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The Nature and Extent of Crime

consensus view of crime

the view that the great majority of citizen s agree that certain behaviors must be outlawed or controlled, and that criminal law is designed to protect citizens from the social harm.

conflict view of crime

the view that criminal law is created and enforced by those who hold political and economic power and is a tool used by the ruling class to control dissatisfied have-not members of society.

interactionist view of crime

the view that criminal law reflects the preferences and opinions of people who hold social power in the society and use their influence to impose their own values and moral code on the rest of the population.

moral entrepreneurs

people who wage campaigns to control behaviors they view as immoral of wrong.


a violation of social riles of conduct , interpreted and expressed by a written criminal code, created by people holding social and political power. Its content may be influenced by prevailing public sentiments, historically developed moral beliefs, and the need to protect public safety

expressive violence

violent behavior motivated by rage, anger, or frustration.

instrumental violence

violent behavior that results from criminal activity designed to improve the financial status of the culprit, such as shooting someone during a bank robbery.

mass murder

type of multiple killer who kills many victims in a single violent outburst

spree killer

type of multiple killer who spreads the murderous outburst over a few days or weeks

serial killer

type of multiple killer who kills over a long period of time but typically assumes a "normal" identify between murders

hate crimes (bias crimes)

criminal acts directed toward a particualr person or members of a group because they share a discernible racial, ethnic, religious, or gender characteristics.

public order crimes

behaviors that are illegal because they run counter to existing moral standards.

white-collar crimes

white-collar crimes involve the violation of rules that control business enterprises

corporate crime

crime committed by a corporation, or by individuals who control the corporation or business entity, for such purposes as illegally increasing market share, avoiding taxes, or thwarting competition.

Uniform Crime Report (UCR)

The official crime data collected by the FBI from local police departments

Part I Crimes

Those crimes used by the FBI to gauge fluctuations in the overall volume and rate of crime. The offenses include were the violent crimes of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault and the property crimes of burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson

Part II Crimes

All other crimes reported to the FBI; these are less serious crimes and misdemeanors, excluding traffic violations


an offense is cleared by arrest or solved when at least one person is arrested or charged with the commission of the offense and is turned over to the court for prosecution.

National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)

A form of crime data collection created by the FBI requiring local police agencies to provide at least a brief account of each incident and arrest within 22 crime patterns, including the incident, victim, and offender information

National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

The nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data from a nation sample measure the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization by such crimes as rape, sexual assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

self-report survey

a research approach that questions large groups of subjects, such as high-school students, about their own participation on delinquent or criminal acts.

instrumental crimes

criminal acts intended to improve the financial or social position of the criminal

expressive crimes

criminal acts that serve to vent rage, anger, or frustration

liberal feminist theory

an ideology holding that women suffer oppression, discrimination, and disadvantage as a result of their sex and calling for gender equality in pay, opportunity, child care, and education

racial threat hypothesis

the view that younger minority ales are subject to greater police control

career criminals

persistant repeat offenders who organize their lifestyle around criminality

chronic offenders

delinquents arrested five or more times before age 18, who commit a disproportionate amount of criminal offenses.


the principle or fact that kids who have been exposed to a variety of personal and social problems at an early age are the most at risk to repeat offending

three-stikes law

sentencing codes that require that an offender receive a life sentence after conviction for a third felony

truth-in-sentancing laws

laws requiring convicted felons to spend a significant portion of their sentence behind bars.

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