CJUS 2100 Crime and Justice in the United States Chapter 2 Notes
CJUS 2100 Crime and Justice in the United States Chapter 2 Notes Cjus 2100
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Date Created: 09/27/16
CJUS 2100 Let’s Talk Criminal Justice chapter 2: The Raw Materials of Criminal Justice Intro o According to the most recent data collection, 13,636 people were the victims of murder or non-negligent manslaughter in 2009, for which 12,418 people were arrested. o To adequately understand criminal justice, it is crucial to understand the 3 essential players or components of the criminal justice process: criminals or offenders, crime victims, and the various agents of the criminal justice system, such as police. The most serious crimes get the most attention. Counting Crime o Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) The Committee on UCR identified 7 main offense classifications variously known as Part I crimes. 7 crimes were originally selected: murder and non- negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Part II offenses were less serious crimes and included 21 offenses, other assaults, forgery and counterfeiting, fraud, embezzlement, buying/receiving/possessing stolen property, vandalism, weapons carrying, prostitution and commercialized vice, sex offenses (other than forcible rape and prostitution), drug abuse violations, gambling, offenses against family and children, driving under the influence, liquor laws, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, vagrancy, “other” offenses, suspicion, curfew and loitering (applies to persons under age 18), and runaways (applies to persons under age 18). Law enforcement agencies that participated in the UCR program (it is voluntary) performed 2 important functions: classifying and scoring. Classifying is determining the proper crime category in which to report an offense to the UCR program. Scoring is counting the number of offenses after they have been classified and entering the total count on the appropriate reporting form. The UCR program relies on the hierarchy rule where by only the highest offense in multiple-offense situations is counted. The clearance rate refers to crimes known to the police that have been solved in the sense that a defendant has been arrested for the crime. Crimes cleared by exceptional means refer to cases where arrest is impossible, such as the death of the suspect, but police knew who committed the crime. Congress enacted Title 28, section 534, of the United States Code authorizing the Attorney General to gather crime information. In Sept. 1930, the UCR program began with 400 cities from 43 states participating in the data collection effort. By 2011, the UCR encompassed more than 17,000 law enforcement agencies that represented about 95% of the US population. This data collection effort results in 3 annual publications, “Crime in the US”, “Hate Crime Statistics”, and “Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted”. o Additionally, the FBI publishes the “Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Reports and Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Reports”. The UCR data provides our basis for understanding the incidence of crime in the US. o Definitions and Rates of UCR Index Offenses Any death caused as the result of an interpersonal fight, argument, quarrel, assault, or other crime is classified as murder and non-negligent manslaughter. Suicides, fatal deaths, traffic fatalities, accidental deaths, assaults to murder, and attempted murder are not classified as criminal homicides. According to the UCR, justifiable homicide is the killing of a felon by a peace officer in the line of duty or the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen. First-degree murder refers to a homicide committed with pre- meditation, malice aforethought, intention, or one that is otherwise planned. It is the most serious crime. Second-degree murder typified intentional but unplanned killings, such as domestic killing during an intense argument (“heat of passion”). Forcible rape is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Carnal knowledge is the act of a man having sexual bodily connections with a woman or sexual intercourse involving penile penetration of the vagina. Males cannot be raped according to the UCR. Robbery is the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. The UCR delineates robbery in 4 ways depending on the means that the robbery was committed. o In descending order of seriousness, robbery can be perpetrated with a firearm, knife or cutting instrument, other dangerous weapon, and strong- arm via hands or feet. Aggravated assault is an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. Aggravated assault encompasses a variety of charges such as assault with intent to kill, assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon, mayhem, maiming, and others. o Property Part I Offenses Burglary is the unlawful entry into a structure to commit a felony or theft. Larceny-theft is the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Arson is any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to fraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc. Least prevalent property crime. o Part II Offenses The following types of crimes should be classified as other assaults: simple or minor assault, assault and battery, stalking, intimidation, coercion, resisting or obstructing an officer, or hazing. Forgery and counterfeiting is the altering, copying, or imitating of something without authority or right with the intent to deceive or defraud by passing the copy as an original. Fraud is the intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another person or entity in reliance upon it to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right. Embezzlement is the unlawful misappropriation or misapplication by an offender to his or her own use or purpose of money, property, or some other thing of value entrusted to his or her control. Vandalism is the willful or malicious destruction of property without the consent of the owner. Prostitution and commercialized vice is the unlawful promotion of or participation in sexual activities for profit. Offenses against the family and children are unlawful non-violent acts by a family member or legal guardian that threaten the physical, mental, or economic well-being or morals of another family member and that are not classifiable as other offenses, such as assault or sex offenses. These include non-violent cruelty or abuse; desertion, abandonment, or nonsupport of spouse or child; neglect; non-payments of alimony; or attempts to commit any of these acts. o Weaknesses of UCR data UCR is voluntary and incomplete, omits many types of crime, and underestimates crimes because of its use of the hierarchy rule. National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) o The Dept. of Justice sought to create a national crime data collection effort that enhanced the quantity, quality, and timeliness of crime data and generally improved upon the methodology of the UCR. The result was the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which was introduced in 1989. NIBRS has several advantages over the UCR program o First, NIBRS contains incident- and victim-level analysis disaggregated to local jurisdictions and aggregated to intermediate levels of analysis. o Second, incident details the analysis of ancillary offenses and crime situations. o Third, NIBRS data permit separable individual, household, commercial, and business victimizations. o Fourth, NIBRS offers data on incidents involving victims under age 12 (the NCVS only targets victims 12 and older). o Fifth, NIBRS offers a broader range of offensive categories. o Sixth, NIBRS contains victimization info beyond which the NCVS provides. o Seventh, NIBRS yields individual-level info about offenders from arrests records and victim reports and thus provides residual info on victims and offenders. National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) o The NCVS is a survey that obtains info about criminal victimizations and incidents from an ongoing, nationally representative sample of households in the US. The crimes measured by the NCVS are rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, and personal theft constitute violent crimes. o Limitations of NCVS Survey, thus it is susceptible to sampling error Victims can inadvertently or intentionally report inaccurate info for a variety of reasons, such as embarrassment about being a crime victim, shame in hiding their own criminal activity, or simple misunderstanding the definitions of various crimes. Do official and victimization data match? o Official measures of crime, such as the UCR and NIBRS, and victimization surveys, such as the NCVS, are most important in understanding the incidence of crime. o With a few minor exceptions, researchers have found that official estimates like the UCR and victimization date like the NCVS are indeed measuring the same thing: the actual incidence or existence of crime. Criminal Justice Structure and the Magnitude of the Crime Problem o As the crime clock shows, one violent crime occurs every 24 seconds and one property crime occurs every 3 seconds. o Federal Justice statistics In one year, the federal criminal justice system investigated 124,335 persons for violations of federal law in which 124,074 were ultimately arrested. Of those arrested, 87,727 persons were actually prosecuted. In other words, US attorneys declined to prosecute more than ¼ (27%) federal arrestees. Among those prosecuted, 71,798 were convicted and 53,682 were sentenced to prison. OF those originally investigated for federal violations, only 43% end in prison. o State Justice Statistics The percent cleared by arrest for the index crimes are relatively low: murder (61%), forcible rape (41%), robbery (25%), aggravated assault (54%), burglary (13%), motor vehicle theft (13%), larceny (17%), and arson (17%). Just over 70% of murders, about 30% of rapes, 35% of robberies, 15% of assaults, and about 27% of burglaries result in imprisonment. o CSI and the iceberg of unsolved cases The most popular show on TV is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The show and its 2 spin-offs, CSI: Miami and CSI: New York, document the investigative role that forensic scientists and crime labs play in solving crimes. Criminalists and crime labs perform a variety of important analytical responsibilities including ballistics, tool mark and footwear analysis, trace analysis, latent print analysis, fire debris, conventional serology, toxicology, and blood alcohol analysis. Summary: Balancing Crime Control and Due Process o The volume of crime far exceeds the capacity of the criminal justice system. o Most crimes go undetected, unsolved, and without notice of the criminal justice system. o The UCR program is the most venerable and validated source of crime data and provides the most coverage. o The NIBRS program provides more contextual info about crimes and encompasses more offenses than the UCR. o The NCVS is a nationally representative sample of 76,000 households of crime victims 12 and older and includes a lot of info about crimes, criminal offenders, and crime victims. o All sources of crime data, official, victimizations, and self-report, have various strengths and weaknesses relating to coverage, validity, and reliability. o According to all sources of data, youths, males, and non-whites disproportionately commit crime. o Throughout the criminal justice process, cases exit the system for a variety of reasons. For this reason, criminal justice has been likened to a funnel. o Most crimes are not cleared by arrest, for example nearly 40% of murders are not cleared or solved. o Federal and state criminal justice systems ultimately punish a fraction of those initially investigated and arrested. o Hundreds of thousands of serious unsolved crimes are backlogged annually Questions/Quiz o Part I crimes comprise of: Murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. o Participation in the UCR is voluntary. True o The volume of crime far exceeds the capacity of the criminal justice system. True o Most crimes go undetected, unsolved, and without notice by the criminal justice system. True o The NCVS is a nationally representative sample of 76,000 households of crime victims aged 12 and older. True o According to all sources of data, youths, females, and whites disproportionately commit crime. False o Throughout the criminal justice process, cases exit the system for a variety of reasons. Therefore, criminal justice has been likened to a _____. Funnel o Most crimes are not cleared by arrest; for example, nearly _____% of murders are not cleared or solved. 40% o The UCR program is the most venerable and validated source of crime data and provides the most coverage. True o The NIBRS program provides more contextual info about crimes and encompasses more offenses than the UCR. True
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