Chapter 3 Notes
Chapter 3 Notes CRJU 101 001
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CRJU 101 001
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This 20 page Class Notes was uploaded by Richard Martin on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CRJU 101 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Corey Burton in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Criminal Justice 101 in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of South Carolina.
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Date Created: 01/29/16
Measuring Crime and Victimization Chapter 3 Measuring Crime • 80 % of people who commithomicide know their victims – What’s the problem with stating this? The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) • What is it? – A nationwide system of counting crime and keeping track of crime rates – Data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) , submitted by law enforcement agencies on a voluntary basis • How it counts crime… – Impossible to count ALL crimes, focuses on crimes that are most reflective of public safety – 27 crimes total (divided into 2 categories, Part I and Part II offenses) – Part I (8 most serious offenses) – Part II (19 less serious offenses) The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) • How it counts crime…(cont.) – Before computers and electronicdata storage, crime information was often kept on index cards – Old UCR made use of the “hierarchy rule” or the idea that only the most serious offense would be counted when dealing with a report in which there were multiple crimes • Ex. Robbery, vandalism The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) • The Modern UCR – Uniform Crime Report: Crime in the U.S.(annual UCR report) – Tracks “Clearance Rates” or the percentage of cases that are considered solved versus unsolved • Solved: know who the offender is, doesn’t necessarily mean arrest is made • Uses of UCR Data – Measure crime rates, quality of life in U.S. cities and factor into policy decisions – Serve as a useful measure of how certain criminal justice policies are performing The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) • Flaws in UCR Data – Does not include unreported crime • Why are people reluctant to report crime to the police? – Data submission is voluntary and there is no punishment for law enforcement agencies that do not report their crime data – Data reflect local and state crime where definitions of crime may differ from place to place • Ex. In terms of theft, what dollar value is sufficient to amount to a felony? National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) • The Basics – A mailed survey that seeks crime information from crime victims (from the previousyear) – Primary goal: Gather data on unreported crime or what we call the “dark figure of crime” – Limitation:Gathers informationabout crime from households and not individuals – Cannot gather data about homicides…why? National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) • Flaws in NCVS – Relies on victimsto self-report information about their victimization • Why is this problematic? – Hard to determine the location of crimes because surveys are sent to households – Concerns about anonymity with regard to discussing victimizationaround family members National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) • Administered by the FBI and expands greatly on the UCR by including situationalcharacteristicsabout crimes • Information gathered through NIBRS includes: – Locationof the offense – Weapon(s)used – Type of property damaged – Victim/Offenderrelationship – Offender characteristics – Status of the crime (disposition) National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) • Advantages of NIBRS – Collects data on each single crime incident – Does not use the “hierarchy rule” – Distinguishes between complete and incomplete crimes – Establishes linkage between the crime and other characteristics Victimology • The study of crime victimsand their patterns of victimization – Movingaway from the study of why people commit crimes and into studying behaviors and characteristicsof victims – May also examine the role of co-victims(i.e. families of murder victims) Key Facts about Victimization • Individuals 18-24years of age have the highest probabilityof victimization,especially violentcrime • Members of racial and ethnic minority groups are victimizedat higher rates than whites • Men are more likely to be victimsof violentcrime than women • Nearly half of crime victimsdo not report their victimization • Only about 50% of intimate partner violenceis reported to police Situational Characteristics of Victimization • Victimization is also not randomly distributed across time and space • Not surprisingly, urban areas experiencehigher rates of victimizationthan suburban/rural areas Theories of Victimization • Victim-precipitationtheories – The concept that victimsprecipitate, contributeto, provokeor actually cause the outcomeof their victimization – 3 Parts • 1.) Victim Contribution-actionor lack of action by victim • 2.) Victim Proneness-victimshave a quality that make them easy targets • 3.) Victim Provocation-Victimsactually cause their victimization Theories of Victimization • Lifestyle theories of victimization – Victimization is a result of a victim’shigh-risk behavior patterns and associations – In other words, a person’s everyday activitiesdetermine that person’s likelihood of victimization Theories of Victimization • DifferentialAssociation – Individuals with whom one associates influence a person’s likelihoodof victimization • Ex. Much like offenders learn criminal behavior, potential crime victims may associatewith others who make their victimizationmore likely Theories of Victimization • Routine Activities Theory – Developedby Lawrence Cohen and MarcusFelson in 1979 – Similar to differential associationbut more specific to predatory crime or crimes involving contact between an offender and another person or object – Predatory Victimizationoccurs when 3 factors are present • 1.) MotivatedOffender • 2.) Suitable Target • 3.) Lack of Capable Guardianship Theories of Victimization • Rational Choice theory of victimization – Essentially argues that victimizationoccurs due to a lack of “target hardening” that makes it easier for an offender to commita crime • Ex. Increasing pleasure while decreasing pain Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 • Federal law that gives crime victims certain rights: – Right to reasonable protection – Right to notification – Right to be heard in the CJ system – Right to confer with prosecutors – Right to receive restitution – Right to be treated fairly and respectfully – Right to proceedings without unnecessary delay Civil Remedies for Victims • Civil Remedies-Civil court processes to recoverdamages that result from the psychological,financial, emotionaland physical harm of crime • Can be brought against an offender or a third party • Goals – Work through trauma of victimization – Recover expenses from crimes • Disadvantages – Expensive (Must hire your own attorney) – No guarantee of success
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