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The roots of crime

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Title: The roots of crime


1
The roots of crime
  • Social systems

2
Theories
  • Biological
  • Psychological
  • Sociological
  • Economic
  • Cultural
  • Anthropological

3
Biological
  • Genetic (twins, adoptees, parental criminality
    XYY)
  • Gender
  • Age
  • ANS research
  • Nutrition, diet
  • Head injuries (EEG, motor skills)
  • Problems at birth

4
Psychological factors
  • Aggressive
  • Impulsive
  • Hyperactive
  • Sensation-seeking
  • Difficult children
  • Many difficult children do not become criminal,
    but most offenders were difficult

5
Psychological factors
  • Problem behavior syndrome
  • Poor verbal intelligence (predictive factor in
    high risk children)
  • Learning disabilities
  • ADD and ADHD
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • Mental Illness
  • Moral reasoning

6
Families
  • Parental attachment/rejection
  • Consistent/inconsistent discipline
  • Supervision/monitoring
  • Neglect
  • Abuse
  • Broken home (never married or divorced)

7
Families
  • Large family size
  • Family variables affected by age of the
    parent(s), educational level, financial status,
    and availability of social supports (social
    capital)
  • Extended family
  • Current policy welfare (cash assistance) system

8
Families
  • Textbook suggests discouraging unwed pregnancy
  • Seeking out and taxing fathers
  • ???

9
Peers
  • Generally delinquents/criminals have
    delinquent/criminal peers
  • Criminality learned from others through
    associations
  • hanging around with the wrong crowd
  • Problem for aftercare, parole

10
Schools
  • Offenders have poor academic achievement
  • Fail grades, truant, drop out
  • Do not participate in school activities
  • Successful schools consistent discipline,
    nurturing, critical mass of motivated students
  • Tracking?

11
Schools
  • Current policies require compulsory school
    attendance, and schools are pressed to keep
    attendance up
  • Some unintended consequences internal dropouts,
    dumbing down of curricular options, forcing
    adolescents to stay in school who formerly would
    have dropped out and gone to work

12
Schools
  • Weakening of school/teacher authority
  • Breakdown of informal controls
  • Book suggests lowering the age of compulsory
    attendance, with work options and options for
    re-entering the school system
  • Having adult learners return to high school with
    adolescents

13
Schools
  • Cognitive-behavioral methods for changing problem
    behavior have some effect
  • Examples PASS (Plan a Safe Strategy),
    Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways,
    Interpersonal Cognitive Problem Solving (ICPS)
  • Anger Control Trainingidentifying antecedents,
    self-monitoring, self-

14
Schools
  • Self-instructions, reinterpretation of
    situations, self-evaluation, sequence of
    problem-solving steps to take during difficult
    situations

15
Schools
  • Programs that better establish expected norms and
    behaviors somewhat effective
  • Program to reduce bullying
  • Mixed effects for mentoring/tutoring
  • DARE and counseling strategies appeared to have
    little effect
  • Suspensions/expulsions negative effects

16
Social control
  • Attachment, commitment, involvement
  • Labelling effects
  • Primary and secondary deviance
  • Implications diversion, due process,
    deinstitutionalization

17
Neighborhoods and communities
  • Social ecological model
  • Juvenile Delinquency Urban Areas by Shaw
    McKay
  • Poverty, heterogeneity and residential
    instability (mobility) lead to community level
    social disorganization
  • Effect of poverty may be conditional on mobility
    (rapid population turnover)

18
Neighborhoods
  • Negative relationship between residential
    stability and violent crimes
  • Physical structure and density of the population
    may have effects
  • of units in multi-unit housing structures a
    strong predictor of violent crime
  • Leads to anonymity

19
Neighborhoods
  • Family disruption
  • Neighborhood concentrations of stable families
    may be protective of children in unstable
    situations
  • Large of female based households predictive of
    violent crime

20
Social disorganization
  • Approach views community as a system of families,
    friends and acquaintances in a network
  • Socially organized inhibit crime
  • i.e., monitoring youths
  • Set of obligations, expectations, social networks
  • Social capital

21
Communities
  • Social capital may be reflected in assumption of
    responsibility for other youth, rate of
    participation local organizations and voluntary
    associations
  • Social disorganization inability of a community
    recognize common values and maintain social
    controls

22
Communities
  • who felt responsible for neighborhood and who
    belonged to/participated in organizations
    predictive of lower levels of crime
  • neighboring activities predictive of lower
    rates
  • Social cohesion surveys predictive (collective
    efficacy)

23
Communities
  • Factors that increase this process
  • Withdrawal
  • Decline in organizations
  • Deteriorating businesses
  • Population changes, loss of stable residents
  • Increases in delinquency
  • Crime undermines economic and social aspects of a
    neighborhood

24
Implications
  • Changing neighborhoods
  • Identifying hot spots
  • Reducing social disorder, i.e., cleaning up
    litter, organization of walking groups for adults
    in public areas, protesting/picketing disorder
    crimes

25
Implications
  • Building informal controls, such as organized
    supervision of youths, watching street corner
    groups, adult-youth mentoring
  • Housing based neighborhood stabilization
    resident management, code enforcement
  • Reduce population flight, anonymity

26
Scattered housing
  • Some evidence that dispersing public housing,
    relocating mothers to suburbs improves social
    outcomes of mothers and children
  • Community based interventions to improve prenatal
    care, support programs for families
    (child-rearing skills

27
Implications
  • Increasing community empowerment, local
    involvement, voting, etc.

28
Economics
  • Overall economy not particularly correlated to
    the crime rate
  • Competing hypotheses need, affluence, relative
    deprivation
  • Labor markets not clearly correlated to crime
  • However, may be related to crime in high crime
    areas

29
Economics
  • Must distinguish between transitory economic
    downturns and job loss from the more permanent
    changes in the labor market, i.e., permanent loss
    of manufacturing jobs
  • Income distribution may also be a factor
  • Wealthiest 20 in U.S. have 49 of income

30
Economics
  • Poorest 60 have 28
  • Wealthiest 1 have 40 of the wealth, and their
    net wealth has increased over 20 in the last 20
    years
  • Bottom 40 decreased in wealth by 80

31
Economics
  • Consistent trend More wealth being accumulated
    by a small percentage
  • Bottom 50 not benefiting , and are
  • Probably relatively worse off

32
Economics
  • Ethnographic studies of offenders find that
  • Many have both legal jobs and illegal activities
  • Income earned is low, but they can make more per
    hour from crimes, especially drug selling, and
    they perceive this

33
Economics
  • Gangs might have grown because the opportunities
    available to make money may have had more appeal
    than the low wage jobs otherwise available
  • Because of neighborhood declines, such youth
    often have little connection to the world of
    work, or few ins to this world

34
Current programs
  • Enterprise zones, community development block
    grants
  • Weed Seed
  • Mobility and dispersion programs relatively
    small number take advantage of them, positive
    outcomes, politically unattractive
  • Commuting programs

35
Current programs
  • Summer employment, Job training Partnership Act
    (JTPA)
  • Job Corps has shown employment and educational
    gains and reductions in arrests
  • Manpower JTPA for adult offenders, no overall
    effects except for offenders gt 26
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