Ch 1: Introduction to Crime & Criminology Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Introduction to Crime & Criminology chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach criminology basics in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Introduction to Crime & Criminology chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Types and categories of crime A brief history of the criminology field; characteristics of felonies, misdemeanors, offenses, treason, espionage and inchoate offenses
Tuesday Legal components of crime Actus reus, mens rea and concurrence; causation, harm, legality, punishment and attendant circumstances
Wednesday Crime history and trends A brief history of crime in the U.S. and a survey of current crime trends
Thursday Crime measurement programs Types of information collected by Uniform Crime Reports, the National Incident Based Reporting System and the National Crime Victimization Survey program; crime demographic patterns
Friday Crime and punishment Key principles outlined in Cesare Beccaria's treatise 'On Crimes and Punishments' and the relationship between crime and punishment

9 Lessons in Chapter 1: Introduction to Crime & Criminology Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Criminology: Overview & History of the Field

1. Criminology: Overview & History of the Field

Criminology is a field of study that looks at crime and criminals. Learn an overview of criminology, study the four perspectives of criminology, and review the historical aspect of criminology.

Crime: Definition & Types

2. Crime: Definition & Types

In the United States, a crime occurs when an individual violates federal, state, or local laws. Learn how to define crime, explore the types and categories of crime, and then discover views on crime.

General Categories of Crime

3. General Categories of Crime

Crimes, any violation of the law, are organized categorically with varying degrees of intent, harm, and consequence. Learn the details and behavior associated with the general categories of crime: Felonies, Misdemeanors, Offenses, Treason & Espionage, and Inchoate offenses.

Crime: Legal Characteristics & General Features

4. Crime: Legal Characteristics & General Features

In the United States, the legal characteristics of crime are well defined. Learn about the general features and characteristics of crime, including actus reus, mens rea, and concurrence; and then explore other features of a crime such as causation, harm, and legality, attendant circumstances, and punishment.

History & Trends of Crime in the United States

5. History & Trends of Crime in the United States

U.S. crime rates and trends are impacted by the country's social, political, and economic circumstances. Learn how crime is measured, explore historical crime waves of the 1920s and 1930s, see how it changed during the 1940s through the 1970s, assess homicide rates in the 1980s and 90s, then review crime in the 21st century.

Crime Measurement Programs: History & Nature

6. Crime Measurement Programs: History & Nature

Crime Measurement Programs are organizations that provide reports of published data gathered on crimes. Learn about how crime is measured, the history and nature of the F.B.I.'s reports, and the national crime survey.

How Demographics Contribute to Crime

7. How Demographics Contribute to Crime

Demographics can contribute to our understanding of crime rates. Explore the trends of social class, age, gender, and race in relation to crime statistics in this lesson.

The Relationship Between Crime & Punishment

8. The Relationship Between Crime & Punishment

In the United States, federal, state, and local governments hold the power to punish criminal behaviors. Explore the relationship between crime and punishment, discover theories of punishment, and review the issue of expected punishment.

Cesare Beccaria's 'On Crimes and Punishments' and the Rise of Utilitarianism

9. Cesare Beccaria's 'On Crimes and Punishments' and the Rise of Utilitarianism

Italian criminologist and economist, Cesare Beccaria, is given much credit for the structure of the criminal justice system in the United States. Learn how the system of courts and prisons used to enforce the law in the U.S. was influenced by Beccaria's 1764 book, On Crimes and Punishments, and his philosophies on social contract and utilitarianism, and his thoughts on deterrence.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in Introduction to Crime & Criminology Lesson Plans.
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