Criminological Theory

Question 1:

Assume you attended a session at the American Society of Criminology meetings which involved a debate on “the cause(s) of crime” between Merton, Felson, Hirschi, and Sutherland. On what issues do you think they would agree and disagree and in what ways? Be specific. In your opinion, is one theorist the clear “winner” in the debate? Elaborate. You can be creative in how you respond to this question (if you would like). Cite references from your textbook.

Question 2: (1.5 pages, double spaced) 15 points

You are concerned about the increase in violent crime over the last few years when reviewing crime statistics from some major cities and at the national level. While the numbers are still lower than they were 20+ years ago, as a criminologist you are concerned that this will become a trend and 2018 will also show an increase. You have decided to write an opinion piece in the form of a letter to the editor to your newspaper to provide some explanations for why the increase using at least one theory. You also want to provide at least one suggestion (micro or macro) that you think could be done to reduce the increase. Cite references from your textbook, the UCR and other government sources (if needed).

Question 3: (2.5-3 pages double spaced)- 25 points

Anywhere City is comprised of 150,000 residents. Many of the people who live in the center city are renters and have lived there for less than 5 years. Only 27% of the population has a four-year college degree or higher. The minority population comprises 26% of the population. Median income per household is $45,105. The violent crime rate has seen an uptick in the last few years and gangs are on the rise. Property crime has also seen an increase with burglary and theft occurring frequently. Calls for service involving heroin overdoses has seen a drastic increase in the last two years. The police are not at full capacity and their recruitment efforts are not yielding the number of quality candidates it used to years ago. All the public high schools have at least one School Resource Officer. Graduation rates and test scores are below the national average.

Suggest any two program or policy recommendations to help Anywhere City address the crime issues highlighted above. Your answer should be supported with theory from your text and other empirical/statistical data. You can assume there is a budget to implement your suggested program or policy. Cite you references.

Question 4: (½-3/4 page) – 5 points

Which types of theories do you think are most important to create policies/programs to reduce crime: those that explain individual behavior (micro) or those that explain criminality among groups (macro)? Explain your decision. In your response be sure to include a specific theory for illustration purposes.

Question 5: (1/2-3/4 page)- 5 points

Do you think we could solve most the problems of social disorganization through investing large sums of money in a community? Why or why not? Justify your answer using resources from your book and other sources found on .gov/.org webpages.