Criminology by niusheng11



 Presented by
C. Delano Gray

• Criminology is a sub-field of sociology dealing with
  matters related to crime and criminal behavior. It
  includes fields such as crime statistics, criminal
  psychology, forensic science, law enforcement, and
  detective methods.
• Naturally, criminology must take into account that the
  definition of crime varies according to the cultural
  mores and, especially, laws of a given area. This is an
  area where caution is warranted; if one is comparing,
  e.g., violent crimes between nations, one must be
  careful that the actions counted in that category are
  similar for each nation; otherwise the comparison is

A crime in a broad sense is an act that
  violates a political or moral law. In the
  narrow sense, a crime is a violation of
  the criminal law. For example, most
  traffic violations or breach of contracts
  are not crimes in a legal sense.

Understanding Human Behavior
• According to Behaviorist
  – Stimulus
  – Response

   Why People Obey the Law
• Instrumental Perspective
  – Fear punishment
• Normative Perspective
  – Whether people obey the law depending on
    what one considers just and moral.

• Sociologists have found that deterrence
  does not fully explain why people obey
  the law. Citizens choose to obey the law
  when the chances of being caught
  violating it are virtually zero. Yet citizens
  break the law when it is risky to do so.

             Survey Results
• The Chicago study focused on six laws with
  which people deal on a daily basis. Illegal
  parking, 51%; speeding, 62%; shoplifting, 3%;
  disturbing the peace, 27%; littering, 25%; DUI,
• How likely they thought it was that they would
  be arrested: DUI, 83%; parking violation and
  shoplifting, 78%; speeding, 72%; disturbing
  the peace, 35%, littering, 31%.

            Survey results
• Whether each offense was wrong:
  almost every one of the participants felt
  that any violations of the six laws were
  wrong. 99% think shoplifting immoral and
  speeding is the least immoral.

    Theories of Crime Causation
•   Classical Criminology
•   Routine Activities Theory
•   Biological Theory
•   Psychological Theories
•   Social Process Theories

       Classical Criminology
• Based on the philosophical principle of
  utilitarianism, has its roots in the belief
  that human beings are rational and
  calculating creatures and therefore do
  things in order to avoid pain and produce

        Classical Criminology
• People have free will which they can use
  to elect to engage in either criminal or
  noncriminal behavior.
• Criminal behavior will be more attractive
  if the gains are estimated to be greater
  than the losses
• The more certain, severe, and swift the
  reaction to crime, the more likely it is that
  the penalties will control the behavior.

        Classical Criminology
Difficulties inherent in the theory
• Many people do not stop and add up the gains
  and losses of lawbreaking before they engage
  in it.
• The impact of penalties can be very different
  for different people
• It is very difficult to know whether the penalty
  will in face result from the behavior: most
  offenders optimistically assume that they will
  not be caught.

     Routine Activities Theory
• A variation of classical theory, holds that both
  the motivation to commit crime and the supply
  of offenders is constant.
• The availability of suitable targets, such as
  companies and individuals
• The absence of capable guardians, such as
  auditors and security personnel
• The presence of motivated offenders, such as
  unhappy or financially-challenged employees.

         Biological Theories
• Criminal behavior is not the result of
  choice, but rather is caused by the
  physical traits of those who commit
  crime, proposed by Cesare Lombroso.
• There are ―born‖ criminals.
• Biological theorists now take a much
  less deterministic position. Given certain
  environmental circumstances, is apt to
  produce illegal acts.

      Psychological Theories
• Criminal behavior is the product of mental
• Freud’s idea focus on early childhood
  development and on unconscious motivations.
  Freud identified a three part structure to
  human personality: the id(the drive for food,
  sex, and other life-sustaining things), the
  superego (the conscience which develops
  when learned values become incorporated into
  a person’s behavior), and the ego(the product
  of the interaction between what a person
  wants and what his conscience will allow him
  to do to achieve what he wants).

          Cognitive theories
• Cognitive theories stress inadequate
  moral and intellectual development as
  lying at the root of criminal acts. There
  are also personality theories, which
  believe that traits such as extroversion
  are responsible for a significant amount
  of crime.

         Integrated Theories
• Draw from choice theory, biological
  theory, and psychological theory.
• While criminal activity is a choice, this
  choice is heavily influenced by biological
  and psychological factors. Other social
  factors, such as family life, schools, and
  gang membership, were also explored.

          Conditioning Theory
• It argues that the failure of a person to
  incorporate satisfactorily the dictates of society
  represents the major explanation for
  subsequent criminal behavior.
• Frustration is the the precursor of aggression.
  The theory suggests that the expression of
  aggression, such as a fraud perpetrator
  ―getting back‖ at his employer, will alleviate the
  frustration and allow the organism to return to
  a more satisfactory state.

     Social Structure Theories
• There are various kinds of sociological
  theories, all based on similar premises but with
  differing kinds of emphases.
• As a group, social structure theories suggest
  that forces operating in the lower-class areas
  of the environment push many of their
  residents into criminal behavior. They
  challenge those who would suggest that crime
  is an expression of psychological imbalance,
  biological traits, personal choice, etc.
• People living in equivalent social environments
  seems to behave in a similar, predictable

           Theory of Anomie
• The discrepancy between what people are
  indoctrinated into desiring and the ways that
  are available to them to achieve such ends is
  the cornerstone for explanation of criminal
• Anomie in the United States was characterized
  by an almost overpowering emphasis on the
  acquisition of things and on the fact that social
  status and importance is usually measured in
  terms of money. There are different ways to
  obtain money.

      Social Process Theories
• Criminality is a function of individual
  socialization and the social-psychological
  interactions people have with the various
  organizations, institutions, and processes of
• The various social process theories all share
  one basic concept: all people regardless of
  their race, class, or gender, have the potential
  to become delinquents or criminals.

     Social Learning Theories
• Criminal behavior is a function of the way
  people absorb information, viewpoints,
  and motivations from others, most
  notably from those to whom they are
  close, such as their peer.
• Social learning theories believe that all
  people have the potential to commit
  crime if they are exposed to certain kinds
  of circumstances.

         Theory of Differential
• Provided by Edwin Sutherland.
• Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with
  other persons in a process of communication.
• The criminal learning process includes not
  only techniques of committing crime but also
  the shaping of motives, drives, rationalizations,
  and attitudes.
• While criminal behavior is an expression of
  general needs and values, it is not explained
  by these general needs and values because
  noncriminal behavior is an expression of the
  same needs and values.

       Social Control Theory
• By Travis Hirschi (1969)
• The institutions of the social system train
  and press those with whom they are in
  contact into patterns of conformity. To
  the extent a person fails to become
  attached to the variety of control
  agencies (school, parents) of the society,
  his or her chances of violating the law
  are increased.

          White-Collar Crime
• There is no well-accepted definition.
• The term was coined by Edwin H. Sutherland
  in 1939.
• Definition by Sutherland:‖Crime in the upper,
  white-collar class, which is composed of
  respectable, or at least respected, business,
  and professional men.‖
• Then he gave examples of thefts by chain
  store employees and overcharges by garage
  mechanics and watch repairers—which is
  inconsistent with his definition.

         White-Collar Crime
• More commonly accepted definition:
  ―nonviolent crime for financial gain
  committed by means of deception by
  persons whose occupational status is
  entrepreneurial, professional or semi-
  professional and utilizing their special
  occupational skills and opportunities.‖
Public Perceptions of White-
Collar Crime (National Survey
      of Crime Severity)
       Offense Stimuli
       • An employee embezzles $10
       • A store owner knowingly puts
         “large eggs into containers
         marked “extra large”
       • A person makes an obscene
         phone call

Public Perceptions of White-
        Collar Crime
              Offense Stimuli
              • An employee
                embezzles $1,000
              • A person beats a
                victim with his fists.
                The victim requires
                treatment by a
                doctor but not

      Profiles of White-Collar
• White males, with a moderate social
• They are slightly more likely than the
  general population to have a high school
  diploma (78% vs. 69%), or a college
  degree (24.7% vs. 19%).

            Fraud Perpetrator
• They look like any honest people
• When compared with prisoners incarcerated
  for property offenses, they are
  – less likely to be caught, turned in, arrested,
    convicted, and incarcerated
  – less likely to serve long sentences
  – considerably older
  – better educated, more religious
  – less likely to have criminal records, abused alcohol,
    use drugs
  – in better psychological health, enjoy more
    optimism, self-esteem, achievement, motivation
    and family harmony.

         Fraud Perpetrator
• When compared with college students,
  they differed only slightly.

   Why people commit Fraud?
• Fraud triangle
  – Pressure(perceived or real one)
  – Opportunity (perceived or real one)
  – Rationalization (I didn’t do anything wrong,
    I’ll pay it back, didn’t hurt anyone)
• Best way to prevent fraud is to eliminate

What are the 4 types of pressure?

    Types of Financial Pressures
•   Greed
•   Living beyond one’s means
•   High bills or personal debt
•   Poor credit
•   Personal financial losses
•   Unexpected financial needs

   What are the three parts of
    perceived opportunity?
1. To commit fraud

2. To conceal fraud

3. To avoid punishment

     What factors increase
  opportunity to commit fraud?
• Ability to get around internal controls
• Inability to judge performance
• Failure to discipline prior frauds
• Lack of access to information
• Ignorance, Apathy, Incapacity
• Lack of an audit trail

        Comment on the Control
• Modeling                            Factoids
• Management
                               30% Dishonest
                               30% Situationally
• Appropriate Hiring           Honest
• Clear Organizational         40% Honest All
  Structure                    the Time
• Effective Internal Audit &   Internal Audit
  Security & Loss              Detects 20% of
                               Detected Frauds
  Prevention Programs

   What are the 3 components of
           every fraud?
1. The Theft – Assets Are Taken

2. Concealment – Hide It from Others

3. Conversion – Spends or Converts to
   Cash and then Spends

What does a good account system
 Provide a
 Good Audit

     What does a good accounting
      system do for transaction?
• Provides Validity
• Proper Authorization
• Complete transactions
• Proper Classification
• Report in Correct Time
• Properly Valued
• Summarizes Correctly

   What are the 5 primary control
1. Segregation of Duties or Dual Custody

2. System of Authorizations

3. Independent Checks and Balances

4. Physical Safeguards

5. Documentation & Records

• Review the concept
• Provide examples of
  how you have heard
  people rationalize
  unacceptable behavior
  as acceptable

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