Criminology Police Test Study Guide

15 Crime and Punishment Terms to Know.

Dec 16th, 2019
crime and punishment

Crime and Punishment Terms

Term Definition
Criminology Scientific study of criminal behavior; examining the causes, nature, and management of crime on both the individual and society at large.
Penology A discipline of criminology that talks about how crimes are punished; the study of crime punishment and prison management.
Probation Term that describes supervision of an offender, instead of that offender serving jail time. A probation officer describes the terms that the offender must abide by to be supervised out of prison.
Parole Early release of a prisoner from jail, who are expected to abide by specific conditions. If they break those conditions while on parole, they may be returned to jail to finish their sentence.
Exclusionary Rule A legal rule that sets out that evidence collected that breaks a defendant’s constitutional rights may not be used as evidence in a court of law. It is found in the Fourth Amendment to the US constitution.
Rehabilitation The means through which an offender is re-educated and re-trained to ensure that they do not return to a life of crime once released from jail.
Recidivism The act of an offender repeating the same type of crime after they have already been convicted of that crime and released from jail, or who commit the same type of crime after undergoing rehabilitation.
Incarceration A term that describes imprisonment. A person who is incarcerated has been imprisoned in jail.
Habitual offender A phrase that describes an offender who repeatedly commits crime; it has become a “habit”.
Deterrence The concept of trying to deter, or prevent, crimes from happening in the first place. The threat of jail, for example, acts as a means of deterring crime. Deterrence is a discipline of penology.
Blue-collar crime Crimes committed by people of a lower social class.
White-collar crime Crimes committed by people of higher social class.
Malfeasance Unlawful conduct that obstructs or impairs official duty. Wrongdoing by a public official, such as a US senator committing a political crime in his own interests.
Solicitation The act of encouraging another person to commit a crime; they are “soliciting crime” – aiding the attempt or financial commission to encourage that crime.
Mens rea Latin term that translates as, “guilty mind”. Mens rea refers to the mental health of a person when they commit a crime. An individual of insane mind is not held guilty of a crime, for example.

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