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Chapter two in class notes

by: Raya Lannon

Chapter two in class notes 1100-001

Raya Lannon
GPA 3.28

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About this Document

These are the notes from our in class discussions covering the measurement of crime
Intro to Criminal Justice
Anita Blowers
Class Notes
Measurementofcrime, crime rates, UCR
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Raya Lannon on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1100-001 at University of North Carolina - Charlotte taught by Anita Blowers in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 47 views. For similar materials see Intro to Criminal Justice in Criminal Justice at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
CJUS 1100 September 12, 2016 Identifying and Measuring Crime Types of Crime  Violent Crime: involves force or threat of force o Robbery  Property: taking money or property without force of threat of force o Burglary  Public Order Crime: threat to public safety or peace o i.e., vagrancy, disorderly conduct, and liquor law violations  Corporate: offenses committed by a corporation’s officers who pursue illegal activity in the corporation’s name  Whit-Collar Crimes: non-violent crime committed during the course of business for financial gain  Hate Crimes: bias against offender for issues such as race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation o Typically has an increased penalty  “Victimless” Crime: willing and private exchange of goods or services that are illegal Legal Categories  Male en se: wrong in themselves o Universal/ timeless agreement o Evil, immoral  Male prohibita: illegal because the laws define them as such  Misdemeanor: more minor offenses o Incarceration of less than 1 year- jail o Fines less than $1000 o Specific punishments vary by state o What is considered a misdemeanor but could be considered worse  Abuse when pregnant  Child abuse/neglect  Felony: more serious o Incarceration of more than 1 year- prison o Death Measuring Crime: Obstacles  Offenses that occur but are not reported are called “dark figure of crime” o Example: sexual assault/rape  Definitional problems o Crime definitions may not correlate between jurisdictions  Reporting issues  Resource issues  Political issues Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)  Conducted by the FBI (since 1930)  Voluntarily reported by police  The most extensive and useful measure of crime available  More than 18000 city, county, and state law enforcement agencies voluntarily report crime data to this program  The program collects data on about 98% of the US population  Part 1 offenses: o Violent Crimes  Murder and non-negligent manslaughter  Forcible rape  Robbery  Aggravated assault o Property Crimes  Burglary  Larceny-theft  Motor vehicle theft  Arson o This is where the main focus of the UCR is  Part 2 offenses: 20 additional crimes  Limitations of the UCR data  Doesn’t include crimes that are not reported to police o Less accurate for those with low reporting practices  Restricted to certain offenses (mostly part 1)  Multiple Offenses o Only includes the most serious offense of the many  Under Reporting  Over Reporting Crime Rate  The number of crime index offenses divided by the population of an area, usually given as a rate of crimes per 100,000 people o Number of offenses/population*per number of people (100,000)  Useful when comparing amongst different time periods or different populations in different areas  Crime can be reported in different ways o Raw numbers o Percentages o Crime rate  Charlotte-Mecklenburg/North Carolina/National o Charlotte has a high crime rate than North Carolina and the national average in both violent crimes and property crimes  Dense population  Rapid diversity  Attractions and international airport draw people in  If looked at by age it would look like a curve o Young and old are less likely to commit a crime while young adults are more likely Crime Clock  Uses UCR data and looks at national aggregated data  Gives an indication of what type of crime happens and how often they happen  According to the 2014 crime clock, property crimes occur more frequently than violent crimes and felonies occur less frequently than misdemeanors National Incident-Based Reporting System (NRBIS)- 1985  Gathers data on each criminal act even is several acts are committed within the same complex of behavior o The nature and types of specific offenses in the incident o Characteristics of the victim(s) and the offender(s) o Types and value of property stolen and recovered o Characteristics of persons arrested in connection with a crime incident  Helps cover some dark figure of crime  Gives more details about the specifics of the offense and how it impacted the victim National Crime Victimization Survey  Conducted by the US Census Bureau (1973)  Survey of 49,000 households- all residents 12 years and older are interviewed o Asks about past 6 month o Visited 2x a year  Surveys resident about the victimizations o Frequency o Characteristics o Impact of victimization  Includes crimes not reported to police  Problems: o Doesn’t look at everyone o Only looks at the past 6 months o Accuracy- under or over reported  May say that something happened more recently than it actually did because it was so traumatic o Adolescents may be scared to report- especially if victimized by those in the household or within the family o More expensive and time consuming Self-Report  No comprehensive national self-report study  Often focused on inmates and juveniles  National longitudinal survey of youth o Looks at the same people over a long period of time o Most juveniles break the law o Only about 10-20% are caught and arrested What part of the crime picture do reporting methods miss or obscure?  Corporate crime  Organized crime  Drug sales  Prostitution and gambling Perception of Crime  Perceptions of violence are constructed not by official measures of crime, but by the media, which can distort and sensationalize particular incidents  Why should we care about fear of crime? o Fear can lead to panic which can lead to irrational behavior o Fear can also lead to hate which can then in turn lead to crime  Perception of the police o Respect- more or less  Levels of fear of crime is not in tune with what is actually happening Discussion Questions  What is the dark figure of crime and why is that concept important?  Why is it difficult to use social statistics to make universal claims about crime trends and patterns?


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