SOC 4410: Criminology, week 3 notes
SOC 4410: Criminology, week 3 notes Soc 4410
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alison Carr on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 4410 at Bowling Green State University taught by Dr. Finkeldey in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at Bowling Green State University.
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Date Created: 01/29/16
SOC 4410: Criminology, Spring Semester 2016 Week 3 Chapter 3: The measurement and patterning of criminal behavior We need to know the amount of crime: o To know whether it is increasing or decreasing o To explain causes of crime Crime is difficult to measure o Often remains hidden from the police 1. Uniform Crime Report (UCR) a. primary source of U.S. crime statistics b. began in the 1930s c. reported by police precincts d. broken into part 1 and part 2 offenses e. only crimes that are known to police f. voluntary for police to report g. they have to report for part 1 offenses Part 1 offenses: Violent crimes o Homicide o Rape o Robbery o Aggravated assault Property crimes o Burglary o Larceny o Motor vehicle theft o Arson Part 2 offenses Everything not in part 1 offenses Crime reporting in the UCR 60% of victims do not report crime Police only discover 3-4% of all crime Police choose to record reported crimes o Paperwork burden Dark shadow figures- crimes unreported to police UCR limitations Underestimates crime Little attention to white-collar crime Misleading data on arrestee characteristics o Reflects police behavior on their choice whether to arrest someone or not Citizen and police reporting practices Different definitions of crime More representative of police behavior not citizen behavior 2. National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) a. Reported by police precincts b. Covers more information than the UCR c. Data can evaluate context of crime i. Relationship of victim and offender ii. Where crime occurred iii. Extremely detailed d. Suffers same limitations as the UCR e. But still being used because it is so detailed 3. National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) a. Began in the early 1970s b. Attempt to avoid the problems in the UCR i. Uncovers crimes not reported to the police 1. Dark shadow figures c. Surveys a national sample of U.S. households d. Includes demographic information or household members and context of victimization e. NCVS crimes: i. Aggravated/simple assault ii. Rape/sexual assault iii. Robbery iv. Larceny (all forms) v. Motor vehicle theft vi. NOT homicide Evaluating the NCVS Advantages o Provides more accurate estimate of crime Sheds light on the dark figure of crime o Collection of context has furthered theories of victimization Limitations o Underestimation and overestimation of victimization Doesn’t cover commercial or white-collar crimes Respondents mistake noncriminal events as crimes Telescoping People might not trust the person interviewing them, underestimation 4. Self-report studies a. Asks respondents about criminal involvement i. Sheds light on the dark figures of crime b. Interviews and surveys c. Subjects often include students (sometimes inmates) d. Limitations: i. Focus on trivial/minor offenses ii. Respondent truthfulness iii. Ignore white-collar crime Data on crime/victimization None are a perfect measure of crime All have limitations Choosing data depends on what one wants to study: o Homicide- UCR o Rape- NCVS (rape of men and women) o White-collar crime- UCR, but police not required to report it part 2 o Less serious crimes- self-report studies o Formal responses to crime (arrest, being stopped)- UCR Trends in crime rates UCR and NCVS reveal violent and property crimes have decreased since the early 1990s General patterns of criminal behavior Geographical patterns (variation in crime rates by place) Seasonal/climatological patterns (variation in crime rates by weather) o Hotter months tend to have more crime Social patterns of criminal behavior Gender o More male criminals than females Age o Crime peaks at age 17-18 o Offending declines with age o Street crime primarily committed by young people Social class o Considering all types of crimes, there isn’t a strong relationship between social class and crime o Focusing on street crimes only: most criminals have low education and incomes Race o Most criminals are white o Blacks commit disproportionate amount of crime compared to the population ***relationship varies by the type of data*** Differential offending vs. differential treatment Explaining the race-crime relationship o Subculture of violence o Family structure o Racial discrimination o Negative social conditions Cautions on the relationship between race and crime: o Race is socially constructed o Comparisons don’t consider white-collar crime o There are factors associated with lower offending among black adolescents Ex: low levels of alcohol use Ethnicity o Latinos have higher serious crime rates than non-Latino white people, but less than black people Immigration status o Immigrants have lower rates of crime than nonimmigrants (“Latino-paradox”) o Second and third generation immigrants have higher crime rates than first generation immigrants Chapter 3 conclusions Measurement on crime the US uses: o UCR, NIBRS. NCVS, Self report studies Crime rates in the US have been declining since 1990s Correlations of crime (depend on type of data utilized) o Gender, age, social class, race/ethnicity, immigration status Chapter 4 Introduction Before the 1960s we knew little about victims Interests in law and order expanded to victims Defining of crime victim o Someone who suffers because of a crime Patterning of victimization Geographical patterns o Higher violent and property victimization in the West o Urban areas have higher victimization rates Social patterns of victimization Gender o Males have higher levels of victimization Race/ethnicity o Native American people: highest violent victimization rates o Black and Latino people: higher rates of victimization than white people o Asian people: lowest rates of victimization Family income o Lower income=higher victimization risk Age o Young people=higher victimization risk Age/Race/Gender combined o Young, black, males=higher victimization risk Media portrayal of victims Black victims portrayed differently than white victims Victim-offender relationship Strangers o Account for 41% of all offenses Friends/Family/Acquaintances o Account for majority of offenses Most victims know the offender The offender/victimization myth Myth: crime is predominantly interracial o Offender/victim are different races Ex: black male robs a white male Reality: crime is predominantly intraracial o Offender/victim are same race Ex: white male robs a white female
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