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Sociology 371 Criminology

Sociology 371 Criminology

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Sociology 371 Criminology

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  1. Sociology 371 Criminology Robert Crutchfield

  2. Getting Started • An event at Carnegie Mellon University • Has a crime been committed? • Why or why not? • Why did the event occur? • What is the best way to respond?

  3. Course Introduction • Class Structure • Lectures—One Minute Papers • Review Sessions • Lab sessions • Office Hours • Grading • Readings

  4. Course Objectives—3 critical questions • How do we control crime? • Why is there crime? • What is crime? • There are many answers to all 3 questions • Examples and the range of answers • Science, evidence, opinions & policy

  5. Your challenge—don’t fall prey to this • From noindoctrination.org • From the Chronicle of Higher Education • Robert D. Crutchfield, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington, is accused by an anonymousstudent of "thoroughly indoctrinating" students in his"Introduction to the Sociology of Deviance" course.According to the student, the professor believes thatcriminals must be rehabilitated rather than punished

  6. Your challenge—don’t fall prey to this • "What embarrasses me is that this student so completely misunderstood what I was teaching on these topics,” • What I actually told the reporter was that I “was embarrassed that any UW student could get it SO wrong.”

  7. My Challenge • Deliver a quality course • Intellectually challenging • Evidence based • The substance of criminology • What we know • What we don’t know • Address challenging issues • Do not duck the hard questions • Focus on evidence based answers to those question

  8. Introduction to Criminology • Academic criminology vs. Sherlock Holmes • Beccaria & Bentham – Classical School • Why was it needed? Foucault from Discipline and Punish • Hobbs, Locke, the social contract and criminal justice • Lombroso & company – Positivism • Science • Determinism • An interdisciplinary area of study and research • Is crime a problem? (tables) • Hard to answer until “crime” is defined

  9. From Bureau of Justice Statistics http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfa

  10. From Bureau of Justice Statistics http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfa

  11. From Bureau of Justice Statistics http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfa

  12. From Bureau of Justice Statistics http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfa

  13. Defining crime • Why is this important? • The definition influences the questions and issues raised • The definition makes some questions more likely to be asked than other questions. • Why defining crime is not so simple • A legalistic definition—crime is a human act that violates the criminal law.

  14. The legalistic definition • Behavior—Actus Reus • Positive aspects of legal definitions • Negative aspects of legal definitions • Modifications of the legalistic definition • When is a “crime” not a “crime?” • Mens Rea • Criminal capacity

  15. Incapacity for criminal intent • Acting under duress • “Nonage” and delinquency • Mental incapacity • M’Naughten Rule • Irresistible Impulse or Control Test • Durham’s Rule

  16. Legalistic definition continued • Criminal Law vs. Civil Law • Criminal law and formal social control • Crime and informal social control • William Graham Sumner—Folkways • A study of norms and social control • Folkways, mores, and laws

  17. VI. Non-legalistic definitions of crime • Act is only a crime when it has been processed by the criminal justice system • A labeling theory definition – Crime is not the quality of an act, but rather of the actor—Howard Becker • A Marxist definition – Crime is behavior so designated by the elites in order to serve their interests

  18. VII. Consequences of choosing particular definitions • The definition selected influences the types of questions that are asked. • Legalistic definitions – focus is on who commits crimes, how much crime is there, and how do societies control crime. • Non-legalistic definitions – focus on the above questions, but also on the sources of law, the processes of law, & the interests of law.

  19. Enduring and Changing Patterns of Crime • The specialization debate • Has the nature of crime changed? • Technological change and crime • Social and cultural changes and crime • Changes in criminals? • Changes in the amount of crimes?

  20. Organized Crime and Gangs • “Organized” vs. “organized” • Important distinction because of how we explain and control • Local vs. national • Ethnicity and “mobs” and gangs • Images vs. reality—“The Sicilian Mafia” • Ethnic succession and crime

  21. Organized crime • Why they thrive • Consistent with pro business norms of society • They provide desired goods and services • Chambliss, On the Take • A study of organized crime in Seattle • OC arises out of the contradictions that are created by society

  22. Gangs • Where do gangs come from? • The invasion thesis • Thrasher—emerging from the community • Contemporary gangs • Crips and bloods; folks and people—the reality of “gang nations” and “sets” • Gang “cities,” non-gang cities and the appearance of gangs in the 80’s and 90’s • Territorial—example—Venkatesh’s study of Chicago housing projects • Drugs and gangs—Waldorf et.al.

  23. Elite Crime • Occupational crime • White collar crime • Blue collar crime • Corporate crime • Crime that benefits the company • Political crime • Crimes against and by the state

  24. Violence • The U.S. has high rates of violence compared to most western industrialized nations • Rates of violence have declined in recent years, but is slightly up in the last year • The risk of violence is not equally distributed across the population

  25. From Bureau of Justice Statistics http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfa

  26. From Bureau of Justice Statistics http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfa

  27. How do you explain violence and recent trends? • According to social disorganization theory? • According to conflict theory? • According to control theory? • According to differential association theory?

  28. Drugs and Crime • 2 interpretations of the relationship • The pharmacology of drugs • The cost of procurement • The drug business • Combating drugs as a crime control strategy • DARE • Drug courts • Incarceration

  29. From Bureau of Justice Statistics http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=kfa

  30. Emerging Crime in the 21st Century • Old crimes with new interest • Sex offenses • Terrorism • Fraud • Crimes of the Twenty-first century • Cyber crime • ID theft

  31. VIII. Studying Crime • Official measures of crime & delinquency • Bureau of Justice Statistics • E.g. Census of Jails and Prisons—with the Census Bureau • National Prisoner Statistics—Bureau of Prisons • Local and State data • FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)

  32. [D]

  33. UCR—Index Crimes • Murder—0.1% • Forcible Rape—0.9% • Robbery—1.6% • Agg. Assault—7.7% • M.V.T.—10.4% • Burglary—17.9% • Larceny—61.4%

  34. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/violent_crime/index.htmlhttp://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/violent_crime/index.html

  35. http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/property_crime/index.htmlhttp://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/property_crime/index.html

  36. National Crime Victimization Survey • Victimization Surveys • NCVS • Strengths • Weaknesses

  37. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/viort.htm

  38. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/house2.htm

  39. National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/hmrt.htm

  40. Self Reports of Crime and Delinquency • How they work • The UW student example • Strengths • Weaknesses

  41. Self Reports--Fights

  42. Self Reports--Weapons

  43. Which data to use? • The best answer is based on the research or policy question that is being asked • All of these data are biased in some way • Example—the more you penetrate the criminal justice system, the greater the processing biases that occur • Examples—Victims’ perceptions and self-report subjects’ honesty

  44. St. Louis is ranked most dangerous city City rankings The most and least dangerous cities overall, as compiled by Morgan Quitno Press, which bases the rankings on FBI figures released in June. Most dangerous cities 1. St. Louis 2. Detroit 3. Flint, Mich. 4. Compton, Calif. 5. Camden, N.J. 6. Birmingham, Ala. 7. Cleveland 8. Oakland, Calif. 9. Youngstown, Ohio 10. Gary, Ind. Safest cities 1. Brick, N.J. 2. Amherst, N.Y. 3. Mission Viejo, Calif. 4. Newton, Mass. 5. Troy, Mich. 6. Colonie, N.Y. 7. Irvine, Calif. 8. Cary, N.C. 9. Greece, N.Y. 10. Coral Springs, Fla Out of 371 cities ranked, from safest to most dangerous, Seattle was 262nd, Everett was 283rd and Tacoma was 324th. Seattle Times, 10/30/06

  45. From Seattle Times, 10/30/06 • “Cities are ranked based on more than just their crime rate, Morgan said. Individual crimes such as rape or burglary are measured separately, compared with national averages and then compiled to give a city its ranking. Crimes are weighted based on their danger to people.”

  46. Violence in 3 Washington Cities--2005 • Bellevue • Number of violent acts reported = 172, • Rate = 145.15 per 100,000 people • Seattle • Number of violent acts reported = 4,109, • Rate = 709.41 per 100,000 people • Tacoma • Number of violent acts reported = 2,014, • Rate = 1,013.35 per 100,000 people

  47. What is Qualitative Research? • In depth research (often case studies) that look at the behaviors, motivations and norms of certain groups. • Participant observation • Non participant observation • In depth interviews

  48. When and Why do we use Qual. Research? • It depends on the questions about crime we want to ask. • Qualitative studies answer the HOW and WHY questions about criminology. • Quantitative studies answer the WHAT, WHEN WHERE questions.

  49. Studying Crime--Qualitative Research • Chambliss—On The Take • Interviews and participant observation • Could not observe with other methods • Mercer Sullivan—Getting Paid • A study of groups of juveniles in 3 disadvantaged neighborhoods • Life chances depend on class—working vs. severely disadvantaged & and race • The type of crime depends on class and race too