Inequality and the Measurement of Crime
There are several major problems that characterize current crime statistics. Race, Income, Sex, ethnicity, and residence are some of what characterize current crime statistics. Overcrowding in our area has had a lot to do with our current crime statistics. It has brought a lot of drugs into the society as well as robbery and killings. Society is affected by the amount of crime within it, and many consequences of crime are closely related. The nature and collection of crime statistics, arrest and sentencing are connected with inequality. Labels applied to a persons and actions have a great impact on how a person is known as a criminal, how much the law is enforced, and how much a person acts is interpreted. “Crime problem” a social construction, and the definitions given by some groups may be favorable to those of others because of the definition. Some people may consider street crimes like rape, robbery, murder the crime problem while others consider that the real crime problem is found in white-collar crime which costs billions of dollars every year but receives less attention in the popular press. Enforcement may be uneven once laws are defined. Several laws have said that police are biased when it comes to those who are considered low class and police are more likely to arrest them instead of higher class people that commit the same offenses. Race and class characterize current crime statistics. Property crimes and violent crimes are determined by the FBI’s Crime Index. The list of Serious crimes which may be called white-collar, corporate, or “suite” crimes do not include street crimes. If we looked at just middle-class or upper-class people which crimes are perpetrated, it would be a mistake to look at the index crimes to reach a conclusion about the relationship between race, sex, socioeconomic status, and crime. If it was done like this it would be bias against people who are in the low class. What people think about racial groups affect individuals’ views and fears of crime rate. Media reports are reinforced by racial stereotypes and fears. Evidence reports that Blacks in the stories of criminal perpetrators minimize their portrayal as victims of crime. If whites are the victims they began to be fearful of crime than warranted by the facts, and lack the attention paid to groups that are most victimized which may result in less public support for policies that would lessen their rate of victimization. The greater the percentage of Blacks in area the more likely people perceive a high crime rate. In fact, the racial makeup of a neighborhood actually has a stronger impact on perceptions of high crime rates than does the actual crime rate. There is evidence that racial stereotype are at work in labeling neighborhoods. Racial segregation is largely a part of a result in inequality.