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32 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Scientific study of crime, criminals, and criminal behavior.
Criminology
Identify crime problems, collect and analyze data, and communicate research findings to inform criminal justice and related public policy.
Criminologists
A means of explaining natural occurrences through statements about the relationships between observable phenomena.
Theory
A theoretical perspective which contends that social order is realized because people reach a normative consensus, that is, agreement over right and wrong.
Functionalism
Any behavior that is in violation of the criminal law.
Criminal Behavior
Based on the premise that wealth and power vary across groups. Inequality generates conflicting social values, the basis of much crime.
The conflict Perspective
Patterns of expected behavior that govern society.
Social Norms
Focuses on social behavior from the standpoint of the individuals involved in day-to-day interaction and defines criminal behavior as a product of social learning.
Interactionist Perspective
Behavior that does not conform to the social norms of society.
Deviant Behavior
Refers to behavior that complies with the norms of a community or society.
Conformity
The process by which individuals internalize many of the socially approved values, attitudes, beliefs and behavioral patterns of their society.
Socialization
Formal norms that have been codified as punishable offenses against society or its citizens.
Laws
The more serious of the two basic types of crime, usually resulting in a penalty of one year or more in prison.
Felonies
The lesser of the two basic types of crime, usually punishable by no more than one year in prison.
Misdemeanors
Means "guilty mind" and defines criminal intent.
Mens Rea
Acts that are viewed as criminal simply because the law says so.
Mala Prohibita
Acts that are viewed as criminal because they are wrong, immoral or evil in themselves.
Mala in se
Deals with non-criminal offenses that are handled by civil rather than criminal courts.
Civil/Tort Laws
Refers to illegal acts committed by young people, usually sixteen to eighteen years of age or younger.
Juvenile Delinquency
The U.S. government's official source of data on crime that relies on police reports of crimes that they hear about from citizens.
Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)
The term used by the UCR for the eight felonies to which it devotes the most attention: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor-vehicle theft, and arson.
Index Offenses
In the UCR, the number of crimes per 100,000 persons in some location or subgroup of the population; in the NCVS, the number of victimizations per 1,000 persons or 1,000 households.
Crime Rate
The UCR's term for the "official" number of crimes that the police report to the UCR and that the UCR, in turn, reports to the public.
Crimes Known to the Police
The range of crimes that are committed in society but are undiscovered, unreported, or unrecorded.
The Dark Figure of Crime
An annual survey given by the government to people in thousands of randomly selected households around the nation that asks residents of these households a series of questions about crimes that they, other household members, and the household itself have experienced during the past six-month period.
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
Surveys in which respondents are asked to provide information on various offenses they may have committed.
Self-Report Surveys
In a self-report survey, the percentage of respondents who have committed an offense at least once within a certain time period.
Prevalence
In a self-report survey, the average number of offenses committed per offender.
Incidence
The view that people act with free will and carefully weigh the potential benefits and costs of their behavior before acting.
Rational Choice Theory
The view that human behavior is the result of personal, independent choices and not of internal or external forces beyond their control.
Free Will
Closely related to rational choice theory, the belief that more certain and severe punishment reduces the crime rate.
Deterrence Theory
The belief that crime and victimization are more likely to occur with the simultaneous occurrence of motivated offenders, attractive targets, and low or no guardianship.
Routine Activities Theory