See also:term for offences against the CRIMINAL
See also:LAW (q.v.) .
See also:Crime has been defined as " a failure or refusal to live up to the standard of conduct deemed binding by the
See also:rest of the community."
See also:Stephen describes it as " some
See also:act or omission in respect of which legal punishment may be inflicted on the
See also:person who is in default whether by acting or omitting to act." Such
See also:action or neglect of action may be injurious or hurtful to society . It is a wrong or tort, to be prevented and corrected by the strong
See also:arm of the law . Crimes vary in character with times and countries . Under different circumstances of place and
See also:custom, that which at one
See also:time is denounced as a crime, at another passes as a meritorious act . It was once an imperative
See also:duty for the
See also:family to avenge the
See also:death of a kinsman, and the
See also:feud had a sanction that made killing no
See also:murder . Again, among
See also:primitive tribes to make away with parents at an advanced age or suffering from an incurable disease was a filial duty . Polyandry was sometimes encouraged, and
See also:cannibalism practised with general approval; religious sentiment elevated into heinous crimes,
See also:sacrilege, sorcery and even science when it ran
See also:counter to accepted dogmas of the
See also:church . Offences multiplied when
See also:people gathered into communities and the rights of
See also:property and of
See also:personal security were understood and established . The law of the strongest might still interfere with individual owner-
See also:ship; the weakest went to the
See also:wall; authority, whether exercised by one
See also:master or by the combined
See also:government of the many, was resisted, and this resistance constituted crime . As
See also:civilization spread and the bulk of the population settled into orderliness, society, for its own comfort, convenience and
See also:protection, would not tolerate the infraction of its rules, and rising against all law-breakers decreed reprisals against them as the
See also:common enemy . Then began that
See also:constant warfare between criminals and the forces of law and
See also:order which has been continuously waged through the centuries with varying degrees of bitterness .
The combat with crime waslong waged with
See also:great cruelty . Extreme penalties were thought to constitute the best deterrent, and the principle of vengeance chiefly inspired the penal law . The harshness of
See also:ancient codes makes a more humane age shudder . It was the custom to hang or decapitate, or otherwise take
See also:life in some more or less barbarous fashion, on the smallest excuse . The final act was preceded by hideous torture . It was performed with the utmost barbarity . Victims were put to death by breaking on the
See also:wheel, burning at the stake, by dismemberment and flaying or boiling alive . These were the aggravations of the
See also:original idea of riddance, of checking crime by the absolute removal of the offender . Only slowly and gradually milder methods came into force . Revenge and
See also:retaliation were no longer the chief aims, the law had a larger
See also:mission than to coerce the criminal and force him by severity to mend his ways . To withdraw him for a lengthened
See also:period from the sphere of his baneful activity was something; to subject him to more or less irksome processes, to solitary confinement upon
See also:diet, deprived of all the solaces of life, with severe labour, were
See also:sharp lessons limited in effect to those actually subjected to them, but too remote to deter the outside
See also:crowd of potential wrongdoers . The higher duty of the
See also:administrator is to utilize the period of detention by labouring to reform the criminal subjects and send them out from
See also:gaol reformed characters .
If no very remarkable success has been achieved in this direction, it is obviously the right aim, and it is being more and more steadfastly pursued . But it is generally accepted in principle that to eradicate criminal proclivities and cut off recruits from the permanentarmy of crime the
See also:work must be undertaken when the subject is of an age susceptible of reform; hence the extreme value attaching to the more enlightened treatment of crime in embryo, a principle becoming more and more largely accepted in practice among civilized nations . It may safely be asserted that the germ of crime is universally
See also:present in mankind, ever ready to show under conditions favour-able to its growth .
See also:Children show criminal tendencies in their earliest years . They exhibit evil traits, anger, resentment, mendacity; they are often intensely selfish, are strongly acquisitive, greedy of gain, ready to steal and secrete things at the first opportunity . Happily the fatal consequences that would other-wise be inevitable are checked by the gradual growth of inhibitory processes, such as prudence, reflection, a sense of moral duty, and in many cases the
See also:absence of temptation . From this Dr
See also:Nicholson deduces that " in proportion as this development is prevented or stifled, either owing to an original
See also:brain defect or by lack of proper
See also:education or training, so there is the
See also:risk of the individual lapsing into criminal-mindedness or into actual crime." In the lowest strata of society this risk is largely increased from the conditions of life . The growth of criminals is greatly stimulated where people are badly fed, morally and physically unhealthy, infected with any forms of disease and
See also:vice . In such circumstances, moreover, there is too often the evil influence of
See also:heredity and example . The offspring of criminals are constantly impelled to follow in their parents' footsteps by the secret springs of nature and pressure of childish imitativeness . The seed is thrown, so to speak, into a hot-
See also:bed where it finds congenial
See also:soil in which to take
See also:root and flourish . Wherever crime shows itself it follows certain well-defined lines and has its
See also:genesis in three dominant
See also:mental processes, the result of marked propensities .
These are malice, acquisitiveness and lust . Malicious crimes may be amplified into offences against the person originating in hatred, resentment, violent
See also:temper, and rising from mere assaults into
See also:manslaughter and murder . Crimes of greed and acquisitiveness cover the whole range of thefts, frauds and misappropriation; of larcenies of all sorts; obtaining by false pretences; receiving stolen goods; robberies;
See also:house-breaking, burglary, forgery and coining . Crimes of lust embrace the whole range of illicit sexual relations, the result of ungovernable passion and criminal depravity . The proportions in which these three categories are manifested have been worked out in England and
See also:Wales to give the following figures . The percentage in any roo,000 of the population is: Crimes of malice . . 15 % Crimes of greed 75 % Crimes of lust . . to % The members of these categories do not
See also:form distinct classes; their crimes are interdependent and constantly overlap . Crime in many is progressive and passes through all the stages from minor offences to the worst crimes . Murder—the culminating point of malice—is constantly preceded by
See also:theft by forcible entry; and robbery is associated with violence and armed resistance to.capture . Criminality rising into its highest development shows itself under many forms . It is instinctive, passionate, accidental, deliberate and habitual, the outcome of abnormal appetite, of weak and disordered moral sense .
See also:causation of crime varies, but a predominating
See also:motive is idleness, leading to the predatory instincts of gain easily acquired without the labour of continuous effort . To deprive the more industrious or more happily placed of their hard-won earnings or possessions, inspires the bulk of
See also:modern serious crime . It no doubt has produced one
See also:peculiar feature in modern crime: the extensive scale on which it is carried out . The greatest frauds are now commonly perpetrated; great robberiesare planned in one capital and executed in another . The whole is worked by wide associations of cosmopolitan criminals . Other features of modern crime are especially interesting . It is extraordinarily precocious . Children of quite
See also:tender years commit murders, and boys and girls are frequently to be met with as professional thieves . Again, the
See also:comparative proportions of crime in the two sexes may be considered . Everywhere
See also:women are less criminal than men . Naturally they have fewer facilities for committing crimes of violence, although they have offences peculiar to their sex, such as
See also:infanticide, and are more frequently guilty of poisoning than men by 70% against 30% .
See also:Statistics presented to the Prison Congress at
See also:fix the percentage of
See also:female criminals at 3 % in
See also:Japan, the East generally, South
See also:America and some parts of
See also:North America .
In some states of the
See also:American Union it is ro %; in
See also:China, 20 %; in
See also:Europe generally it varies between ro % and 21 % . In France the proportion of accused women is fifteen to eighty-five men . In Great Britain it is now one in four, but has been less . The
See also:total sentenced in 1905–1906 to penal servitude and imprisonment was 139,389 men and 44,294 women, the
See also:balance being made up by
See also:summary convictions . The curious fact in female crime is that one-seventh of the women committed to prison had already been convicted from eleven to twenty times . It has been well said from the above proportions that women are less criminal according to the figures, because when a woman wants a crime committed she can generally find a man to do it for her . It has often been debated whether or not prison methods react upon the criminality of the
See also:country; whether, in other words, severity of treatment deters, while milder methods encourage the wrongdoers to despise the penalties imposed by the law . Evidence for and against the
See also:verdict may be
See also:drawn from the whole civilized
See also:world . In England, as judged by the increase or decrease of the prison population, it might be supposed that the prison
See also:system was at one time effective in diminishing crime . Between 1878 and 1891 there was a steady decrease in numbers because of it . More recently there has been an appreciable increase in the number of crimes and proportionately of those imprisoned . The figures for 1906 showed a distinct increase in criminality for that
See also:year as compared with the years immediately preceding .
The proportion of indictable offences had increased in 1906 from S9,079 as against 50,494 171 1899, or in the proportion of 171.01 per roo,000 of the population as against 158.97, a very marked increase over earlier years . Nevertheless the figures for 1906, although high, are by no means the highest, as on eight occasions during the fifty
See also:odd years for which statistics were available in 1909 the total crimes exceeded 6o,000, and in the quinquennial period 186o–1864 the
See also:average was 280 per 100,000 as compared with 171.01 for 1906 and 175 for the quinquennial period 1902–1906 . The quality of the crime varied, and while offences against property have increased, those against the person have constantly fallen . Quite
See also:half the whole number of crimes were committed by old offenders (see
See also:RECIDIVISM) . Statistics have not been kept with the same care in all other countries, but some authentic figures may be quoted for France, where the number of thefts increased while offences against the person diminished . In Belgium there has been a satisfactory decrease in
See also:recent years . In Prussia the prison population has on the whole increased, but there has been a slight diminution in more serious crime . Some very noticeable figures are forth-coming from the
See also:United States, and comparison is possible of the relative amount of crime in the two countries, America and England . Here the want of statistics covering a large period is much to be regretted . On the general question serious crime in the ten years between 188o and 1890 slightly increased, while petty crime was very considerably less during the period . Charges for
See also:homicide have heen much more numerous . There were in 1880, 4608, or a ratio of 9.I to 100,000 of the population; but in 1890 these offences
See also:rose t0 7351, or a ratio of 11.7 .
Comparing America with England, it has been calculated in
See also:round numbers that the proportion of prisoners to the general population was in the United States as r to every 759, and in England r to every 1764 persons . As regards the more serious crimes the number in
See also:English convict prisons was as 1 to 10,000, and in the American state prisons (the corresponding institutions) the ratio was r to every 1358 . In the lesser prisons, i.e. the English
See also:local prisons and the American city or
See also:county gaols, the numbers more nearly approximate, being in England 1 to 2143 and in America 1 to 1721 . It has been argued that much of the crime in America is attributable to the preponderance of
See also:foreign immigrants, but the ratio of native
See also:born prisoners is that of 1237 to the million, of foreign born prisoners 1777 to the million .
CRIMEA (ancient Tauris or Tauric Chersonese, called...
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