Thanksgiving: Crime and Theory Essay

Submitted By toluca12
Words: 1619
Pages: 7

Chapter 3 Explaining Crime
Chapter Objectives
After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
 Define criminological theory.
 State the causes of crime according to classical and neoclassical criminologists.
 Describe the biological theories of crime causation and their policy implications.
 Describe the different psychological theories of crime causation and their policy implications.
 Explain sociological theories of crime causation and their policy implications.
 Distinguish major differences among classical, positivist, and critical theories of crime causation.
 Describe how critical theorists would explain the causes of crime.
Introduction to Criminological Theory
 Several theories attempt to explain criminal behavior.
 Some theories assume:
 Crime is part of _____________________________________.
 Crime is based on biological, psychological, sociological, and/or economic aspects.
Theory
 A theory is an assumption that attempts to explain why or how things are related to each other.
 A theory of crime attempts to explain why or how a certain thing is related to _____________________________________.
Criminological Theory
 Most of what is done in criminal justice is based on criminological theory.
 Failure to understand these theories leads to:
 _____________________________________ that may undermine the success of criminal justice policies.
 Intrusion on people’s lives without good reason.
Defining Criminological Theory
 _____________________________________
 The explanation of criminal behavior
 The _____________________________________ of:
 Police
 Attorneys
 Prosecutors
 Judges
 correctional personnel
 Victims
 Other actors in the criminal justice system
Classical and Neoclassical Approaches to Explaining Crime
 The causes of _____________________________________ have been the subject of much speculation, theorizing, research, and debate.
 _____________________________________about the causes of crime are based on:
 Religion
 Philosophy
 Politics
 Economic
 Social forces
Classical Theory
 One of the earliest secular approaches to explaining the causes of crime was _____________________________________.
 _____________________________________:
 Is based on the assumption that people exercise free will and are thus completely responsible for their actions.
 Criminal behavior is motivated by a hedonistic rationality, in which actors weigh the potential pleasure of an action against the possible pain associated with it.
Classical Theory
 In 1764, criminologist _____________________________________wrote An Essay on Crimes and Punishments, which set forth most of classical criminological theory.
 He argued that the only justified rationale for laws and punishments was the principle of utility.
 _____________________________________: The principle that a policy should provide “the greatest happiness shared by the greatest number.”
Classical Theory
 Beccaria believed the basis of society, as well as the origin of punishments and the right to punish, is the _____________________________________.
 _____________________________________: An imaginary agreement to sacrifice the minimum amount of liberty to prevent anarchy and chaos.
Deterrence
 The only legitimate purpose of punishment is _____________________________________and _____________________________________.
 _____________________________________: The prevention of individuals from committing crime again by punishing them.
 _____________________________________: The prevention of people in general or society at large from engaging in crime by punishing specific individuals and making examples of them.
Classical Theory
 _____________________________________ also believed the best way to prevent or deter crime was to:
 Enact laws that are clear, simple, and unbiased, and that reflect the consensus of the population.
 Educate the public.
…