Posted: May 28th, 2021
It is importance to have official crime data on how it can make a significant outlook to the communities which can deliver an important form of resources within the police departments to the community by “Prevent crimes, providing safety and security, and understanding what is happening within the community”. Without official crime data, how can a department/ agency improve the needs for their community? This is where official crime data comes into play by “This program is the most reliable source of crime statistics for law enforcement administration, operation, and management. It is also used by researchers, politicians, and criminal justice professionals to gain a deeper understanding of crime and society” (Walden University, 2019).
Walden University (2019) explains the composure of each function of how it benefits of improving the communities and departmental needs. First, predictive policing- which helps prevent crimes (in the future) by being combative and being proactive. Second, Improving community relations- As this “paints a picture” (per se) to the community by allowing them to see how their law enforcement is making a positive approach and by providing them a means of safety and security or protect and serve. Third, budgeting formation- When one thinks about departmental budget, a budget is “key” to helping pay for training, staffing, equipment and provide other needs for the department to serve the community. Data provides a outlook for the department to apply themselves for grants and/or funding to cover such expenses, for example; let say if crime (a) has risen and this department does not have the adequate funds to cover such expenses (staff or equipment). Without such crime data to apply for grants, how can they help and prevent such crimes? As crime data can be apply as a form of “foundation” to help the department apply for a grant which can help them to combat such crimes. Four, initiative assessment- I think this can be applied more for the community, as individual(s) want to move into areas to raise a family and have nice areas to live in.
What are some issues with using official crime data?
Crime data does have a number of issues, below are a list of them explaining the problems of each. As “Data accuracy is more of an issue for data collected by local levels of government. For example, the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) program administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) imposes standard classification criteria, with explicit guidelines and regular training at the local level, but data are still inconsistent for many crimes” (Bachman, & Schutt, 2018, p. 74).
1- What is and not reported, this can be a concern to how one paints a picture to the community. If crimes is not reported, how can one prevent such crimes from occurring and protect the community in terms of safety? As Philadelphia made an error to this “In 1998 the Philadelphia police department failed to report an estimated 37,000 UCR Part 1 crimes, but when these crimes where included, Philadelphia moved from fifth to the second most dangerous city in the United States” (Mosher, Miethe, & Hart, 2011, p.103).
2- How accurate is the information being reported? As falsifying information and manipulated crime statistics can come into play for not providing accuracy “Not reporting all crime incidents on monthly UCR submissions. Downgrading major Part 1 offenses to minor offenses so they are not tallied nationally in the UCR summaries” (Mosher, Miethe, & Hart, 2011, p.101).
3- If suspect (a) is charged with (A,B, & C) and suspect (b) is charged with (A, B, & C) for the same crimes that are conducted in the same time and location, can we say when they are process by the district attorney and put on trial, would those charges be applied on them? Or can we say to move the case along (fast) there a plea deal which suspect (a) may receive one charge and suspect (b) has received two charges. This can be an issue with “UCR” why? ” With respect to the courts and prosecutions, there should be accurate information to show the number of persons officially charged, the charges that are filed, whether the charges are reduced or dismissed, the outcome of the prosecution, and the judgement or sentence rendered by the court” (Beattie, 1955).
4- When it comes to domestic violence, how is such reports filed? For example, domestic violence can be one of the most “scary and unknowing” actions for a police officer to respond too. As officers do not know if and what has taken place, what is involved and what weapons (if any) may be ready to be used. When responding to a call, many things can happen from assault, weapons being used, and/or of of the partners may say “I am sorry for calling you and I don’t want to press any charges”, how does one report such a crime? As domestic violence can have many variations and what type of crimes may be applied to for such a report to be filed by the officer ” The principal investigators of the experiment designed the study to explain how legal and informal sanctions deter misdemeanor domestic violence perpetrators from repeated acts of abuse or violence” (Miller, 2003).
What public policy changes could be made by relying upon the 2 articles?
The public policy changes that could be made by relying upon the 2 articles are as follow.
1- When it comes to domestic violence from the article Miller (2003) shows the following information ” For two decades researchers have used randomized or experimental designs to study how police practices can decrease the probability, frequency,and severity of reoccurring family or domestic violence”. Domestic violence can carry an “if” to how one may perceive the information and run with the “facts” on how they want to move forward from both the person(s) being abused to how the officers may see such “fit” on how to handle the call. As ” Most urban police departments in the United States, in response to the widely publicized initial experiment, developed mandatory or preferred arrest policies for domestic violence, although some analysts issued sharp warnings of likely victim harms and injuries” (p. 2).
The public policy changes to be “fit” for this case can be from what I think has a two-part answer,(1) teaching the community of how domestic violence impacts the lives of many and standing on one ground (not to fight hand to hand), but think (smart) and make the call for help can show those being abused that there is light at the end of the tunnel. (2) From the officers aspect, they can show the person and also know the facts of removing the problem out of the equation which can provide some form of relief to the problem and not make it worse. Depending on the situation “the nature” can swing both ways to the outcome, as the article shows that there is not significant “proof” to show if and what the police did (left the situation as is or took the negative equation) out of the picture. I do think public police changes would be having the officer show the person what has happened (so charges can be filed), so the person (whom called for help) can have the “legal power” in making a decision that is more favorable. As one may not know if something can happen again (worse case scenario) or (the person has to relieve through the pain). As the public policy changes would be to educate the officers with the proper research and measures of domestic violence which they can educate the public (person needing help) to make a proper call.overall.
The article of Baumer and Adams (2006) controlling a jail population due to over crowding. The issue comes from how ” The factors that drive admissions and length of stay, however, are quite different for prisons and jails. Much of the prison population is legislatively driven. In any given jurisdiction the type of sentences (determinate–indeterminate), type of release (discretionary– mandatory), length of sentence,extent of credit time, mandatory minimums, sentence enhancements (threestrikes), and a host of other factors are largely controlled by the relevantsentencing statutes” (p. 2). Depending on severity of crime, one can make public policy changes on bail (reduce the overcrowding of jail), as this creates a open space in the jail for individual(s) who commits crimes of severity. I do think within this article public policy changes can be made in comparison without infringing on one rights under the Amendments of (5th, 6th,7th,and 8th) is to know what can be considered for an individual to be a threat to society due to his or her form of crime they have committed. Meaning; if the crime is small and does not possess a threat and/or have a past history of crime, than they should be no reason to put them in jail, just set a bail and a form of jail restrictions and save the jail for individual who are not “fit” to be in society.
The Holy Bible describes change to improve one life and the community for which public policy is being used to some aspect “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven;. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, English Standard Version).
Bachman, R.D., &Schutt, R.K. (2018). Fundamentals of research. Criminology and criminal justice. (4th ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publication.
Baumer, T. & Adams, K. (2003). Controlling a jail population by partially closing the front door. The prison Journal. Vol. 86 Number 3.
Beattie, R. (1955). Problems of criminal statistics in the United States. Journal of criminal law and criminology. Vol.46. Issue 2.
Miller,J. (2003). An arresting experiment: Domestic violence victim experience and perceptions. Purdue University. Sage Publicaiton.
Mosher, C.J., Miethe, T.D., & Hart, T. C., (2011). The Mismeasure of crime. (2nd. ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publicaiton.
Walden University (2019). Why national crime statistics are important: Learn about the data that can lead to safer communities.
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