Chapter 2 Lecture Notes: The Nature and Extent of Crime

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Criminal Justice
CRJS 181
Christina Mancini

Intro to Criminal Justice, CRJS 181, 003, 23200, Mancini: Lecture Notes Chapter 2: The Nature and Extent of Crime Terms Referenced: Consensus View of Crime, Conflict View of crime, interactionist View of Crime, Mass murderer, Spree killer, Serial killer, hate crimes (Bias crimes), Public order crimes, White collar crime, Uniform Crime Report (UCR), part 1 crimes, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), national Incident –Based Reporting System (NIBRS). How is crime defined?  Consensus view – we all generally agree on right and wrong and punishments. Unity.  Conflict view – acknowledge that there are differences in the country. Working folk, politicians have different views. The ruling class/elite use position to make laws that keep people down. Conspiracy. Stress differences in society.  Interactionist view = certain groups have influenced criminal law. Ex) MADD. Temperance movement. High society women wanted to outlaw alcohol. Later had prohibition. All 3 perspectives agree; law tells us what’s right and wrong. Crime laws are not static. It changes as we change as a society. Economic changes might also change law ex) expense of the death penalty. Law is meant to deter crime and keep order. P. 43 Different Categories of crime  Violent Crime o Resurgence in gangs-hard to compute # of gangs. Less intact families. o Multiple Murder – mass murder (aurora, Colorado); spree killer (D.C. sniper); Serial killer – kill many people over long period of time. o Intimate violence: more common than reported. Problem everywhere. o Hate crimes: ~7,600 crimes yearly  Public Order (“Victimless” Crimes) o Prostitution: Arrests are down: Nevada has a few counties where it’s legal. Prostitutes moving online. Don’t know what’s going on indoors. o Substance abuse- decline in reported using drugs since 1970s, increase in marijuana use.  Economic Crimes o Amateur and professional thieves – shoplifters’ vs organized professional. Group work. o White collar crime (use position in society to commit crime. Ex) embezzlement via position). o Organized crime (group of individuals committed to breaking law for financial gain. More proven to use violence than professional thieves. Sources of Crime Data Taxes pay for Uniform Crime report – compiled by FBI. Any call for service goes into pot. All police submit reports. Broad Categories. Part 1 crimes – Murder, forcible rape (60% of rape not counted), Burglary, Robbery, Assault, Larceny-theft. Homicide and aggravated assault have highest clearance rates. 65%, 55% respectively. P. 50. Problems with UCR: Ex) sex crimes. No info if victim is child, college student, or adult. Did the know offender? No info about offenders. Criminologists wanted better info about each crime. Time of day, where it occurred, etc. Only smaller jurisdictions could be harmful.. Expensive Only 17% of jurisdictions report to (NIBRS). Expanded categories. (Blackmail, embezzlement, etc.) Not implemented on a grand scale. NIBRS and UCR rely on police reports, don’t take into account non-reported crimes. Government started to institute Victimization Surveys. (NCVS). Assess repeat victimization. Unofficial data. Another source of unofficial data. Self –report Surveys. Go to high schools/ group settings. Chapter 2 con’t. Terms Referenced: Racial threat hypothesis – The view that young minority males are subject to greater police control – for example, formal arrest – when their numbers increase within the population. Chronic Offenders – As defined by Marvin Wolfgang, Robert Figlio
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