CCJ 5934

Application of Theories of Crime

Akers Sec. 0390

Spring, 2009   Meets Monday Periods 8-10

Meeting in NPB 1011 (changed to 115 Keene-Flint)

Office: 3358 Turlington

Phone: 2-0265 ex. 258

Office hours for this class: Before and after class on Monday and by appointment


Web Sites:      Akers =







The purposes of the course are to:

          (1) Gain an advanced understanding of the general issues in the application of the major criminological theories of causes and processes in crime, delinquency, and deviance to practice, policy, and programs.

          (2) Analyze the application of those theories critically to uncover their strengths and weaknesses and their effectiveness in reducing recidivism or having other effects on attitudes and behavior relevant to criminal and deviant behavior. logical and empirical strengths and weaknesses.

          (3)  Develop relevant analytic, oral, and writing skills.

The assignments and requirements below are meant to facilitate these goals by maximizing student involvement and participation in the seminar sessions.


Course Requirements, Assignments, and Grades       


1. Responsibility for Readings and Seminar Discussions.

          Reading assignments are made from the required texts on each topic as shown on the Course Outline and  Reading Assignments below.

          Each student in the seminar will be responsible for reading the assignments and coming to the class prepared to raise and answer questions and join in the discussion about them.  Other reading assignments may be made from time to time as appropriate.  The reading should be done with a view toward a clear understanding of the content of the assignment and how it relates to the topic for that particular class session.  Class participation should indicate preparation through having read and thought about the topics and issues in the assignments. 


2. Student Class Presentations.

          Each student in the seminar will also be assigned to make an oral class presentation of approximately 15 minutes on a literature source that is not on the assigned reading list and has not been assigned to another student.

          The student will be responsible for distributing copies of a 1-2 page summary, outline, or notes of the reading, with full bibliographic reference, to me and to each member of the seminar.

          The sources on which the presentations are made will be selected by the students reflecting their special interests, but must be approved by me at least one week prior to the session in which the presentation is made. 

     The reading must be relevant to one of topics under discussion by the class, and the presentation will be made during the class period(s) in which that topic is discussed.  Once we have moved on to other topics, no presentations will be scheduled for previous topics.  There will not necessarily be a presentation at each class session, but I will attempt to schedule no more than two such presentations during any given class period.  Therefore, the earlier the student decides on what presentation to make the better.   The piece on which the presentation is made must be a published journal article, book chapter, or other published source on a policy or program.  The presentation will include description of the program and the extent to which the piece identifies the theory or theories on which the program is based, research findings if applicable, and other relevant information about the literature source.


3. Student-Led Class Discussion.

          Each student will also be assigned to lead discussion of assigned readings during one class session.  No student will be assigned to do this more than once during the semester, but depending on the number of students enrolled there may be more than one discussion leader in any given class period.

          Leading the discussion will entail: (1) Providing a concise and accurate overview of the  assigned readings and (2) asking relevant questions about the readings and eliciting response from others in the seminar, (3) moderating the discussion.

          Although the length of this discussion may vary depending on the topic and readings, no student will be expected to lead a discussion for more than one class period (50 minutes). 


4.  Graduate Term Paper.

           Each student will be required to complete and submit to the instructor a seminar term paper on some topic or issue relevant to the application or relationship of theory (not necessarily the theories cover in the class and reading assignments) and practice in crime, delinquency, or deviance.  It could be a review of literature and research on a particular program, a review of  literature and research on the application of a particular theory or theoretical perspective, a research paper in which data are analyzed, a meta-analysis, or other approach to examine the application of theory or the relationship between practice. This is the most important intellectual product of the course and will be the major basis for the course grade assigned to each student. The topic of this paper will be of the student's choosing, but must be made in consultation with and approval of the instructor.  Of course, the final product must be the work of the student; evidence of plagiarism will result in failure and possible reference to student honor court.

          To be acceptable, the paper must be of graduate quality,  about 20-25 pages with double-spaced line spacing, and done in standard social science journal format (e.g. ASR, SF, SP, Criminology) for style, citation, and references.  The paper should be written as if it were to be submitted to a journal for publication, a chapter for an edited volume, a research proposal for funding, or similar scholarly written product.  The paper may be submitted in printed or electronic form (in WordPerfect or Word or compatible format).

          It is quite possible to write a seminar paper that is a publishable paper or a research proposal suitable for submission and that should be your goal in doing the paper.  Students are also encouraged to become acquainted with student paper competitions held in the department and by various relevant scholarly societies (e.g. ASC, ACJS, ASA, SSSP, SSS) and consider submitting their seminar papers for that competition.

          The paper will be evaluated on the usual criteria for assessing scholarly or scientific papers, such as quality of content, writing style and organization, demonstration of knowledge and mastery of the paper's topic, use of literature sources,  how well the paper relates to, goes beyond, or adds knowledge to the extant body of knowledge on the topic, adequacy of the methodology (where relevant) or approach taken in the paper, and the soundness of logic, theoretical reasoning, and conclusions.

          The earlier the student begins selecting a term paper topic, the better.  The topic, approach, and tentative outline of the paper must be approved by me no later than March 9. Changes in topic or approach can be made after this date if warranted.

          The paper may be submitted to me as the final submission for a grade at any time during the semester, but no later than the due date of April 22 by 4:30pm.

           It is not required, but each student has the option of submitting drafts of the paper to me for reactions, suggestions, and critique without a grade being assigned anytime before or on April 13.   Any submitted to me after that date will be viewed as the final draft and assigned a grade without further opportunity to revise.


5.  Assignment of Grades for the Course.

          There will be no examinations, written or oral, in the course.  The course grade will be assigned as follows:

          Term Paper-- 80%.  The course grade will be based primarily on the evaluation of the quality of the term paper.  But the grade will also be based on evaluation of the quality of the student's leading a class discussion, oral presentation made in class, and participation in  the seminar discussions. 

          Leading and Participating in Class Discussion -- 10%

          Class Presentation -- 10%.


6.  Class Attendance. 

          A seminar is dependent upon the consistent preparation and participation of the students.  Therefore, attendance is required and absences must be excused by me.  This should be done by contacting me before (if there is prior knowledge of an absence) or as soon after an unanticipated absence as possible.  Because part of the grade is based on quality of class participation, unexcused absences could adversely affect the grade in the course.




Required Text and Course Packet


1.  Akers, Ronald L. and Christine S. Sellers

2009 Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application. 5th Ed. New York: Oxford University Press.


This text is available from the University Bookstore and other local bookstores. There should be ample numbers of used copies available. Assignments from this text are identified in the outline below as Akers and Sellers: Ch. # and pages numbers. 


2. Orange and Blue Textbooks Course Packet


This packet of reproduced articles, chapters from books, and other sources is available at the Orange and Blue Textbooks 309 NW 13th Street 352-375-2797


Assignments from this packet are identified in the outline below by listing under OBT the bibliographical reference for the document including specific pages assigned for a particular topic.


I. Overview and General Issues in the Application of Theory to Control, Treatment, and Prevention of Delinquency and Crime

Links between theory and practice

Overview of Control, Prevention, and Treatment


Reading assignments for I:


Akers and Sellers: Chapter 1, pp. 11-15



     Akers, Ronald L.

     2005 Sociological Theory and Practice: The Case of Criminology,” Journal of Applied Sociology/Sociological Practice: A Journal of Applied and Clinical Sociology 22/7:24-41, 2005.

     Akers, Ronald L.

     2008 “Nothing is as Practical as a Good Theory: Social Learning Theory and the Treatment/Prevention of Delinquency.  Pp. 1-6

     Cressey, Donald R.

    1968 “The nature and effectiveness of correctional techniques,” pp.349-373 in Lawrence Hazelrigg, ed. Prison within Society. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books.

   Byrne, James M. And Faye S. Taxman

   2005 “Crime control is a choice: Divergent perspectives on the role of treatment in the adult correctional system,” Criminology and Public Policy 4:291-310

   Agnew, Robert

   2001 Juvenile Delinquency: Causes and Control. Los Angeles: Roxbury Publishing,   Chapter 22

   Andrews, D.A. and James Bonta

   2003 The Psychology of Criminal Conduct.  Second Edition. Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing.

Pp. 242-246--principles of classification

pp.259-273-- meta analysis

pp. 273-290-- theory and intervention

    Welsh, Brandon C. and David P. Farrington

    2006 “Evidence-based crime prevention,” pp. 1-7 in Brandon C. Welsh and David P. Farrington, eds., Preventing Crime: What Works for Children, Offenders, Victims, and Places. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

II.  Application of Classical, Deterrence, and Rational Choice Theories

“Get tough” policies

Scared straight

Boot camps                  


Reading Assignments for II:

Akers and Sellers: Ch. 2: Theory  17-19; 24-31; Application 31-35;



   Lynch, James P. and William J. Sabol

   1997 Did Getting Tough on Crime Pay? Washington, DC: The Urban Institute

   Webster, Cheryl Marie, Anthony N. Doob, and Franklin E.Zimring

   2006 “Proposition 8 and crime rates in California: The case of the disappearing deterrent,” Criminology & Public Policy 5:417-448

    Levin, Steven

   2006 “The case of the critics who missed the point:A reply to Webster et al.,” Criminology and Pulbic Policy 5:449-460.

   Petrosino, Anthony, Carolyn-Turpin Petrosino, and John Buehler

   2006 “Scared straight and other juvenile awareness programs,” pp. 87-101 in Brandon Welsh and David P. Farrington, Preventing Crime: What Works for Children, Offenders, Victims, and Places. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.


III. Applications of Routine Activities Theories


Routine precautions


Reading Assignments for III


Akers and Sellers: Ch. 2 --Theory: 35-37;  Application 42-44



   Felson, Marcus 

   2002 Crime and Everyday Life. Third Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications --Ch. 9 Local Design Against Crime

IV. Applications of Biological, Psychological, and other Individual Trait Theories


Earlier biological/evolutionary theory– eugenics and isolation

Later sociobiological theory – community, counseling programs

Psychological/personality theory– psychotherapy, individual counseling

        Cambridge Somerville Youth Study, PICO, CTP           


Reading Assignments for IV


Akers and Sellers: Ch. 2 and 3 -- Theory, 47-64; 71-78; Application, pp. 66-69; 78-84



   Lundman, Richard J.

   1993 Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency. Second Edition.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. – Chapter 2 Individual Treatment pp. 27-53.

V.   Applications of Social Learning and Control Theories


Reading Assignments for V


Sellers and Akers: Chapter 5 --  Theory, pp. 85-99; Application, pp. 110-120

                              Chapter 6    Theory, pp. 123-144; Application, pp. 144-148             


   Akers, Ronald L.

   2008 “Nothing is as practical as a good theory: Social learning theory and the treatment/prevention of delinquency” pp. 9-23

    Cressey, Donald R.

   1968 “Changing criminals: The application of the theory of differential association,” pp. 290-297 Lawrence Hazelrigg, ed. Prison within Society. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books.

    Chamberlain, Patricia, Philip A. Fisher, and Kevin Moore

   2002 “Multidimensional treatment foster care: Applications of the OSLC intervention model to high risk youth and their families,” pp.203-218 in John B. Reid, Gerald R. Patterson, and James Snyder (eds.), Antisocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Analysis and Model for Intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Campbell, Carol and Stan Weeber

    2005-06 “ Evaluation of a school and peer base anti-smoking program targeting southwest Louisiana grade school students,” Journal of Applied Sociology/Sociological Practice: A Journal of Applied and Clinical Sociology 22/7: 90-103.

    Polaschek, Evon L., Nick J. Wilson, Marilyn R. Townsend, and

     Lorna R. Daly

    2005 “Cognitive-behavioral Rehabilitation for High-risk Violent Offenders an Outcome Evaluation of the Violence Prevention Unit” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20: 1611-1627

    Hawkins, J. David, Eric C. Brown, Sabrina Oesterle, Michael W. Arthur, Robert  D. Abbott, and Richard D. Catalano

     2008 “Early effects of Communities that Care on Targeted Risks and Initiation of Delinquent Behavior and Substance Use,” Journal of Adolescent Health 43:15-22.

VI. Applications of Labeling and Reintegrative Shaming Theories


Reading Assignments for VI


Akers and Sellers: Ch. 7– pp.151-172



   Rojek, Dean G.

   1982 “Juvenile Diversion: A Study of Community Cooptation,” pp. 316-322 in Dean G. Rojek and Gary F. Jensen, eds. Readings in Juvenile Delinquency. Lexington, MA:D.C.  Heath

   Rodriquez, Nancy

    2005 “Restorative justice, communities, and delinquency: whom do we reintegrate?” Criminology and Public Policy 4:103-130.

    Akers, Ronald L., Jodi Lane, and Lonn Lanza-Kaduce

     2008 “Faith-based mentoring and  restorative justice: Overlapping theoretical, empirical, and philosophical background,” pp.  in Holly Ventura, ed. Restorative Justice: From Theory to Practice Amsterdam: Elsevier.

VII.  Applications of Social Disorganization, Anomie, Delinquent Subcultures, and other structural Theories


Reading Assignments for VII


Akers and Sellers: Ch. 8 -- Theory, 177-202; Application, pp. 202-207



   Lundman, Richard J.

   1993 Prevention and Control of Juvenile Delinquency. Second Edition.  New York: Oxford University Press  – Chapter 3 Area Projects pp. 58-81.

    Schlossman, Steven, Gail Zellman, and Richard Shavelson

    1984 Delinquency Prevention in South Chicago. Santa Monica, CA: Rand


VII.  Other Programs




Reading Assignments for VII



    Akers, Ronald L.

    2008 “Nothing is as practical as a good theory: social learning theory and the treatment/prevention of delinquency” pp. 23-32.

    Rosenbaum, Dennis P.

    2007 “Just say no to D.A.R.E.,” Criminology and Public Policy 6: 815-824.