Quiz 2: Defining Crime

Criminal Justice


Student responses might include: -Dictionary definitions provide a good starting point for consideration of what is crime -However, they fail to convey the full scope of crime -They exclude harmful behaviours that are not forbidden by law -They include behaviours that do not appear to cause harm but are forbidden by law -Some behaviours are deemed criminal in one setting but not in another; for example, hitting someone in the street vs hitting an opponent of the football match -Our understanding of crime is influenced by morality and social mores -The definition of crime changes according to time and place.

Reponses might include: -A legal definition of crime: acts or omissions that cause public harm are forbidden by law, and are punishable by law -Not all state-imposed punishments relate to crime; some impose civil or regulatory penalties -They tell us when acts become criminal but not why