CRIME & VIOLENCE / Assignment# 3 A crime is a violation of the criminal law. Violence includes any behavior intended to cause physical harm to a person. Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice. Research shows that the victims and attackers in most murders are friends or relatives. An assault occurs when one person physically attacks another; it differs from a murder in that the victim does not die. Sexual intercourse forced on someone without consent is known as forcible rape. There are two types of forcible rape. The first kind occurs on a date or in the course of some other social contact; in the second type, the rapist simply selects a victim and attacks her (or him). Property crime includes a wide variety of offenses such as theft, burglary, arson, and fraud. Although robbery (theft by force) is officially classified as a violent crime, for sociological purposes it too is best considered a property offense. Offenses committed by highly organized groups of professional criminals are known as syndicated crime. White-collar crime is defined as a crime committed by a person of high status in the course of his or her occupation. Such crimes probably cost more than all other crimes put together. Juvenile delinquency includes a broad range of deviant behaviors committed by young people, some of which would also be against the law if committed by young people, some of which would also be against the law if committed by adults and some of which would not. Although the rate of reported crime has increased substantially in the last two decades, most criminologists have more confidence in the victimization surveys, which indicate that the crime rate has actually decreased. The data show that crime is most common among males, young adults, and those who live in cities. For most types of crime, the poor and the minorities are also most likely to be the offenders; however, that is not true of the white-collar crimes. International comparisons show that the United States has the highest rate of violent crime of any industrialized nation. The classical school holds that criminals choose to violate the law because that is the easiest way to get what they want. Biological Theorists see crime as rooted in human nature, and often look to the process of evolution to explain it. Psychologists and psychiatrists argue that crime is caused by the personality of the criminals. Some sociologists hold that crime is learned from social interaction (differential association), while others see it as a result of society’s failure to prevent it (control theory). Still other sociologists feel that our high crime rates are a result of the social and economic structure of contemporary society. The police are the first to respond to most individual crimes, and how well they do their jobs has an enormous impact on the rest of the criminal justice system. If the police make an arrest, the suspects are usually held in prison until they can raise bail. If their case is not dropped, most defendants participate in a process called plea bargaining, under which they agree to plead guilty in exchange for some form of leniency from the prosecutor, In most cases, the judge sentences offenders either to prison or to a period of probation, during which they are allowed to remain free under official supervision. The huge increase in the inmate population of the United States has created serious overcrowding and deteriorating prison conditions. There are many different proposals for dealing with the crime problem. Although the United States already has the highest percentage of its population in prison of any country in the world, some say we should get tougher still. Others propose focusing on violent criminals by lengthening their prison sentences but relying on other alternatives such as restitution and drug treatment for nonviolent offenders. Probably the most popular approach among criminologists is to attack the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty, unemployment, racism, and a deteriorating family structure. Functionalists argue that the growing rime rate is but one symptom of increasing social disorganization. Conflict theorists emphasize the role of exploitation and inequality in promoting crime. Social psychologists generally focus on the ways individuals become involved in crime and violence. Assignment: Define the following key terms Arson Felony Probation Assault Forcible rape Rational Choice Theory Bail Fraud Robbery Burglary Homicide Sociopathic Personality Classical Theory Juvenile Delinquent Strain Theory Control Theory Labeling Theory Syndicated Crime Crime Misdemeanor Theft Critical Theory Murder Victimless Crimes Deviant Subcultures Plea Bargaining Violence Differential Association Police Brutality White-Collar Crime Theory Why are those who are charged with white-collar crimes less likely to be prosecuted and convicted than those charged with comparable “street crimes,” and when the defendants in these white-collar cases are convicted, why do they receive lighter sentences? Explain 50 words or more. Self-report studies show that children from all economic backgrounds commit minor acts of delinquency at about the same rate, but that children from poor homes are much more likely to commit serious criminal act. Explain 50 words or more.
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