This article has multiple issues. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Research criminological theory context and consequences 6th edition pdf that the overrepresentation of some minorities in the criminal justice system is due to disproportionate crime rates, socioeconomic factors and racial discrimination by the criminal justice system.
These crime data collection programs provide most of the statistical information utilized by criminologists and sociologists in their analysis of crime and the extent of its relationship to race. Another form of data is that regarding the prison population. The UCR system indexes crimes under two headings: Part I and Part II offenses. Inaccuracy: UCR statistics do not represent the actual amount of criminal activity occurring in the United States. As it relies upon local law enforcement agency crime reports, the UCR program can only measure crime known to police and cannot provide an accurate representation of actual crime rates. Misrepresentation: The UCR program is focused upon street crime, and does not record information on many other types of crime, such as organized crime, corporate crime or federal crime. Further, law enforcement agencies can provide inadvertently misleading data as a result of local policing practices.
These factors can lead to misrepresentations regarding the nature and extent of criminal activity in the United States. Manipulation: UCR data are capable of being manipulated by local law enforcement agencies. Information is supplied voluntarily to the UCR program, and manipulation of data can occur at the local level. Race and Ethnicity: The UCR tracks crime for the racial category of “White” to include both Hispanic and non-Hispanic ethnicities. According to the ACLU, with over 50 million Latinos residing in the United States, this hides the incarceration rates for Latinos vis-à-vis marijuana-related offenses, as they are considered “White” with respect to the UCR.
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As a response to these and other limitations, a new system of crime data collection was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of the UCR system. As it is still under development, NIBRS coverage is not yet nationwide. 1972, is a national survey of a representative sample of households in the United States which covers the frequency of crime victimization and the characteristics and consequences of victimization. The primary purpose behind the NCVS program is to gather information on crimes that were not reported to police, though information is also collected on reported crimes. The survey collects data on rape, assault, robbery, burglary, personal and household larceny and motor vehicle theft.
The NCVS also includes supplemental questions which allow information to be gathered on tangentially relevant issues such as school violence, attitudes towards law enforcement or perceptions regarding crime. Reliability: NCVS statistics do not represent verified or evidenced instances of victimization. As it depends upon the recollection of the individuals surveyed, the NCVS cannot distinguish between true and fabricated claims of victimization, nor can it verify the truth of the severity of the reported incidents. Further, the NCVS cannot detect cases of victimization where the victim is too traumatized to report. These factors can contribute to deficits in the reliability of NCVS statistics. Misrepresentation: The NCVS program is focused upon metropolitan and urban areas, and does not adequately cover suburban and rural regions. This can lead to misrepresentations regarding the nature and extent of victimization in the United States.
Despite the differences in the amount of crime reported, comparisons of the UCR and NCVS data sets show there to be a high degree of correspondence between the two systems. This correspondence extends to the racial demography of both perpetrators and victims of violent crime reported in both systems. The UCR classifies most Hispanics into the “white” category. The NCVS classifies some Hispanic criminals as “white” and some as “other race”. The victim categories for the NCVS are more distinct. Latinos in the criminal justice system are seriously undercounted. The true extent of the overrepresentation of Latinos in the system probably is significantly greater than researchers have been able to document.
Lack of empirical data on Latinos is partially due to prisons’ failures to document race at intake, or recording practices that historically have classified Latinos as white. There is general agreement in the literature that blacks are more likely to commit violent crimes than are whites in the United States. Whether this is the case for less serious crimes is less clear. Percent of adult males incarcerated by race and ethnicity in 2009.