A2 Sociology: Control, Punishment and The Victim

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Crime prevention and control
Situational Crime Prevention
Clarke: describes situational crime prevention as reducing opportunities for crime
For example, `target hardening' measures such as locking doors and windows
increase the effort a burglar needs to make such as CCTV.
A rational choice theory. This is the view that a criminal acts rationally, weighing up
the cost and measures and deciding whether to commit or not
States most crime is based on opportunity therefore we need to reduce
opportunities
Felson ­ Bus Terminal In New York:
Provided opportunities for deviant acts. For example, the toilets were a setting for
luggage thefts
Re-shaping the physical environment reduced such activity. For example, large sinks,
in which homeless people were bathing were replaced by small hand basins
Criticism of Situational Crime Prevention ­ DISPLACEMENT
Situational crime prevention does not reduce crime, simply displace it
Chaiken et al: Found that a crackdown on a subway robberies in New York merely
displaced them to the street above
Displacement takes several forms such as: Spatial (moving elsewhere), Functional
(committing a different type of crime), Target (choosing a different victim)
Evaluation: Ignores white collar crimes
Assumes criminals make rational
choice, what about crimes that are
committed under the influence of
alcohol or drugs
Ignores the root causes of crime,
such as poverty or poor socialisation
Environmental Crime Prevention
Wilson and Kellings article Broken Windows
Argue that leaving windows unrepaired, tolerating aggressive begging etc, sends out
a signal that nobody cares
In such neighbourhoods, there is an absence of both formal and informal control

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Respectable people move out (if they can) and the area becomes a magnet for
deviants
Zero Tolerance Policy
A crack down on any disorder
Any "broken window" must repaired
Police must act proactively and tackle any sign of disorder, even if it is not criminal
Evidence: Homicide deaths fell in New York, attempted homicide rates remained
high.…read more

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Cutting off hands of thieves, chemical castration of
paedophiles
Retribution
Means "paying back"
Based on the idea that offenders deserve to be punished and the public should be
able to take their revenge on the offender
An expressive view of punishment ­ expresses society's outrage
Durkheim: A functionalist perspective
Argues that the function of punishment is to uphold social solidarity and reinforce
shared values.
Punishment is primarily expressive ­ it expresses society's emotions of moral outage
Two types of justice:
1.…read more

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Disciplinary power: seeks to govern not just the body, but the mind or `soul' it
does so through surveillance.
^ This is illustrated by the panopticocn ­ this was a design for a prison in which all
prisoners' cells were visible to the guards but the prisoners could not see the guards.
This meant that prisoners had to behave at all times cos they might be being
watched. As a result surveillance turns to self-surveillance and discipline becomes
self-discipline.…read more

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Two broad perspectives: Positivist Victimology and Critical Victimology
Positivist Victimology Critical Victimology
Have 3 features Based on conflict theories such as Marxist
1. Identify the factors that produce and Feminism
patterns in victimisation
2. Focuses on interpersonal crimes of Structural factors: such as
violence patriarchy and poverty.
3.…read more

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Ethnicity: Gender:
MEG are at greater risk than whites of being Males are at greater risk than females of
victims in general becoming victims of violent attacks,
especially strangers.
Women are more likely to be of domestic
violence, sexual violence etc
Repeat Victimisation:
If you have been a victim once before you
are very likely to be one again .…read more

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