Ch 1: Introduction to Crime & Criminology

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about categories of crime, federal crime measurement programs, the history of criminology and more. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz to help check your understanding of these criminology topics.

Introduction to Crime & Criminology - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Begin your investigation of criminal behavior and the causes of crime with the video lessons in this chapter. We'll help you distinguish between the different types of crime and outline some of the legal terminology used to describe their characteristics. You can also check out crime reporting programs and take a look at some of the earliest philosophical thought on crime and punishment. Lessons are designed to teach you about:

  • Crime types and categories
  • Legal characteristics of crime
  • Crime measurement programs
  • Crime trends and demographic patterns
  • The role of punishment

Video Objectives
Criminology: Overview & History of the Field Find out what's involved in the study of criminology and explore the history of this field.
Crime: Definition & Types Survey the different types of crime.
General Categories of Crime Learn to distinguish felonies from misdemeanors. Study the differences between treason and espionage. Discover what an inchoate offense is.
Crime: Legal Characteristics & General Features Examine characteristics of crime, including causation, mens rea and the criminal act.
History & Trends of Crime in the United States Get a brief history of crime in the U.S. Survey current crime trends.
Crime Measurement Programs: History & Nature Learn how federal criminal justice agencies collect crime statistics. Explore the nature of these programs and find out what they convey about crime in the U.S.
How Demographics Contribute to Crime Examine some of the crime patterns related to race, age, gender and socioeconomic status.
The Relationship Between Crime & Punishment Learn how crime and punishment came to be associated with each other.
Cesare Beccaria's 'On Crimes and Punishments' and the Rise of Utilitarianism Study the work of this 18th century philosopher to discover his views on crime and punishment.

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

1. Criminology: Overview & History of the Field

Learn about what constitutes criminology. Review the four perspectives of criminology and work a case yourself. Then, examine the history of crime as it relates to the field of criminology.

What Is Criminology? - Definition, History & Theories

2. What Is Criminology? - Definition, History & Theories

The study of criminology has evolved over the past 250 years, although you can still go to prison for stealing a slice of pizza in some states. Learn more about the study of criminology and the various theories it embraces.

Crime: Definition & Types

3. Crime: Definition & Types

Watch this video to explore the different types of crime. You'll learn about felonies, misdemeanors and violations. You'll also review various views on crime, as well as examine personal and property crimes.

General Categories of Crime

4. General Categories of Crime

Watch this video to explore the different categories of crime. You'll learn about felonies, misdemeanors, offenses, treason, espionage, and inchoate offenses.

Crime: Legal Characteristics & General Features

5. Crime: Legal Characteristics & General Features

Learn about the legal characteristics of crime. Find out what constitutes the actus reus, mens rea, and concurrence of a crime. Examine other general features of crime.

History & Trends of Crime in the United States

6. History & Trends of Crime in the United States

United States crime trends have fluctuated throughout history. This lesson takes a brief look at the history of crime in the U.S., crime rates over time and current trends.

Crime Measurement Programs: History & Nature

7. Crime Measurement Programs: History & Nature

Watch this lesson to learn about how crime is measured in the United States. Examine the two main sources of criminal statistics and discover what each source of information can reveal.

How Demographics Contribute to Crime

8. How Demographics Contribute to Crime

This lesson examines how demographics can tell us about crime. Review how social class relates to crime. In addition, examine how age, gender, and race are related to crime.

The Relationship Between Crime & Punishment

9. The Relationship Between Crime & Punishment

The criminal law sets out both crimes and punishments, which are designed to align with each other. This lesson defines criminal punishment, explains punishment theories and explores the relationship between crime and punishment.

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

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

Cesare Beccaria wrote 'On Crimes and Punishments' in the 18th century. It called for criminal justice reform and influenced the U.S. criminal justice system. This lesson explores 'On Crimes and Punishments' and the resulting rise of utilitarianism.

Positivist Criminology: Definition & Theory

11. Positivist Criminology: Definition & Theory

Review the definition of positivist criminology and examine the theories behind the concept. Upon completion of the lesson, you will be able to take a short quiz to test your understanding.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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