Individual Project Phase 1
Intro to Criminal Justice
Prof. M. Toy
Crime statistics can tell us a lot. They start by telling us about the rates of crimes. If they have gone up, or down from year to year. They pin point the problem areas, and map them out.
The two major crime reporting measuring systems are: Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
They both cover the same collection methods from rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft. Gathering the data from public surveys and police departments’ reports. Police departments turn in reported cases, depending on if it is or is not a crooked department. Some police departments are known to “clear the books” or have someone already being charged take credit for another crime. This does not accurately add up for the data. Public surveys are conducted to estimate crime not reported to police. The public surveys do not always include all crime. Most exclude, or ignore, offences against children. Also do not count criminals that are brought before the courts.
The systems were made to serve two different purposes. The UCR was created to show reliable statistics for administration. Where the NCVS is showing the unavailable information. Including crimes not reported, and crimes reported.
They both differ on definitions of crimes, and both calculate crime rates using different data information. The UCR calculates crimes per 1,000 households. Where the NCVS calculates per 100,000 people.
I believe the NCVS is more useful, because it reports the unreported. So it is showing all crimes not just some. Also it does the calculations of crimes by households, and not by people so the information will be more accurate.
The public’s perception of the U.S. crime problem has a negative outlook. Crime has went up, and with the employment changing the way it is, it is more than likely going to continue....
References: Leonard Territo; James B. Halsted; Max L. Bromley, 2004, Crime and Justice in America: A Human Perspective, Sixth Edition, Pearson Custom Publishing
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