IELTS Vocabulary Topics : CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

1. crime of passion

Meaning: refers to a crime, especially murder, caused by sexual jealousy
Example: People who carry out crimes of passion often regret their actions later, when they reflect on what they have done.

2. to serve a prison sentence

Meaning: to carry out confinement in prison as a punishment
Example: They are serving long prison sentences for their part in the assassination.

3. to turn to crime/ drugs

Meaning: To start committing crimes or using drugs.
Example: During periods of high youth unemployment, some youngsters turn to crime to obtain money.

4. to be tough on crime

Meaning: To punish crime severely
Example: The crime rate is likely to fall if governments take strong measures to be tough on crime.

5. to contest the verdict

Meaning: not agree with the decision of the jury after the trial of a case
Example: In many countries, the accused person has the right to contest theverdict which was reached in the court.

6. to take into consideration

Meaning: to think about a particular fact or detail and allow it to have some influence when you are making a decision
Example: The previous criminal records of those who are found guilty must be taken into consideration when a sentence is passed.

7. to reintegrate back into society/community

Meaning: to restore someone through education or therapy
Example: There is an increasing focus among policy-makers and practitioners on identifying programs and strategies that will help prisoners successfully reintegrate back into their communities without re-offending.

8. to be soft on crime

Meaning: not to impose strict punishments on offenders
Example: In order to deter criminals effectively, governments must not follow policies which are soft on crime.

9. a policy of zero tolerance

Meaning: a policy of applying laws very strictly, so that every illegal action is punished, even if it is not very serious
Example: I would argue that the most effective way to reduce crime is to implement a policy of zero tolerance.

10. a chance of rehabilitation

Meaning: a chance of helping someone to have a normal life after serving a prison sentence
Example: We should give ex-offerders a chance of rehabilitation and teach them how to become useful members of society.

11. to embark on something

Meaning: To start something new
Example: Young people sometimes embark on a life of crime as a result of the bad influence of criminals whom they know.

12. to make a fresh start

Meaning: to try something new after making mistakes in one’s life
Example: I believe that people should have the opportunity to make a fresh start after they are released from prison.

13. to act as a deterrent

Meaning: a measure which makes somebody less likely to do something
Example: Longer prison sentences would act as a deterrent and would be one useful measure to tackle rising crime.

14. to release back into society.

Meaning: to give freedom to prisoners who have finished their sentences.
Example: He was released back into society after serving two years of a five- year sentence.

15. corporal punishment

Meaning: to punish by physically harming the offender
Example: Many schools have abandoned the policy of corporal punishment for children who misbehave and prefer to give extra work or detention after school instead.

16. drug traffic-king

Meaning: importing and selling illegal drugs
Example: Some people argue that legalising drugs would put an end to the evil of drug traffic-king and the violence associated with it.

17. a non-custodial sentence

Meaning: a sentence which is not served in prison
Example: There is a wide range of non custodial sentences which a court may give to offenders, including: fines, probation orders or community service orders.

18. to be found guilty

Meaning: the court decided that the person did commit the crime
Example: If people are found guilty of committing serious offences, heavy punishments should be imposed.

19. the full weight of the law

Meaning: all the strictest punishments available according to the laws of a country.
Example: In order to deter crime, the full weight of the law must be imposed for all serious offences.

20. to impose a ban on sth

Meaning: to enforce an official rule which says that something is not allowed
Example: Most governments have imposed a ban on the sale of tobacco to those aged under 16.

21. to convict a criminal

Meaning: to find an offender guilty and to punish them
Example: Once the courts have convicted a criminal, the punishment should be severe.

22. law-abiding citizens

Meaning: people who obey and respect the law
Example: The government could take some effective steps to protect law- abiding citizens.

23. to enforce the law

Meaning: to make sure that the law is obeyed
Example: The role of the police and the courts is to enforce the law.

24. capital punishment

Meaning: punishment by death
Example: In some states of America, those who commit murder are sometimes sentenced to capital punishment.

25. forensic evidence

Meaning: connected with the scientific tests conducted by the police when investigating a crime
Example: Modern police methods include the use of forensic evidence, such as DNA samples, to investigate crimes.

26. to instal surveillance cameras

Meaning: to put cameras in a place where a crime is likely to be committed
Example: The security company has installed surveillance cameras at all the entrances and exits of the shopping mall.

27. to put on probation

Meaning: to make a convicted person see an official at regular intervals to check on their good behavior, as an alternative to going to prison
Example: The young offender was put on probation, as his crime was not serious enough to send him to prison.

28. to punish wrongdoers

Meaning: to punish people who do something illegal
Example: Stricter measures must be introduced by governments to punish wrongdoers.

29. to arrest suspects

Meaning: to stop and hold people who the police think may have committed a crime
Example: The government should give the police greater powers to arrest suspects.

30. the letter of the law

Meaning: the exact wording of the law, without considering any excuses
Example: I believe that the courts must apply the strict letter of the law and impose the harshest possible sentences on criminals.

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