Measuring Crime

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26 April 2016

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There are two different instruments used in reporting crime. There are also major crimes reporting program used in the United States. These major crime reporting programs do have a purpose and does give statistical information on crime in the United States. There are a difference between crime rates, arrest rates, clearance rates, and recidivism rates. The information reported about crime rates can be misleading and give inaccurate information about the crime rate in the United States. Crime and recidivism statistics can both give some important about crime in the United States. Instruments used to measure crime

There are different ways that crime is reported in the United States. The media reports crime and influence society perception of crime (Schmalleger, 2011). This sometimes causes public opinion on crime unrealistic (Schmalleger, 2011). Statistic data provides a better view on the amount of crime occurring than what is reported by the news media. The statistic reports are not as accurate as society would want, but it still gives a better understanding of the amount of crimes, types of crimes and also the frequency of those crimes than the news media. People who are the victims of a crime are the ones who report the crime and allow the crimes to be placed in a crime database (Schmalleger, 2011). Major crime reporting programs

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) are the two major reporting of crime programs used in reporting crime in the United States (Schmalleger, 2011). Crime is computed by adding the major crimes reported to the police. The police report these crimes to the F.B.I who publishes the findings in the UCR. The UCR provides an annual report of incidents and rate of the reported crime that occurs throughout the United States (Schmalleger, 2011). The UCR program created a crime index to create a comparison over time. The index contains seven major offenses.

These offenses are robbery, murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft gives the result of crime based on the population (Schmalleger, 2011). The UCR also reports victimless crimes to the F.B.I. The NCVS is designed to report an estimate occurrence of all crimes in the United States (Schmalleger, 2011). The NCVS shows the amount of different victimized crimes not reported to the law enforcement.

NCVS provides information about crimes collected from individuals and households, who have suffered from crimes whether the crimes have been reported or not to authorities (Schmalleger, 2011). Both UCR and NCVS serve the same purpose. This purpose is to report and keep track of the crime reported in the United States each year to law enforcement agencies (Schmalleger, 2011). It is a way of keeping crime statistics so law enforcement agencies can develop ways to manage crime in different areas.

These reports also provide the areas where crime rates are higher than other and what type of crimes are high in a certain area. Crime rates, arrest rates, clearance rates, and recidivism rates Crime rates and arrest rates are difficult for a law enforcement agency to produce to the high volume of calls received. Some examples of calls that do not require an arrest include lost pets, individuals needing medical assistance, and noise complaints. Each agency must make an organized effort to make contact with the individuals making the calls with high and low priority due to the unseen or unreported information at the caller’s location. The law enforcement community has also created an organization devoted to crime reports known as the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) data is based on law enforcement agencies (Schmalleger, F. 2011, p. 3).

Clearance rates are defined as cases that have been solved. Many times if an arrest was made then the case has been cleared. Some case are never cleared one example, if an offender commits a murder and he or she is found dead or flees the country before an arrest is made the data does not go into the cleared category. Recidivism rates are directly related to the quality of life after an offender is released from prison. Many offenders repeat crime related offenses due to the addiction of drugs. At times serious pathological offenders create a threat to the community therefore recidivism rates are often used in determining the punishment required for the offender. Myth v. Reality

Crime rates can be deceiving according to information form (Criminal Justice Video, 2013). Crime rates are based on different factors including the type of crime, the type of offender, also the place a crime is committed. In late 1990’s property crimes had decreased, today property crimes are suspected to rise due to a slow economy. Another factor leading to the deception of crime rates is based on the type of offender; including the increase of juvenile crime. Also affecting the crime rate according to Criminal Justice Video, (2013) are change in policies and mandatory laws that take effect. Crime rates relate to arrest rates in the fact that both are based on the unit of the population; per 100,000 of the population, Schmalleger, F. (2011).

The crime index is a tool used to determine the amount of crime in an area; the index is effective however, it does not provide accurate numbers of crime committed. Updated Uniform Crime Reporting, (UCR) programs can help support the number of crimes committed also helps determine the types of crime. One solution for correlation between crime rates, arrest rates, and clearance rates can be to keep data updated. Updated data is the reporting of all arrests, and criminal behaviors also dropped charges. If data is continually up dated a system can be used to compare information on specific crimes helping to determine different aspects of crimes and arrests. Crime and recidivism statistics

Crime rates did increased since the early 1970’s in many major states as the baby boomers became young adults. Most crime are being committed by today’s young males because of the higher population, the best way to eliminate crime is the eliminate poverty, because poverty breeds crime. Crime is very high in African –Americans due to they are unemployed or being a single parent and doing what he/she has to do to survive or provide for their families. The crimes that are committed by the young adults may have been seen as a child while they were growing up or maybe that is what they were taught to do.

It is estimated that sociopaths who are prone to commit crimes, because they are incapable of feeling remorse or empathize with other’s pain, comprise about 3-4% of the male population, and between 33% and 80% of chronic criminals offenders. Some females may shoplift to support their drug habit, and this means that everyone is a victim especially their family members.

Although there may be changes of crime statistics but not changes in the crime rate, crime can be measured in numerous ways because of all of the numerous ways crime can be measured. The National Crime Victimization Survey and Uniform Crime Reports are both reliable systems but still leave the “dark figure of crime” because of the crimes that go unreported.

Criminal Justice Video, (2013). Myth v. Reality. Pearson Custom Publishing Retrieved from:

Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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StudyScroll. (2016). Measuring Crime [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29 September, 2023]

"Measuring Crime" StudyScroll, Apr 26, 2016. Accessed Sep 29, 2023.

"Measuring Crime" StudyScroll, Apr 26, 2016.

"Measuring Crime" StudyScroll, 26-Apr-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). Measuring Crime. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 29-Sep-2023]

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