Definition of Vice Crime
(noun) A vice (an immoral behavior) that is deemed illegal by an authority.
Examples of Vice Crime
Vice Crime Pronunciation
Syllabification: vice crime
- American English – /vIEs krIEm/
- British English – /vIEs krIEm/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /vaɪs kraɪm/
- British English – /vaɪs kraɪm/
- Plural: vice crimes
- Vice crimes are condemned by the State on moral reasons and due to shifts in morality, vice crimes can become decriminalized.
- Vice crimes can be understood as malum prohibitum, a legal term describing something unlawful only by virtue of the law (i.e., its illegal, because its illegal), not because it is “evil” or malum in se.
- Vice crimes are often victimless crimes, when all parties are consensually involved. However, third parties can be harmed. For example, if adultery is a vice crime, the spouse that does not cheat is still harmed as the third party. Vice crimes can cause harm to others, but the harm caused by enforcing vice crimes can arguably be worse, such as drug laws that have high financial costs across the criminal justice system and burdens on the families and friends of the incarcerated.
- The conceptualization of vice crimes builds on the harm principle, developed by John Stuart Mill (1806–73), a British philosopher, economist, and politician, book On Liberty (1859).
- Note: Read for free at the Internet Archive: On Liberty by John Stuart Mill
- Vice crimes are studied in criminology.
- Crime and Law Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “vice” and “crime” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
Briggs, Steven M., and Joan Friedman. 2009. Criminology For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.
Siegel, Larry J., and Clemens Bartollas. 2011. Corrections Today. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2012. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 13th ed. Belmont: CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2013. Essentials of Criminal Justice. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).
Cite the Definition of Vice Crime
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “vice crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 29, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/vice-crime/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
vice crime. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/vice-crime/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “vice crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 29, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/vice-crime/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“vice crime.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 29 May. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/vice-crime/>.