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Flashcards in Chapter 5 Deck (33):

Choice theory

the view that delinquent behaviour is a rational choice made by a motivated offender who perceives the chances of gain as outweighing any perceived punishment or loss


Classical criminology

the theory that people have free will, choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or need, and can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions



a view that believes punishment of crime should be balanced and fair, and that even criminal behaviour is purposeful and reasonable


Crime displacement

an effect of crime prevention efforts, in which efforts to control crime in one area shift illegal activities to another area


Offence-specific crime

an illegal act committed by offenders reacting selectively to characteristics of particular offences, assessing opportunity and guardianship; relevant to routine activities theory


Offender-specific crime

an illegal act committed by offenders who do not usually engage in random acts of antisocial behaviour, but who evaluate their skills at accomplishing the crime


Rational choice theory

the view that crime is a function of a decision-making process, in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act


Routine activities theory

the view that crime is a normal function of routine activities of modern living; offences occur when a suitable target is not protected by capable guardians


Macro perspective

a large-scale view that takes into account social and economic reasons to explain how and why things happen; relevant to Marxism and functionalism


Micro perspective

a small-scale view of events, looking at interaction to explain how and why things happen; relevant to interactionist studies of deviance and development


Capable guardians

in routine activities theory, the presence of police, homeowners, neighbours, and others, which can have a deterrent effect on crime


Motivated criminals

the potential offenders in a population. According to rational choice theory, crime rates will vary according to the number of motivated offenders


Instrumental crime

illegal activity, such as the sale of narcotics, committed for the purpose of obtaining desired goods that are unable to be attained through conventional means


Seductions of crime

according to Katz, the visceral and emotional appeal that the situation of crime has for those who engage in illegal acts


Situational crime prevention

a method to eliminate or reduce particular crimes in narrow settings, such as increasing lighting and installing security alarms


Defensible space

the principle that crime prevention can be achieved through modifying the physical environment to reduce the opportunity individuals have to commit crime


Target reduction strategies

methods for reducing crime through the use of locks, bars, alarms, and other devices; based on the routine activities theory and its analysis of potential risk factors



the phenomenon in which a crime prevention effort has an immediate impact that dissipates as criminals adjust to new conditions


Diffusion of benefits

an effect that occurs when an effort to control one type of crime has the unexpected benefit of reducing the incidence of another type of crime



the effect when efforts made to eliminate one type of crime also control other types of crime by limiting access to desirable targets and thereby reducing the value of the criminal activity


General deterrence

a crime control policy that depends on the fear of criminal penalties, such as long prison sentences for violent crimes, aimed at convincing the potential law violator that the pains associated with crime outweigh its benefits



the concentration of police resources on a particular problem area, such as street-level drug dealing, to eradicate or displace criminal activity


Brutalization effect

the outcome of capital punishment having created an atmosphere of brutality, which reinforces the view that violence is an appropriate response to provocation


Conflict-linked crime or violence

an expressive crime or an act of expressive violence involving people who know each other and who may be under the influence of drugs


Perceptual deterrence

the view that the perceived risk of being caught or the threat of severe punishments can deter active criminal offenders


Informal sanctions

the disapproval of parents, peers, and neighbours directed toward an offender, which may have a greater crime-reducing impact than the fear of formal legal punishments


Specific deterrence

a crime control policy suggesting that punishment be severe; that individuals can be prevented from committing a crime if cost outweighs benefit; see utilitarianism


Reintegrative shaming

a method of correction that encourages offenders to confront their misdeeds, experience shame, and then be reincluded in society



an enduring label that taints a person’s identity and changes him or her in the eyes of others



shaming occurs when the offender is branded as evil and cast out of society through a ritual exclusion, such as a school disciplinary hearing or a criminal court trial


Selective incapacitation

the policy of creating enhanced prison sentences for the relatively small group of dangerous chronic offenders


Just desert

the philosophy of justice that asserts that those who violate the rights of others deserve to be punished, with severity commensurate with the seriousness of the crime



the amount of culpability or guilt a person maintains for participating in a particular criminal offence