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University Degree: Criminology

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  1. street robbery in britain

    The research question and aim was clear, researchable, medium sized and was developed after a theory emerged in the United States, that commitment to street culture was promoted by certain cultures. In order to answer the question and test the aim, the researchers generated their material by conducting in-depth semi-structured interviews, no other methods were used. Semi-structured interviews are interviews where the questions are usually precise, however, the interviewer has the ability to probe beyond the answers given by the interviewee in order to clarify and elaborate the answers (May, 2001).

    • Word count: 2366
  2. Shaming is an under-used resource in crime control. Discuss

    Reintegrative shaming has a different focus. Offenders endure criticism and disapproval for their criminal actions and are held accountable for their behaviour, but avoid retributive stigmatisation. It is made clear that they still are welcome by and in society and are valued both as individuals and as members of society. Reintegrative shaming aims to evoke remorse in the offender, who is encouraged to rectify their offending actions (McLaughlin et al, 2003, p6). This is done by bringing together the offender, the victim and their respective families or close associates in a managed setting, eg, a Family Group Conference, to decide reparation with respect to the offence committed (Hughes, 2001, pp285-286).

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  3. As prison populations rise to unprecedented levels, to what extent can it be argued that prisons work?

    However, the end of the 18th century saw the rise of the penitentiary, in which prisoners were sorted into hierarchical groups in a regime of punishment and rewards and subjected to hard physical labour and moral reformation (Muncie, 2001, p164). Things moved on apace until, through the work of early 19th century philanthropists, issues such as justice and rehabilitation ascended in the prison system. Philanthropic societies across the UK committed to ushering in better conditions, useful employment and good habits of behaviour through discipline and compassion (Muncie, 2001, pp169-171).

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    They are all considered unjust as they infringe the principle of justice, and lead to the wrongly accused suspects being unfairly imprisoned, with the rightful criminal escaping punishment. However, as a consequence of such cases, and a growing mistrust of the legal system, the due process model was introduced and the Human Rights Act 1998. Despite this model, and the introduction of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, there still seems to be major problems with our criminal justice system, as opposed to wrongful convictions.

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  5. Discuss how criminal laws which prohibit drug use are about power, control and contradiction.

    and Owen (1934:52) argue that by 1839 opium had become the world's most valuable single commodity of trade. According to John Newsinger (2002: 125), this provided 'massive profit for London companies and substantial revenues for the state'. Blackman (2004) British merchants with support of the British government illegally supplied opium to China, against the wishes of the Chinese emperor. During the nineteenth century Britain fought two Opium Wars with the aim of gaining access to Chinese markets by overthrowing Chinese sovereignty. China lost both of these opium wars and as a result Britain made China open up additional ports to foreign trade through the Treaty of Nanjing and the Treaty of Tianjin.

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  6. Effective Prison?

    However, according to Ruck (1951:23), "Men come to prison as a punishment not for punishment". There are some forms of punishments that seem to be too heavy for prisoners. For example, the number of times that prisoners are allowed to meet their family and friends are limited. In this case, prisoners' psychological support might be inadequate, as the pain of deprivation of liberty and separation from family are almost unbearable (Coyle, 2005). It seems that it is not only punishing the offenders but their families as well.

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    Second, it will explore the government's punitive and authoritarian policy and legislative response to tackling the so called 'moral panic' of children and crime. Third, will discuss the tensions and contradictions regarding the government's response by considering how the human rights of children are affected. Finally, an alternative human rights approach which considers reassessing the United Kingdom's legislative procedures and practices regarding children's criminality. Evidence that [it is the youth justice system] has prevented crime or lessened the recidivism of youthful offenders is missing, and dour sociological critics urge that it contributes to juvenile crime or inaugurates delinquent careers by

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    stay inside during breaks; However, victimization may also harden the resolve of young victims and make them want to do well at school; The social lives of young people are often affected if they have been the victim of a crime; for example they may not go out because they are scared of meeting the offender/s; Victims may become more of aware of their personal security (particularly those who have been victims of theft); and, The families of child victims are also often affected by the young victim's experience.

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  9. Critically analyse the media(TM)s role in shaping public perceptions of crime(TM)

    of people believing that crime had risen 'a lot'." This shows that people have been influenced by the wrong information because the British Crime Statistics also shows that Crime in England and Wales has remained relatively stable in the past two years. This gives good evidence of how the media has influenced people's perceptions on crime because for most people the media is the only source of information they obtain about crime. The British Crime Survey gives statistics based on people's experiences on crime.

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  10. does media increase fear in crime?

    This representation of crime is largely event-oriented in that it focuses on specific criminal cases and incidents rather than wider debates around causes, prevention, or policy (Rock, 1973, cited in Hale). A study done in Scotland found that 6.5% of the news reported in newspapers involved crime, and 46% of this was violent and sexual crime, even though only 2.4% of reported crimes were actually violent or sexual (Williams and Dickinson, 1993). Cohen (Kidd-Hewitt, 1995, p10) summarises that "....so much space in the mass media is given to deviance [crime] that some sociologists have argued that this interest functions to reassure society that the boundary lines between conformist and deviant, good and bad, healthy and sick, are still valid ones."

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  11. Examine and discuss the nature of hate crime and to what extent the police can effectively respond to it.

    This essay discusses what hate crime is and how the police address it providing information about hate crime from different areas of the UK. A publication of the Great Manchester Police (GMP) on the monitoring of race and diversity in the area of Manchester reveals that during 2005/6, there were 5,088 reports of hate crimes and incidents, which constitutes a 19.3% increase since 2004/5. GMP explains this increase as the outcome of more people reporting hate crime and incidents, and because of improvements to the systems for recording hate crime and incidents, which have been introduced across the police force.

    • Word count: 2077
  12. Fraud presents a unique challenge to criminologists

    The term was originated by Sutherland (1949, cited by Nelkin, 1997) who defined it as crimes committed by "a person of high status in the course of his occupation" (p. 849). However, Weisburd et al. (1991, cited by Nelkin, 1997) argue that the majority of offenders "do not necessitate nor do their defences rely upon elite social status" (p. 849), which would suggest a crime that could be committed by persons from any area of society or occupational role. Croall (1992, cited by Croall, 2001)

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  13. Is the formation of gangs lined to strain theory

    To its members it may provide an alternative sense of belonging and protection, whilst possibly offering immediate economic success through illegitimate means. There is strong evidence to show gang involvement in a wide range of criminal activities; a survey in the U.S (Bennett and Holloway, 2004, p. 308) indicates that a large proportion of gang members are responsible for offences such as drugs, theft, burglary, assault, as well as regular use of firearms. It is hard to obtain numbers of gangs, or a specific geographical split, as by their very nature they operate outside of the mainstream of society.

    • Word count: 2340
  14. Capital Punishment in the United States of America

    Execution needed not to be witness even if it provides some comfort to the relatives of the victim and it reassures those who care for the condemned offender's welfare that no gratuitous suffering is inflicted (Zimring, p. 57). Between 1950 and 1965, executions steadily diminished from over a hundred a year to fewer than ten. By 1967, federal courts had imposed a prohibition on execution so that a series of challenges to the principles and procedures of capital punishment could be decided.

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  15. Policing of Industrial Action in Australia

    (Willis 2000:133) In December 1873 however, armed police intervened in an industrial dispute at Lothair Mine Clunes to assist in breaking the strike. The miners had gone on strike for improved wages and working conditions. All work at the mine had stopped for fourteen weeks and the mine directors too action to break the strike by introducing Chinese labour. On December 9, five coaches loaded with Chinese miners traveled from Ballarat to Clunes with an escort of sixteen armed police (Haldane 1995:76).

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  16. In the Australian Criminal Justice System Women are Treated Differently than Men

    (Wahidin 2004: 51). Where male criminals were feared as dangerous, women criminals tended to be regarded as misguided creatures that needed protection and help (Giallombardo 1966:7). Prison reformation for women was based on two main ideas of female offending. First, that the causes of women's criminality came from "an inherent pathological or biological weaknesses" and second "that women offenders had fundamentally deviated from their natural feminine roles" (Barton 2005:2). Reformation as such meant something quite different for women than it did for men.

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  17. Police Corruption Can be Minimized but Never Eradicated

    under a duty not to do, for exercising legitimate discretion for improper reasons and for employing illegal means to achieve approved goals." Barker and Wells as cited in Palmer (1992:104) offer a similar definition, "Police corruption is any prescribed act which involves the misuse of the officer's official position for actual or expected material reward or gain." (For a more detailed explanation of corruption, see Ivkovic 2003:595). As a part of their job, police are given a number of rights and powers, such as the ability to exercise discretion.

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  18. In what way(s) can the theory of the Panopticon be applied to information technologies and / or electronic surveillance? Address the possible limitation of this theory.

    This led themade prisoners to constrainning their own behaviour, thus the crucial instrument of discipline wais established. Bentham found this utilitarian model of oppressive self-regulation to be appealing in many other social venues, such as schools, hospitals, and poor houses (Engberg, 1996). However throughout Bentham lifetime the idea of the Panopticon achieved very little success. It was not until the work of Michel Foucault that the Panopticon gained prominence in his 1975 publication of Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Boyne, 2000[AS4]).

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  19. By focusing on street crime/violence, the media gaze ignores the crimes of more powerful groups in society.Discuss this proposition with reference to crimes that take place within the home.

    People of a prominent rank within the state are empowered to be able to determine who and what are criminalised; further more they are capable of deciding who are classed as 'the powerful' members of society. In this instance, we can assume these powerful members of society to be, politicians, law makers, agents of social control (etc.), who control what is deemed right or wrong.; a crime has only been committed if the law states so. 'Modern' ideas regarding crime came in the early nineteenth century, with the growth of cities and urbanization; although seen as progression, it was also deemed a site of danger, where crime and disorder was common.

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  20. Fibre evidence results and discussion

    Victims clothing - the acetate and polyamide fibres from the victim's hotpants and matching shirt are very rare. The polyamide fibres are usually found in socks, tights, and swimwear due to their elasticity components. This is also why you are not likely to find transferred polyamide fibres. The halter-top made from acrylic and sequins is common in jumpers but not female clothing. Acrylic is generally a good fibre shedder. White cotton underwear is very common worldwide. Cotton is used for the majority of clothing types and white is the most common colour.

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  21. Durkheim view of Crime

    (Bulmer,M (1984) 'the significance of the Chicago school') Emile durkheim was the founding father of academic sociology in France and a major social theorist working out the turn of the 21st century. Durkheim was writing during the midst of the rapid industrialisation of the French society. Intellectually, the main drive of durkheims work was against individualism both as a mode of analysing society and as a basis of political order. Analytically, individualism attempted to explain social action as a function of biological tendency which at times were systematically criticised (Hopkins Burke, (2001)

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  22. Imprisonment as form of Punishment in Italy and the Northern America (USA)

    Afterwards, I will focus on the comparison of Italy and the United States with an emphasis to their political, social, cultural and religion context. As Mellosi (2001) mentioned in his study the Cultural embeddedness of social control, these two societies (Italy and US) would seem to place a very different emphasis on importance of punishment- a difference that has become notable in terms of imprisonment rates in the last 25 years or so. This is more true when takes into consideration the international comparisons, which show that crimes rates in US are not much higher than the Italian crime rates, apart from crimes of violence and especially homicides that contribute to a very small percentage of imprisonment (Mellosi, 2001, p.407).

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  23. Is the uncertainty about the deterrent effects of capital punishment an important factor to consider and is this adequately addressed by the theories you have chosen?

    However, is this form of punishment justifiable? (Austlii 2007: Death Penalty Abolition Act 1973). Having this national and international legal reasoning, capital punishment is still being exercised in other countries. The United States of America still retains the death penalty, as well as many African and Asian nations (Chan & Oxley, 2004). In a broad sense, those who oppose the death penalty, argue that it is immoral and that no person should be sentenced to death, it has no place in a civilised society, and that since the death penalty cannot be racially bias, it should be banished.

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    Prison suicide Internationally, the prison suicide rate in England and Wales is relatively high although, according to Council of Europe figures, rates are higher in, for example, France, Austria and Belgium (Council of Europe 2000); cited in (Jewkes, 2007). In most countries suicides in prison occur several times more frequently than in the community, although part of the explanation for these disproportionate figures is the composition of the prison populations who are overwhelmingly male, disadvantaged and substance dependent (Jewkes, 2007).

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  25. In order to compare Probation and Prisons, it is important to define the aims of each service, and to ask the question what are the aims of each and do they achieve these aims

    Punishment without rehabilitation is only dealing with the immediate impact of the offence, it does not address the cause of the offence. A prisoner who is put in prison cannot offend for that period of time, but when he comes out he will be the same person or worse and will simply go back to a life of crime. Rehabilitation must go together with deterrence, retribution and prevention. (Sather, T. 1999 p230) Imprisonment has for many decades been central in British penal policy.

    • Word count: 2280

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