Consensus View of Crime
The majority of citizen's in society share common ideals and work toward a common good. Crimes are acts that are outlawed because they conflict with the rules of the majority and are harmful to society.
Conflict View of Crime
The law is controlled by the rich and powerful who shape its content to ensure their continued economic domination of society. The crimina justice system is an instrument of social and economic repression.
Interactionist View of Crime
Criminal law reflects the values of people who use their social and political power to shape the legal system.
People who wage moral crusades to control criminal law so that it reflects their own personal values.
A violation of societal rules of behavior as interpreted and expressed by a criminal legal code created by people holding social and political power. Individuals who violate these rules are subject to sanctions by state authority, social stigma, and loss of status.
Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)
The FBI's yearly publication of where, when, and how much serious crime occurred in the prior years.
Official Crime Statistics
Compiled by the FBI in its Uniform Crime Reports, these are a tally of serious crimes reported to police agencies each year.
Part I Crimes
The eight crimes for which, because of their seriousness and frequency, the FBI reports their incidence in its annual Uniform Crime Reports. The Part I crimes are murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, arson, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.
Part II Crimes
All other crimes except the eight Part I crimes. The FBI records all arrest made for Part II crimes, including race, gender, and age information.
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
The ongoing victimization study conducted jointly by the Justice Department and the U.S. Census Bureau that surveys victims about their experiences with law violation.
A research approach that requires subjects to reveal their own participation in delinquent or criminal acts.
Racial Threat Hypothesis
The view the percentage of minorities in the population shapes the level of police activity.
The view that extreme social and economic differences among people living in the same community exacerbate criminal activity.
Broken Windows Hypothesis
The view that deteriorated communities attract criminal activity.
A delinquent offender who is arrested five or more times before he or she is 18 and who stands a good chance of becoming an adult criminal; these offenders are responsible for more than half of all serious crimes.
Rational Choice Theory
People will engage in delinquent and criminal behavior after weighing the consequences and benefits of their actions. Delinquent behavior is a rational choice made by a motivated offender who perceives the chances of gain as outweighing any perceived punishment or loss.
Human behavior is a function of the interaction of biochemical, neurological, and genetic factors with environmental stimuli.
Criminals are driven by unconscious thought patterns, developed in early childhood, that control behaviors over the life course.
A psychological condition marked by mood swings between periods of wild elation and deep depression.
Social Learning Theory
Behavior patterns are modeled and learned in interactions with others.
Antisocial (Sociopathic, psychopathic) Personality
Individuals who are always in trouble and do not learn from either experience or punishment. They are loners who engage in frequent callous and hedonistic behaviors are emotionally immature, and empathy.
Social Structure Theory
A person's position in the social structure controls his or her behavior. Those in the lowest socioeconomic tier are more likely to succumb to crime-promoting elements in their environment, whereas those in the highest tier enjoy social and economic advantages that insulate them from crime-producing forces.
Culture of Poverty
The crushing lifestyle of slum areas produces a culture of poverty, passed from one generation to the next, marked by apathy, cynicism, feelings of helplessness, and mistrust of social institutions, such as schools, government agencies, and the police.
A substratum of society that maintains a unique set of values and beliefs.
The passing of cultural values from one generation to the next.
Social Process Theory
An individual's behavior is shaped by interactions with key social institutions--family, school, peer group, and the like.
Social Conflict Theory
Human behavior is shaped by interpersonal conflict, and those who maintain social power use it to further their own interest.
Social interactions that are developed over the life course shape behavior. Some interactions (such as involvement with deviant peers) encourage laws violations, whereas other (such as marriage and military service) may help people desist from crime.