Crime Statistics

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Introduction to Criminal Justice

Colorado Technical University

Justin Dodson

25 Nov 2012

Crime statistics as stated by the FBI’s Crime in the United States 2008 can paint a picture of crime in America; unfortunately, the picture is not 100% reliable. It is important for all users to become as well educated as possible about how to understand and quantify the nature and extent of crime in the United States and in any of the more than 17,000 jurisdictions represented by law enforcement contributors to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Some factors that are known to affect the volume and type of crime occurring from place to place are: * Population density and degree of urbanization.

* Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration. * Stability of the population with respect to residents' mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors. * Modes of transportation and highway system.

* Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability. * Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics. * Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness. * Climate.

* Effective strength of law enforcement agencies.
* Administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement. * Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probational). * Citizens' attitudes toward crime.

* Crime reporting practices of the citizenry.
The main differences of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is that the NCVS includes crimes both reported and not reported to law enforcement, but it excludes homicide, arson, commercial crimes, and crimes against children under age 12, while the UCR does record these while capturing crimes reported to law enforcement, while excluding simple assaults from the Crime Index. It’s hard...