Explanations of criminal behaviour

- theories of criminal behaviour

- individual and cultural differences in criminal behaviour

- social psychology of criminal

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Raine, Buchsbaum and Lacasse (1997)

Murderes who plead NGRI (not guilty by reason of insanity) are thought to have brain dysfunction but thishas not been demonstrated directly by measuring brain activity.

Sample: 41 NGRI murderers (E group) and 41 age/sex matched controls (C group)

Method: PET scan during a continuous performance task (CPT).

Results: the murderers had: - reduced activity in the prefrontal region. - left hemisphere lower activity than right. No differneces found with structure of brain unassociated to mental illness.

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Fawcett Society

- commission on women and criminal justice system.

- charitable organisation campaigning for equality of women.

- 2003 released a report that women commit crime for different reasons to men. criminal justice system fails to take this into account when treating female offenders.

- women burglary up 49% and rises in robbery and violence.

- over the last 10 years, 6 times more women in prison are serving 10 yearsor more but not life. fawcett say this is due to violence against women: 50% say they were hit by partner. 33% say they were sexually abused. some attempted suicide and some on drugs/alcohol in year running up to it.

- link between female victims and offenders.

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Farrington (2002)

Aim: test hypothesis that problem families produce problem children.

Sample: 411 boys from inner-city London

Procedure: interviews with children and parents and questionnaires for teachers.

Results: by age 32, 37% males had commited crimes. worst offenders from large-sized multi-problem families. Most common crimes: burglary, shoplifting, vandalism and theft.

Conclusions: children from poor families are more likely to offend. Compulsive children can't see consequences of actions and desire immediate gratification. Children from criminal families develop anti-establishment attitude and beleif that it's justifiable to offend. Problem families produce problem children.

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