Societies define crime as the breach of one
or more rules or laws for which some
governing authority or force may ultimately
prescribe a punishment.
What constitutes a crime tends to alter
according to historical, cultural and power
dimensions – it is time and culture bound
• Can you think of anything that was seen
as a crime but is no more AND of any
acts which are seen as criminal in one
culture but not in another?
• Attempted suicide was regarded as a criminal
offence until 1961.
• Homosexual acts between consenting adults
was regarded as an offence until 1967.
• Incest was NOT regarded as a crime until
• More recently – smoking in
public places.
• The act of female circumcision is seen in some cultures e.g.
Egypt and Sudan, as acceptable, whilst in Britain it has been
prohibited under existing child protection legislation. In
contrast, male circumcision has never been against the law
and still occurs today on religious or health grounds. In
both cases however, genital mutilation occurs without the
consent of the individuals concerned.
• Criminal behaviour is also designated according to age and intention –
thus the same behaviour can be seen as criminal in one case and not in
another. The age of criminal responsibility varies from country to
country: in Scotland it is 8, in England and Wales it is 10, in France it is
13 and in Sweden it is 15.
• Individuals are deemed to have committed a criminal act only if they
can be shown to have had the intention of doing so. Those suffering
from some forms of psychiatric illness are considered incapable of this
aspect of criminal behaviour.
• What is a criminological psychologist?
• What do they do?
• What type of clients do criminological
psychologists work with?
• TV programmes lead to a distorted view of the
psychologist as some
kind of modern day
Sherlock Holmes,
helping the police to
solve crimes and
mysteries. In reality this
is not exactly the case.......
• Psychologists are involved in rehabilitating
offenders, providing expert advice in court
cases, assessing both offenders and victims,
preventing crime and much more.
• In the 1960’s criminological psychology as a
specific branch of psychology emerged.
• In criminological psychology, research findings
and theories from areas of pure psychology
are applied to the questions raised by real life
legal and criminal problems.
• How can the pure psychological approaches
that you studied last year be applied to
criminological psychology?
From the specification
• Describe and evaluate two explanations of
criminal/antisocial behaviour from different
approaches. One explanation must be that of
social learning theory (the Learning Approach)
including the possible role of the media in
modelling antisocial behaviour
• Cognitive psychology – reconstructive memory and
how witnesses recall events
• Social psychology – conformity and how juries reach
• Learning psychology – treating offenders using
behavioural techniques/learned criminal behaviour
• Biological psychology – do genetics play a role in
• Psychodynamic psychology – whether the choice of
victim is influenced by an earlier episode in an
offender’s life
• Anti-social behaviour is virtually any
intimidating or threatening activity that scares
you or damages your quality of life.
Examples include:
rowdy, noisy behaviour
'yobbish' behaviour
vandalism, graffiti and fly-posting
dealing or buying drugs on the street
fly-tipping rubbish
aggressive begging
street drinking
setting off fireworks late at night
Anti-social behaviour doesn't just make life unpleasant. It holds back
the regeneration of disadvantaged areas and creates an environment
where more serious crime can take hold.
ASB – the Home Office
• Anti-social behaviour has a wide legal definition – to paraphrase the Crime
and Disorder Act 1998, it is behaviour which causes or is likely to cause
harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people who are not in the
same household as the perpetrator. Among the forms it can take are:
• graffiti – which can on its own make even the tidiest urban spaces look
• abusive and intimidating language, too often directed at minorities
• excessive noise, particularly late at night
• fouling the street with litter
• drunken behaviour in the streets, and the mess it creates
• dealing drugs, with all the problems to which it gives rise.
• All these are issues which concern everyone
in the community. They cannot be written
off as generational issues – they impact on
the quality of life of young and old alike.
And they require a response which puts
partnership into action
ASBO’s – Anti Social Behaviour Orders
• Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) are court orders
which forbid specific threatening or intimidating actions.
• An ASBO can ban a
person from:
• threatening, intimidating
or disruptive actions
• spending time with a
particular group of
• visiting certain areas
• ASBOs are in effect for a minimum of two years, and can be longer.
They are designed to protect specific victims, neighbours, or even
whole communities from behaviour that has frightened or intimidated
them, or damaged their quality of life.
• These are civil orders - not criminal penalties – so they won’t appear
on a suspect's criminal record. However, if that person breaches an
ASBO, they have committed a criminal offence, which is punishable by
a fine or up to five years in prison.
• Ensure that you have clear definitions for
• Be able to USE and DISCUSS each term.
• Be familiar with examples/case studies to
illustrate the above terms.

CRIMINAL PSYCHOLOGY - Rajasthan Prisons, Department …