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WDW370H1 Lecture 3

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Woodsworth College Courses
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1 WDW370H1 Youth Justice January 23, 2012 Lecture 3 Counting and Measuring Youth Crime Several sources of information - Official statistics (police, court, correctional) - Self-report surveys - Victimization surveys - Prevalence vs. incidence Main source of information on crimes in Canada is - Uniform Crime reporting system began in Canada in 1962 - What is being measured? o Crimes known by the police to have taken place – Founded crimes, crimes police have investigated and found to be true – not necessarily lead to a conviction 3 general Categories - Violent crime – assault, rape, homicide - Property crime - theft - Other crime – things illegal under Criminal code but don’t fall into those two categories, includes embezzlement Some alleged crime does not appear on these UCR records. Why? – Dark figure of crime that haven’t been discovered by police Most Serious Offence - A person may be charged with three or four offences but only the most serious one goes on record - How is most serious crime determined? - The longest maximum sentence – for all offences that have taken place in criminal incident it is that that holds longest sentence – normally violent crimes trump property and other crimes. What are Violent Crimes? st nd Homicide (1 , degree, 2 degree murder, etc) Attempted murder Robery Sexual Assault Abduction What proportion of youth crime in Canada is violent? Approximately a third of all crime. But if a violent crime is committed with another offence, violent crime is the only one that will show up – other types of crime are underestimated. What types of violent crime are Canadian youth involved in? Amongst females violent crime is very low Crime (all) and Age – rate of criminal activity or accused – age range 16-19 yrs, gets lower as older you get – Aging out of crime. Most males involve themselves with some deviant activity. 2 Refer to the textbook: strengths and weaknesses of Police Statistics STRENGTHS - Has almost 100% coverage – data from across the country - It’s uniform across jurisdictions, everyone is filling out the same thing - On a national scale this allows for some comparability WEAKNESSES - Different policing priorities around jurisdictions, police statistics are often more indicative of police practices than they are of crime. - Also only reports most serious offences, so large data of crime that will never make its’ way to the UCR - Dark figure of crime not reported - Only captures crimes that are founded by police, there is a huge discretion with youth - Doesn’t tell about characteristics of offender or offence itself Self-Report Surveys (S-R-S) - Most statistics on youth crime prior to 60’s relied on police reported crime - Self-report surveys came about partly as a better way to measure and understand crime that does not come to the attention of the police - SRS seek anonymous reports from youth and adults about the offences that they have committed over a specified period of time - Information is normally collected on demographi
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