This is a list of terms that are used in class and in the reading in CJS/SOC 220


Arraignment - a hearing in which a defendent is informed of the charges, of her or his rights, and enters a plea.

Assault - an unlawful physical attack upon another, or an attempt or offer to do violence upon another

Battery - an unlawful attack upon another person by beating or wounding, or by touching in an offensive manner

Booking - the procedure by which an official record of an arrest is made with the reason for the arrest.

Burglary - unlawful entry into a building intending to commit a crime while inside.

Clearance Rate - the percentage of open crime cases that police resolve by making an arrest.

Criminology - the scientific study of crime, its causes, criminals and the treatment of criminals.

Due Process - constitutional guarantees of certain rights of citizens, including those suspected of committing crimes.

Expert Witness - someone called to testify not because they observed or have any personal knowledge of the crime in question but because they possess professional expertise on a topic relevant to the evidence in the case.

Felonies - serious crimes usually punishable by one year or more of incarceration.

Grand Jury - a group of people who are presented with evidence by a prosecutor to determine whether probable cause exists to hold a particular suspect for a criminal trial.

Hearsay - testimony from a witness about events they did not personally observe but rather that they learned about from some other party.

Larceny - taking the property of another person without consent and with the intention to deprive the owner of that property.

Manslaughter - causing death recklessly or doing so intentionally under certain extenuating circumstances.

Material Witness - someone called to testify because they have personal knowledge of some aspect of the case being tried.

Misdemeanors - less serious crimes usually punishable by less than one year of incarceration.

Negligence - failure to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that one should have acknowledged.

Parole - a situation in which a convicted criminal has been incarcerated but is released to serve the balance of their sentence supervised in the community.

Police Brutality - use of excessive physical force by officers in carrying out their duties.

Probable Cause - the normal standard for police to arrest or search an individual or to obtain a search warrant. It means there is a reasonable connection between the person and the crime given the totality of the circumstances.

Probation - a corrections status in which an offender is allowed to remain in the community without incarceration but is subject to various conditions and supervision.

Racial Profiling - the alleged practice of stopping members of certain racial groups on suspician of criminal activity much more than members of other groups.

Rape - sexual intercourse without consent.

Robbery - larceny together with assault.

Statutory Rape - consenual sexual intercourse with a person to young too give valid consent.

Victimless Crimes - crimes in which all who participate do so willingly and are competent adults and they are the ones who suffer any consequences from the crime.

Violations - criminal actions that are generally not serious enough to be punishable by incarceration.

Warrant - a document issued by a judge which concurs with the assessment of police that probable cause exists for an arrest or a search