: English for Law Students. 2 year. Part 2 - ( ..)


: 1775

Unit 4 the causes of crime

1. Read this statement and discuss it to see whether you agree or not. Prove your point of view.

Society prepares the crime, the criminal commits it.

Henry Thomas Buckle


B1. In your opinion, what are causes of crime? Discuss the point in small groups. Make a list of causes. Compare your lists.

B2. Here are some social causes of committing crimes. Rate them on a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the most influential cause and 10 the least influential.

- poor parenting skills

- peer influence

- drugs and alcohol

- low income

- poor education

- TV violence

- availability of handguns in society

- hot weather

- stress

- jealousy


C1. Study the following words and memorize them.

Key Vocabulary

perverse (adj) , ,

discard (v) ,

rationale (n) ,

proclivity (n) ,

law-abiding (adj)

innate (adj) , ,

disposition (n)

inclination (n) ,

homicide (n)

incidence (n) , , ,

in direct ratio prominent (adj) , engender (v) ,

deprivation (n) , ,

conducive (adj) ,

mentally deficient ,

prone (adj) ,

converge (v) ,

elusive (adj) , ,

C2. Match the following headings with the paragraphs of the text below:

a) Psychological and psychiatric theories

b) Biological theories

c) Multiple causation theory

d) Social environment theories

e) Theological and ethical theories f) Climatic theory

Causes of crime

(1) No one knows why crime occurs. The oldest theory, based on theology

and ethics, is that criminals are perverse people who deliberately commit crimes or do so at the instigation of the devil or other evil spirits. Although this idea has been discarded by modern criminologists, it persists in many parts of the world and provides the rationale for the harsh punishments still meted out to criminals.

(2) Since the 18th century, various scientific theories have been advanced to explain crime. One of the first efforts to explain crime on scientific, rather than theological, grounds was made at the end of the 18th century by the German doctor and anatomist Franz Joseph Gall, who tried to establish relationships between skull structure and criminal proclivities. This theory, popular during the 19th century, is now discredited and has been abandoned. A more sophisticated, biological theory was developed late in the 19th century by the Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso, who asserted that crimes were committed by those who are born with certain recognizable hereditary physical traits. Lombroso's theory was disproved early in the 20th century by the British criminologist Charles Goring. Goring's comparative study of jailed criminals and law-abiding citizens established that so-called criminal types, with innate dispositions to crime, do not exist. Recent scientific studies have tended to confirm Goring's findings. Some investigators still hold, however, that specific abnormalities of the brain and of the endocrine system contribute to a person's inclination towards criminal activity.

(3) Another approach to an explanation of crime was initiated by the French political philosopher Montesquieu, who attempted to relate criminal behaviour to the natural, or physical, environment. His successors have gathered evidence tending to show that crimes against the person, such as homicide, are relatively more numerous in warm climates, whereas crimes against property, such as theft, are more frequent in colder regions. Other studies seem to indicate that the incidence of crime declines indirectratio to drops in barometric pressure, to increased humidity, and to higher temperatures.

(4) Many prominent criminologists of the 19th century, particularly those associated with the Socialist movement, attributed crime mainly to the influence of poverty. They pointed out that those who are unable to provide adequately for themselves and their families through normal legal channels

are frequently driven to theft, burglary, prostitution, and other offences. The incidence of crime tends to rise especially in times of widespread unemployment. Present-day criminologists take a broader and deeper view; they place the blame for most crime on the whole range of environmental conditions associated with poverty. The living conditions of the poor, particularly of those in slums, are characterized by overcrowding, lack of privacy, inadequate play space and recreational facilities, and poor sanitation. Such conditions engender feelings of deprivation and hopelessness and are conducive to crime as a means of escape. The feeling is encouraged by the example set by those who have managed to escape through criminal means to what appears to be a better way of life.

(5) The final major group of theories are psychological and psychiatric. Studies by such 20th-century investigators as the American criminologist Bernard Glueck and the British psychiatrist William Healy have indicated that about a quarter of a typical convict population is psychotic, neurotic, or emotionally unstable and another quarter is mentally deficient.

Such emotional and mental conditions, it is believed, may make people more prone to criminality. Recent studies of criminals have thrown further light on the kinds of emotional disturbances that could lead to criminal behaviour.

(6) Since the mid-20th century, the notion that crime can be explained by any single theory has fallen into disfavour among investigators. Instead, experts incline to so-called multiple factor, or multiple causation, theories. They reason that crime usually springs from a multiplicity of conflicting and converging influencesbiological, psychological, cultural, economic, and political. The multiple causation explanations seem more credible than the earlier, simpler theories. An understanding of the causes of crime is still elusive, however, because the interrelationship of precipitating factors is difficult to determine.

C3. Answer the following questions:

1. Describe in brief the findings of F.Gall and C.Lombroso.

2. What is the role of British criminologist C.Goring in todays criminology?

3. What are the major points of so called climatic theory?

4. What approach does social criminology take?

5. What is psychological theory focused on?

6. What is the essence of the multiple factor theory?

7. Does anyone know why crimes occur?


D1. ADJECTIVES. Choose the adjective that best fits the space.

innate, conducive, prone, perverse, degrading, law-abiding, brutal, prominent

1) Sadistic people derive

pleasure from the suffering of others.

2) You know very well that my brother and I have always been honest, citizens since childhood.

3) Dr. MacLaughlin is

4) Children have an

to say exactly what she thinks. curiosity about the physical world.

5) Andrei Sakharov was a convinced humanist and a the world humanist movement.

figure in

6) The police are searching for the


7) That kind of jealous behaviour isn't strong relationship.

attacker of a 98-year old

to having a healthy,

8) These poor people live in the most conditions.


a. For each word in the left column finds the synonyms in the other two columns.

a. assert b. emphasize c. penitent d. discard e. innate f. disposition g. prominent h. engender -

- reject

- renowned

- spawn

- stress

- claim

- regretful

- inborn

- inclination -

- generate

- sorry

- inherited

- proclivity

- highlight

- distinguished

- abandon

- state

b. Rewrite these sentences using the synonyms to the words in bold type.

1. All 12 leaders asserted that they had met their main goals.

2. The report emphasizes the importance of improving safety standards.

3. Luckily, she had an innate ability to quickly judge people if they were honest, loyal, tricksters or leeches.

4. Their financial success has engendered jealousy among their


5. Neither side shows the slightest disposition to compromise.


a. Try to match expressions with crime to their definitions b. Translate the sentences below the table

Crime doesnt pay

A life of crime The perfect crime Crime of passion Tough on crime Turn to crime Partners in crime

a) two people who have planned and done something together, especially something that slightly annoys other people used humorously

b) a crime, especially murder, caused by sexual


c) used to say that crime does not give you any advantage, because you will be caught and punished

d) when someone spends their life stealing and committing other crimes, in order to get money to live

e) start committing crimes

f) a crime that no one knows has been committed, so no one can be punished for it

g) always punishing crime severely

1. The sentence handed down by the court will act as a deterrent to those involved in drug trafficking and clearly shows that crime doesn't pay.

2. At the age of twelve, he entered into a life of crime.

3. As used by some criminologists and others who study criminal investigations (including mystery writers), a perfect crime goes unsolved not because of incompetence in the investigation, but because of the cleverness and skill of the criminal.

4. In the United States civil courts, a crime of passion is referred to as

"temporary insanity".

5. Politicians are trying to appear tough on crime.

6. He claims that when he could not find work, he was forced to turn to crime.

7. She'd kept watch and made sure no one saw us while I actually took the

bike so we were partners in crime.


E1. WORD FORMATION. Use the words in brackets to form a word that fits in the space.

Criminology in the United States

American (1)

(crime) developed a (2)

(collect) of theories

of criminal behavior based upon very different (3)



(assume). Eventually, sociology came to (5)


the emerging field of criminology in the United States. Most of the (6)

(popularity) theories emphasized the role of (7)

(society) factors in


(courage) criminal behavior. Italian scholars and their (9)_

(succeed) in Europe did very little (10)_

(empiticism) testing of theories.

They followed methods of (11)

(deduce) and argument. American


(practise) adopted a more (13)

(science) approach to

building theory, emphasizing the collection and (14)

(analyze) of data

on the social cases of (15)

(crime) conduct.

E2. PREPOSITIONS. Fill in the correct preposition. Choose from the list below.

At, between (3), by, from, in (2), of (3), to (3), towards (2), with

Sigmund Freud

Austrian physician Sigmund Freud developed important but controversial

theories concerning the connection 1

abnormal human behavior and the

unconscious mind. Freud believed that each person must resolve the tension

2 individualism and society. According 3

Freud, criminal behavior

may result 4

a failure to resolve this tension. Personality theories attempt

to explain how people acquire predispositions 5_

predispositions are sometimes discussed in terms 6

certain behavior. These personality traits, such

as impulsiveness and stubbornness, or personality types, such as introvert and extrovert.

Accordingly, some social scientists believe that certain predispositions or

personality types may be associated 7

criminal tendencies or activities.

According 8

Freud, humans must resolve the tension between their

purely self-interested tendencies, which he called the id, and the control of

these forces 9

the combination of conscience and moral attitudes, which

Freud called the superego. This process begins 10 time the id reigns without conflict.

infancy, 11


As the child develops, conflicts occur 12

the id and superego, which are

ultimately resolved by the ego the sense 13_

self. This process results

14 a person who strikes a balance between individualism and society,

between hedonism (pleasure seeking) and repression 15

his or her desires.

According 16

Freud, when this development process goes wrong any

number of personality disorders can result, including a tendency 17 criminal behavior.


F1. Translate the following text into English.

*, , ,

. , , .

. . , 40 , . , 63 , * 25 .

. , . , , , .

--------------------------------------------------------------------- identical twins, enzygotic twins

fraternal twins, dizygotic twins

| |