Criminal Justice


Discussion #4

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What are the main differences between Classical and Early Positivist Criminological Theories of Crime?
Why is Routine Activities Theory such a powerful theory to explain why crime occurs as opposed to simply rational choice theory? What is the difference between the two theories? How does routine activities build upon – think about situation and opportunity.
Also, with positivist theories what are some “factors” or things you may think we will talk about moving forward about positivist theories. What are we now going to consider when thinking about the factors (or independent variables from a positivist perspective) that we now much consider when thinking about crime. Is it simply just a choice of weighing the pros and cons?
Discussion #5

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After learning about biosocial theory, how does this expand (or not expand) on your idea of the causes of crime?
Please answer your questions by using terminology and concepts that you have learned to date in class (maybe refer to other theories that biosocial theories don’t consider). 
When thinking through your answer, think about a criminal act, like why a juvenile might run away from their home (is it is just their choice?), or an employee might commit mass shootings at their work place (could other things have contributed beyond ‘rational’ choice), or why someone with a Traumatic Brain Injury might commit aggravated assault (does their brain operate in the same way as something without a history of TBI?.Or how about a an adolescent who has been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder? So, in other words does biosocial theory change your thoughts about why people commit crime. Or has it not change your option?
Discussion #6

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A learning goal at UNC is we want students to graduate and become informed citizens by critically understanding what is happening in the world around them. Related, I mentioned in previous lectures that I want you to see “theory in action” when looking at what is happening around you.
There is not one theory that explains why all crime occurs – you have to think about the circumstances of a crime and see what theory best explains why that crime occurs. There are many explanations to why certain crimes occur but some theories are stronger than others.  
With that said, for this discussion post use the theories ONLY in Chapter 6 to explain why the killings of young individuals by law enforcement can lead to subsequent protests and violence around the United States. Critically reflect on the readings in this chapter and apply any of the theoretical perspectives to what is happening. I am seeing people online – not criminal justice students (e.g,. people commenting on facebook, etc) that people (both protesters and police officers) are simply making choices (i.e., rational choice theory) to engage in such deviant behavior – but what would the theorists from Chapter 6 argue? Is it more about the structure than the individual?
In your answer, I realize that some of you could write several pages, but please just hone in on one or so theories to help explain what this is occurring. Apply the theories from Chapter 6 to the current situation….and RESPECTFULLY discuss. 
HINT – this is a valuable exercise because this is similar to what you will be doing for your final paper. Please remember to use proper citations by linking directly to the chapter. This is a graded discussion: 5 points possible

due Mar 4
Discussion #7
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I want you to think about the city/town/immediate area where you grew up and apply the social disorganization theory to your home town or neighborhood. First, tell the class where you grew up and if your community/town/neighborhood fits the tenants of social disorganization theory. Make sure to briefly discuss each tenant (see slide) and if they apply to the city you grew up in….
Then I want you to apply the concentric zones to your specific town/city. What are the zones, where are the boundaries you see to those zones. Did you grow up in a socially disorganized community? Did you not grow up in a socially disorganized community? When you reply to another students post, see you grew up in the same town and if you agree/disagree with the application of the theory? Or perhaps you have visited their hometown and can comment on the application of the theory. 

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