Criminology Midterm Exam

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Study guide for Chapters 1-5.

Scientific Method

The use of verifiable principles and procedures for the systematic acquisition of knowledge. Typically involves formulating a problem, hypotheses, and collecting data, through observation and experiment, to verify the hypothesis.

Criminology

An academic discipline that uses the scientific method to study the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior.

Criminologist

Includes criminal statistics, sociology of law, theory construction, criminal behavior systems, penology, and victimology.

Criminal Statistics

Gathering valid crime data. Devising new research methods; measuring crime patterns and trends.

Sociology of Law

Determining the origin of law. Measuring the forces that can change laws and society.

Theory Construction

Predicting individual behavior. Understanding the cause of crime rates and trends.

Criminal Behavior System

Determining the nature and cause of specific crime patterns. Studying violence, theft, organized crime, white-collar crime, and public order crimes.

Penology

Studying the correction and control of criminal behavior. Using the scientific method to assess the effectiveness of criminal sanctions designed to control crime through the application of criminal punishments.

Victimology

Studying the nature and cause of victimization. Aiding crime victims; understanding the nature and extent of victimization; developing theories of victimization risk.

Karl Marx

Author of Communist Manifesto. Believed the character of every civilization is determined by its mode of production- the way its people develop and produce material goods.

Marxist Criminology

The exploitation of the working class would eventually lead to class conflict and the end of the capitalist system. The most important relationship is between the owners of the means of production (capitalist bourgeoisie) and the people who perform the labor (proletariat).

Positivism

The branch of social science that uses the scientific method of the natural sciences and suggests that human behavior is a product of social, biological, psychological, or economic forces.

Positivism

Uses the scientific method. Finds abnormality in the human mind being linked to criminal behavior patterns, as well as the shape and distances between facial features linked with antisocial behavior.

Sociological Criminology

An approach to criminology based on the work of Quetelet and Durkheim, that focuses on the relationship between social factors and crime.

Quetelet

Used social statistics to investigate the influence of social factors on the propensity to commit crime.

Quetelet

Found that age and sex had a strong influence on crime, and found that season, climate, population composition, and poverty were also related to criminality.

Quetelet

One of the first to link crime rates to alcohol consumption.

Durkheim

Believed crime is normal because it is virtually impossible to imagine a society in which criminal behavior is totally absent.

Durkheim

Crime is inevitable because people are so different from one another and use such a wide variety of methods and types of behavior to meed their needs.

The Chicago School

Group of urban sociologists who studied the relationship between environmental conditions and crime.

The Chicago School

Examined how neighborhood conditions such as poverty levels influenced crime rates. Found some neighborhoods "natural areas" for crime.

The Chicago School

Argued that crime was not a function of personal traits or characteristics but, rather, a reaction to an environment that was inadequate for proper human relations and development.

Classical Criminology

Theoretical perspective suggesting that people have the free will to choose criminal behavior or conventional behaviors, and people choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal need, and crime can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions.

Classical Criminology

Crime is attractive when it promises great benefits with little effort.

Classical Criminology

Crime may be controlled by the fear of punishment.

Classical Criminology

Punishment that is or is perceived to be severe, certain, and swift will deter criminal behavior.

Megan's Laws

Requires law enforcement authorities to make information available to the public about registered sex offenders, including the offender's name, picture, address, incarceration date, and nature of crime.

Zgoba and Bachar

Criminologists who conducted an in-depth study of the effectiveness of the New Jersey registration law and found that, although it was maintained at great cost to the state, the system did not produce effective results.

Zgoba and Bachar

Criminologists who found that, rather than deterring crime, such laws like Megan's Law may merely cause sex offenders to become more cautious, while giving parents a false sense of security.

Conflict Theory

The view that human behavior is shaped by interpersonal conflict and that those who maintain social power will use it to further their own ends.

Cesare Lombroso

"Father of criminology". Studied the cadavers of executed criminals in an effort to determine scientifically how criminals differed from noncriminals.

PTSD

Psychological reaction to a highly stressful event; symptoms may include depression, anxiety, flashbacks, and recurring nightmares.

PTSD

Rape victims are the most susceptible to this and its effects are felt whether the victim acknowledges the attack or remains in denial about it.

$3 Million

The average cost of an average murder.

Code of Hammurabi

The first written criminal code, developed in Babylonia around 2000 B.C. "An eye for an eye". The code established a system of crime and punishment based on psychical retaliation.

When are most reported crimes occurring?

During the warm summer months of July and August.

Why are schools a scene for victimization?

Adult supervision is minimal, during and after school activities.

Uniform Crime Report (UCR)

Large database, compiled by the FBI, of crimes reported and arrests made each year throughout the United States.

Uniform Crime Report

Data are collected from records from police departments across the nation, crimes reported to the police, and arrests.

Uniform Crime Report

Strengths: It measures homicides and arrests and that it is a consistent, national sample.

Uniform Crime Report

Weakness: It omits crimes not reported to police, omits most drug usage, and contains reporting errors.

National Crime Victimization Survey

Data are collected from a large national survey.

National Crime Victimization Survey

Strengths: It includes crimes not reported to the police, uses careful sampling techniques, and is a yearly survey.

National Crime Victimization Survey

Weaknesses: It relies on victims' memory and honesty and that it omits substance abuse.

National Crime Victimization Survey

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.

Offense-Specific Crime

A crime in which the offender reacts selectively to the characteristics of a particular criminal act.

Offender-Specific Crime

A crime in which offenders evaluate their skills, motives, needs, and fears before deciding to commit the criminal act.

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