Реферат: Crime Essay Research Paper CrimeCriminology is the

Crime Essay, Research Paper


Criminology is the study of crime and criminal offenders in many

different settings and from many different points of view. All countries make

rules, or laws, which forbid certain types of behavior. A crime is an act that

is forbidden by law because it is harmful to a person, to property, or to

society in general. Attitudes towards crime do not always stay the same. Laws

may be changed as society develops. The definition of crime also varies from

country to country. Sometimes an act that is considered criminal is only

considered to be so because it defies or goes against social mores. In making

decisions about what types of acts or behavior are categorized as criminal, a

society’s government has to evaluate the harshness or extremity of the act.

Criminal activity of all kinds has existed since people began to live

together in societies. “People in the earliest societies were as much

concerned as we are today with such harmful acts as stealing and

killing”(Kirkham 20). They realized, as we do, that respect for life and

property is essential to the survival of any society. In latter days, there

were no written laws. The consequences for behaving in a criminal manner were

somehow known. Many times when criminal acts were committed, they were done so

in desperation. As time has progressed, we have seen where people have thought

less of punishment and done things out of radical behavior. Therefore, when

the lack of respect for word of mouth came about, societies developed

governments to protect their interests. In these governments, leaders wrote

down what acts were considered criminal and in turn gave the appropriate

consequences for them all. Today, most countries have a certain code of laws

that all citizens have to obey. All of the laws are created from research into

the severity of crimes, the factors that cause them to happen and the people

who commit them.

Some crimes have always been considered more serious then others. In

the United States serious crimes are called felonies. They are usually

punished by imprisonment but in some states, certain felonies may be punishable

by death. Some of the most serious felonies are murder, robbery, rape,

kidnapping, assault, treason, forgery, counterfeiting, trafficking, and arson.

There are always “loopholes” in laws. What this means is that sometimes, when

someone commits a crime, they are able to find ways to get around the

punishment. In severe cases of criminal activity however, the opportunity for a

break is less likely. Less serious crimes are called misdemeanors. A

misdemeanor can range from a traffic ticket to public drunkenness. Most of the

time, a person can pay a fine and be on their way. “Punishment for these

offenses is a fine or imprisonment for less than one year”(Kirkham 25). More

often than not however, there is more to misdemeanors than just fines and jail

time. Take for instance if someone decides to commit a misdemeanor

repeatedly. The punishment for repeat offenders is more harsh, even if it is a

simple misdemeanor crime that has been committed. In general, there is a

widespread agreement about which acts should be regarded as felonies and which

as misdemeanors. It is important to realize that these definitions may change

as a society’s values change. And in the United States, an act that is a

felony in one state may be a misdemeanor in another.

Teenagers and young adults are more likely to become victims of violent

crime than other persons are. “In 1998, about a third of all victims of

violent crime were ages 12 to 19 and almost half of all victims of violence

were under age 25″(Bureau of Justice Statistics 1998). In addition, persons

with lower incomes are more vulnerable to violent crime than those from higher

income households. “Persons with household incomes of less than $35,000 per

year had significantly higher violent crime rates for the category of total

violent crime when compared with those who had household incomes of $35,000 or

more per year”(Bureau of Justice Statistics 1998). Most of the time crimes are

committed by people who are desperate for a variety of different things. They

may come from broken homes or from families with multiple additions. Other

times, an individual may have to provide for numerous amounts of other people.

Then again, sometimes the individual commits a crime to become more accepted by

their peers. They may feel that there is no way of getting what they need or

want, unless they have to beg, steal, cheat, or perform other aspects of

illegal activity. In the same aspect however, there are also great numbers of

blue collar and higher-class criminals. The only difference in these

individuals and those of lower social status is that higher-class criminals

usually don’t want for many things. When more heinous crimes are committed by

the higher class, it is commonly assumed that they are crimes of passion. If

all the money and glitter is taken away, you are left with the everyday typical


Crime is committed in every race however; statistics show that a

significant portion of the criminal world is made up of the African American or

black race. There are very important factors that help to influence the numbers

for statistics on black crime. According to the National Drug Strategy

Network, African Americans make up less than one-third of the population in

Georgia. The arrest rate in criminal drug related cases for African Americans

is five times greater than the arrest rate of white Americans for the same

charges. A CNN article in 1996 sited U.S. figures that show more than 90% of

all federal prosecutions for crack cocaine in 1995 were of African American

defendants. In society, there is an equal distribution of criminals (and law-

abiding citizens) among all racial and ethnic groups and blacks are no more

likely to be criminals than are whites. In contrast, data shows that African

Americans are more likely than others to be arrested and convicted. Some

people may believe that African Americans are arrested so often for drug

offenses due to the targeting of drug dealers by police. With the predominant

amount of black males arrested. If that indeed is the case, why did an

analysis by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles find that 77% of the

offenses leading to the first conviction and 79% of the offenses leading to a

second drug conviction showed less than one gram of a controlled substance.

Crime is committed for many different reasons. Some people steal

because they cannot afford the thing they desire. “Cars are often stolen

because they are symbols of wealth, and they also make it easier to escape from

the scene of a crime”(Gruszecki 44). No one knows exactly what causes crime.

It may be the different forms of crime have different causes. For example, a

person who becomes angry during an argument and attacks another person is

probably not influenced by the same motives that lead a bank teller to steal

from a bank. Some scientists think that the causes of crime are physical, or

biological. This is a very old point of view. “Researchers once believed that

people who committed crimes were different from other people in such things as

their body builds or the shapes of their heads. Most modern scientists reject

this theory”(Kirkham 34). Other scientists that the causes of crime are

social. They attach importance to such things as poverty, unemployment, and

poor housing. Lack of education or job training and a broken home are among

factors that these researchers believe may lead to crime. Still other

scientists believe that the causes of crime are largely psychological. “They

view the criminal as someone driven by mental forces-often thought to be beyond

the criminal’s control. In this theory, crime is viewed as a symptom of some

problem–fear, or perhaps anger–that has lead to mental illness”(Kirkham 36).

In addition to researching and studying statistics on crime. I have

included my personal survey on young persons ranging from age 18 to 25 and

discovered some very interesting facts among all races, including Caucasian,

African-American, Asian, and Hispanics. My personal statistics show among

African American 3 out of 7 have been arrested for crime ranging from

possession of marijuana, weapons in school safety zone, petty theft, failure to

appear in court for tickets. Among the Asian race I surveyed (ranging from

ages 18 to 22), all 4 have reported to never been arrested. While the

Caucasian race 3 out of 5 have reported crimes they have been arrested for such

as D.U.I., possession of marijuana, damaging property, disorderly conduct, and

shoplifting. In all fairness out of all races I have surveyed, the Asian race

had reported zero crimes. And Hispanics 4 out of 9 have been arrested for

D.U.I. and assault.

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