW D E V E LO P M E N T O F A C A D E M I C C R I M I N O LO GY THEORIES OF CRIME P O L I T I C S / I D E O LO GY INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY DEFINING CRIMINOLOGY Edwin Sutherlands definition The scientific study of lawmaking, lawbreaking, and the response to lawbreaking
Lawmaking = how laws are created/changed Lawbreaking = nature/extent of crime Reaction = police, courts, corrections Science vs. other ways of knowing stuff CRIMINOLOGY VS. CRIMINAL JUSTICE Criminal Justice The study of agencies related to the control of crime Criminology The study of crime trends, nature of crime, theories of crime
Reality? Two sides of the same coin CRIMINOLOGY VS. DEVIANCE Criminology focuses on crimes Crime = violation of criminal law Deviance focuses on violations of societal norms These may or may not also be law violations Can you think of a norm violation that is not a law? How about a law violation that does not violate a norm?
TYPES OF LAW Criminal Law Procedural vs. Substantive Statutory vs. Common Civil Law Tort law 5 SUBSTANTIVE VS. PROCEDURAL LAW Substantive Law Written code that defines crimes and punishments
Procedural Law Governs actors in the criminal justice system (e.g., when can the police search your vehicle?) 6 COMMON LAW V. STATUTORY LAW Common Law is judge-made law. The law is found in previously decided cases. Statutory Laws are derived from
legislative acts that decide the definition of the behavior that is codified into law. 7 CRIMINAL AND TORT LAW A public offense Enforcement is state business Punishment is often loss of liberties or
sometimes death Fines go to the state State doesnt ordinarily appeal Proof beyond a reasonable doubt A civil or private wrong Individuals bring action Sanction is normally monetary damages Both parties can appeal Individuals receives the compensation for harm
done Preponderance of the evidence is required for a decision. 8 SERIOUSNESS OF CRIMES I Mala in se Wrong or evil in themselves Core of legal code Homicide Robbery
Mala prohibita Wrong because they are prohibited Change over time and across society Prostitution Gambling SERIOUSNESS OF CRIMES II FELONY MISDEMEANOR
More serious offenses Less serious offenses Punishable by death or imprisonment for more than a year in a state prison. Punishable by incarceration for less than a year in a local jail or house of correction.
10 A CRIMINAL LAW MUST INDICATE A TYPE OF INTENT AND A SPECIFIC BEHAVIOR Actus Reas Physical act must be voluntary If crime isFailure to act, there must be legal obligation. Statutory Obligation, Relationship between parties, Contract Mens Rea General or specific intent Transferred Intent
Negligence Strict Liability Offenses 11 SPECIFIC CRIMINAL DEFENSES Deny the Actus Reas (I didnt do it) Deny the Mens Rea Ignorance / Mistake Intoxication? Insanity Defense 12
WHO DOES THE LAW SERVE? Consensus view Law results from societal agreement on what behaviors are most harmful Laws apply to all citizens equally Conflict view Law results from conflict over what behavior should be criminalized Those with the most power define what is criminal and often use the law to protect their interests Which is correct?
CRIMINOLOGY AS A DISCIPLINE Until the 1970s, there was no criminology or criminal justice degree Sociology became the dominant disciple Still contributions from biology, psychology, political science 1980-Present Criminology emerging as separate entity PhD in Criminology/Criminal Justice now the norm Still debate about whether Criminology is a distinct discipline Organized around a class of behaviors rather than a distinct way of looking at the world
Sociologists still see criminology as a sub-discipline of sociology SOCIOLOGICAL CRIMINOLOGYGOOD & BAD Good: Focus on social structure and inequality; healthy skepticism (debunking) Bad: Ignore/ridicule outside disciplines and their focus on individual differences The Irony? Psychologists and biologists believe that social forces are as (or more) important than individual differences This class will explore crime from a
multidisciplinary lens A CRUDE HISTORY OF CRIMINOLOGY Demonic Perspective pre-1750s Crime as gods will, result of demonic possession Classical School (1750s-1900; 1970s to now) Utilitarian philosophy (Becarria, Bentham) A response to an unjust/arbitrary legal system Free will, humans use a hedonistic calculus Rational legal code less crime Basis of deterrence theory
CRUDE HISTORYPART II Positive School (1900-present) Crime is caused by outside forces (determinism) Solution is to fix these causes (medical model, rehab) Scientific research on offenders, crime (not law) Different types of positivism Bio/psych determinism (1900-1920s)
Sociological theory (1920s-Present) Critical theories (1960s-early 1970s) Developmental Theory (1990s-present) CRIME THEORY Backbone of criminology Scientific Theory Must be able to test theory A GOOD theory survives empirical testing Empirical = real world observations Some theories are sexier than others Parsimony Scope
Usefulness of policy implications FLOW CHART FOR EVALUATION NO = Useless, stop here Falsifiable? Logical? YES Yes Empirical Evidence?
Evaluate the Following: Scope Parsimony Policy Implications NO: Modify/Discard EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE IS THE KEY Theories attempt to demonstrate cause-effect Criteria for causation in social science using a poverty crime example Time ordering: poverty happens before crime
Correlation: X is related to Y Relationship is not spurious (e.g., low self-control causes both poverty and crime) METHODS FOR GENERATING EVIDENCE Experiment Key is randomly assigned groups Only factor that effects outcome is group difference at start of experiment Limit = artificial nature EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN METHODS FOR GENERATING EVIDENCE II
Non-experimental Survey research Cross sectional Stimulant Study Longitudinal Limit = how to rule out spuriousness Upside = ask whatever you want IDEOLOGY IN CRIMINOLOGY Walter Miller Ideology is the permanent hidden agenda of Criminal Justice What is Ideology?
American Political Ideology Liberal/Progressive Ideology Conservative Ideology Radical Ideology DOMINANT IDEOLOGIES IN U.S. CONSERVATIES Value order/stability, respect for authority People get what they deserve
Crime caused by poor choice (Free will) LIBERALS Value equal opportunities and individual rights Success/failure depends on outside forces and where you start Crime is caused by
outside influences IMPLICATIONS OF IDEOLOGY FOR CRIME AND JUSTICE Conservatives tend to fit with Classical School Neo-Classical = deterrence, incapacitation James Q. Wilsons policy analysis Liberal/Progressive fit with positive school Favor decriminalizing some acts Root causes of crime only fixed by social change Rehabilitation may be possible Elliott Currie = ample evidence that government can address social ills and prevent crime
Radical = Marxist/conflict theory IDEOLOGY AS HIDDEN AGENDA Many policies and programs are driven more by ideology than empirical evidence Intensive supervision probation (conservatives) Restorative justice (liberals) THE MARTINSON REPORT (MR) The Martinson Report was review of studies on rehabilitation published in the early 1970s Concluded that not much is working Used by politicians as the reason for abandoning
rehab Social Context of the 1960s Hippies, Watergate, Attica, Viet Nam, Kent State Conservatives? SKY IS FALLING Liberals? Cannot trust the government Reality = liberals and conservatives were both ready to pull the plug on rehabilitation THE LIMITS OF EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE Criminologists tend to be cautions with conclusions All studies are flawed in some way Politicians and public tend to over generalize
from a single study This can lead to bad policy RAND Felony Probation study Domestic Violence Experiments GOOD THEORY MAKES GOOD POLICY In a perfect world, programs and policies would flow from empirically supported theories of crime Unfortunately, people often shoot from hip Policy without Theory The panacea problem: scared straight, intensive probation, boot camps, warm and fuzzy circle Some hope in evidence-based movement
Multisystemic Therapy (MST) Targets for change = parental supervision, delinquent friends, reducing rewards for deviance
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