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Criminology Chapter 1 Words

criminology

the scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior.

interdisciplinary

involving two or more academic fields

criminal justice

...system made up of the agencies of social control, such as police departments, the courts, and correctional institutions, that handle criminal offenders

criminological enterprise

the various subareas included within the scholarly discipline of criminology, which, taken as a whole, define the field of study.

valid measure

a measure that actually measures what it purports to measure; a measure that is factual.

reliable measure

a measure that produces consistent results from one measurement to another.

white-collar crime

illegal acts that capitalize on a person's status in the marketplace. White-collar crimes may include theft, embezzlement, fraud, market manipulation, restraint of trade, and false advertising.

penology

subarea of criminology that focuses on the correction and control of criminal offenders.

rehabilitation

treatment of criminal offenders that is aimed at preventing future criminal behavior

capital punishment

the execution of criminal offenders; the death penalty

mandatory sentences

a statutory requirement that a certain penalty shall be carried out in all cases of conviction for a specified offense or serious of offenses...

victimology

the study of the victim's role in criminal events...

utilitarianism

the view that people's behavior is motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain

classical criminology

theoretical perspective suggesting that 1. people have free will to choose criminal or conventional behaviors; 2. people choose to committ crime for reasons of greed or personal need; and 3. crime can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions...

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.

scientific method

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

biosocial theory

approach to criminology that focuses on the interaction between biosocial and social factors as they are related to crime.

sociological criminology

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

anomie

a lack of norms or clear social standards. because of rapidly shifting moral values, the individual has few guides to what is socially acceptable.

Chicago school

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

socialization

process of human development and enculturization. Socialization is influenced by key social processes and institutions.

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.

critical criminology

the view that crime is a product of the capitalist system.

developmental theory

the view that criminality is a dynamic process, influenced by social experiences as well as individual characteristics.

rational choice theory

the view that crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the would-be offender weights the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act.

trait theory

the view that criminality is a product of abnormal biological or psychological traits.

social structure theory

the view that disadvantaged economic class position is a primary cause of crime.

social process theorists

the view that criminality is a function of people's interactions with various organizations, institutions, and processes in society.

deviance

behavior that departs from the social norm but is not necessarily criminal.

critical criminologists

members of a branch of criminology that focuses on the oppression of the poor, women, and minorities, thereby linking class conflict, sexism, and racism to crime rates. Critical criminologists examine how those who hold political and economic power shape the law to uphold their self-interests.

crime

an act, deemed socially harmfully or dangerous, that is specifically defined, prohibited, and punished under the criminal law.

decriminalize

having criminal penalties reduced rather than eliminated.

consensus view

the belief that the majority of citizens in a society share common values and agree on what behaviors should be defined as criminal.

criminal law

the written code that defines crimes and their punishments.

conflict view

the belief that criminal behavior is defined by those in power in such a way as to protect and advance their own self-interest.

interactionist view

the belief that those with social power are able to impose their values on society as a whole, and these values then define criminal behavior.

Code of Hammurabi

the first written criminal code, developed in Babylonia about 2000 B.C.

Mosaic Code

the laws of the ancient Israelites, found in the Old Testament of the Judeo-Christian Bible.

precedent

a rule derived from previous judicial decisions and applied to future cases; the basis of common law.

common law

Early English law, developed by judges, which became the standardized law of the land in England and eventually formed the basis of the criminal law in the U.S.

statutory crimes

Crimes defined by legislative bodies in response to changing social conditions, public opinion, and custom.

felony

A serious offense that carries a penalty of imprisonment, usually for one year or more, and may entail loss of political rights.

misdemeanor

a minor crime usually punished by a short jail term and/or fine. .

appellate court

court that reviews trial court procedures to determine whether they have complied with accepted rules and constitutional doctrines.

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