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Ryker Olsen

Professor Butler

Intro. to Criminal Justice

24 June 2017

Crime

Crime has been a problem for as long as structured civilization has existed. Crimes vary

in severity and punishment from nonviolent to violent, and from misdemeanors to felonies like

and murder and rape, but all are crimes nonetheless. There are 6 different categories of crime

including, violent crimes, property crimes, public order crimes, white collar crimes, organized

crime, and high-tech crime. These crimes also vary in severity and punishment, but all have

consequences and are punishable within the criminal justice system. Crime has been, and likely

always will be a problem.

Violent crimes, arguably the worstmorally speakingof all crime, include four sub

categories. One such category is murder. Murder is considered the unlawful killing of another

human being, and is considered a felony, punishable by over one year in prison, or death in some

states. The second category of violent crimes is sexual assault. Sexual assault is the act of

forcing a sexual act upon a person against their will. Sexual assault is also considered to be a

felony. The third subcategory of violent crimes is assault and battery. Battery occurs when a

person physically attacks another person, while assault is when a person threats, or intentionally

leads another person into believing that they will be harmed physically. The fourth and last

subcategory of violent crimes is robbery. Robbery is when a person takes personal property,

funds, or anything of value from a person by means of fear or force. For an act to be considered
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robbery, the person who is being robbed must be present. Violent crimes are usually considered

to be felonies, meaning the person convicted of one will be sentenced to a year or more in jail.

Felonies, in some cases are also punishable by death. Property crimes are less severe than

violent crimes, but still severe nonetheless.

Property crimes are considered to be the most common form of crime out of all other

forms of crime. Property crimes include many things, but in short property crimes can be

defined as any form of the damaging of property or a crime in which the offender is looking to

make some form of gain economically. Property crimes include shoplifting, pocket picking, or

any form of crime that involves the stealing of any property where the person committing the

crime does not acquire the property by force or fear. Property crimes are considered those that

were committed by means of larceny, or theft. Burglary is a property crime and is the act of a

person unlawfully entering a structure (home, building, etc.) with the intention of committing

theft or another serious crime including car theft. If an automobile is unlawfully taken (motor

vehicle theft) at any point, this is a property crime. Arson is the malicious and willful burning of

a home, building, auto mobile, or any property. Arson is also a property crime, and due to the

serious, expensive, and potentially dangerous nature of the crime, the extent to which the person

committing the crime is punished may vary. These types of crimes might stem from an increase

in public order crimes and their potential to attract more criminal activity to an area.

Public order crimes are crimes in which behavior is found to be, or labeled, criminal

because it goes against customs, social values, and norms. Public order crimes might not always

have a direct effect on society as a whole, but they go against the collective beliefs or norms of

society. Public order crimes include things like, prostitution, gambling, public drunkenness, and

illicit drug use. While crimes like illicit drug use and gambling (depending on the specifics of
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how the drug is used and where) might only harm those participating in the acts (physically or

financially), they are still considered to be crimes in many areas. For this reason, public order

crimes are sometimes called victimless crime. This term might be misleading, however, because

sometimes these crimes do hurt others, or the area in which they occurred as a whole. An area in

which these types of crimes occur might put off an impression that crime is rampant, further

attracting crime into the area and driving down the value and safety of the area. This is called

the Broken Window Effect (Gaines, 33).

White collar crimes are generally crimes that are business related. White collar crimes

are generally nonviolent in nature, and involve either an individual (or business entity as a

whole) that are seeking some sort of business gain. The term white collar crime includes any

illegal or serious acts committed in a business setting. White collar crimes can involve, or

ultimately, evolve into other types of crimes, one of which is organized crime.

Unlike white collar crimes, organized crime involves illegal organizations, rather than

legal businesses. Organized crime is illegal acts committed for financial gain occurring in these

illegal organizations. Organized crime usually occurs when an illegal organization is trying to

satisfy a demand for illegal goods and services. Organized crime also usually occurs within a

group of people who commit crimes that involve violence, intimidation, and corruption. Like

businesses, organized criminal organizations usually have a hierarchy. This hierarchy is

generally very similar to that of an actual business and can function in many of the same ways.

Organized criminal organizations participate in many illegal acts that generally include illegal

narcotics, loan sharking, and some public order (victimless crimes) such as gambling and

prostitution. They can also be involved in credit card scams and counterfeiting. Organized

crimes can be very serious offenses.


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High-tech crime is the sixth general subgroup of crime. High-tech crimes are a relatively

new type of crime. This is because they rely heavily on the existence of technology. High-tech

crime has increased with the presence of social networking and computers. High-tech crime

includes cyber crimes. Cyber crime is an umbrella term that includes different types of fraud,

soliciting minors, and selling different pornographic materials on the internet. High-tech crimes

have increased with how dependent businesses have become on technology. This dependence

has made businesses increasingly vulnerable to cyber crimes such as, embezzlement, theft (of

intangible objects like data and records), sabotage, and fraud (Gaines, 34). The increase in

dependence of businesses on computers has led to an increase in hacking. In 7 March 2012,

Jeremy Hammond was arrested by the FBI for successfully breaching the security of corporate

websites. His skills were compared to that of a comic book characters superpowers, like

supermans X-ray vision by his lawyer after he was arrested. Hammond was able to breach the

security of the corporate websites in what was called the Stratfor Operation from the roof of a

building, with nothing but a computer. Similarly, organizations called Anonymous and LulzSec,

groups of internet pranksters, have been doing things similar to this, but not always as serious.

Hammond is accused of making over $700,000 worth of online purchases, all from stolen credit

card information, a lot more serious than some internet pranks. It is also suspected that terrorist

organizations will soon implement tactics, like those used by Hammond, against the U.S. The

dependence of businesses on technology has led to a huge increase in technology security

improvement strategies by companies. Security is not only improved to help protect the

business, but the customers as well. High-tech crimes pose a very real threat to businesses today

(Gains, 396).
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Crime has six different subcategories, violent crimes, property crimes, public order

crimes, white collar crimes, organized crimes, and high-tech crimes. All six subcategories a

variety of different crimes that vary in severity, some being physically violent, some not, but all

are punishable within the criminal justice system. As long as there is a structured civilization,

there will be crime. Crime has been, and likely always will be a problem.
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Works cited:

Gaines, Larry K., and Roger LeRoy Miller. Criminal justice in action: the core. 7th ed. Boston,

MA: Cengage Learning, 2018. Print.