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Measuring Crime

Measuring Crime

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Measuring Crime

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  1. Measuring Crime CJ 601 Research Methodology in Criminal Justice Dr. Louis Veneziano

  2. Introduction • Crime is commonly used as a dependent variable • Fundamentally important to measure crime

  3. Conceptual Definition of Crime • Crimes are acts of force or fraud undertaken in pursuit of self-interest • Crime results from a lack of socialization • People who lack self-control commit crime

  4. Operational Definition of Crime • Violation of societal rules listed in a legal code • Created by people with power • People who violate these rules are subject to state sanctions

  5. Purposes of Measuring Crime • Monitoring (surveillance) • Agency Accountability • Research

  6. Ways of Measuring Crime • Official Government Statistics • Self-Report Surveys • Victim Surveys

  7. Official Government Statistics • Uniform Crime Report • National Incident-Based Reporting System • Drug Surveillance Systems

  8. Uniform Crime Report • FBI • 1930 • Voluntary

  9. Part I Offenses • Crimes reported to the police • Dark Figure of Crime • Violent Crimes • Crimes Against the Person • Confrontation with victim • Property Crimes • No confrontation with victim

  10. Violent Offenses • Murder • Robbery • Rape • Aggravated Assault

  11. Property Offenses • Burglary • Larceny • Motor Vehicle Theft • (Arson)

  12. Part II Offenses • All other crimes other than traffic offenses • Number of people arrested

  13. Problems with the UCR • Hierarchy Rule • Underestimate • Unreported crime • Low clearance rates

  14. National Incident-Based Reporting System • Reporting each crime incident rather than a summary-based measure of crime in a jurisdiction • Information about: • Situation • Offender • Offense • Victim

  15. Drug Surveillance Systems • Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring • Drug Abuse Warning Network • Drug episodes • Pulse Check • Qualitative

  16. Model of Crime Situation Biological Offender Victim Sociocultural Offense

  17. Self-Report Surveys • Self-Report Surveys • National Household Survey on Drug Abuse • Monitoring the Future

  18. Victim Surveys • National Crime Victimization Survey • 1972