Introduction to Criminology
Criminology - the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior and law enforcement.
3 Main School of Thought
Classical school - based on utilitarian philosophy developed in the 18th century. This school of thoughts argues:
Prominent Philosophers of Classical school
Positivist school - presumes that criminal behavior is caused by internal and external factors outside of the individuals control.
Positivism can be broken in 3 segments which include:
3. Social - - one of the largest contributors
to biological positivism and founder of
the Italian school of criminology is Cesare
Chicago school - arose in the early 20th century, through the work of Robert Park, Ernest Burgess and other urban sociologist at the university of Chicago. Park and Burgess identified five concentric zones that often exist as cities grow, including the zone in transition which was identified as most volatile and subject to disorder.
2 Main difference between the classical and positivist schools of criminology
Classical school Positivist school
1.Free will 1. Determinism
2. Philosophy 2. Scientific methods
De minimis - is an addition to a general harm principle.The general harm principle fails to consider the possibility of other sanctions to prevent harm, and the effectiveness of criminalization as a chosen option.
Thanatos - a death wish.
Tagging - like labeling, the process whereby an individual is negatively defined by agencies of justice.
Criminology Consists of 3 Principal Divisions
1. Sociology of Law - which is an attempt at scientific
analysis of the conditions under which criminal law
2. Criminal Etiology - which is an attempt at scientific
analysis of the study of causes or reasons for
3. Penology - concerned with control crime by
repressing criminal activities through the fear of
Crime - is a wrong doing classified by the state as a felony or misdemeanor.
Felony - is a serious crime punishable by at least one year in prison.
Misdemeanor - is a crime for which the punishment is usually a fine and/or up to one year in jail.
*Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by
the common law.
Etiology - study of causes and reasons for crime.
Atavism - the view that crime is due to a genetic throwback to a more primitive and aggressive form of human being.
Elements Necessary For A Crime To Occur
1. Desire or motivation on the part of the criminal.
2. The skills and tools needed to commit the crime.
Spree killer - is someone who embarks on a murderous assault on 2 or more victims in a short time in multiple locations.
Spree killing - killings at two or more locations with almost no time break between murders.
Spree murder - two or more murders committed by an offender/offenders without a cooling off period.
Serial murder - two or more murders committed by an offender/offenders with a cooling off period.
Mass murderer - are defined by one incident with no distinctive time period between the murders.
Thrill killing - a premeditated murder committed by a person who is not necessarily suffering from mental instability and does not derive sexual satisfaction from killing victims or have anything against them and sometimes do not know them but instead motivated by the sheer excitement of the act.
Victimology -studies the nature and cause of victimization.
Psychology - the scientific study of the human mind and its functions.
Psychiatry - the branch of medicine dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
Ecology - the environment as it relates to living organisms.
Demography - the branch of sociology that studies the characteristics of human populations.
Epidemiology - the branch of medical science dealing with the transmission and control of disease.
Anthropology - the social science that studies the origins and social relationships of humans.
Impulse - a sudden strong urge or desire to act.
Kleptomania - is an irresistible impulse to steal in the absence of economic motive.
Prototype - is a standard or typical example.
Pathological - is caused by or evidencing a mentally disturbed condition.
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