Criminal Justice Test 1


an act that violates criminal law and is punishable by criminal sanctions

crime control model

a criminal justice model that places primary emphasis on the right of society to be protected from crime and violent criminals.

criminal justice system

the interlocking network of law enforcement agencies, courts, and corrections institutions designed to enforce criminal laws and protect society from criminal behavior


behavior that is considered to go against the norms established by society


the ability of individuals in the criminal justice system to make operational decisions based on personal judgment instead of formal rules or official information


any substance that modifies biological, psychological, or social behavior; in particular, an illegal substance with those properties

due process model

a criminal justice model that places primacy on the right of the individual to be protected from the power of the government


the moral principles that govern a person's perception of right and wrong


a form of government in which a written constitution provides for a division of powers between a central government and several regional governments

formal criminal justice process

the model of the criminal justice process in which participants follow formal rules to create a smoothly functioning disposition of cases from arrest to punishment

gun control

efforts by a government to regulate or control the sale of guns

homeland security

a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States and reduce the country's vulnerability to terrorism

informal criminal justice process

a model of the criminal justice system that recognizes the informal authority exercised by individuals at each step of the criminal justice process


the quality of fairness that must exist in the processes designed to determine whether individuals are guilty of criminal wrongdoing


Principles of right and wrong behavior, as practiced by individuals or by society.

psychoactive drugs

chemicals that affect the brain, causing changes in emotions, perceptions, and behavior


the act of committing a new crime after a person has already been punished for a previous crime by being convicted and sent to jail or prison

street gang

a group of people, usually three or more, who share a common identity and engage in illegal activities


a set of interacting parts that, when functioning properly, achieve a desired result


the use or threat of violence to achieve political objectives.


a condition in which the individual suffers from the breakdown or absence of social norms


a threat or an attempt to do violence to another person that causes that person to fear immediate physical harm


the act of physically contacting another person with the intent to do harm even if the resulting injury is insubstantial


the science of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, and origin


the act of breaking into or entering a structure (such as a home or office) without permission for the purpose of committing a crime


the relationship in which a change in one measurement or behavior creates a recognizable change in another measurement or behavior

chronic offender

a delinquent or criminal who commits multiple offenses and is considered part of a small group of wrongdoers who are responsible for a majority of the antisocial activity in any given community

control theory

A series of theories that assume that all individuals have the potential for criminal behavior, but are restrained by the damage that such actions would do to their relationships with family, friends, and members of the community.


The relationship between two measurements or behaviors that tend to move in the same direction.


A specialist in the field of crime and the causes of criminal behavior.


the scientific study of crime and the causes of criminal behavior

dark figure of crime

A term used to describe the actual amount of crime that takes place. The "figure" is "dark," or impossible to detect, because a great number of crimes are never reported to the police.

drug abuse

The use of drugs that results in physical or psychological problems for the user, as well as disruption of personal relationships and employment.


A chemical substance, produced in tissue and conveyed in the bloodstream, that controls certain cellular and bodily functions such as growth and reproduction.


A possible explanation for an observed occurrence that can be tested by further investigation.


The act of taking property from another person without the use of force with the intent of keeping that property.

learning theory

The hypothesis that delinquents and criminals must be taught both
the practical and emotional skills necessary to participate in illegal activity.

life course criminology

The study of crime based on the belief that behavioral patterns developed in childhood can predict delinquent and criminal behavior later in life.

methamphetamine (meth)

An easily produced, relatively inexpensive stimulant that creates a strong feeling of euphoria in the user and is highly addictive.


The unlawful killing of one human being by another.


A chemical that transmits nerve impulses between nerve cells and from nerve cells to the brain.

organized crime

Illegal acts carried out by illegal organizations engaged in the market for illegal goods or services, such as illicit drugs or firearms.

part I offenses

Crimes reported annually by the FBI in its Uniform Crime Report. include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

part II offenses

All crimes recorded by the FBI that do not fall into the category of Part I offenses. These crimes include both misdemeanors and felonies.

prescription drugs

Medical drugs that require a physician's permission for purchase.


the scientific study of mental processes and behavior

public order crime

Behavior that has been labeled criminal because it is contrary to shared social values, customs, and norms.

rational choice theory

A school of criminology that holds that wrongdoers act as if they weigh the possible benefits of criminal or delinquent activity against the expected costs of being apprehended.


The act of taking property from another person through force, threat of force, or intimidation.

self-reported survey

A method of gathering crime data that relies on participants
to reveal and detail their own criminal or delinquent behavior.

sexual assault

Forced or coerced sexual intercourse (or other sexual act).

social conflict theories

A school of criminology that views criminal behavior as the result of class conflict.

social disorganization theory

The theory that deviant behavior is more likely in communities where social institutions such as the family, schools, and the criminal justice system fail to exert control over the population.

social process theories

a school of theories that considers criminal behavior to be the predictable result of a person's interaction with his or her environment


The study of the development and functioning of groups of people who live together within a society.

strain theory

The assumption that crime is the result of frustration felt by individuals who cannot reach their financial and personal goals through legitimate means.


The hormone primarily responsible for the production of sperm and the development of male secondary sex characteristicssuch as the growth of facial and pubic hair and the change of voice pitch.


An explanation of a happening or circumstance that is based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning.

Uniform Crime Report (UCR)

An annual report compiled by the FBI to give an indication of criminal activity in the United States.


Methods to identify a person based on his or her unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints or facial configuration.

capital crime

a criminal act that makes the offender eligible to receive the death penalty

civil liberties

the basic rights and freedoms for American citizens guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, particularly in the Bill of Rights

conflict model

a criminal justice model in which the content of criminal law is determined by the groups that hold economic, political, and social power in a community

consensus model

a criminal justice model in which the majority of citizens in a society share the same values and beliefs. Criminal acts are acts that conflict with these values and beliefs and that are deemed harmful to society

victim surveys

A method of gathering crime data that directly surveys participants to determine their experiences as victims of crime.


A school of criminology that studies why certain people are the victims of crimes and the optimal role for victims in the criminal justice system.

white-collar crime

Nonviolent crimes committed by business entities or individuals to gain a personal or business advantage.

actus reus

A guilty (prohibited) act.

corpus delicti

The body of circumstances that must exist for a criminal act to have occurred.

M'Naghten rule

A common law test of criminal responsibility, that relies on the defendant's inability to distinguish right from wrong.

mala in se

A descriptive term for acts that are inherently wrong, regardless of whether they are prohibited by law.

mala prohibita

A descriptive term for acts that are made illegal by criminal statute and are not necessarily wrong in and of themselves.

mens rea

Mental state, or intent. A wrongful mental state is as necessary as a wrongful act to establish criminal liability.

administrative law

The body of law created by regulatory (administrative) agencies (in the form of rules, regulations, orders, and decisions) in order to carry out their duties and responsibilities.


The act of taking substantial steps toward committing a crime while having the ability and the intent to commit the crime, even if the crime never takes place.

attendant circumstances

The facts surrounding an event that must be proved to convict the defendant of the underlying crime.

ballot initiative

A procedure in which citizens, by collecting enough signatures, can force a public vote on a proposed change to state or local law.

beyond a reasonable doubt

The degree of proof required to find the defendant in a criminal trial guilty of committing the crime. The defendant's guilt must be the only reasonable explanation for the criminal act before the court.

Bill of Rights

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

case law

The rules of law announced in court decisions.

civil law

The branch of law dealing with the definition and enforcement of all private or public rights, as opposed to criminal matters.

competency hearing

A court proceeding to determine whether the defendant is mentally well enough to understand the charges filed against her or him and cooperate with a lawyer in presenting a defense.


A secret plot by two or more people to carry out an illegal or harmful act.

constitutional law

Law based on the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of the various states.


In a civil court, the person or institution against whom an action is brought. In a criminal court, the person or entity who has been formally accused of violating a criminal law.

due process clause

The provisions of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution that guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.


Unlawful pressure brought to bear on a person, causing the person to perform an act that he or she would not otherwise perform.

duty to retreat

The requirement that a person claiming self-defense prove that she or he first took reasonable steps to avoid the conflict that resulted in the use of deadly force.


A defense in which the defendant claims that he or she was induced by a public official´┐Żusually an undercover agent or police officer´┐Ż to commit a crime that he or she would not otherwise have committed.


A serious crime, usually punishable by death or imprisonment for a year or longer.


An unlawful homicide that occurs during the attempted commission of a felony.

hate crime law

A statute that provides for greater sanctions against those who commit crimes motivated by bias against an individual or a group based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

inchoate offenses

Conduct deemed criminal without actual harm being done, provided that the harm that would have occurred is one the law tries to prevent.


A condition that, under early American law, excused young wrongdoers of criminal behavior because presumably they could not understand the consequences of their actions.


In most jurisdictions, a noncriminal offense for which the penalty is a fine rather than incarceration.


A defense for criminal liability that asserts a lack of criminal responsibility due to mental instability.


A defense for criminal liability in which the defendant claims that the taking of intoxicants rendered him or her unable to form the requisite intent to commit a criminal act.

involuntary manslaughter

A negligent homicide, in which the offender had no intent to kill his or her victim.

irresistible-impulse test

A test for the insanity defense under which a defendant who knew his or her action was wrong may still be found insane if he or she was unable, as a result of a mental deficiency, to control the urge to complete the act.


In a civil court, legal responsibility for one's own or another's actions.

malice aforethought

A depraved state of mind in which the offender's behavior reflected a wanton disregard for the well-being of his or her victim.


A criminal offense that is not a felony; usually punishable by a fine and/or a jail term of less than one year.


A defense against criminal liability in which the defendant asserts that circumstances required her or him to commit an illegal act.


A failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances.


The person or institution that initiates a lawsuit in civil court proceedings by filing a complaint.


A court decision that furnishes an example of authority for deciding subsequent cases involving similar facts.

preponderance of the evidence

The degree of proof required to decide in favor of one side or the other in a civil case. In general, this requirement is met when a plaintiff proves that a fact more likely than not is true.

procedural criminal law

Rules that define the manner in which the rights and duties of individuals may be enforced.

procedural due process

A provision in the Constitution that states that the law must be carried out in a fair and orderly manner.


The state of being aware that a risk does or will exist and nevertheless acting in a way that consciously disregards this risk.


The legally recognized privilege to protect one's self or property from injury by another.

statutory law

The body of law enacted by legislative bodies.

statutory rape

A strict liability crime in which an adult engages in a sexual act with a minor.

strict liability crimes

Certain crimes, such as traffic violations, in which the defendant is guilty regardless of her or his state of mind at the time of the act.

substantial-capacity test (ALI/MPC test)

A test for the insanity defense that states that a person is not responsible for criminal behavior when he or she 'lacks substantial capacity' to understand that the behavior is wrong or to behave properly.

substantive criminal law

Law that defines the rights and duties of individuals with respect to one another.

substantive due process

The constitutional requirement that laws used in accusing and convicting persons of crimes must be fair.

supremacy clause

A clause in the U.S. Constitution establishing that federal law is the "supreme law of the land" and shall prevail when in conflict with state constitutions or statutes.

voluntary manslaughter

A homicide in which the intent to kill was present in the mind of the offender, but malice was lacking.

integrated definitions of crime

o Punishable under criminal law, as determined by the majority or, in some instances by a powerful minority
o Considered an offense against society as a whole and prosecuted by public officials, not by victims and their relatives or friends
o Punishable b

three levels of law enforcement

local and county, state, and federal

local and county law enforcement

duties of law enforcement are split between counties and municipalities. Chief law enforcement officer is county sheriff- elected with a 2-4 year term. If city and county governments merged there is a county police force headed by chief of police. Bulk of

state law enforcement

two types of agencies: "state police" and "highway patrols"-infractions on public highways and freeways. Other law enforcers include fire marshals-investigate suspicious fires and educate public on fire prevention. Fish, game, and watercraft wardens- poli

federal law enforcement

department of Homeland Security combines the police powers of 24 federal agencies to protect the Unites States from terrorist attacks. FBI, DEA, U.S. secret service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives ATF. They operate throughout the U.S

Federal agencies

FBI- federal bureau of investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration- DEA, U.S. Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives- ATF

dual court system

two independent judicial systems, one at the federal level and one at the state level. Equal to 52 different court systems: one federal court system and 50 different state court systems plus that of the District of Columbia

Federal system consists of

district courts, circuit courts of appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court

state system includes

trial courts, intermediate courts of appeals, and state supreme courts


depending on the seriousness of the crime and their individual needs, offenders are placed on probation, incarcerated, or transferred to community-based correctional facilities


the most common correctional treatment, allows the offender to return to the community and remain under the supervision of an agent of the court known as a probation officer. While on probation, the offender must follow certain rules of conduct. When prob


to be remanded to a correctional facility for a certain amount of time.


hold those convicted of minor crimes with relatively short sentences, as well as those awaiting trial or involved in certain court proceedings- administered by municipalities


house those convicted of more serious crimes with longer sentences-responsibility of federal and state government

community based corrections

include halfway houses, residential centers, and work-release centers. They operate on the assumption that all convicts do not need, and are not benefited by, incarceration in jail or prison.

4th amendment

requirement that no warrants for a search or an arrest can be issued without probable cause

6th amendment

guarantees of a speedy trial, trial by jury, a public trial, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a lawyer at various stages of criminal proceedings

8th amendment

prohibitions against excessive bails and fines and cruel and unusual punishments

14th amendment

provides due process and equal protection of the laws

5th amendment

requirement that no one can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without "due process" of law, prohibition against double jeopardy, guarantee that no person can be required to be a witness against himself or herself

patriot act

an expansion of the definition of what it means to "engage in terrorist activities to include providing "material support" through such activities as fund-raising or operating Web sites for suspected terrorist organizations.
o Greater leeway for law enfor

violent crime

crime against persons

property crime

crimes in which the goal of the offender is some form of economic gain or the damaging of property

high-tech crime

cyber crimes related to the increased use of computers and technology by society

trait theory

Suggest certain biological or psychological attributes in individuals could incline them toward criminal behavior given a certain set of circumstances


guilty act and intent

habeus corpus

An order that requires corrections officials to bring an inmate before a court or a judge and explain why she or he is being held in prison

accomplice liability

suspects can be charged for crimes they didnt actually commit if it can be proven they acted as an accomplice