An act committed in violation of the law where the consequence of conviction by a court is punishment, especially when the punishment is a serious one such as imprisonment.
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Official Statistics
Figures based on the numbers of crimes that are reported and recorded by the police which are often used by the government to inform crime prevention strategies.
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Victim Survey
A questionnaire that asks a sample of people which crimes have been committed against them over a fixed period of time and whether or not they have been reported to the police.
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Offender Survey
A self-report measure that requires people to record the number and types of crime they have committed over a specific period.
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Offender Profiling
A behavioural and analytical tool that is intended to help investigators accurately predict and profile the characteristics of unknown criminals.
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Top-Down Approach
Profilers start with a pre-established typology and work down in order to assign offenders to one of two categories based on witness accounts and evidence from the crime scene.
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Organised Offender
An offender who shows evidence of planning, targets the victim and tends to be socially and sexually competent with higher than average intelligence.
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Disorganised Offender
An offender who shows little evidence of planning, leaves clues and tends to be socially and sexually incompetent with lower than average intelligence.
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Bottom-Up Approach
Profilers work up from evidence collected from the crime scene to develop hypotheses about the likely characteristics, motivations and social background of the offender.
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Investigative Psychology
A form of bottom-up profiling that matches details from the crime scene with statistical analysis of typical offender behaviour patterns based on psychological theory.
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Geographical Profiling
A form of bottom-up profiling based on the principle of spatial consistency: that an offender's operational base and possible future offences are revealed by the geographical location of their previous crimes.
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Atavistic Form
A biological approach to offending that attributes criminal activity to the fact that offenders are genetic throwbacks/primitive sub-species ill-suited to conforming to rules of modern society. Distinguishable by particular facial & cranial features
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DNA produces instructions for general physical features (e.g. eye colour) of an organism and also specific features (e.g. neurotransmitter levels). These may impact on psychological features (e.g. intelligence).
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Neural Explanation
Any explanation of behaviour in terms of dis(functions) of the brain and nervous system. This includes the activity of brain structures (e.g. hypothalamus) and neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin).
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Criminal Personality
An individual who scores highly on measures of extraversion, neuroticism and psychotism and cannot easily be conditioned, is cold and unfeeling and is likely to engage in offending behaviour.
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Level of Moral Reasoning
The process by which an individual draws upon their own value system to determine whether an action is right/wrong. Kohlberg attempted to objectify this process by identifying different levels of reasoning based on people's answers to moral dilemmas.
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Cognitive Distortions
Faulty, biased and irrational ways of thinking that mean we perceive ourselves, other people and the world unaccurately and usually negatively.
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Hostile Attribution Bias
The tendency to judge ambiguous situations, or the actions of others, as aggressive and/or threatening when in reality they may not be.
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A type of deception that involves downplaying the significance of an event or emotion. A common strategy when dealing with feelings of guilt.
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Differential Association Theory
An explanation for offending which proposes that, through interaction with others, individuals learn the values, attitudes, techniques and motives for criminal behaviour.
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Psychodynamic Explanations
A group of theories influenced by the work of Freud which share the belief that unconscious conflicts, rooted in early childhood and determined by interactions with parents, drive future and criminal behaviour.
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Custodial Sentencing
(A judical sentence determined by a court, where the offender is punished by serving time in prison (incarceration) or in some other closed theraputic and/or educational institution such as a psychiatric hospital
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Reoffending, a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behaviour; in the context of crime, a convicted criminal who reoffends, usually repeatedly.
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Behaviour Modification
An application of the behaviourist approach to treatment. It is based on the principles of operant condition.The general aim is to replace undesirable behaviours with more desirable ones through selective use of positive +/or negative reinforcement.
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Anger Management
An theraputic programme involving identifying signs that trigger anger & learning techniques to calm down and deal with the situation in a positive way. The aim isn't to prevent anger but to recognise & manage it.
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Restorative Justice
A system for dealing with criminal behaviour which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims. Enables the offender impacts of their crime & serves to empower victims by giving them a voice.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Official Statistics


Figures based on the numbers of crimes that are reported and recorded by the police which are often used by the government to inform crime prevention strategies.

Card 3


Victim Survey


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Offender Survey


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Offender Profiling


Preview of the front of card 5
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