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CJC 102 Week 2 Notes

by: Ben O'Brien

CJC 102 Week 2 Notes CJC 102

Ben O'Brien
GPA 3.697

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About this Document

Covers Week 2 of class where we talked about different methods of collecting crime data, like surveys and databases
Introduction to criminology
Dr. Intravia
Class Notes
25 ?




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Popular in Criminal Justice

This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ben O'Brien on Saturday January 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJC 102 at Ball State University taught by Dr. Intravia in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 47 views. For similar materials see Introduction to criminology in Criminal Justice at Ball State University.


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Date Created: 01/23/16
Measuring Crime – Chapter 2 Crime Data  Two pillars o Facts and Data o Theories  Know what is going on, develop theories as to why this is happening Primary Sources of Data  Official Statistics – Uniform Crime Reports  Victimization Surveys – NCVS  Surveys/Self-report Research Uniform Crime Reports  Contains data from 17,000 law enforcement agencies  Covers 285,000,000 people  Compiled annually by the FBI o Crimes known to the police  Index/Part I Offenses – Most serious crimes  Homicides, forcible rapes, robbery, aggravated assault  Less serious/Part II Offenses  Public intoxication, drug offenses, simple assault, illegal gambling  The inherent problem is not all crimes can be known to the police o Crimes cleared by arrest  When the criminal is arrested, charged, and released to the court for prosecution  Exceptional means beyond police control that inhibit an arrest  Individual is deceased  Individual flees the country to another country the US does not have good diplomatic relations with  Violent crimes are more likely to be solved than property crimes  Police devote more resources  Tend to be witnesses  More media attention o Number of arrests  How does the UCR present data? o Raw figure of the number of crimes  14,249 murders in 2014 o Crime rates per 100,000 people  Murder rate was 4.5 in 2014 (5 out of 100,000 people) o Changes in number and rate of crime over time  The murder rate decreased by 0.5% between 2013 and 2014  Problems with the UCR o Bias – only reports certain types of crimes o Little attention given to ensuring accuracy  Leads to misleading information o Categories that are used are arbitrary, inconsistent, and sometimes contradictory o Inconsistent definitions of crime o Crime rates subject to manipulation – if an area doesn’t want to appear bad o Victim underreporting – if they know the offender, they may fear retaliation o Hierarchy rule – only the most “serious” is counted  If a murder is committed during a burglary, the murder would be reported, but not the burglary o Aggregation bias  Cannot be used in descriptive or explanatory studies that focus on individual crime, offenders, or victims o Despite all of this, the statistics are still valuable National Incident-Based Reporting System  Revision of the UCR designed to provide a more comprehensive measure of statistics  Collects data on each reported incident of crime  Includes information about offense, the parties involved, and the property if any  Crime data is more accurate, detailed, and meaningful than the UCR o Provides information on 57 offenses, as opposed to the 19- 20 of the UCR  Weaknesses o Not fully implemented nationally  As of August 2015, only 32/50 states used the NIBRS  Translates to roughly 90 million people  Indiana does not use the NIBRS National Crime Victimization Survey  Comprehensive nationwide survey of crime victimization used to uncover the “dark” figure of crime o Crimes not reported to the police  UCR claims 90,000 rapes/sexual assaults annually  NCVS claims 200,000 rapes/sexual assaults annually  Nationally representative sample of households conducted by the US Census Bureau o More than 77,000 households of about 134,000 people o Rotating panel design  Households interviewed every 6 months for 3 years  1 and 5 interviews face to face, rest is telephone o Must be over the age of 12 o Collects information on crimes from individuals, whether or not the crimes are actually reported  Provides information on the nature and frequency of crimes  Unlike UCR, NCVS does not measure homicides o Beyond holding a séance, it’s a bit hard to conduct a survey on the deceased  Collects information on the victim, offender, and offense o Victim  Age, sex, race, marital status, income o Offender  Age, sex, race, marital status, income, relation to the victim o Type of offense  Key findings o Violent crimes were steady from 1973-1993, but declined the 90s and early 2000s o Property crime rates have been declining for 3 decades o Vast majority of crimes weren’t serious o It is very unlikely anyone will be a crime victim in a given year  Strengths o Obtains information not reported to the police o Measures incidents that police may not have officially recorded as crime o Reliable – uses nationally representative sample and uniform procedures to select respondents o The unit of analysis is the individual  Individual factors in crime victimization  Problems o Inaccuracy – overreporting and underreporting  If someone lost their wallet, they might report it stolen when it really wasn’t  If the victim knows the offender and doesn’t want to talk about the offense o Does not record the personal criminal record of those interviewed  Because, really, would someone like to self- incriminate to the government? o Recall error  Since the interviews are every six months, the respondent may not precisely remember when a crime happened, which could cause it to be incorrectly reported within a six month window o Victim/offender relationship o Cannot provide estimates of larger aggregates Survey Research  Individuals are asked about their attitude, beliefs, characteristics, and experiences with crimes and victimization  Involves sampling a representative population o If 2 million is the prison population, you’d survey say 3,000 individuals that statistically match the makeup of the overall population  Self-Report Surveys o Most differences in crime rates between self-report studies and official statistics is due to the high rate of non-serious crime found in self-report surveys o Technique used to reveal types of criminality usually hidden from victim surveys or official statistics o Usually administered in group settings  E.g. a college classroom o Ask respondents whether they have committed certain criminal acts in a given time period o Respondents are usually promised anonymity or confidentiality o Self-report surveys consistently find that the vast majority of the respondents admit to committing at least one serious crime over the course of their life o Popular surveys  National Youth Survey 1976-present  11-17 years old, as well as a parent. Examines attitudes in delinquency  Monitoring the Future 1978-present  50,000 high school students on crime related topics  Occasionally 8 graders  Group-administered o Strengths  Best method for trying to measure crimes that are poorly measured by other techniques  Victimless crimes – prostitution, drug use  Shoplifting  Drunk driving  Responses are confidential or anonymous which results in a greater number of sensitive questions filled out  People feel obligated to complete them o Weaknesses  Fail to ask questions about serious criminal acts  Rare element problems  Respondent perception limits accuracy  False negative, false positive  Can only collect data on what was asked in the survey  Missing data issue  Denial/concealing of criminal acts


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