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Objective of Criminology

create a system of justice that in society can agree on

Legalistic Definition of Crime

human conduct that violates a criminal law and is subject to punishment

Rousseau and Locke's Argument During Enlightenment Period

the law at the time was irrational and useless in protecting society

Trials by Ordeal

based on the principle that divine forces would not allow an innocent person to be harmed

Jeremy Bentham

founder of psychology that said people operate on a moral calculus, weighing the prose and cons of actions


the belief that human behavior is a function of forces beyond a person control and uses the scientific method to conduct research

Consensus Perspective of Crime

assumes that if a law is in place, it must be right, because we put it there

Emile Durkheim

felt that crime was normal because it is impossible to imagine a society in which criminal behavior is totally absent

Edwin Sutherland's Social-Psychological View

stated that lack of legitimate opportunities drive some people to crime


interactions people have with various individuals, organizations, institutions, and processes of society that help them mature and develop

Substantive Criminal law

the written code that defines crimes and their punishment

Consensus View of Crime

links illegal behavior to the concept of social harm

Interactionist View of Crime

crime is a reflection of the preferences and opinions of people who hold social power in a particular legal jurisdiction

Functions of Criminal Law

maintenance and order, deterrence of criminal behavior, and reflection of public opinion and moral values

mala in se

the intent to commit a criminal act

Reason Criminologists Measure Crime and Criminal Behavior

to help the CJ agencies facilitate daily operations and anticipate future needs

Self-Report Survey Research

asking participants to describe their recent and lifetime criminal activity

Conflict Perspective Arguments

the power elite control society, society is made up of competing groups of people, and an act becomes a crime when it threatens the interests of elites


NCVS has the ability to measure unreported crime

Uniform Crime Report

the best-known and most important source of official crime data

Criticism of the UCR

multiple crimes occurring in one situation are counted only once


the taking or attempt to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person by force or threat of force or violence

Advantages of the National Incident-Based Reporting System vs. UCR

it provides info on the relationship between victim and offender, it distinguishes between attempted vs. complete crime, and it includes more offenses than are listed in the UCR

Aggravated Assault

an unlawful act by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury


involves gathering data from previous studies

National Crime Victimization Survey

found that the fear of crime tends to be worse than the actual experience

Self Report Surveys

have been found to be more accurate than many criminologists believe

Instrumental Crimes

crimes that result when a person is unable to obtain desired goods and services through conventional means

Chivalry Hypothesis

the criminality of females is masked because of the generally benevolent and protective attitude toward women in our society

Cycle of Violence

the abuse-crime phenomenon

Fraud Schemes and the Elderly

the elderly are more vulnerable because they possess financial resources that make them attractive targets

Target Antagonism

characteristics that increase victimization risk because they arouse anger, jealousy, or destructive impulses in potential offenders

Active Precipitation

when victims act provocatively, use threats or fight words, or attack first

Carrying a Weapon

a "surefire way to become a crime victim"

Routine Activities Theory

certain characteristics make certain people motivated offenders (ex. unemployed teenagers)

Suitable Targets

in Routine Activities Theory, easily accessible objects

Impact Statement

the victim's ability to address the sentencing judge and tell of his or her experiences as a result of the victimization

Repeat/ Chronic Victimization

most repeat victimizations occur soon after a previous crime has been committed

Target Hardening

using security devices to make dwellings or belongings crime-proof

Deviant Behavior

departs from social norms

Classical Theory of Crime

suggests people have free will to choose criminal or unlawful solutions to meet their needs or settle their problems

White-Collar Crime

business related offenses

Failure to Act is a Crime if...

the parties are bound by relationship, the sate has a statute requiring that people give aid, and if a contractual relationship exists

Defense Against Criminal Charges

when people defendthemselves against criminal charges, they must refute one or more of the elements of the crime for which they have been accused

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