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a condition whose symptoms include depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior


Criminologists who focus their attention on crime victims


While the crime is still fresh in their minds, victims may find that the police interrogation following the crime is handled callously, with innuendos or insinuations that they were somehow at fault


an extreme preoccupation with certain thoughts and compulsive performance of certain behaviors

Cycle of violence

The abuse-crime phenomenon that indicates that both boys and girls are more likely to engage in violent behavior if they were targets of physical abuse

Elder abuse

a particularly important issue because of shifts in U.S. population

Chronic victimization

Individuals who have been crime victims have a significantly higher chance of future victimization than people who have not been victims

Victim precipitation theory

some people may actually initiate the confrontation that eventually leads to injury or death

Active precipitation

occurs when victims act proactively, use threats or fighting words, or even attack first

Passive precipitation

occurs when the victim exhibits some personal characteristic that unknowingly either threatens or encourages the attacker

Lifestyle theory

crime is not a random occurrence but rather a function of the victim's lifestyle, people who drink, use drugs, and engage in crime have a much greater chance of victimization

Deviant place theory

the greater their exposure to dangerous places, the more likely people will become victims of crime and violence

Routine activities theory

There are three variables that are closely related to the routine of activities of the typical American lifestyle

Suitable targets

(Routine activities theory) such as homes containing easily salable goods

Capable guardians

(Routine activities theory) such as police, homeowners, neighbors, friends, and relatives

Motivated offenders

(Routine activities theory) such as large number of unemployed teenagers

Victim-witness assistance programs

organized on a variety of government levels and serve a variety of clients

Victim compensation

ordinarily the victim receives compensation from the state to pay for damages associated with the crime

Crisis intervention

emergency counseling for crime victims

Restitution agreements

Conditions of probation in which the offenders repay society or the victims of crime for the trouble the offenders caused

Target hardening

making one's home and business crime proof through locks, bars, alarms, and other devices

Rational choice

Thought and decision making

Marginal deterrence

if petty offenses were subject to the same punishment as more serious crimes, offenders would choose the more serious crime because the resulting punishment would be about the same

Classical criminology

The writings of Cesare Beccaria and his followers form the core of classical criminology

Cesare Beccaria

a. people choose all behavior, including criminal behavior; b. their choices are designed to bring them pleasure and reduce pain; c. criminal choices can be controlled by fear of punishment; d. the more severe, certain, and swift the punishment, the greater its ability to control criminal behavior

Reasoning criminals

evaluate the risk of apprehension, the seriousness of expected punishment, the potential value of the criminal enterprise, and their immediate need for criminal gain; their behavior is systematic and selective


offenders will react selectively to the characteristics of an individual criminal act, considers such things as the target yield, the effectiveness of police patrol, the presence of occupants and dogs, and possible escape routes


criminals are not robots who engage in unthinking, unplanned random acts of antisocial behavior


personal trait of the individual as distinct from a "crime", which is an event


Professional shoplifters who still with the intention of reselling stolen merchandise

Permeable neighborhoods

those with a greater than usual number of access streets from traffic arteries into the neighborhood


the "exhilarating, momentary integration of danger, risk, and skill" that motivates people to try a variety of dangerous criminal and noncriminal behaviors

Situational crime prevention

criminal acts will be avoided if potential targets are guarded securely, the means to commit crime are controlled, and potential offenders are carefully monitored.

Defensible space

the crime may be prevented or displaced through the use of residential architectural designs that reduce criminal opportunity

Crime discouragers

3 categories: guardians, who monitor targets (such as store security guards); handlers, who monitor potential offenders (such as parole officers and parents); and managers, who monitor places (such as homeowners and doorway attendants)

Diffusion of benefits

sometimes efforts to prevent one crime help prevent another; in other instances, crime control efforts in one locale reduce crime in another area


Sometimes crime control efforts targeting a particular locale help reduce crime in surrounding areas and population


crime is not prevented but deflected or displaced

General deterrence

crime rates are influenced and controlled by the threat and/or application of criminal punishment

Deterrence theory

if the probability of arrest, conviction, and sanctioning increases, crime rates should decline


sudden changes in police activity designed to increase the communicated threat or actual certainty of punishment

Informal sanctions

may be the most effective in highly unified areas where everyone knows one another and the crime cannot be hidden from public view

Specific deterrence

(special or particular deterrence) holds that after experiencing criminal sanctions that are swift, sure, and powerful, known criminals will never dare repeat their criminal acts

Incapacitation effect

Placing offenders behind bars during their prime crime years should lessen their lifetime opportunity, the fewer offenses they can commit during their lives

Just desert

1. Those who violate others' rights deserve to be punished
2. We should not deliberately add to human suffering; punishment makes those punished suffer
3. However, punishment may prevent more misery than it inflicts; this conclusion reestablishes the need for desert based punishment

informal sanctions

occur when significant others, such as parents, peers, neighbors, and teachers direct their disapproval toward the offender


Beccaria believed that, to deter people from committing more serious offenses, crime and punishment must be _________

repeat victimization

individuals who have been crime victims have a greater chance of further victimization

Thinking About Crime

book that James Q Wilson wrote, debunked the positivist view that crime was a function of external forces, stated that criminals lack inhibition against misconduct, and proffered the idea that wicked people truly did exist


the _______ are more likely to be victims of fraud and scams

utilitarian calculus

people choose to act after weighing the costs and benefits and determining that their actions will bring them more pleasure than pain

hot spots

areas with elevated chances of victimization due to higher concentrations of motivated offenders

law-violating behavior

occurs when an offender decides to risk breaking the law after considering both personal factors and situational factors


with regard to crime victims and their offenders, crime tends to be _______

seductions of crime

situational inducements which directly precede the commission of a crime, and draw offenders into law violations

1. Social Problems
2. stress and anger
3. prompts revenge
4. spurious association

Victimization causes:

economic opportunity

(rational choice theory) crime occurs when one feels they will profit

learning and experience

(rational choice theory) career criminals learn their limits; when to take a chance and when to be cautious

knowledge of criminal techniques

criminals learn techniques and to avoid detection

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