Introduction (I) (2015)Apunte Inglés
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We cannot be confused with the science of criminal detection or forensic science. Criminology is
interested in WHO commit the crime, WHY, HOW... Simply difined as the study of crime and how
people react to this actions.
SHUTERLAND Criminology is the body of knowledge regarding crime as a social phenomenon. It includes within its scope the process of making laws, of breaking laws, and of reacting toward the breaking of laws.
• Nature -Multiple disciplinary study.
-Criminology is best seen as a social science concerned with a) those aspects of human behavior regarded as criminal because they are prohibited by the criminal law, b) aspects of socially deviant behavior as they are closely related to crime and may usefully be studied in this connection.
-The criminologist may properly be concerned to study fringe areas, 'deviant' behavior which is not actually criminal.
-The criminologist has traditionally been concerned to discover ▫the causes of crime.
▫the explanation for criminal behavior to discover what factors are associated with criminal behavior -> To prevent crime.
▫attempts in the past to develop single-cause theories of criminal behavior have been highly unsuccessful (LOMBROSO).
• Content >Criminalization: The process by which certain types of behavior are criminalized that is, made illegal whether by legislative or administrative action.
>Social control: the process by which formal and informal measures are taken in society to control the activities of people so that criminal law is not violated.
>Preventive measures of an environmental or ecological nature taken in a society or community to diminish the opportunities, likelihood, or temptations for criminal behavior.
>Criminal behavior: the settings, statistics on incidence and frequency, modus operandi, and consequences.
>Criminogenesis: the factors present in individuals, groups, or a society that make law-breaking more likely or less so; the social-structural components of a society that induce or reduce crime.
>The offender: who commits crimes, why, and with what rationalizations.
>The police: their roles, duties, privileges, and responsibilities; their place in the social control apparatus and in the prevention of crime and apprehension of offenders.
>Criminal justice system.
>Correction: Punishment, fines, parole.
>Victimology: Sudy of the victims of crime and the relationships with the offenders.
• Content- Subcategories >>Criminal anthropology: the science of criminal man (somatic), a section of natural science.
>>Criminal sociology: the science of criminality as a social phenomenon.
>>Criminal psychology: the science of psychological phenomena in the field of crime.
▫The chief subject-matter of its study is the psychology of the criminal.
>>Criminal psycho-and neuropathology: the science of the psychopathic or neurotic criminal.
>>Penology: the science of the origin and development of punishment, its significance and utility.
CRIME -The most common definition of crime is to define it as a violation of the criminal law. Crimes are what are included as illegal acts in criminal law.
-The consequence of this is that the definition of crime varies historically and geographically.
▫It is very difficult to reach an international agreement on what constitutes a crime in the international arena.
▫International courts and tribunals have a very limited capacity.
Because crime is a “social construct”, the definition, answers and study of crime respond to the specific political and social context of the moment and the place.
-The concept of crime implies (Stephen and Peter, 2001): ▫1. Existing norms or rules of conducts established through societal consensus.
▫2. Codification of such rules under Criminal Law ▫3. A deviation from the rules or violation of the laws.
▫4. Prescription of sanctions or punishment.
▫5. Establishment of agencies of formal controls like the police force to perform regulatory functions.
-Some consensus now exist among criminologists that a crime must have the following features (Clifford, 1974).
▫1. It must be legally forbidden ▫2. Such a crime must have some harm done to some people or external consequence.
▫3. It must be an intentional act or a reckless action or inaction.
▫4. There must be a criminal intent, ▫5. The criminal intent must coincide with the criminal action.
▫6. There must be a causal relationship between the legally forbidden act and the voluntary reaction.
-Legal parameters ▫The criminal act – actus reus ▫The mens rea – a culpable mental state ▫A concurrence of the two ▫Harm ▫Legality ▫Causation ▫Punishment QUESTIONS ✔ What do you understand by criminology? ✔ Many disciplines factor into criminological theories, such a psychology, sociology, biology, political science and criminal justice. Do you feel that the integration of all of these disciplines holds the best chance for explaining the most crime, or should the disciplines remain pure? ✔ What is crime? Is it an unconditional notion? What does that tell us about criminology? ✔ Why do we also study crime as a social phenomenon? ...