CRMJ 400 DeVry All Week Discussions

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CRMJ 400 DeVry All Week Discussions


CRMJ 400 DeVry All Week Discussions


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 1 Discussion 1

Thinking Like a criminologist (graded)

TCO#1 focuses on developing an understanding of criminology as a discipline, including its various theoretical perspective and historical developments. Over the years, three major theoretical approaches have emerged that current criminologists use to study crime. They are conflict theory, consensus theory, and interactionist theory. Let’s start our discussion by distinguishing among these three theoretical perspectives.


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 1 Discussion 2

Researching crime & describing crime rates (graded)

TCO#2 focuses on the various research methods criminologists use to study crime in order to understand and explain crime patterns and crime rates. To begin our discussion let’s focus on addressing the following question: if you want to know if males were more violent than females, what research method or methods (data collection method) would you use and why?


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 2 Discussion 1

Blaming the victim? (graded)

Let’s start our discussion of victimology by addressing the following question. Does a person bear some of the responsibility for his or her victimization if the person maintains a lifestyle that contributes to the changes of becoming a victim? In other words, should we blame the victim? (Related to TCO#3.)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 2 Discussion 2

Just desert and deterrence (graded)

Classical Criminology and rational choice theory assume that individuals are rational beings who make choices about the kinds of behavior in which they will engage, including criminal behavior. This assumption raises several questions that are related to deterrence and crime prevention policies. Let start our discussion by drawing on Andrew Von Hirsch’s just desert theory as a framework for criminal justice policies. What are the basic ideas of his just desert theory and how does it relate to the crime prevention policy of deterrence? (Relate to TCO#4.)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 3 Discussion 1

Biological & psychological theories (graded)

The American Psychiatric Association believes a person should not be held legally responsible for a crime if his or her behavior meets the following standard developed by legal expert Richard Bonnie: “A person charged with a criminal offense should be found not guilty by reason of insanity if it is shown that as a result of mental disease or mental retardation he was unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct at the time of the offense.” As used in this standard, the terms mental disease and mental retardation include only those severely abnormal mental conditions that grossly and demonstrably impair a person’s perception or understanding of reality and that are not attributable primarily to the voluntary ingestion of alcohol or other psychoactive substances. As a criminologist with expertise on trait theories of crime, do you agree with this standard? What modifications, if any, might you make to include other categories of offenders who are not excused by this definition? (Relate to TCO#4.)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 3 Discussion 2

Social structure theories of crime (graded)

On page 185 of our textbook, Larry Seigel talks about the code of the streets which is based on the work of Elijah Anderson by the same name. Let’s start our discussion of social structure theories by addressing the follow question: Does the code of the street as described by Anderson, apply to the neighborhood in which you were raised? (Relate to TCO#4.)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 4 Discussion 1

Do negative labels result in crime? (graded)

One of the important social process theories we will be studying this week is labeling theory. With this theory in mind, let’s address the following questions: Do negative labels cause crime or do people who commit crime become negatively labeled? In other words, do deviant/criminal labels influence or result in further deviance or crime? (Related to TCO#4).


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 4 Discussion 2

The issue of restorative justice (graded)

Restorative justice, based on critical criminology, is an alternative humanistic response to more punitive sanctions. How would a conservative policy maker reply to a call for more restorative justice? (Related to TC#4).


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 5 Discussion 1

A subculture of violence (graded)

The discussion topic of a subculture of violence is relevant for both a discussion of criminal violence and political violence or terrorism. To start our discussion let me ask if you think there is a subculture of violence in your community and/or the nation. If so, how would you describe its environment and values? (Relate to TCO#5.)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 5 Discussion 2

Property crimes (graded)

To start our discussion on property crimes consider the following questions: What are the characteristics of good burglars? Can you compare their career path to any other professionals? (Relate to TCO#5.)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 6 Discussion 1

Organized crime (graded)

Organized crime has long been associated with immigrants coming to the United States and seeking the American Dream. If we think of Robert Merton’s strain theory organized crime as carried out by immigrant groups can be seen as innovators. To what extent do you think that organized crime is a feature of or a common practice among old and new immigrants? (Relate to TCO#5)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 6 Discussion 2

Public disorder: a victimless crime (graded)

Public disorder crimes are considered crimes because they conflict with accepted moral rules. Some people have suggested the public disorder crimes should not be considered crimes because (1) it is hard to legislate morality and (2) public disorder crimes do not necessarily involve a victim. To start our discussion let’s address the question: are public disorder crimes victimless crimes? (Relate to TCO#5)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 7 Discussion 1

Concepts of justice (graded)

Criminal justice operations are based on philosophies of justice. Oftentimes there are competing philosophies of justice at work within the criminal justice system and within the wider society. Which one of the five models of justice do you think is the foundation for the criminal justice system in the United States? (Relate to TCO#s 6, 7, & 8)


CRMJ 400 DeVry Week 7 Discussion 2

Privatization of corrections (graded)

There has been a growing movement toward the privatization of corrections. Given pressures on state budgets, it is likely that the move toward privatization of corrections will increase. Let’s start our discussion by addressing the question: Should private companies be allowed to run correctional institutions? (Relate to TCO#s 6, 7, & 8)