Top 30 IELTS Vocabulary : 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.