Presentation on theme: "CRIME AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA"— Presentation transcript:
1 CRIME AND JUSTICE IN AMERICA Crime in AmericaDefining crimeHow much crime is there?Criminal victimizationCrime and justice as public policy issues
2 Crime in AmericaCrime in American History and trends in the level of crimeCrime in America compared to other industrialized countries
3 Defining Crime What is crime? Sources of definitions of crime Who makes the decisions?Consensus modelConflict model
4 Crime DefinedA specific act of commission or omission in violation of the law for which a punishment is prescribed.
5 Consensus Model Law reflects the need for order. Law results from a consensus on widely shared values in society.Law is an impartial system to protect the public.Law provides neutral means of resolving disputes.
6 Conflict Model• Politically powerful groups influence the content of criminal law.• “Mala prohibita” offenses are prohibited by government but not wrong in themselves. (Cf. “mala in se” – wrong in themselves).• Harsh penalties are sometimes enforced on the poor or disadvantaged while the powerful are given lighter sentences.
7 Types of Crime Level of crime Categories of crime Misdemeanor Felony Occupational crimeOrganized crimeVisible crimeCrimes without victimsPolitical crimes
8 Types of Occupational Crime Committed in the context of legal business or profession:- For the benefit of the employing organization.- Through the exercise of government authority.- Professional crimes by doctors, lawyers or stockbrokers.- Employee theft, false claims or embezzlement.
9 Organized CrimeA framework for the perpetuation of criminal acts - usually in fields such as gambling, drugs, and prostitution - providing illegal services that are in great demand.
10 Visible Crime (street crime) Offenses against persons and property committed primarily by members of the lower class.Most upsetting to the public.
11 Crimes Without Victims Offenses involving a willing and private exchange of illegal goods and services that are in strong demand. Participants do not feel they are being harmed, but these crimes are prosecuted on the ground that society as a whole is injured. Includes activities such as:GamblingDrug Sales and UseProstitution
12 Political CrimesActs that constitute a threat against the state such as treason, sedition (rebellion), or espionage.
13 Cybercrime Use of computers and internet Various different types Information theftViceEmbezzlement“Vandalism” (i.e. hacking)
14 How much crime is there? Measuring crime Uniform crime reports National crime victimization surveyTrends in crime
16 Major Uniform Crime Report Index Crime Groups VIOLENT CRIME NON-VIOLENT CRIMEMurder and non-negligent manslaughterAggravated assaultForcible rapeRobbery* Burglary* Larceny/theft* Motor vehicle theft* Arson
17 Assessment of Uniform Crime Reports Not all crime is reported.Administrative errors in recording data:Interpreting UCR definitions.Systematic counting errors.Deliberately altered or manipulated data.Methodological problems.
18 Revising the UCR - NIBRS Definitions of crimes will be revised.More crimes will be included in each category.Other changes to make the data more accurate.UCR
19 National Crime Victim Survey Data is gathered by the Bureau of Census and compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.Sample includes 100,000 people in 50,000 households.Respondents are over the age of 12.Respondents queried every six months about household and personal victimizations.
20 NCVS Crimes Rape Robbery (personal) Assault (aggravated and simple) Household burglaryLarceny (personal and household)Motor vehicle theft
21 Comparison – UCR vs. NCVS Scope - Both reported andunreported to police. Nationas a whole.Collection Method -Survey InterviewKinds of Information -Details about victims andcrimes - reported and unreported. Use of weapons,injuries, economic effects.Sponsor - Bureau ofJustice Statistics.Scope - Crimes reported tothe police in most jurisdictionsCollection Method - Policedepartments and FBIKinds of Information - Offensecounts; crime clearances; personsarrested, persons charged;officers killed, characteristicsof homicide victims.Sponsor - FBI