post 2 replies of at least 150 words
The student must then post 2 replies of at least 150 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned Module: Week. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources
include the textbook, the Bible, and scholarly peer-reviewed research articles.
Reply 1 – Flortrina
Official crime data and Self-Reported Data have many differences, but can be used in conjunction with one another to create more accurate research. The primary system the United States uses to collect official crime data is through the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (Barnett-Ryan, 2019,p.5). One of the primary strengths that Mosher et al. (2011) relays that, although it is a voluntary program, approximately 95% of the United States falls under the data reported which means it gives researchers a good measure of statistical crime (pp.66-68). A primary weakness of official crime data is that the category in which a crime falls is up to interpretation by various police departments.
Unlike official crime data, self-reported data gives a more intimate look at crime that may happen that never fully becomes part of the criminal justice process. According to Mosher et al., self-reported data is subject to more research checks and balances to determine validity and reliability which is one of the great strengths of self-reported data. As well, self-reported data that is anonymous has a greater chance of revealing the truth about crime that has been reported across multiple races and socioeconomic classes but that may not be prosecuted (Mosher et al., p.138-139). A major downfall of the self-reported data is that it “overgeneralizes” information that may be specific to particular areas (Mosher et al., p.149).
Although both have strengths and weaknesses, it would be a mistake to ignore either facet of data collection and reporting as, used together, they give us the best chance at collecting real knowledge.
Barnett-Ryan, C. (2019). Boundaries and Policing: Space, Jurisdictions, and Roles in the
Collection of Official Crime Data (Order No. 27787442). Available from ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global; Social Science Premium Collection. (2404654230). http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.proquest.com%2Fdissertations-theses%2Fboundaries-policing-space-jurisdictions-roles%2Fdocview%2F2404654230%2Fse-2%3Faccountid%3D12085
Mosher, C. J., Miethe, T. D., & Hart, T. C. (2011). The Mismeasure of Crime (2nd ed.).
Last weeks discussion board focused on the use of official crime statistics that are reported to the police. The law enforcement agencies report the data using the Uniform Crime Report or the National Incident Based Reporting System. There are a lot of benefits from crime data being reported from the law enforcement agencies as they receive it. In most cases the data exported is accurate, but due to each state having slightly different laws it is not as easy as most believe it to be. This can cause subtle distortions in statistics. The use of the National Incident Based Reporting System will allow for more detailed statistics to be collected and evaluated. In NIBRS, all crimes are reported and there are additional details regarding victims, suspects, and details of the crime that can be beneficial to those studying crime trends. The added details that are collected in NIBRS has made the collection more complex and many departments have had to add staffing to properly collect and submit the data to the national database. The data collected in NIBRS or UCR is only one side the equation of a true total of crime. The amount of crime that is committed but not reported to law enforcement is an important element of crime data that needs review as well. To obtain a better understanding of the true amount of crime in society, it is important to view statistics from UCR and NIBRS, along with self-report data and victimization surveys. “In this article, we argue that UCR statistics by themselves are inadequate for understanding hate crime and that additional data are needed to supplement them. We focus on Pennsylvania and show how reliance on the UCR leads to an underestimate of hate crime, particularly in rural areas. We suggest that a more encompassing understanding of hate crime can come from using the UCR together with other data” (Ruback et al., 2018, p. 320). Self-report surveys and victimization surveys are valuable tools used to collect data on the unreported crime in society. “Victimization surveys became an overnight sensation. By providing a wealth of previously unavailable data on victims and victimization, they challenged police statistics and radically changed both our quantitative and qualitative understanding of crime: many incidents of victimization, it turned out, are never reported to the police because they are inconsequential to their victims and quickly forgotten; the risk of being assaulted, robbed, burglarized, or having property stolen or vandalized is very unevenly distributed within the population” (de Castelbajac, 2017, p. 332). Each of these tools has their strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths associated with self-report surveys is the subject can provide information that would not be collected any other way. The subject can give the information without fear of arrest for the offense. In victimization surveys the subject can provide data on crimes that are unreported, such as sexual assaults, drug usage, or thefts. The greatest concern regarding these tools are the reliability and validity of the data collected. Many critics have proposed the data collected in these surveys is inaccurate and inflated. Another method of collecting this data has been in-person face-to-face interviews. There have been many studies conducted to seek validity and reliability in self-report data. Four relevant measures were identified to aid in the validation of the data: (1) a wide range and variety of behaviors must be included; (2) serious offenses must be covered if comparisons are to be made to other kinds of data; (3) respondents must be asked to report on actual number of times they engaged in a particular behavior so that people who committed robbery four times are not lumped together with those who committed it 60 times in the past year; (4) follow up questions often are required to distinguish chargeable offenses from others (Mosher et al., 2011, p. 141).
A bible verse that I believe has insight into this week’s posts is James 5:19-20, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins”. As Christians we must always be able to learn new things. We must be open minded as well as remaining inquisitive to all aspects of our lives and the lives of those around us. It is important to understand that the true amount of crime committed is vastly under-reported and we have a responsibility to seek the most accurate numbers to have the best approach possible to assist our communities. It is easy to become callused and disconnected from the communities and citizens we serve in the field of law enforcement, but it is important to return to the motivators that we had when we started our careers, much like those who wander away from God’s word.
de Castelbajac, M. (2017). The genesis of victimization surveys and of the realist-constructionist divide. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 53(4), 332–346. https://doi.org/10.1002/jhbs.21869
Mosher, C. J., Miethe, T. D., & Hart, T. C. (2011). The Mismeasure of Crime. SAGE Publications.
Ruback, R. B., Gladfelter, A. S., & Lantz, B. (2018). Hate crime victimization data in Pennsylvania: A useful complement to the uniform crime reports. Violence and Victims, 33(2), 330–350. https://doi.org/10.1891/0886-6708.v33.i2.173