Chapter One: Introduction to Criminal Justice

Thurman Blevins police shooting scene, Minneapoils, Minnesota // SHERIFF'S LINE DO NOT CROSS
This file is licensed under the Title: Sheriff’s Line – Do Not Cross – Crime Scene Author: Tony Webster from Minneapolois, Minnesota, United States \ Source


Section One: Overview of system and theories

Define Crime – How do you define something as a crime or criminal?

  • A wrong against society proclaimed by law and if committed under certain circumstances, punishable by society.  We can break apart this definition and find 3 key terms.
    • Harm
    • Law
    • Punishment


What is Society?

Societies evolve and change, and so do its concept of criminality. We also know that society evolves and changes.  We can look at several examples to illustrate that this is factual. 


Gun Control Violence - Free photo on Pixabay
Title: Pointing Gun Arm Military Author: kerttu (pixabay) Source

Models of Crime Control 

These are two basic models that are found in United States that are key in determining how we control time.


Consensus Model

  • The majority of citizens in a society who share the same values and beliefs. Criminal acts are those acts that conflict with those values and beliefs and are deemed harmful to society.
  • Assumes that a diverse group of people will have the same morals. It also assumes that ethics is very consistent and the majority of people in society would know right verse wrong.  


Conflict Model

  • The content of criminal law is determined by the groups tat hold economic, political, and social power in a community.
  • Other wise known as the Have and the Have nots
  • Society is divided by class, income age, race
  • Constant struggle to maintain and hold power
  • Mala Prohibita


Otherwise known as the “Have and the Have nots.”

Two Tiered Economy - The Haves and the Have Nots

Society is divided by class, income, age, and race. It is a constant struggle to maintain and hold power.



For the following H5P activity, drag the correct word to the answer box drop zone on the image. Based on the image, choose whether it represents the conflict model, the consensus model, or neither. The image displayed below is a representation of muffins that have had Marijuana baked into them for consumption.



For the following H5P activity, drag the correct word to the answer box drop zone on the image. Based on the image, choose whether it represents the conflict model, the consensus model, or neither. The image displayed below is a representation of prostitution.



For the following H5P activity, drag the correct word to the answer box drop zone on the image. Based on the image, choose whether it represents the conflict model, the consensus model, or neither. The image displayed below is a graph showing the amount required for a five year prison sentence with both crack cocaine, and powder cocaine.



For the following H5P activity, drag the correct word to the answer box drop zone on the image. Based on the image, choose whether it represents the conflict model, the consensus model, or neither. The image displayed below displays 3 criminals sitting next to each other that all have 1 more strike. One criminal has a sign that reads “Indecent Exposure”, Another criminal has one that reads “Vandalism”, and the last criminal has a sign that reads “Littering”.



Integrated Definition of Crime

Punishable under criminal law, as determined by the majority of a society, in some cases a powerful minority.
Considered and offense against society as a whole and prosecuted by public officials, not by victims and their relatives and friends.
Punishable by statutorily determined sanctions that bring about the loss of personal freedom or life.

Only in PA:  Laws specific to PA

  • It is contrary to Pennsylvania law to discharge a gun, cannon, revolver or other explosive weapon at a wedding.
  • You may not catch a fish by any body part except the mouth.
  • Dynamite is not to be used to catch fish.
  • It is illegal to have over 16 women live in a house together because that constitutes a brothel.
  • It it illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors.
  • No more than two packages of beer at a time may be purchased, unless you are buying from an official “beer distributor”.
  • All liquor stores must be run by the state.
  • Motorized vehicles are not to be sold on Sundays.
Which do you agree with and why?


Death Penalty - Legal image of judges gavel

How we create policy depends on our views:

  • role of government as “the less the better.
  • Government should tax less, spend less. Tax rate should not be higher for high-income earners
  • Like the death Penalty and feels it reduces crime
  • Tough on Crime


  • individual freedom
  • not afraid to explore and implement new and different ideas
  • wants the government deeply involved in our lives
  • Rehabilitation not Punish


Categories of Crime

Killer Knife Mystery - Free photo on Pixabay

Violent Crime

  • Crimes against persons
  • Dominate our perspectives on crime
  • Includes:
    • Murder
    • Sexual assault
    • Assault and battery
    • Robbery



– What are the most plausible reasons for the rise in violent crime?

Property Crime

–The most common form of criminal activity.
–The goal of the offender is some form of economic gain or to damage property.
  • Larceny/theft
  • Burglary
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Arson

Public Order Crime

–Linked to Consensus model.
–Activities that violate shared social values.
–Also referred to as victimless crime.
  • Public drunkenness
  • Prostitution
  • Gambling
  • Illicit drug use

White Collar Crime

–Business related crimes.
–Illegal act(s) committed to obtain personal or business advantage.
  • Fraud
  • Embezzlement


  • How is white collar crime different from other kinds of crime?
  • How is white collar crime similar to other kinds of crime?


Organized Crime

Gangster Man Mafia - Free photo on Pixabay
Title: Gangster Man Mafia Author: Sammy-Sander (Pixabay) Public Domain
  • Committed by illegal organizations.
  • Usually focused on satisfying a public demand for unlawful goods and services.
  • Implies a conspiratorial and illegal relationship among a number of persons engaged in unlawful acts.
  • Includes:
    • Gambling
    • Prostitution
    • Illegal narcotics
    • Loan sharking

High-Tech Crime

–referred to as cyber crimes.
  • Selling pornographic materials
  • Soliciting minors
  • Defrauding consumers


The Purpose of the Criminal Justice System

To control crime 

To prevent crime

To provide and maintain justice

The question is how do we accomplish each of these?

The Structure of the Criminal Justice System

Federalism – government powers are shared by the national government and the states.

an image of four different pie graphs.A key at the bottom of the image indicates that the blue area of each pie chart is "federal", the green is "State" and yellow is "Local" The first pie graph (starting from the left) is labeled "Law enforcement" and has 866,803 for local, 106,377 for state, and 161,013 for federal. The second pie graph is labeled "Judicial and Legal" and has 274,715 for Local, 174,675 for State, and 58,903 for federal. The third pie graph is labeled "Corrections", it has 257,823 for local, 471,747 for state, and 35,896 for federal. The last pie graph is labaled "total" totalling the three previous graphs. the total pie graph indicates 1,418,841 for local, 752,799 for state, and 255,812 for federal

Local and County Law Enforcement

County sheriff – chief law enforcement officer of most counties.
 –Responsible for the nuts and bolts:
  • Investigations
  • Patrol activities
  • Trial proceedings
  • Keeping the peace

State Law Enforcement

  • State police
  • Highway patrols
  • Fire marshals
  • Fish, game, watercraft wardens
  • Alcoholic beverage control officers
  • Food stamp fraud

Federal Law Enforcement

  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Drug Enforcement Administration
  • U.S. Secret Service Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
  • Almost every federal agency has some kind of police power.


The US has a dual court system:

  • Federal Courts
  • State Courts

Corrections Systems

The corrections systems include:

  • Probation
  • Jails
  • Prisons
  • Community-based corrections

The Wedding Cake Model

A four layer cake, each layer with a label. The bottom most layer is labeled "4. Misdemeanors". The layer above that is labeled "3. Less serious or Ordinary felonies". The next layer up is labeled "2. Serious or High profile felonies". And finally the top layer of the cake which is labeled "1.The celebrated cases".




Question:  What is the symbolic nature of using this cake to illustrate the courts?


The Crime Control Model

  • Law enforcement must be counted on to control criminal activity.
  • Control is difficult and probably impossible.
  • The system must be quick and efficient.
  • Police are in a better position than courts to determine guilt.

The Due Process Model

  • Strives to make it difficult to prove guilt.
  • Ultimate goal – fairness, not efficiency.
  • Rejects idea of a criminal justice system with unlimited powers.


Theory - Handwriting image

Classical Criminology

  • Individuals have free will to engage in any behavior, including criminal behavior.
  • Utilitarianism
  • Believed that crime was an expression of a person’s rational decision-making process
    • Cost benefit Analysis/Pro Con List

Cesare Beccaria

  • Crime occurs when the benefits outweigh the costs
  • Crime is a freewilled choice

Jeremy Bentham

  • Pain and Pleasure principle
  • Hedonistic Calculus
  • Individual will seek the greatest amount of pleasure With the least amount of pain.



  • criminal and delinquent behavior as the result of biological, psychological, and social forces
  • Cesare Lombroso
  • “father of criminology
  • criminals were a throwback to the early savagery of humankind and that criminality was predetermined at birth
  • Born Criminal


An illustration of a pig and a man with similar facial structures.




an illustration of a lions face next to an illustration of a mans face, with similar facial features.



an illustration of two different women's heads. The image is titled "Parental Love" and is comparing the sizes of the back of these women's head. Woman 1 on the left has the back of her head curving outward from the top of her head to the base of her neck, and is larger than the second woman's. Woman 2 on the right has the back of her head curving inward from the top of her head to the base of her neck. Woman 1 is labeled "The Good Mother". Woman 2 is labeled "The Unmotherly"


  • Most common attributes included the following:
  • Unusually shaped ears, occasionally very small but more likely large “jug handle” types similar to those of chimpanzees;
  • Upturned or twisted noses – hawk-like in murderers and flattened in thieves;
  • Large, protruding jaws;
  • High cheekbones;
  • Fleshy, swollen, or protruding lips;
  • Hard, shifty eyes; and,
  • Excessively long arms.

Question: If he was alive today what types of things would he look at to determine criminality?

Let us test this theory.



Psychology and Crime

Box 1: Freud’s psychoanalytic theory

Box 2: attributes our thoughts and actions to unconscious motives through the id, ego, and superego

Box 3:

An illustration of a three headed figure. The head on the left is labeled "ID" and looks wild. The middle head is labeled "Ego" and is mostly blue with a discontent face. The third head is labeled "Super-Ego" and has a blindfold, headphones, and mouth cover on.



Sociological Theory

Examine social and physical environments that produce Criminal Behavior.


Social Disorganization by: Shaw and McKay

– There are four major assumptions

  1. Crime is caused by social factors
  2. Structures and institutions of society are assumed to be in disarray and in complete mess
  3. Leads to uncertainty and confusion which leads them to be more susceptible to crime
  4. Effect of uncertainty and confusion is most pronounced in lower class areas.


The Model for this Looks Like:

An illustration titled "The Concentric Zone Model". It has a circle with inner circle layers similar to an archery target. The center of the circle is labeled "1. Central Business District". The next outward layer is labeled "2. Transitional Zone, recent immigrant groups." There is a list under this label that lists: deteriorated housing, factories, abandoned buildings. The third outward layer from the center is labeled "Working Class Zone", and lists single family tenements underneath. The fourth layer outward from the center is labeled "Residential Zone", and lists single family homes, and yards/garages underneath. The most outer layer of the circle is labeled "Commuter Zone" and lists suburbs underneath.

Social disorganization puts the blame and responsibility on the institutions = they are so screwed up that even if I wanted to get attached you could not.



Organize the boxes below in the correct order of events that happened pertaining to the Irish potato famine











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