Glossary of criminolgy

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Conflict theorists are concerned with issues such as:
1. The role government plays in creating a crimogenic environment
2. The relationship between personal and group power and the shaping of criminal law
3. The prevalence of bias in the justice system
4. The relationship between capitalism and crime
Psychoanalytic Approaches
1. Psychoanalytic—Focus on early childhood experiences an its effect on personality
2. Behaviorist—Stress social learning and behavior modeling as the key to criminality
3. Cognitive theorist—Analyze human perception and how it effects behavior
1. Did not focus on the health part of human beings
2. Did not believe that the criminal person could control his/her criminal desires
3. Psychoanalytic theory held that the human personality contains three parts (these form the basis of personality): ID, EGO, SUPEREGO
4. In short, this approach contends that criminal behavior originates in the personality of the offender rather than the environment
The ID
i. Develops first in the individual
ii. the primitive part of individuals mental make up present at birth
iii. represents unconscious biological desires for sex, food, and other life sustaining necessities
iv. follows the pleasure principal and requires instant gratification
v. it is hedonistic
i. Develops early in life
ii. that part of the personality that compensates for the ID
iii. guided by the reality principle
iv. the executive of the personality acting as a moderator between the ID and the SUPER EGO
v. when the Ego commits crime it is unable to grasp reality and develops into a sociopathic personality.
i. Develops as a result of incorporating within the personality, the moral standards, and values of parents, community, and significant others, passed judgment on behavior
ii. When the SUPER EGO commits crime it is looking to be punished and feels guilt for the crime—wants to be caught
Organic disorders
can be traced to a physical problem (head injury, disease, or degeneration)
Functional disorders
are those disorders where there is strange behavior but no know organic problems (hears or sees things that others do not)
Mental Disorder Theories
1. Impulse Disorders
2. Neurosis
3. Psychosis
a. A common category of mental disorder used to explain criminal behavior.
b. Can be functional and/or organic
c. Psychotic people lose contact with reality and have difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy
a. A common type of mental disorder that was first used to cover a class of diseases that referred to “afflictions of the nervous system.”
b. They have no demonstrable organic cause
c. Neurotic behaviors do t grossly violate social norms or represent severely disordered personalities
Impulse Disorders
a. Sudden, explosive, and driven to action
b. People with impulse disorders do not necessarily lose touch with reality or lose communication
c. Examples: kleptomania & pyromania
A sociopath/psychopathic person(s) with an antisocial personality are:
1. an individual incapable of significant loyalty to individuals, groups, or social values
2. They are
a. grossly selfish
b. callous
c. irresponsible
d. unable to feel guilt
e. unable to learn from experiences and punishment
Behavior and Social learning theories
1. Initially developed by Albert Bandura
2. Based, in part, on Operant Learning Theory developed by B.F. Skinner
3. According to Operant Learning Theory (operant conditioning or behaviorism)—rewards and punishments may be social or non-social
Thinking Pattern theories
are psychological theories that are focused on the offender’s cognitive process.
Cognitive Development theories
contend that the way in which people organize their thoughts (think) about rules and laws result in either criminal or non-criminal behavior.
moral reasoning
The organization of thoughts as referred to by psychologists
legal reasoning
A term used when reasoning (morale reasoning)is applied to law issues.
Marxist Conflict Theory
1. Class conflict
a. Social inadequacies and capitalism play a role in crime
b. According to conflict theories, conflict is a fact of life
i. Resources are scarce and the attempt to control resources generates a major portion of conflict in society
c. Sociological/criminological thermos are based on the consensus approach that views emerging norms and laws of society and the representative of the common feeling of society about what is right and what is wrong
d. William Bonger, an early Marxist Criminologist, argued that the capitalist system encourages people to be greedy and selfish and to pursue their own benefits without regard for the welfare of others in society.
William Chambliss
The leading spokesman among Critical Criminologist
Left Realism
a branch of Critical Criminology that has refocused attention on the destructive nature of street crime
Feminist Criminology
1. Capitalism oppress women
2. Criticizes traditional criminology because traditional criminology has largely neglected gender
3. Criminology should recognize the significance of gender stratification
4. Traditional Criminology a\has misunderstood the female offenders and victims
Realistic Criminology developed to challenge Marxist theory because:
1. Marxist theory is too simplistic
2. Doesn’t account for crime in socialist countries
Labeling theory is the same as Social Reaction theory. The two major concepts of Labeling theory are:
1. Looking Glass-Self. A person defines who they are based on how others see him/her.
2. Self fulfilling prophecy
Culture Conflict theory
when norms and values of one group violate these of another, culture conflict is produced.
The Code of Hammuabi
was the first to address victims’ rights
Corpus Delecti
-guilty act
+guilty mind
Strict Liability
Some statutes exist where there is no need to establish a Mens Rea (guilty mind)
Corpus Delicti includes:
1.The “Definition” of the crime
2.Actus Reus
3.Mens Rea and
4.the combination of both and
5.the “Elements” of a crime, NOT the BODY of the VICTIM!
criminal homicide is the most serious type of homicide
The English Common Law established three forms of homicide
1.Justifiable homicide – killing under circumstances sanctioned by the sovereign
2.Excusable homicide – when one kills another by mistake or in self-defense
3.*Criminal homicide – the most serious type of homicide; the unlawful killing of another person with evil intent
consists of the unjustified offensive touching of another
is either an attempted or threatened battery
Voluntary Manslaughter
is considered the second most serious form of criminal homicide
Voluntary Manslaughter
can be defined as:
1.the intentional and unlawful killing of another person in response to adequate provocation
2.The provocation must be of such a nature as to cause a reasonable person to kill
3.The majority of the states still retain the use of the “reasonable person standard” to determine if sufficient time has elapsed to enable a reasonable person to gain control of his or her passion
“Misdemeanor-Manslaughter Doctrine”
If the defendant commits a misdemeanor and death results, he/she may be charged with involuntary manslaughter
Opportunist Robber
the most common type of robber, commits all types of thefts/larcenies, robbery is just one of them
For the purpose of rape:
sexual intercourse requires penetration of the penis into the vagina. Penetration does not have to result in a completed act of sexual intercourse
Rape Shield laws
prohibit the defendant or his attorney from questioning the victim regarding her previous sexual activity or introducing other evidence surrounding her past sexual practices.
Acute Stress Disorder
is experienced in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event. Characteristics include:
1. development of anxiety
2. dissociative symptoms
3. other manifestations that occur within one month after exposure to the event
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
the development of characteristic symptoms following a psychologically distressing event that is outside the range of usual human experience.
the number of all women raped who still suffer from PTSD
Burglary (Texas Penal Code, Section 30.02)
1. The purpose of classifying this crime as a felony was to protect the innocent landowner in his home.
2. At common law the crime of burglary was to protect the property owner from intrusion at night
The Professional burglar
skilled burglars who exhibit the characteristics of career criminals; plan their crimes and concentrate on lucrative targets because this is how they earn their living.
The professional fence
full time career criminal that buys and sells stolen property.
Extrafamilial sexual abuse
exploitative sexual contact with perpetrators who may be know to the child (neighbors, baby-sitters, live-in partners) or unknown to the child.
Spousal abuse
any intentional act or series of acts that cause injury to the spouse. These acts may be physical, emotional, or sexual.
The Cycle of Violence Theory
asserts that violent behavior is learned within the family and bequeathed from one generation to the next. This is also known as the Intergenerational Transmission of Violence Theory.
The cycle of violence theory sets forth the dynamics in of battering in spousal abuse. Walker’s theory has three distinct phases:
1. The tension building phase
2. the explosion or acute battering phase
3. the calm, loving respite phase
The Stockholm Syndrome
occurs when persons who are held as hostages, captives, or prisoners of war begin to identify with the captors. These victims are isolated, mistreated and fear for their lives
Theft typically refers to three types of crimes:
1. Larceny
2. Embezzlement
3. Obtaining property by False Pretenses
the highest form of interest that you may own in a piece of property
defined in common law as an act where one took for his/her own uses the property of another.
a crime against ownership; is the fraudulent conversion of property by someone to whom it has been entrusted
Street Gangs:
1.Younger in age – 12-25
2.Loose organizational structure
3.Look for attention, showy
4.Members usually grow out of gangs by getting married or moving away
5.use graffiti (drawings or writings on a wall or other surface) to identify themselves and their territory; and, in some instances, to communicate messages
Prison Gangs:
1. Older in age – 22 and up
2. Para-military structure
3. Attempt to avoid attracting attention to themselves
4. Blood in & blood out
5. Lifetime membership
6. Members must have been in prison at least once
Tagging Crews
individuals known as “taggers” who join together for the sole purpose of placing their names and slogans in visible places
Characteristics of Gangs
a. Diversity–gangs vary by ethnic makeup, age of members, drug-related activity, and involvement in violent crime.
b. Change–Gangs evolve based on economic factors and demographic shifts
Wisconsin v. Mitchell
the United States Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s hate crime statute which increased penalties for crimes motivated by hate or bias.
Typologies of Hate Crime Offenders
a. The thrill-seeking offenders – groups of teenagers that are not otherwise associated with any other formal hate group.
b. The reactive offender – has a sense of entitlement concerning their rights or life-style that does not extend to the victim.
c. The mission-oriented offender – may suffer from a mental illness, but more likely are “patriotic and survival” groups such as the Montana Freeman, Republic of Texas, Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord; concerned with *racial purity—the purity of the Aryan Race or God’s children

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