CRIME

DEVIANT BEHAVIOR

Deviance is behavior which does not conform to the norm, and it occurs when an individual or a group does not satisfy the expectations of society.

The branch of Sociology which deals with the study of crime is reffered to as Criminology.

Crime may be defined as an international act commited or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it.

SERIOUS AND MINOR CRIMES

A misdemeanor is any crime that has a maximum penalty set by law of less than one year in prison.

A felony is any crime that has a maximum penalty set by law of one year or more in prison.

VICE

Vice is any crime in which there is no clear cut victim.

WHITE COLLAR CRIME

White Collar Crime was first investigated by the American sociologist Edwin Sutherland. Sutherland defined White Collar crime as commited by a person of respect ability and high social status in the course of his occupation"

THE EXTENT OF CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES

1. Most violations of criminal law are never reported.

2. Many type of crime are higly unlikely to ever be reported.

3. Many times successful crime is never detected.

4. The best known indicator of crime is the "FBI's uniform Crime Reports."

THEORIES OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR

In general, theories of criminal behavior can be grouped into three broad categories those being, biological theories, psychological theories and sociological theories.

BIOLOGICAL THEORIES

Lombroso (Lombroso 1918) developed a theory which held that crimanls were born with distinct physical types which had traits associated with evolutionary primitive humans.

Lombroso called these criminals with their distinct physical types "atavistic."

Lombroso listed various physical characteristics which he called "Stigmata" which criminals had that set them apart from the rest of the population.

Sheldon (Sheldon 1949) explained his theory in his work, Variety of Delinquent Behavior which was published in 1949. His work was based upon his observations of some 260 delinquent boys.

In his study Sheldon classified the delinquent boys into one of four physical type based upon their body type.

(1) Endomorphs soft, round, fat and insecure

(2) Ectomorphs skinny, fragile, non-adventurous

(3) Mesomorphs strong, adventurous physically active

(4) Balanced types which apppeared to have a combination of the characteristics of the three other types.

CROMOSOMAL ABNORMALITY

In normal males then so called sex chromosomes consist of an XY pattern (normal females have XX).

Some individuals have been found to have an abnormal pattern consisting of an XYY pattern.

This XYY pattern has been reffered to as "supermaleness" and has been show to be a pattern that occurs more commonlyin criminal populations.

SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES

Clifford Shaw (Shaw 1929) published a work entitled Delinquent Areas in 1929.

In his work Shaw demonstate that crime and delinquency is unevenly distributed in geographical areas.

Shaw found that areas with high rates of delinquency were characterized with overcrowded housing, deteriorating buildings, and other physical and social qualities. These qualities are typically assocaited with decaying urban neighborhoods.

Albert Cohen (Cohen 1955) in a work called Delinquent Boys, Corhen argues that delinquent behavior results from individuals acquiring (through the socialization process) a set of norms and values which encourage and condone delinquent behavior.

These norms and values are part of the delinquent subculture.

Edwin H. Sutherland (Sutherland 1950). Sutherland is noted for developing the concept of "differential association."

Summary of Differential Association

The likelihood that an individual will engage in Delinquent Behavior is directly related to the degree and frequency with which that individual associates with other individuals who engage in Delinquent Behavior.

Some web sites to visit:

Forfeiture Endangers Americans' Rights

Investigative Journalism on the Internet

National Victim Center

Miami Police Dept. Information via World Wide Web

National Organization for Victim Assistance

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