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The below are educational essays written either for the Diploma in Criminology at the university of London, or for my Honours Degree.

All files are available for download in PDF format, for copyright purposes there are omissions from this work.


Criminal Careers


The concept of criminal careers assumes that involvement in deviant behaviour entails entry into a social role which develops over time, and which like conventional occupational roles is governed by social systems and rules determining career adoption and progress. The term criminal career implies an involvement in crime sufficiently intensive and extensive to constitute a way of life. Luckenbill and Best (1981) question this analogy with conventional occupational careers, since criminal careers are often short lived, are not always central to working life, and are not governed by accepted rules however it would appear that different components of criminal career activity such as initial involvement, frequency and termination may require different explanations.


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Discretion in the British Police


When first suspecting a crime, and having a suspect, the police officer has the choice whether to take steps against the suspect or whether to pass it over. The criminal law is straight forward in this, that it requires under law, the officer to place before a court any evidence that is in connection with a crime. The officer has the choice, and therefore must use his discretion, as to whether he arrests the suspect or whether he invites the suspect to the police station for further questioning or to take no further action. If the suspect is arrested and taken to the station, after interrogation, the police have another decision to make, whether to charge the suspect with the offence or not, and if so what charge is to be given. Often more serious charges may be dropped in favour of lesser charges that may have more evidence or may attract a guilty plea (Williams 1988).



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Black People and the UK Criminal justice System


Racial prejudice is not unique to modern day society, it has been with us for a long time, this has been coupled with the belief that certain racial groups are less intelligent, or backward compared to white European stock, nowhere is this more true than in the criminal justice system.
In 1869 Francis Galton published a book called “Hereditary Genius” this contained a chapter called “The Comparative Worth of Different Races” which considered that black Americans were genetically inferior to white Americans. Galton stated that blacks scored on average 15 IQ points below whites.


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Is The Jury System in the UK a lottery?


Juries are operational in crown courts and not in a magistrates court which try about 97% of all criminal cases (Ingman 1983) Jurors are chosen at random from the electoral register, there being certain qualifications and disqualification's covered by the Juries Act 1974, which came from recommendations made in the Morris committee 1965, subsequent amendments were the Juries Disqualification's Act 1984 as well as the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994.


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