Wesley G. Jennings and Bryanna Hahn Fox
This chapter examines two patterns of change seen in individual offending behaviors at certain times and ages: acceleration or deceleration and escalation or de-escalation. In order to answer the questions regarding the age–crime curve and its applicability to the criminal careers of specific individuals, the prevalence of offending in the population and the frequency of offending within individual criminal careers must be examined through these patterns. Hence, the chapter begins with a brief review of the origin of the criminal career paradigm and a description of its various parameters. It then discusses both static and dynamic developmental and life-course theories of crime before providing a more in-depth discussion of acceleration/deceleration and escalation/de-escalation as it relates to a criminal career, respectively. Finally, this chapter concludes by offering directions for future research on these topics.
This chapter focuses on prosecutors’ roles in accountability courts and diversion programs, details their participation in creating these specialized courts and programs, explains their gate-keeping responsibilities, and discusses ethical rules raised by their participation. Specifically, the chapter describes drug courts and veterans courts, which are two of the most prominent specialized courts. Using these two specialized courts as representatives of other similarly situated courts, the chapter explains the history behind the creation of these courts, their structures, operations, and their specific goals of addressing the underlying causes of criminal defendants’ criminal behaviors. In the United States specialized court settings, the prosecutor, rather than being adversarial, tends to be collaborative with other court practitioners. In non-U.S. specialized courts, the prosecutors’ roles are not that significantly different from those of their U.S. counterparts. With ongoing efforts on reforming the U.S. criminal justice system, especially as it concerns issues addressed by specialty courts, U.S. prosecutors are likely to continue their support of these courts.
Adolescent Crime and Victimization: Sex and Gender Differences, Similarities, and Emerging Intersections
This essay examines sex/gender differences and similarities in offending and victimization among young people. Gender differences are pronounced for violent behaviors and smaller for minor property crime. Females have a greater risk of sexual victimization, while males have higher rates of other types of victimization. The essay examines how these patterns are influenced by status characteristics such as race, ethnicity, neighborhood, country, sexuality, immigration status, and social class. It also reviews a number of classical criminological explanations for sex/gender differences and similarities—general strain theory, social and self-control theories, symbolic interactionist perspectives, and social learning theories—as well as several intersectional approaches, including feminist perspectives, power-control theory, and relational schema theory. The essay concludes with a discussion of directions for future research.
Jennifer L. Woolard
Some form of delinquency is a normative part of adolescence for a majority of teens, yet the consequences of risky behavior and juvenile justice involvement can be severe. This article focuses on important aspects of adolescent delinquency and justice processing. It examines the cognitive factors which develop during adolescence, which illustrate that adolescents appear to perform comparably to adults by about the age of sixteen. Following this, it examines psychosocial factors of susceptibility to peer influence and future orientation and their continued development in the adolescent period. It also reviews the developing challenge of regulating emotions and affective responses that continues well into young adulthood. Finally, placing adolescents in their ecological context, it makes an attempt to describe how unique relationships between adolescents, parents, and the state present challenges for adolescents that no other age group faces in the legal system.
Simon I. Singer
Delinquency in adolescence is a known precursor to adult criminality. Nonetheless, the delinquencies of adolescents are generally considered irrelevant to adult white-collar crime. This chapter reviews reasons for why adolescence might matter to explanations of white-collar offending. It begins by defining white-collar delinquency as an act of fraud committed by a middle- or upper-class adolescent in his or her educational, familial, or workplace setting. Class, age, and gender are significant determinants of white-collar delinquencies. The chapter concludes with several cases of white-collar delinquency and survey data on its incidence.
James Bonta Ph.D. and J.S. Wormith Ph.D.
This chapter describes the developments that have occurred over the past three decades in the area of offender assessment and classification, including discussion of why offender classification is so vital to correctional agencies. The importance of using actuarial approaches to predicting the risk of reoffending and danger to others is discussed, as well as the inclusion of static and dynamic factors on composite measures of offender risk and need. Particular attention is paid to the application of the principles of Risk, Need, and Responsivity (RNR) to offender assessment, classification, and subsequent work with the offender, often described as “offender case management.” How prison environments (including inmate and officer subcultures) can potentially interfere with the accuracy of risk and needs assessments is also debated.
Patricia L. Brantingham, Paul J. Brantingham, Justin Song, and Valerie Spicer
This chapter discusses advances in visualization for environmental criminology. The environment within which people move has many dimensions that influence or constrain decisions and actions by individuals and by groups. This complexity creates a challenge for theoreticians and researchers in presenting their research results in a way that conveys the dynamic spatiotemporal aspects of crime and actions by offenders in a clearly understandable way. There is an increasing need in environmental criminology to use scientific visualization to convey research results. A visual image can describe underlying patterns in a way that is intuitively more understandable than text and numeric tables. The advent of modern information systems generating large and deep data sets (Big Data) provides researchers unparalleled possibilities for asking and answering questions about crime and the environment. This will require new techniques and methods for presenting findings and visualization will be key.
Kristen M. Zgoba
This essay begins with a review of public reaction to sexual offenses and the rise in social awareness that sex offenses have promoted. Statistics exploring the prevalence of sexual abuse in the United States and the United Kingdom will be given. As a result of a number of widely publicized sexual abuse cases (particularly child sexual abuse cases), a variety of laws applied to sexual offenders have been enacted from 1990 to 2010. Although different, these policies tend to center around four common themes: sex offender registration and notification, civil commitment, residency restrictions, and risk assessment. The essay examines these legislative efforts to assess their effectiveness at reducing sexually offensive behaviors and discusses the controversies surrounding such legislation.
Chester L. Britt
This chapter provides an alternative framework for thinking about the research on age and crime. It argues that, contrary to a popular view in the research literature that emphasizes differences, there is considerable commonality of findings on age and crime, regardless of the approach taken to its study. The chapter provides an overview of what is meant by the age–crime curve and distinguishes that from the age distribution of crime. Next, basic facts of the age-crime relationship are discussed, followed by explanations of that relationship. The chapter then discusses the issue of whether individual age–crime curves fit the aggregate pattern and, finally, provides an illustration of how varying assumptions of the age–crime curve affect aggregate patterns using simulations.
Elaine Eggleston Doherty and Sarah Bacon
This chapter first provides an overview of the empirical observations that have shaped the age-of-onset research. It approaches these empirical observations as the central “facts” regarding age of onset that must be taken into account in any discussion of the criminal career. The chapter then discusses these empirical observations in their relation to the definitions and measurement of age of onset and to the theoretical approaches to understanding and explaining age of onset. It also discusses the importance and implications of age-of-onset research for prevention and intervention purposes. For each of these areas of consideration the chapter provides an overview and a critical analysis of extant research, followed by critical unanswered questions.
John H. Laub, Zachary R. Rowan, and Robert J. Sampson
This chapter turns to the age-graded theory of informal social control. This theory posits that crime is more likely to occur when an individual's bond to conventional society is weakened. This chapter briefly considers Sampson and Laub’s Crime in the Making before providing a summary of the revised version of the theory in Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives. It then provides an updated theoretical and empirical assessment of the core principles of the theory, namely a review of current research on turning points and human agency. The chapter next details current challenges to the importance of turning points in adulthood and reviews contemporary barriers to mechanisms of desistance. The chapter concludes with some commentary and final thoughts on the theory.
Paul M.G. Emmelkamp and Fleur L. Kraanen
Substance use and criminal behaviour often go hand in hand, and sexual crimes are no exception. This essay on alcohol and drug use in relation to sexual offending aims to provide a brief overview of the relevant literature on this topic. An important difficulty that arises when discussing the relationship between substance misuse and sexual offending is that both sex offenses and substance misuse are very broadly defined categories. Sex offenses may comprise rape, child molestation, and downloading child pornography, to name a few. The nature of the relationship between substance use and sex offenses may vary for different types of sex offenses.
Karol Lucken and Thomas G. Blomberg
This article outlines the corrections system of America. It traces the history of the corrections system and offers some observations on what led to the massive prison buildup. It considers the possibility that the core of the problem is the inconsistencies in practice and ideology, which helped create a system that is not only contradictory and volatile, but indecisive and regressive. This article concludes that a well-balanced justice system can be attained by better using criminological and scientific knowledge.
Jeremy Julian Sarkin
This chapter focuses on the, so far neglected, role of truth commissions in amnesty processes. It first examines what amnesties and truth commissions are and explores how past amnesties affect the work of truth commissions in various countries. Subsequently, it discusses the amnesty process in South Africa, as the South African truth commission has been the only one with the power to directly grant amnesty. The chapter then explores truth commissions in a number of other countries to understand how the fact that these bodies only had the power to recommend amnesty affected their role in their quest to deal with the past. Generally, truth commissions have not dealt separately with atrocity crimes versus less serious ones. The debates about whether states have duties to investigate and prosecute atrocity crimes are outlined, and existing (empirical) research on truth commissions and amnesties is summarized. The chapter concludes with recommendations for future research.
Michael Tonry and Harriet Bildsten
This article discusses antisocial behavior orders (ASBOs) in England and Wales and recent U.S. policies based on the broken windows hypothesis. The broken windows hypothesis and its policy progeny and ASBOs implicate different categories of troubling behavior, each of which raises distinct normative and policy issues. It discusses developments and related research. The important questions about ASBOs are the reduction of the prevalence of antisocial behavior, the concern of people with respect to them, and the costs they entail. With broken windows, the important issues are the correctness of the slippery slope hypothesis, the contribution of police initiatives to the crime rate, and the justification of the collateral costs of new policing policies. The article discusses a series of normative and policy issues.
Gray Cavender and Nancy Jurik
This chapter provides an overview of the longevity and popular appeal of the crime genre and its relevance to the field of criminology. In our discussion we include such media as novels, television programs, and films that present fictionalized stories about crime, its investigation, and its solutions. We offer a brief history of the crime genre, indicators of its popularity, and a review of expert opinions explaining its appeal. Then we discuss evidence from conversations and surveys that we conducted with academics and other professionals as well as with students about their views of and engagement with crime genre productions. Our data suggest the myriad ways in which audiences actively engage crime fiction.
To gain insight into the power dynamics of atrocities, one needs to examine (i) how and why atrocities become functional to potential entrepreneurs of violence, as well as (ii) the formal and informal alliances that help execute and sustain the violence, and (iii) the frames through which violence becomes socially meaningful and justified. These three components underlie the analytical frameworks addressed in this chapter on the making of atrocities. In settings of instability, atrocity crimes are instrumentally orchestrated by violent entrepreneurs to renew and/or harden boundaries between civilian populations as a means to gain or attain power. Although these (aspiring) leaderships are crucial drivers, they depend on alliances and relationships of exchange with local actors for the execution and organization of violence. However, an analysis of atrocities which only looks at the functionality of violence is unlikely to be convincing. Large-scale violence needs to be imagined and legitimized in order to be carried out. This occurs through the repeated rehearsal of violent imaginaries from the past which sanction violence against the ‘enemy-other’ as necessary and legitimate.
Andrew Feinstein and Paul Holden
This essay provides a brief overview of arms trafficking, its participants and enabling partners, and the prospects of a reduction in arms trafficking through various legal mechanisms. It looks at two prominent arms traffickers—Viktor Bout and Leonid Minin—to illustrate these discussions. The trade in arms becomes arms trafficking when the deals undertaken violate existing laws on the movement of arms. These laws usually take the form of domestic licensing requirements or international arms embargoes. Arms trafficking is a complex multifaceted crime, and it can involve numerous discrete crimes over and above breaking arms sanctions, including, but not limited to, fraud, corruption, money laundering, smuggling, intimidation, and murder. Arms trafficking is undertaken in the context of the global trade in arms, made up of the formal world of legal trade and the “shadow world” of illegal transactions. Often actors operate in both worlds, and both can be mutually supportive in various ways. The number of collaborators involved in assisting arms traffickers means that successful prosecution of these traffickers is incredibly rare: of more than 500 United Nations arms embargo violations, only one participant has ever been convicted. The prospects for an end to arms trafficking are bleak. Not only are existing legal mechanisms flimsy, there seems to be little political will to develop an international framework that would help legal authorities pursue law-breakers. In addition, many countries are already awash in arms, providing ample opportunity for individuals to easily establish themselves as arms traffickers.
Atrocity Crimes and Ecocide: Interrelations between Armed Conflict, Violence, and Harm to the Environment
Daan P. van Uhm
This chapter focuses on the interrelationship between atrocity crimes and anthropogenic environmental degradation. The environment as cause, tool, and victim of armed conflict will be discussed and the interpretation of the environment in the context of the three categories of mass atrocity crimes under the Rome Statute—genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes—will be analyzed. Because of the limitations of international criminal law in relation to protecting the environment, it will be argued that recognizing ecocide as a core international crime may prevent humanity from consequent atrocities as well as protect the environment from being damaged.
Mark A. Drumbl
This chapter posits that conceptual and experiential differences arise (and abound) between atrocity crime and ordinary common crime. Atrocity crime, in particular discrimination-based campaigns, tends to be collective in nature, thereby presenting the violence as individuals conforming to a wretched social norm. Ordinary common crime tends more to individual acts of deviance and transgression. Atrocity crimes are often crimes of hate and crimes of the state or state-like organization. This chapter argues that the international community is prosecuting atrocity crimes without first having developed a thorough criminology of mass violence, a suitable penology for perpetrators, or a thoughtful victimology for those aggrieved.