Introduction to Criminology
CRJ 270
Instructor: Jorge Pierrott
Criminology Today
AN INTEGRATIVE INTRODUCTION
SEVENTH EDITION
CHAPTER
1
What Is Crime?
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Instructor Introduction
Jorge Pierrott
Mobile: (775) 232-7036
Please text me for emergency only
Email: [email protected]
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Chapter Objectives
After reading this chapter, students should be
able to answer the following questions:
• What is crime? What is the definition of crime
that the author of this textbook has chosen to
use?
• What is deviance? How are crime and deviance
similar? How do they differ?
• Who decides what should be criminal? How are
such decisions made?
• What is the theme of this book? Upon what two
contrasting viewpoints does it build?
• What does it mean to say that “criminal activity
is diversely created and variously interpreted”?
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Introduction
• Crime-related entertainment extremely
popular today.
• Inexplicability of crime fascinates
people.
• This text examines causative factors in
effect when a crime is committed.
• It encourages an appreciation of the
challenges of crafting effective crimecontrol policy.
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What are your favorites?
22. Orange is the New Black – Prison Drama
21. Luther – Crime Drama
15. Homeland – Crime/Terrorist Drama
14. Walking Dead – Violent Drama
13. American Horror Story – Horror/Crime Drama
12. Top of the Lake – Mystery/Crime Drama
8. Boardwalk Empire – Crime Drama
7. Archer – Crime/Spy/Comedy
5. The Americans – Crime/Spy Drama
4. Game of Thrones – Fantasy/Crime/Violent Drama
3. Justified – Crime Drama
2. Hannibal – Crime Drama
1. Breaking Bad – Crime Drama
List drafted by: Slant Magazine
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Impact of the Media on Crime
•
•
•
•
•
What are the typical images on crime?
How are they distorted by the media?
What types of crimes are normally featured?
How “real” are reality TV shows?
Do you believe crime related shows and
information leave viewers with a mistaken
impression of law enforcement?
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Activity 1
• Gather up in your assign groups and
discuss the following:
 Discuss TV shows such as Cops, NCIS, Blue
Bloods, Breaking Bad and provide the following
information:
• What is commonly the gender and race of the
suspects?
• The gender and race of the police officers?
• The type of crime?
• The products being advertised during these programs.
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What is Crime?
• Four definitional perspectives




Legalistic
Political
Sociological
Psychological
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What is Crime?
• Perspective is important because it
determines the assumptions we make
and the questions we ask
• This book uses the legalistic
perspective
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Legalistic Perspective
• Crime:
 Human conduct in violation of the
criminal laws of a state, the federal
government, or a local jurisdiction that
has the power to make such laws
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Legalistic Perspective
• Key shortcoming
 Yields moral high ground to powerful
individuals who can influence lawmaking
• Laws are social products – crime is
socially relative, created by legislative
activity
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Political Perspective
• Crime:
 The result of criteria that have been
built into the law by powerful groups
and are then used to label selected
undesirable forms of behavior as illegal
• Laws serve the interests of the
politically powerful
• Crimes are behaviors those in power
perceive as threats to their interests
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Sociological (Sociolegal)
Perspective
• Crime:
 An antisocial act of such a nature that
its repression is necessary or is
supposed to be necessary to the
preservation of the existing system of
society
• Crime is an offense against human
relationships first, a violation of law
second
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Psychological (Maladaptive)
Perspective
• Crime:
 Problem behavior, especially human
activity that contravenes the criminal
law and results in difficulties in living
within a framework of generally
acceptable social arrangements
• Any behavior which is maladaptive
would be considered crime
• Includes any harmful or potentially
harmful behaviors
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Crime and Deviance
• Deviant behavior
 Human activity that violates social
norms
• Deviance and crime overlap – not
identical
• Delinquency: Violations of the criminal
law and other misbehavior committed
by young people
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Figure 1-2 The Overlap between Deviance and Crime
Source: Schmalleger, Frank J., Criminology. Printed and Electronically reproduced by permission of Pearson
Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What Should Be Criminal?
• Lack agreement about appropriate legal
status of behaviors such as drug use,
abortion, gambling, etc.
• Question answered differently by two
contrasting perspectives
 Consensus
 Pluralist
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Activity #2
• Make a list of five legal behaviors, which
you consider deviant.
• Compare and contrast the items on your
lists. Focus on the wide range of opinions
present among a fairly homogenous group
(university students studying criminal
justice). Discuss possible reasons for
differing opinions (e.g., religious beliefs,
profession, prior experiences with the
criminal justice system).
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What Should Be Criminal?
Consensus
• Laws enacted to
criminalize behaviors
when members of
society agree
• Homogeneous
societies
• Shared consensus
hard to achieve in
diverse multicultural
societies
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Pluralist
• Behaviors criminalized
through a political
process, after debate
over appropriate
course of action
• Involves legislation,
appellate court action
• Most applicable to
diverse societies
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What Is Criminology?
• Wide variety of definitions available
• Text definition of criminology:
 An interdisciplinary profession built
around the scientific study of crime and
criminal behavior, including their
manifestations, causes, legal aspects,
and control
• Includes consideration of possible
solutions to crime problem
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Criminology’s Basic Questions
• Why do crime rates vary?
• Why do individuals differ as to
criminality?
• Why is there variation in reactions to
crime?
• What are the possible means of
controlling criminality?
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What Is Criminology?
• Criminology is interdisciplinary
• Criminology needs to be integrated
• Criminology contributes to criminal
justice:
 Application of the criminal law and study
of the components of the justice system
 Police, courts, corrections
 Focus on control of law-breaking
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What Do Criminologists Do?
• Criminologist
 Studies crime, criminals and criminal
behavior
• Criminalist
 A specialist in the collection and
examination of the physical evidence of
crime
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What Do Criminologists Do?
• Criminal Justice Professionals
 Do the day-to-day work of the criminal
justice system
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
What Do Criminologists Do?
Academic
criminologists
• Ph.D. in criminology,
CJ, related field
• Teach in universities
• Conduct research to
advance criminological
knowledge
• Publish in journals
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Other career tracks
• Work in CJS
• Private security or
private investigation
• Law school
• Work for legislative
bodies, provide
expertise to civil
organizations
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Theoretical Criminology
• Subfield of general criminology mainly
found in colleges and universities
• Assume explanations for criminal
behavior
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Theoretical Criminology
• Theory:
 Made up of clearly stated propositions
that affirm or assume relationships
between events and things under study
• Criminologists have developed many
theories to explain and understand
crime
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Theoretical Criminology
• General theory
 Tries to explain all/most forms of crime
through a single overarching approach
• Unicausal theory
 Assumes a single identifiable source for
all serious deviant and criminal behavior
• Integrated theory
 Tries to explain crime by merging
concepts from different sources
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Criminology and Social Policy
• Translational criminology
 Focuses on translating research results
into workable social policy
• Sound social policy needs to be linked
to objective findings of well-conducted
criminological research
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Theme of This Text
Social Problems
• Crime a manifestation
of underlying social
problems
• Public health model to
deal with crime
• Macro approach
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Social Responsibility
• People responsible for
own behavior, choose
crime over legitimate
options
• Personalized crimereduction strategies
• Micro approach
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The Social Context of Crime
• Crime does not occur in a vacuum –
every crime has a unique set of
 Causes
 Consequences
 Participants
• Crime provokes reactions from many
sources
• Reactions to crime may affect future
criminal events
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Figure 1-7
Interpreting the Criminal Event
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
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The Causes and Consequences of
the Criminal Event
• Crime is a social event, not an isolated
individual activity
• Crime is socially relative
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Causes and Consequences of
the Criminal Event
• Crime results from the coming together
of inputs provided by the offender, the
victim, the criminal justice system, and
society
 Foreground – features that immediately
determine the nature of the crime
 Background causes – generic
contributions to the crime
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Crime and the Offender
Background
• Life experiences
• Biology/genetic
inventory
• Personality
• Values/beliefs
• Skills/knowledge
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Foreground
• Motivation
• Specific intent
• State of mind (druginduced)
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Crime and the Criminal Justice
System
Background
• CJS contributes to
crime through failure
to:
 Prevent crime
 Identify/inhibit specific
offenders
 Prevent release of
recidivists
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Foreground
• Proper system
response may reduce
crime
 Presence/absence of
police officers
 Availability of official
assistance
 Willingness of officers to
intervene pre-crime
 Response time
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Crime and the Victim
Background
• Passive presence
• Active contributions
through lifestyle
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Foreground
• Victim precipitation
 Active victim
participation in initial
stages of criminal event
 Victim instigates chain
of events resulting in
victimization
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Crime and Society
Background
• Legislation defining
crime
• Generic social
practices and
conditions
• Socialization process
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Foreground
• Distribution of
resources
• Accessibility of
services
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The Consequences of Crime
• Outputs/immediate consequences
affect those parties directly involved
• Real impact mediated by perceptual
filters
 Results in ongoing interpretations
before, during, after crime
 Everyone associated with a crime
engages in interpretations
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Integrative Approach to Crime
• Text takes 3-D integrative view of
crime
 Try to identify, understand causes of
crime
 Highlight processes involved in the
criminal event
 Analyze interpretation of the crime
phenomenon
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Integrative Approach to Crime
• Crime seen as emergent activity that
 Arises out of past complex causes
 Assumes a course building on
immediate interrelationships
 Elicits formal response from CJS, shapes
public perceptions, may lead to changes
in social policy
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Primacy of Sociology?
• Many disciplines have made important
contributions to criminology
• Many criminologists today operate
primarily from a sociological
perspective
• Many modern theories of criminal
behavior based in sociology
continued on next slide
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Primacy of Sociology?
• New and emerging perspectives being
recognized, but sociological perspective
dominates
Criminology Today, 7th Edition
Frank Schmalleger
Copyright © 2015 by Pearson Education, Inc.
All Rights Reserved