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Criminology NotesCriminology: Scientific approach to studying criminal behaviorCriminology is a multidisciplinary science involving Sociology, psychology, biology, criminal justice, political science, economics, and public policySociety wants to know why someone would commit a criminal actCriminologist: Researchers who study the analytics and reasons surrounding crime.Examples of criminological research: Explorative research, descriptive research, explanation research, application research.Usually already know a problem but figuring out why is the struggleCriminal Justice System never deals with why something happens, Criminology deals with whyDeviant behavior: Behavior not accepted by cultural normsCriminologists use various forms of data collection including:Uniform Crime ReportNational Incident-Based Reporting SystemNational Crime Victimization SurveySelf-Report SurveyUCR is the most widely cited source of official criminal statistics methodClearance rate: An arrest being made for a crimeAccording to statistics, slightly more than 20 percent of all reported index crimes are cleared by arrest each year.Less than 40 percent of criminal incidents are reported to police, the majority are notThe dark figure of crime is the amount of crime not reported to authorities, thus not includes in statistical researchNational Crime Victimization Survey: Found that 20 million individuals are victimized each yearSelf-report survey research has several significant disadvantages including over and under reporting the amount of crime.Many individuals may exaggerate their criminal activity or fail to recognize their criminal behaviorTypology: Criminologists who study criminal behavior systems and crime typologies emphasize research on certain criminal types and patterns (domestic abuse, property crimes, etc)Many criminal offenders are involved in specific criminalityA theory is a set of interconnected statements or propositions that explain how two or more events or factors are related to one anotherIn today’s world, the influence of the media leads to an increase in the publics’ fear of crimeThe consensus perspective holds laws should be endorsed in order to criminalize certain types of behaviorThe conflict perspective depicts society as a collection of diverse groups business owners, workers, professionals, students who are in constant and continuing conflictThe interactionist view of crime believes individuals act based on interpretations of realityMala in se: Inherently evilChapter 2Many criminologists who solely study victims of crime refer to themselves as victimologistsTaxpayers are saddles with the cost of the criminal justice system, thus victims of crime are important to study because as a taxpayer we all pay for victims of crimeA common occurrence of victimization is PTSDThe cycle of violence suggests a repetitive culture of violence and abuse is a prime example of how victimization can lead to antisocial behaviorAccording to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, women who have been abused are fifteen times more likely to abuse alcohol and nine times more likely to abuse drugs than women who have not been abusedFear can be increased by media sensationalizing crime within the communityMen are twice as likely to be victims of a robbery, but women are six times more likely to be victims of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence.Women are also more likely to be victimized by a family member, friend, or acquaintance compared to males.The victim precipitation theory suggests some individuals may actually initiate the confrontation,which eventually leads to their injury or death.According to the Lifestyle theory, a prostitute or drug dealer is more likely to be exposed to criminality then an average person.Hence, prostitutes and drug dealers are more likely to be victimized.The deviant place theory stresses the greater exposure to dangerous places, the more likely individuals will become victims of crime and violence.Routine Activities Theory states the volume and distribution of predatory crime are linked to the interaction of three variables, which reflect the routine activities of the typical American lifestyle.Survey shows more than 75 percent of the general public has been victimized by crime at least once in their life.The Omnibus Victim and Witness Protection Act passed in 1982, allowed the use of victim impact statements at sentencing in federal criminal cases.California established the first victims’ compensation plan in 1965, however the federal government helps with these state funds.Another significant problem with the restitution process is the socioeconomic status of the offender.Research indicated in a majority of cases the offenders are too poor to make full restitution payments.Currently every state jurisdiction permits victims to make an impact statement before the sentencing judge to show how the victimization affected their life.Crisis intervention involves emergency psychological care directed at assisting a victim who is experiencing a crisis.Assistance may involve anything from medical care to basic transportation and shelters.A prime example of victimization and education is Heather’s Law, which requires high school students in Indiana to understand the dangers of dating violence.Most mediation programs are part of the restorative justice movement, which encourages reconciliation.Many survivors of violent crime or relatives of victims have questions, which can only be answered by the offender.The program allow survivors’ families’ answers to questions and perhaps allow the offender to express remorse or ask for forgiveness.Included in most victims rights bills are the following rights: To be notified of proceedings and the status of the defendant, to be present at any criminal justice proceedings, to make a statementat sentencing and to receive restitution from a convicted offender, to be consulted before a case is dismissed or a plea agreement entered, to a speedy trial, to keep the victim’s contact information confidential.Chapter 3Rational Choice TheoriesCriminologists have always attempted to develop valid and reliable theories in order to interpret criminal behavior within society Some criminologists believe the root of all criminal behavior is based on a rational decisions.As a result, many rational choice theorists believe strict deterrence and harsh punishment is needed to reduce crime since law breaking is essentially a

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VCU CRJS 355 - Criminology Notes

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