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Crime: any act which breaks the laws of society.

Deviance: behaviour which moves away from norms and values.

Deviant but not criminal: burping, not queuing.

Criminal not deviant: speeding, parking on yellow lines.

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Biological explanations: Early criminologists like Cesare Lombroso went about finding physical crimilar characteristics like long arms or sloping foreheads. Sociologists find 'born bad' determinism dangerous and prefer to normalise crime by reminding us that we all commit crim and there are social factors which influence our behaviour.

Crime is socially constructed: What we consider to be crime and deviance changes, meaning it can't be wrong but must be culturally specific. This means crime and deviance is socially constructed - created and defined by the people of that society and is not universal.

Crime and deviance is relative: Crime and deviance is relative (changing) in relation to time, place and culture. What one society may see as a crime, another may not. Examples include polygamy (many wives), homosexuality and suicide.

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Functionalism on Crime

Key ideas: crime is inevitable and necessary to society, crime has positive functions, the perfect amount of crime will keep society helath and avoid anomie (normlessness).

Crime and society: society is only health when social order is maintained through the police and courts. We need a small amount of crime to remind us of what we believe in. Only a small minority will be self-interested and commit crime.

Society of saints: if there was no crime or deviance, the slightest slip would become a crime.

Positive functions of crime:

  • Re-marking social boundaries - affirms social norms and values.
  • Media coverage - acts as a warning to others.
  • Social bonds - strengthened as we unite in disaproval.
  • Safety value - a little bit of deviance reduces more serious problems.
  • Malfunctioning society - theft, drug use and truancy alert us to other problems in society.
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Criticism of Functionalism

It is unclear what the perfect amount of crime is.

Explaining the functions of crime doesn't explain what caused them in the first place.

Some crimes may be functional for society but what about the victims?

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Merton's Strain Theory

Merton stated that people engage in deviant behaviour when they are unable to achieve socially approved goals.

Merton said that deviance is a result of the strain between: the goals of society and your legitimate means of achieving them. Strain produces frustration which creates a pressure to deviate.

He said that people adapt to strain in 5 ways:

  • Conformity: someone who abides by the rules and works to achieve the goals of society in the conventional way.
  • Innovation: people without the means for sucess such as the poorly educated, find alternative ways of achieving success through crime.
  • Ritualism: people who accept that they will not achieve the goals but go through the motions of work.
  • Retreatism: people who give up on achieving the goals and simply drop out of society all together.
  • Rebellion: people who refuse to accept the goals of society and seek radically different alternatives.
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Why don't all lower class people turn to crime as they cannot achieve the goals of society?

Can only account for utilitarian crime (money), not crimes such as gang violence, **** and graffiti.

Does not consider other factors like class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality.

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Subcultural Strain Theories

Subcultural group: a group with its own distinctive norms and values, sometimes not always deviant.

Albert Cohen - status frustration: argues that lower class people are frustrated because they want to be successful but lack the qualifications and skill to do so. They solve this frustration by rejecting society and creating their own norms and values. They achieve status through non-utilitarian crimes like violence and graffiti.

Cloward and Ohlin - opportunity structures: much like Cohen but more concerned about the different types of crimes groups commit. They conclude that where you live dictates the type of criminal activity available to you. Criminal subcultures are available in areas of criminal hierachy. Conflict subcultures arise due to low social cohesion and high population turnover. Retreatist subcultures are the result of being unsuccessful in society and the other two subcultures.

Walter Miller - lower class subcultures: each social class doesn't feel any strain but has different focal concerns which lead to different criminal activity. The lower class experience a lack of excitement at work which leads to the desire to look for excitement in things like joy-riding.

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Interactionism - Labelling Theory

Interactionism: doesn't focus on the structures of society but how people and society interact and how this affects criminal behaviour.

Howard Becker: focuses on the process of a person and act getting labelled as deviant. He argues that no act is intrinsically deviant but relies on its context to determine its acceptability.

Stanley Cohen: studied how the media has often demonised youth culture. This happened to mods and Rockers in 1964 who were seen as modern day folk devils who threatened social order. His research found that actual acts of deviance were minimal.

Deviancy amplification spiral: sensationalist reporting by the newspapers distorts the act of crime or deviance and increases public awareness. Public pressure is put on the police and courts to act. This creates a moral panic where certain acts or groups are seen as a threat to social order.

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Labelling Process

1. A label is atatched by police and courts.

2. Label becomes a master status - overrides other status as sibling, friend etc.

3. The labelled person accepts the label - because how we see ourselves relies on how others see us.

4. Self-fulfilling prophecy - whether the label was true or not we act in accordance with it. This confirms peoples beliefs about the label being true.

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White Collar Crime

White collar crime: crimes committed by office workers, middle/upper class, these are often hidden from public view.

Blue collar crime: crimes committed by manual factory workers (working class), these are street crimes like theft which are in public view.

Corporate crime: crimes carried out on behalf of a company such as tax evasion or toxic waste dumping.

Occupational crime: crimes carried out at the expense of companies like fraud.

White collar crime is very difficult to prosecute due to problems of who is responsible and who is a victim. Much white collar crime is not dealt with criminally but administratively by external agencies like EPA (environmental protection agency) and the Trading Standards Agency. Only serious cases go to court.

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Marxism on Crime

Key idea: the Law and the criminal justice system is another tool used by the ruling class to serve their interests and maintain a position of power.

Criminolgenic Capitalism: crime is inevitable in Capitalism. The working class commit utilitarian and non-utilitarian crimes because of poverty, constant advertising, alienation and lack of control. Even the ruling class feel the pressure to commit crime and get ahead.

Ideological functions of law: laws don't punish but perform functions to keep capitalism stable. Health and safety laws keep the working class able to work. Seeing crime as a working class problem diverts it away from capitalism. Seeing criminals as disturbed also disguises the true nature of crime.

The state and law making:

  • all laws serve the ruling class.
  • most law is based on protecting private property.
  • the working class and ethnic minorities are punished harshly while crimes of the powerful go unnoticed.
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Shows a link between law and the interests of the ruling class.

Highlights selective enforcement.

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Very deterministic, not all working class commit crime.

Switzerland and Japan are capitalist but have low crime rates.

Prosecutions against companies an the ruling class do happen.

Left Realists say most working class crime is committed against working class people not the state.

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Neo-Marxism on Crime

Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young (1973)

1. The wider origins of the deviant act: the 1970's was a period of considerable social crisis in Britain, the result of an international downturn in capitalist economies.

2. The immediate origins of the deviant act: this turmoil was shwon in a number of inner-city riots, conflint in Northern Ireland and a high level of strikes. The government was searching for a group that could be scapegoated, to draw attention onto them and away from the crisis.

3. The act itself: mugging: which according to the police was more likely to be carried out by thoses from African-Caribbean backgrounds.

4. The immediate origins of social reaction: media outrage at the extent of muggings, linked to racism amongst the Metropolitan police.

5. The wider origins of social reaction: the need to find scapegoats and the ease with which young men from African-Caribbean backgrounds could be blamed.

6. The effects of labelling: a sense of injustive amongst ethnic minorities against the police led to much hostility between them and further arrests.

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Right Realism

Key ideas: the root cause of crime is biology and poor socialisation as people make a rational choice to commit crime. The solution is more formal social control such as harsher prison sentences, zero tolerance policies and more CCTV.

Biology: Wilson and Hernstein suggest some people are innately more predispose to commit crime than others. Especially those who have personality traits like aggression, risk taking and low impulse control.

Charles Murray (1990) argues most crime is committed by the underclass (unemployed). A recent surge in lone-parent families had led to poor socialisation and encouraged these people to be welfare dependant.

Rational Choice theory: Ron Clarke (1980) suggests that people rationalise their choice to commit crime by weighing up the cost vs benefits. If the benefits outweigh the costs then they will commit crime.

Tackling crime: make crime less attractive to criminals by (formal control).

  • Zero tolerance - harsh sentences.
  • Target hardening - make it difficult to access private and public buildings.
  • More surveillance - CCTV.
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Doesn't explain white collar crime or domestic violence.

Ignores issue like poverty.

Scapegoats the underclass.

Overstates the role of rationality.

Crime displaced to other areas.

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Left Realism

Key ideas: root cause of crime is relative deprivation, marginalisation and exclusion in modern society. The solution is more informal social control such as better housing, more job opportunities and more democratic policing.

The offenders: Young and Lea argue that most crime is committed by the working class against the working class. This is due to discontent cause by relative deprivation (judging your status by that of others) and individualism (being self-interested).

Marginalisation: marginalised groups are those who lack clear goals or representation. Young working class are powerless and unrepresented which leads to violence and rioting.

Modern society and exclusion: a lack of jobs for the working class and being our priced on the property market has left many socially excluded. Young says we live in a bulimic society where we are exposed to a large variety of consumer products which the working class cannot purchase.

Tackling crime: make things better for people by informal social control.

  • Giving them housing conditions to be proud of.
  • Better job opportunities.
  • A better relationships between police and public being more democratic will help the flow of information.
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Doesn't explain white collar crime or domestic violence.

Minimum wage and housing conditions have never been better.

Middle class could be relatively deprived and individualistic, yet don't commit as much crime.

Impossible to get rid of relative deprivation.

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Crime Statistics

Official statistics: complied from government departments like the police and courts. Official crime statistics are the tip of the iceberg. British Crime Survey and self-report studies show there is more crime than what can be seen on the surface.

Reported crime: a crime which the public has reported to the police. 90% of all crime the police deal with is reported to them by the public.

Recorded crime: a crime which has been recorded by the police as a crime. Only 40% of reported crime is then recorded due to discretionary powers of the police.

Lack of crime reporting: crimes may not be reported due to fear of reprisal, lack of awareness, fear it may not be taken seriously, crime it too trivial.

Inaccurate picture of crime: white collar crime dealth with administratively, only serious crimes from incidences is recording, rules for counting always change, lack of recording makes clear up rates look higher.

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BCS and Self-Report Studies

British Crime Survey: a victim study which asks people if they have been a victim of a crime and the circumstances of that crime. It was conducted every two years from 1982-2000 then every year since. Certain crimes are excluded due to low reporting such as murder, drug possession or dealing and fraud.

Self-report studies: anonymous questionnaires which ask respondents if they have committed a crime over the part year. They are usually based on self-completed questionnaires or interviews which contain a list of offences. Respondents are asked to highlight which they have committed.

Trends and patterns:

  • BCS says 10.7 million crimes committed.
  • The majority of crime is property related.
  • Violent crime accounts for 1/5 of all crime.
  • Overall crime peaked in 1995 and had declined ever since.
  • Men aged 16-24 most likely to be a victim of violence.
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Women Demonised in the Media

Myra Hindley: sentenced to 30 years in prison for her part in the murder and torture of 5 children along with Ian Brady. The media widely reported her true crime as not having any motherly instincts as a women. Newspapers still to this day publish a sinister picture taken of her 30 years ago because it portrays her as a cold sadistic killer.

Maxine Carr: convicted and sent to prison for providing a false alibi for her boyfriend, Ian Huntley, who murdered Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002. Maxine had nothing directly to do with the murders but many protested for reintroduction of the death penalty outside the court. The media had a definitive role in demonising Maxine Carr by producing sensationalist stories of her past.

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Gender and Crime

Postmodernity and masculinity: others have suggested that previously jobs in manufacturing allowed men to express their masculinity. An increase in service sector jobs like bouncers allows men to express their masculinity through violence, drug dealing and racketeering.

Why do men commit crime?: Messerschmidt (1993) makes a link between male offending and masculinity. He says all men want the dominant masculinity which is achieved through domination of work, women and sexuality. He argues that lower class men and ethnic minorities lack the resources to achieve this masculinity so commit crime in order to achieve it.


  • Official arrest data 2012-13 shows that of all arrests, 85% were men and 15% were women.
  • A higher proportion of men reported being a victim of violence than women.
  • The male prison population has increased over the last ten years, while the female prison population has decreased.
  • Homicides against men were most likely to be committed by a friend or acquaintance (39%) while homicides against women were most likely to be committed by a partner or ex-partner (51%).
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Ethnicity and Crime

Official statistics say black people are:

  • 7 times more likely to be stopped and searched and 3 1/2 times more likely to be arrested.
  • 5 times more likely to be in prison that their white counterparts.
  • More likely to be identified as offenders and most crime is intra-ethnic (takes place among ethnic groups rather than between them)
  • Self-report studies conclude that black people have similar reates of offending to whites if not lower.

Ethnicity and the criminal justice system:

1. Policing - many allegations of oppressive policing from minority ethnic communities are made.

2. Stop and search - lots of stop and seach is perhaps due to racism and the targeting of ethnic minorities.

3. Arrests and cautions - more likely to be arrested and cautioned perhaps due to a mistrust of police and not admitting to the offence.

4. Prosecution and conviction - more likely to drop cases against ethnic minorities.

5. Sentencing and prison - more likely to be given to black offenders. Black and Asian over-represented in prisons.

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Ethnicity and Crime CONT'D

Left Realism: ethnic minorities commit more crime because racism in wider society has caused them to be marginalised, coupled with economic exclusion such as high unemployment and poor housing. Left realists don't believe that racism in the police can account for higher crime because bacl people have a higher offending rate than Asians.

Neo-Marxist - Paul Gilroy: black people commit more crime because they resent the cultural experience of colonialism. This experiences causes resentment in young black males which makes them commit crime.

Neo-Marxist - Stuart Hall et al:

  • Economic conditions in the 1990's were bad, government look for a scapegoat.
  • Young black muggers are labelled and a moral panic is created about their behaviour in the media.
  • Young black males commit no more crime than any other group but labelling and the economy makes it seem like they do.

Victimisation: police recorded 61,000 racist incidents while the BCS reports 184,000 many go unreported. People from mixed ethnic backgrounds were more likely to be victims of crimes.

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Age-Class and Crime

Key facts: young working class are more likely to commit criminal acts than older, middle class. A typical prisoner in the U.K will be under 30 and working class. Offending rises steeply from 10-18 then declines sharply after 24.

Functionalism - Age and Class: young working class people commit crime because they strive for success but lack to necessary educational skills and qualifications. They want the goal of success byt they must achieve it illegitimately.

Subcultural Theory - Age and Class: young working class people join gangs because they are frustrated at their status in mainstream society. They solve this by rejecting mainstream norms and values, joining a gang and achieving a status through non-utilitarian crimes.

Right Realism: believe that single partent families fail to socialise their children effectively due to a lack of male role models, they also grow up to be welfare dependant.

Left Realism: most crime is comitted by working class people against working class people.

Labelling theory: young working class people especially boys are more likely to be stopped and searched.

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Social Class and Crime

Marxism: the working class are no more criminals than anyone else, but the law protects the bourgeoisie so the working class becomes easier to criminalise. The working class get harsher punishments compared with those who commit white collar crimes.

Case Study - Guinness Affair: false claims of success led to high share prices and company directors making millions. Gerald Ronson reveived a one-year sentence in Ford and was released on parole after serving about 6 months. He is still a successful businessman and one of Britain's 100 richest people.

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Location-Environment Criminology

Key ideas: there is a link between where offenders live and crimes committed in that area. Environmental criminology is concerned with mapping the spatial distribution of offenders and offences.

Shaw and McKay: did a study of delinquency in Chicago (1927-33). They divided the city into give zones, drawn at two-mile internals, radiating outwards in cencentric circles from the cental business district.

They found the delinquency living rates declined from zone 1 to 5. They argue that zone 1 has the highest rate of delinquents because it is characterised by a high population turnover and mixture of different cultures. They called this the zone of transition.

They concluded that the zone of transition had social disorganisation (low social cohesion and little sense of community) making it a breeding ground for deviants.

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Location-Environmental Criminology CONT'D

Area offending rates in Britain: some studies show higher number of offenders living in council housing estates rather than city centers (Morris, 1957). One study of two council estates separated by a road showed one had 300% more offenders living there than the other (Bottoms, Mawby and Xanthos 1989).

Opportunity theory: crimes will be committed in locations where targets are attractive to criminals meaning it has a high monetary value and can easily be transported and sold. Coupled with accessibility meaning if physical access is easy and chances of being observed are low.

Routine activities theory: argues that crimes are likely to happen in particular places because of three things: there are likely offenders in the area, attractive targets and an absensence of capable guardians like property owners.

Cognitive mapping (1984): Patricia and Paul Brantingham argue that we have cognitive maps inside our heads which outline our perceptoon of the geography of our local area. These maps contain places we are familiar with such as home, school, work, places of entertainment. They say most offenders commit crimes in areas they are familiar with.

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Globalisation and Crime

Globalisation: they way in which we seem to live in an increasingly shrinking world, where societies are becoming more interconnected and dependant on each other.

Transnational crime: greater communication and travel have made the drugs industry extend beyong national boundaries. Often involving many countries the supply comes from south America and its demand from western countries.

Risk conciousness: increased terrorism has increased our awareness of the international risks we face and increased security at our national borders, airports, ports and train stations.

Increased crime: Ian Taylor (1973) argued that globalisation has allowed capitalism to create more crime by exploiting workers abroad and creating fraud on a larger scale. Manufacturing products abroad had led to a lack of jobs and opportunities for the working class, which leads them to crime.

Changing crime: Hobbs and Dunningham say crime is no longer locak but global, meaning it involves networks of people across the globe. Gleeny (2008) argues even the mafia has gone global.

Global crime: arms trafficking, smuggling immigrants, trafficking women and children, sex tourism, cyber-crimes, drugs trade, money laundering.

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Mass Media and Crime

News is socially constructed: Cohen and Young said that "news is not discovered but manufactured". What they mean is what gets coverage depends on what has happened, who is involved, when and where. Crime by it's very definition is abnormal and ticks most of these boxes.

Fictional crime: our ideas of crime don't just come from the news but from fictional representations of crimes from books, films and TV shows. They tend to match the incorrect stereotypes of the media.

The media and crime:

  • The media over-represent violence and sex crimes - this makes up think its happening more and that most killers are stange psychopaths.
  • The media portray criminals and victims as older and more middle-class.
  • Media coverage exaggerates police success in clearing up cases.
  • The media exaggerates the risk of victimisation especially women.
  • The media overplay extraordinary crimes but underplay ordinary crimes.

How could the media cause crime?: imitation of criminals, desensititation, learning criminal techniques, desire for unafforable goods, glamorising offending.

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Mass Media and Crime

News is socially constructed: Cohen and Young said that "news is not discovered but manufactured". What they mean is what gets coverage depends on what has happened, who is involved, when and where. Crime by it's very definition is abnormal and ticks most of these boxes.

Fictional crime: our ideas of crime don't just come from the news but from fictional representations of crimes from books, films and TV shows. They tend to match the incorrect stereotypes of the media.

The media and crime:

  • The media over-represent violence and sex crimes - this makes up think its happening more and that most killers are stange psychopaths.
  • The media portray criminals and victims as older and more middle-class.
  • Media coverage exaggerates police success in clearing up cases.
  • The media exaggerates the risk of victimisation especially women.
  • The media overplay extraordinary crimes but underplay ordinary crimes.

How could the media cause crime?: imitation of criminals, desensititation, learning criminal techniques, desire for unafforable goods, glamorising offending.

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Mass Media and Crime CONT'D

New media, new crime: cinema, television, computer games and the internet have all been blamed for corrupting the young. The internet has grown quickly and has brought about cyber crime, computer-meditated criminal activities conducted through global electronic networks.


  • Cyber-trespass: hacking and spreading viruses.
  • Cyber-deception and theft: identity theft, illegal downloading.
  • Cyber-violence: bullying by text, threatening emails, cyber stalking.

Deviancy amplification spiral: sensationalist reporting by the newspapers distorts the act of crime or deviance and increases public awareness. Public pressure is put on the police and courts to act. This creates a moral panic where certain acts or groups are seen as a threat to social order.

Cohen studied how the media has often demonised youth culture. This happened to mods and Rockers in 1964 who were seen as modern day fold devils who threatened social order. His research found that actual acts of deviance were minimal.

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Environmental/Green Crime

Key ideas: defined as crimes against the environment such as toxic waste dumping and deforestation. Green crime is linked with globalisation as the world is one single eco-system. Beck reminds us that many environmental issues are manufactured rather than natural.

Traditional criminology: if pollution that causes global warming is legal and no real crime has been comitted then traditional crimonology is not interested.

Green criminology: less bound by laws but by harm caused to the environment or people. reen criminology is a much wider field and so called transgressive criminology - goes beyond traditional criminology.

Harm: anthropocentric is a human centred approach which assumes humans have the right to dominate nature for their own ends. The ecocentric view sees humans and their environment as interdependent, so harming one is harming another. Green criminology takes the ecocentric approach.

State violence against oppositional groups: despite opposing terrorism, states have used the method themselves.

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Human Rights

Human rights: the right to life, liberty and free speech.

Civil rights: the right to vote, to privacy, fair trial and education.

Problem and Solution: states create laws which make their actions legal and free them from criminal charges. Herman and Schwendinger (1970) argue we should define crime as a violation of human rights rather than law breaking. States that deny humans their rights are then seen as criminals. This has been called transgressive criminology as it goes beyond the traditional boundaries of criminology.

Cohen, the spiral of state denial (1996): three ways dictators deny human rights violations are,

  • it didn't happen' which words until evidence is uncovered.
  • 'if it did happen, it is something else'
  • 'even it is is what you say it is, its justified.'

The social conditions of stage crimes: authorisation, routinisation, dehumanisation.

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State Crimes

Definition: crimes or deviant activities perpetated by or with permission of state agencies. E.g. genocide, war crimes, torture, imprisonment without trial, assassination.

Eugene McLaughlin (2001) found four types of state crime:

  • political crimes: corruption or censorship (controlling what the media says).
  • crimes by security and police forces: genocide and torture.
  • economic crime: violations of health and safety.
  • social and cultural crimes: institutional racism.

The problem of national sovereignty: states are the supereme authority within their borders. The problem is the state is the source of law meaning it decides what crimes are, manages the criminal justice system and prosecutes offenders, meaning it can evade its own law.

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Crime Control and Prevention

Situational crime prevention: Ron Clarke (1992) argues for a pre-emptive approach which targets specific crimes by altering the immediate environment of crime. He believes target hardening and more CCTV will increase the risk of being caught and lower the rewards.

Problem - displacement: this approach doesn't solve the causes of crime in the area. Often criminals find different areas, change the type of crime they commit or choose a different victim.

Environmental crime prevention: Wilson and Kellings argued for an approach called broken window. The term broken windows stands for various signs of disorder and lack of concern for others found in neighbourhoods. They argue that leaving broken windows unrepaired such as not cleaning up graffiti, sends out a signal that no-one cares and can tip the area into social disorder. A way to prevent this is more police on the streets enforcing zero tolerance towards any social disorder and repairing things that are broken or deteriorating.

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Crime Control and Prevention CONT'D

Social and community crime prevention: a left realist approach to crime prevention it gets to the causes of crime by improving unemployment and housing.

Perry pre-school project: research conducted in 1962 by David Weikart in Michigan. The project provided high-quality pre-school education to thee and four-year-old African-American children living in poverty and assessed to be at high risk of school failure. Student were given extra sessions on decision making and problem solving. Parents implemented the programme at home.

By age 40, the children had significantly fewer lifetime arrests for violent crime, property crime and drugs, while more had graduated from high school and were in employment. For every dollar spent on the grogramme, $17 were saved on welfare, prison and other costs.

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Displacement transfers the problem elsewhere.

None of the following can help reduce white collar or state crimes.

Do criminals really make the rational choice to commit crime?

Only social and community gets to the causes of crime.

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What is the purpose of punishment?:

  • Reduction: reduce crime by deterring others, rehabilitating offenders and incapacitation meaning taking away their ability to re-offend. This approach is instrumental as punishment is a means to an end.
  • Retribution: meaning pay back, based on the idea that offenders deserve to be punished and society is entitled to take its revenge. This approach is expressive as it expresses societies outrage.
  • Restorative: tries to restore things as they were by offenders meet their victims to see the personal affect their crime has had on their lives.
  • Rehabilitation: tries to teach the criminals what they have done is wrong and teach them the norms and values of society to prepare them for reentry.

Do prisons work?:

  • Two-thirds of prisoners commit further cimes on their release from prison.
  • In 1993, the UK prison population was 44,000. Today it is over 83,000.
  • David Garland (2001) argued the USA and the UK to a lesser extent are moving into the era of mass incarceration.
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Sociological Perspectives on Punishment

Functionalism: uphold social solidarity and reinforce shared values. It also allows people to express their outrage at rituals like traits and re-set boundaries. Traditional societies had a strong sense of right and wrong so had retributive justice as punishment was severe, cruel and public. Modern societies have restitutive justice which like restorative justice tries to restore broken relations and offer compensation.

Marxism: asks how punishment serves the ruling class. They argue that harsh punishments are a part of the Repressive State Apparatuses (RSA) which keep the working class in their place. Prison is similar to the slave labour or capitalism, especially similar to strict discipline of factories in 20th century.

Postmodernism: sovereign power - punishment before the 19th centure was a public spectacle with hangings and stockades, it was a way of asserting the monarchs power over its citizens. Disciplinary power - punishment after 19th century was not just about governance over the body but the mind or soul - this is done through surveillance - panopticon.

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Victim: a person who suffers physical, mental or psychological harm, economic loss or impairment of their rights. Victim is a concept like crime that is socially constructed, who is and isn't a victim changes depending on the context.

Positivist Victimology: tries to identify why certain people are victims of crimes. Early work focused on victim proneness meaning finding social and psychological characteristics that made them more vulnerable than non-victims. Hans Von Hentig (1948) identified 13 characteristics such as female, elderly or mentally subnormal. They imply that victims invite victimisation by the way they are.

Critical Victimology: based on Marxism and Feminism it wants to highlight structural factors like poverty or patriarchy which put the powerless at greater risk of being a victim.

Failure to label: they are also interested in the way the state has the power to attach or deny a label as a victim. If the police decide not to press charges then you are denied the status of victim and any compensation.

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Patterns of Victimisation

Class: the poorest groups are most likely to be victims of all crimes. Homeless people are 12 times more likely to experience violence than the general population.

Age: younger people are most at risk of crimes like assault, theft, sexual harassment. Infants under one are at most risk of being murdered.

Ethnicity: minority ethnic groups most at risk of all crimes. Ethnic minorities most likely to feel under-protected yet over controlled.

Gender: males are most at risk of violent attacks especially by strangers. 70% of homicide victimes are male.

Repeat victims: once you have been a victim once you are very likely to be again. Suggests poeple were victims for a reason, perhaps even targeted.

Fear: the media has a large part to play when stirring up fear, this effects how women behave such as going out late at night.

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The Role of the CJS

Common law: British law not originally decided open and written down by based on a series of judgements made by judges based on a series of facts. The courts must follow the decisions of the precedent.

Criminal: these are cases that have broken the law of the land and brought about by the state such as murder or ****.

Civil: these are cases that have broken the law but are brought about by people such as compensation against injury or land disputes.

Structure of the courts:

  • European courts of Justice
  • House of Lords
  • Royal Courts of Justice
  • Crown Court
  • Magistrates courts
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Stages of The CJS

1. Reporting - a crime is committed and reported to the police.

2. Investigation - the police will investigate the scene and question witnesses. They will either charge the suspect, release them or given them a warning.

3. Crown Prosecution Service - the CPS must decide whether a case is likely to get a conviction in court.

4. Magistrates court - over 95% of cases are dealt with by the magistrates court. Because its usually less serious crimes there is a limit to the punishment that can be imposed.

5. Crown court - more serious cases are passed to the crown court which is served by a judge and jury.

6. Prison - with shorter sentences prisoners remain in local area while longer sentences, prisoners could be sent anywhere. They must be treated with fairness and humility and be given productive activities.

7. Probation service - works to monitor prisoners after their release. They help with employment and housing and advise the courts of a risk of re-offending.

8. Mental health - those deemed to be without their mental faculty when committing a crime are often sent for assessment and incarceration at hospitals like Broadmoor or Ashworth, many will never be released.

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Crime as a Research Context

Researching domestic violence: difficult to study due to being under represented in statistics. The act itself has few public witnesses and many victimes choose to not report the incident to the police. Greater confidentiality is needed for for people that take part in research for fear of further abuse.

Researching violent crimes: few observational opportunities unless a research manages to infiltrate a gang. Great danger can be posed to any researcher who explores this and high crime areas. Victims of violent crimes are unlikely to want to be interviewed unless by the police.

Researching corporate crime: likely to be under-reported in statistics and by the media. The crimes themselves have low visibility and are often difficult to investigate, they may even go beyond national borders. Perpetrators are powerful and organised and enjoy political protection.

Researching young offenders: may be difficult to observe and interview due to suspicion.

Researching criminal justice: the police maybe open to research but aware of public scrutiny. Studies of senior officers is rare. Judges, jurors and lawyers are beyond study. Prisons are closed environments where researcher safety is paramount.

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