Discuss your understanding of Week #4’s online learning material. You are directed to pay particular attention to the data collection and compilation of crime statistics across the United States. Select one (or more!) of the criminal justice data sources through the links provided in the Reading, Viewing, Listening folder found in Week #4’s Course Documents link. Draft your original thoughts and inferences on any perceived strengths and/or limitations of the data source(s) you selected.
Some questions to explore are: How does your selection differ from those you did not choose to write on? Are there any ethical considerations or unintended consequences which may result from the publication of these crime statistics?
Originality is strongly encouraged; that is, rely less on quoting or paraphrashing textbooks and internet sources; contribute your own thoughts and inferences. Refer to the assigned chapters in the Fagin text; the contents found in the Reading, Viewing, Listening folder; and the PowerPoint presentation in Week #4’s Online Lecture Material folder for guidance.
Measuring Crime and Victimization Measuring Crime and Victimization Flaws in UCR Data Its origins were from a time when there were no computers/software.
Index cards were used to categorize and file crimes.
1 st : It is impossible to count all crime(s)! 2 nd : Cards were indexed by the most serious crime; so, for example: if a person was kidnapped, beaten, robbed, and finally murdered — the case would be filed under Murder/Homicide. This is known as the Hierarchy Rule . Flaws in UCR Data Definitions of felonious theft? $250+? $1,000+? Varies by State No repercussions for insufficient; inadequate; or even false reporting!
Video Link National Incident -Based Reporting System National Crime Victimization Survey The NCVS attempts to gather information about crime that is not available from the UCR; e.g., crime not reported to police.
Unreported crime is called the Dark Figure of Crime. It originated in 1972, and collects information from a representative sample of households who take the survey twice a year for 3.5 years.
*In 2012: 84,000+ rapes reported in the UCR; 345,000+ in the NCVS! Flaws in the NCVS Data It relies on self -reporting by victims; may be exaggerated or minimized. The UCR contains geographical data, where the NCVS does not.
Definitions among crimes vary between the UCR and NCVS. Measuring Crime and Victimization on Campus Video Link