|The word ‘crime’ in modern dictionary definitions lends itself to a variety of meanings. It has a legal meaning. It is “an act (…) forbidden by a public law of a sovereign state” as injurious to the public welfare, which, after indictment and trial, may be punishable by the judgement of a court. (Merriam-Webster’s 3rd, 1976). |
CRIME - A crime is a wrongdoing classified by the state as a felony or misdemeanour.
A crime is an offence against a public law. This word, in its most general sense, includes all offences, but in its more limited sense is confined to felony.
Felony - A felony is a serious crime punishable by at least one year in prison. Some family law felonies include kidnapping and custodial interference (in some states).
Misdemeanour - A misdemeanour is a crime for which the punishment is usually a fine and/or up to one year in a jail. Often a crime which is a misdemeanour for the first offence becomes a felony for repeated offences. All crimes that are not felonies are misdemeanours.
Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by the common law. Most common law offences are as well known and as precisely ascertained as those which are defined by statutes; yet, from the difficulty of exactly defining and describing every act which ought to be punished, the vital and preserving principle has been adopted; that all immoral acts which tend to the prejudice of the community are punishable by courts of justice.
To understand criminal justice, it is necessary to understand crime. Most policy-making in criminal justice is based on criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.
Criminology consists of three principal divisions, as follows:
• The SOCIOLOGY OF LAW, which is an attempt at scientific analysis of the conditions under which criminal law and which is seldom included in general books on criminology.
• CRIMINAL ETIOLOGY, (which is an attempt at scientific analysis of the study of causes or reasons for crime).
• PENOLOGY, which is concerned with the control of crime.
Every criminological theory contains a set of:
ASSUMPTIONS(about human nature, social structure, and the principles of causation etc.)
DESCRIPTION of the phenomena to be explained (facts a theory must fit), and an EXPLANATION, or prediction, of that phenomenon.
Criminological theories are primarily concerned with etiology (the study of causes or reasons for crime), but occasionally have important things to say about actors in the criminal justice system, such as police, attorneys, correctional personnel, and victims.
There are basically thirteen (13) identifiable types of criminological theory, The oldest theory (BIOCHEMISTRY) goes back to 1876 and the last four theories:
POSTMODERN.:Was only developed in the past twenty-five years.
Only three (3) of which are considered "mainstream" or conventional criminology:
CONTROL. Next page
Abstract of my Dissertation
Abstract of Post-Doctorate Project
Positive Side of Life