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Chapter 2

SOC 1500 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Homicide


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 1500
Professor
Michelle Dumas
Chapter
2

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Chapter 2: Measuring Crime
Empirical Reality: Reality that can be deduced from repeatable observations of the senses.
Official Statistics:
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) System: Relies on crime reports from police.
FBI counts crime in the USA.
British Home Office releases crime statistics in UK.
Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics analyses police reports in Canada.
UCR Data: Crimes known by police to have taken place.
UCR2 Survey: Collects more detailed information on incidents; data on victims and accused.
Crime Rate: No. of police-reported crimes X 100,000 / population = Crime Rate.
Problems with UCR:
Some crimes are not reported due to fear, secrecy, severity and intimacy.
Police-Reported Crime Severity Index (PTCSI): Tracks changes in severity of police-reported crime.
Self-Report Surveys:
Questionnaires that seek anonymous reports from respondents about offences they have
committed.
Seek information about gender, age and other characteristics.
Sampling: Selecting people from a population to survey, usually randomly.
Victimization Surveys:
Collect information on the victim’s experiences.
Asks why victims did not report a particular crime.
Problems:
Telescoping: Placing certain events further back than they actually happened.
Survey only those who are over 15 years of age.
Cannot survey those with traumatic experiences; homicide.
Observational Accounts:
Researchers interact with people on a face-to-face basis to gather detailed information about
crimes.
Homicide:
First-Degree:
Homicide that is premeditated and deliberate.
Murder that occurs during a crime.
The murder of a police officer.
Life in prison and parole after the full 25 years.
Second-Degree:
All murder that is not first-degree murder.
Life in prison and parole after 10 years.
Manslaughter:
Killed a person in the heat of the moment or by sudden provocation.
Usually granted 5 years in prison and parole occurs after a third of the sentence.
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