Sample Criminal Justice Essay Paper on Discussion on Different Types of Crimes

Discussion on different types of Crimes


Legally, various types of crimes exist. These delinquencies are categorized into crimes against persons, white collar, and those against property. These crimes are perceived differently by the society and hence treated differently. The perceptions evolve as the crimes change hence different time eras might encompass different crime perceptions. This paper expostulates on the above different crimes, how they are perceived and treated differently by different entities and relevant information that can help in understanding such differences. [A1] [A2] 

Differences in the Treatment of Each Type of Crime by the Legislature[A3] 

Crimes against persons encompasses various[A4] crimes which involve bodily harm or the threat of bodily harm that is committed against the will of a person. These crimes include murders, rapes, and assaults. Additionally, crimes such as sexual harassment, stalking and kidnapping are considered crimes against persons. These crimes are treated with utmost seriousness by the legislature with some attracting the maximum prison sentence. In some cases, crimes such as murder can attract extreme sentences such as the death sentence (Bottoms & Tankebe, 2012). In this case the legislation is made to protect people from infringement of the right to life hence most crimes against persons have existing [A5] strict stipulations on how they should be punished. [A6] 

Crimes against property encompasses delinquencies whose target is a victim’s property. The main objective of these crimes is to obtain money or property and include offenses such as vandalism, motor vehicle theft, larceny, arson and burglary among others. These crimes are treated with more leniency by legislations. When compared with crimes against persons, crimes against property are generally perceived to be less serious. This might be due to the fact they rarely encompass bodily harm to the victims. As such, these crimes elicit lenient punishments and rarely do they require to be punished by extreme methodologies such as the use of the death penalty (Zatz, 2000).

White collar crimes on the other hand encompass nonviolent delinquencies whose motivation is financial gain. Generally, the main perpetrators of these crimes are professionals from different disciplines such as the financial gurus or computer hackers. These crimes can be termed to be new in the scene since they weren’t common in the hither years. As such, there is mixed reactions on how to treat them with respect to different legislations. However, when compared to the other crimes, these type of crimes are not perceived to be in need of dire measures by legislations and hence generally encompass lenient punishments such as a few years in prison.

The Different Crime Levels

Crimes are generally categorized into two major levels which are misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is perceived as a minor crime and might elicit less serious punishment terms. On the other hand, felonies are crimes which are perceived to be of high magnitude and hence elicit more serious punishment terms. All the above discussed types of crime encompass both misdemeanors and felonies. The differentiating factor is the magnitude of the crime. In this case, there are crimes against persons which can be perceived as misdemeanors such as mild sexual harassments (Zatz, 2000). On the other hand, some crimes against persons such as murders are generally perceived to be of a high magnitude and might attract extreme punishments such as the death penalties. With respect to crimes against property, mild crimes such as burglary can elicit lenient punishments while high magnitude crimes such as arson can be perceived as high magnitude crimes and hence might elicit more punishments. Lastly, different white-collar magnitudes stipulate on whether they can be specified as either misdemeanors or felonies. As such, white collar crimes affecting few victims might elicit a few years in prison while crimes whose victim range is on a national scale can lead to very harsh punishments (Zatz, 2000).

Differences in the descriptions utilized by the media

The different types of crimes encompass different perceptions by the media. However, the interest of the media varies with respect to the magnitude of the crime. As such, misdemeanors of any kind will generally not encompass much media interest. However, crimes against person generally encompass more media interest. The media perceives these crimes as very serious ones and hence they tend to encompass more media coverage. In cases whereby there are very serious crimes against persons such as the murder of multiple people, the presence of media will be very high. In addition to this, the media will generally cover every aspect of such crimes (Bottoms & Tankebe, 2012). Crimes against property generally elicit less media interest. These crimes do not elicit high public interest hence leading to low media coverage. Lastly, in the contemporary society and with the advancement in the magnitudes of white collar crimes, high magnitude white crimes receive high media coverage. In the information error, these crimes are perceived to be very serious and hence encompass high media interest. The major change in media perception of crime is the change from viewing white collar crimes as less threatening to perceiving these crimes as of high magnitudes.

Differences in the Theoretical Applications for These Types of Crimes

The three types of crimes encompass different theoretical applications. Social Conflict Theory whose foundations are in Marxism align more with white collar crimes.  This theory stipulates that a person or a group of people can control and influence others. This aspect is ascertained by the fact that white collar criminals are generally professionals who have a degree of control over their victims. Contemporary trait theory on the other hand has its foundations in biological positivism and stipulates that criminality is as a result of abnormal biological traits. This trait seems to explain more on some crimes against persons such as rape cases and pathological issues leading to people committing murders. This theory also explains on a person’s tendency to commit crimes against property. Lastly, the social structure theory seems to clearly expostulate on crimes on property (Bottoms & Tankebe, 2012). This theory states that the society has an influence on a person’s probability of becoming a criminal hence this explains why some neighborhoods experience higher criminal activities such as burglaries and mugging than others. As such, the social setting of a place relates to its prevalence of crimes against property.


Bottoms, A., & Tankebe, J. (2012). Beyond procedural justice: A dialogic approach to legitimacy in criminal justice. The journal of criminal law and criminology, 119-170.

Zatz, M. S. (2000). The convergence of race, ethnicity, gender, and class on court decision making: Looking toward the 21st century. Criminal justice, 3(1), 503-552.

 [A1]This is not the best way to approach a thesis statement. The best way is to state it without actually telling the audience that it is a theses statement through phrases such as ‘the following is, this paper examines, the aim of’ etc.

 [A2] Paragraphs should not have less than five sentences.

 [A3]Headings should be in caps

 [A4]This constitutes wordiness. You can substitute this phrase by the word ‘various’ or ‘different.’ In formal writing, you earn points when you express yourself precisely.

 [A5]This is a redundancy. One cannot have something if it does not exist, hence using the two words in this context amounts to an unnecessary repetition

 [A6]Foremost, never start a sentence with ‘this’ because mostly it amounts to an unclear antecedent. Secondly, avoid the word ‘basically’ because it never adds value to a sentence. Third, saying that a law attracts a heavy penalty because it protects people from rights infringement is wrong because some laws meant to protect rights do not attract heavy penalties.