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Counting Crime

Counting Crime

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Counting Crime

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  1. Counting Crime Methods for Counting Crime? Current Crime Numbers/Trends Explaining the Crime Drop

  2. Methods of Measuring Crime Uniform Crime Reports Self- Report Surveys Victim Surveys

  3. Based on Crimes Reported to the Police Based on a population unit of 100,000 people Divided into two representative categories: Indexed and non-Indexed Reported for U.S., Cities, and SMSA’s Crimes known / Arrest = Clearance Rate Uniform Crime Reports

  4. Part I “Index” Crimes Criminal Homicide Forcible Rape Robbery Aggravated assault Burglary Larceny/theft Motor vehicle theft Arson Part II Crimes All others except traffic Violent Crime Non-violent Crime Uniform Crime Reports

  5. Cannot capture the “dark figure” of crime Methodological Hiccups Criticisms and Limitations of the UCR • Counting Rule • Reporting Practices • Attempted vs. Completed Crimes

  6. The Future of the Uniform Crime Reports • National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) • Maintained by the F.B.I. • Twenty-two crime categories • More information on each crime in each category • Data compiled based on incidents, not arrests.

  7. Self-Report Surveys • Participants (usually juveniles) reveal information about their violations of the law Advantages • Get at “Dark Figure of Crime” • “Victimless Crimes” • Compare to “official data” • Measure theoretical concepts and connect with criminal behavior

  8. Self-Report Surveys • Disadvantages • May underestimate “chronic offenders” • People Can Lie • Survey Methodology Problems • Seriousness of Offense

  9. National Crime Victimization Survey 1. Asks victims about their encounters with criminals 2. Nationally representative sample 3. May also describe people most at risk 4. Limitations: Little information about offenders Cannot assess some crimes Limitations of Survey Research

  10. REVIEW • UCR • Aggregate Data (see trends), Crimes known to police • Self-report • Individual level data, links offender characteristics to criminal offending • NCVS • Aggregate Data (see trends), victimizations

  11. Crime Trends and Correlates of Crime • Crime Trends • Is crime increasing, decreasing or stable? • Why? • Correlates of Crime • What factors are related to crime? • Geographic location, Age, Race, Gender, Social Class?

  12. Crime Trends • UCR and NCVS data reveal a steady decrease in violent crimesince the mid 1990s • The decrease is being driven by a sharp decline in violent crime among juveniles. • NCVS indicates a long term trend of decreasing property crime • Some difference with UCR data

  13. Duluth Violent Crime 1986-2000

  14. Duluth Violent Crime 1986-2010

  15. MN vs. National Violent Crime (per 100,000 citizens)

  16. The usual suspects Age Composition The Economy Social malaise Guns—Availability Justice Policy—Police or Prisons Reality? Difficult to predict trends Explaining Crime Trends

  17. The Crime Drop (1990s-present) • Again, think young males in inner city areas • Decline of the “Crack Cocaine” wars • The “blunt” era • Change in inner city culture • Mass incarceration • Freakonomics: Was it Abortion?

  18. Correlates of Crime • Demographics • Age • Sex • Race

  19. GENDER AND CRIME • UCR, NCVS, and SR data all indicate that females are more likely than males to commit criminal acts • Socialization? • Biological differences? • Feminist explanations

  20. RACE AND CRIME • SR weak if any relationship • Official data  strong relationship • Is relationship due to bias? • How police patrol and interact with minorities • Disparity in how CJS processes minorities? • NCVS data confirms some “true” race-crime relationship. Why does race predict crime? • Relationship to class, neighborhood, culture

  21. The Age-Crime Curve

  22. Age and Crime • Crime is “young” persons game • HOWEVER • There is a group of “chronic” offenders that persist in crime after adulthood • The “Chronic” 6%

  23. Continuity of Crime Cohort studies clearly show that most chronic juvenile offenders continue their law-violating careers as adults. Then and ………….. NOW

  24. Crime Victimization • Criminals and victims tend to look the same demographically • Most crime is intraracial • Victimization for most crimes most likely among • Young • Male • Urban

  25. What is counted counts • We have no “UCR” mechanism to gauge white collar crime • How to assess insider trading, environmental crimes, corporate crime? • Most large corporate crime prosecutions in in a settlement