Perspectives on crime

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Perspectives on crime

Perspectives on crime

Recall the Perspectives on crime case of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose report on the terrible deterioration in the condition of the black American family aroused such a firestorm of denunciation and outrage in liberal circles that the topic was rendered totally radioactive for the better part of a generation.

Eventually the continuing deterioration reached such massive proportions that the subject was taken up again by prominent liberals in the s, who then declared Moynihan a prophetic voice, unjustly condemned. This contentious history of racially-charged social analysis was certainly in the back of my mind when I began my quantitative research into Hispanic crime rates in late One traditional difficulty in producing such estimates had been the problematical nature of the data.

Although the FBI Uniform Crime Reports readily show the annual totals of black and Asian criminal perpetrators, Hispanics are generally grouped together with whites and no separate figures are provided, thereby allowing all sorts of extreme speculation by those so inclined.

If urban crime rates had little relation to the relative size of the local Hispanic population, this would indicate that Hispanics did not have unusually high rates of criminality. Furthermore, densely populated urban centers have almost always had far more crime than rural areas or suburbs, so restricting the analysis to cities Perspectives on crime reduce the impact of that extraneous variable, which might otherwise artificially inflate the national crime statistics for a heavily urbanized population group such as Hispanics.

My expectations proved entirely correct, and the correlations between Hispanic percentages and local crime rates were usually quite close to the same figures for whites, strongly supporting my hypothesis that the two groups had fairly similar rates of urban criminality despite their huge differences in socio-economic status.

But that same simple calculation yielded a remarkably strong correlation between black numbers and crime, fully confirming the implications of the FBI racial data on perpetrators. This presented me with an obvious quandary.

Yet the black crime figures in my charts and graphs were so striking that I realized they might easily overshadow my other results, becoming the focus of an explosive debate that would inevitably deflect attention away from my central conclusion.

Therefore, I chose to excise the black results, perhaps improperly elevating political prudence over intellectual candor. I further justified this decision by noting that black crime in America had been an important topic of public discussion for at least the last half-century.

I reasoned that my findings must surely have been quietly known for decades to most social scientists in the relevant fields, and hence would add little to existing knowledge.

However, since that time a few private discussions have led me to seriously question that assumption, as has the emotion-laden but vacuous media firestorm surrounding the George Zimmerman trial. I have therefore now decided to publish an expanded and unexpurgated version of my analysis, which I believe may have important explanatory value as well as some interesting policy implications.

In order to minimize the impact of statistical outliers, I applied this same approach to hundreds of different datasets: I also attempted to estimate these same results for the overall immigrant population. The overwhelming majority of immigrants since have been Hispanic or Asian while conversely the overwhelming majority of those two population groups have a relatively recent immigrant family background.

So the combined population of Hispanics and Asians constitutes a good proxy for the immigrant community, and allows us to determine the immigrant relationship to crime rates. Presented graphically, these various urban crime correlations are as follows: Hispanics-plus-Asians have fluctuated in the general range of Interestingly enough, for most of the last decade the presence of Hispanics and immigrants has become noticeably less associated with crime than the presence of whites, although that latter category obviously exhibits large regional heterogeneity.

Meanwhile, in the case of blacks, the weighted crime correlations have steadily risen from 0. These particular calculations do rely upon several minor methodological choices. For example, I have used the Census population thresholds for selecting the sixty-odd large cities in my dataset, while I could have chosen some other year instead.

The substantial annual fluctuations in the urban ethnic percentages provided by the Census-ACS estimates led me to instead use the interpolated Census figures for all years. The annual urban population totals used by the FBI sometimes differ slightly from the Census numbers, and I used the former for population-weighting purposes.

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However, all my results were quite robust with respect to these particular decisions, and modifying them would produce results largely indistinguishable from those presented above.

On a more difficult matter, there is always the possibility of local bias in FBI crime statistics, with the data for some cities possibly being more reliable or comprehensive than for others. In any event, we would expect the highest-crime areas to be those most likely to suffer from under-reporting problems, so we would expect our figures to somewhat underestimate the true size of the correlations.

It is important to recognize that within the world of academic sociology discovering an important correlation in the range of 0. And even these correlations between black population prevalence and urban crime rates may actually tend to significantly understate the reality.The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has been the starting place for law enforcement executives, students of criminal justice, researchers, members of the media, and the public at large seeking information on crime in the nation.

Perspectives on crime

The Three Main Sociological Perspectives 1 The Three Main Sociological Perspectives From Mooney, Knox, and Schacht, Understanding Social Problems, 5 th edition Theories in sociology provide us with different perspectives with which to view our social world.

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When examining psychological theories of crime, one must be cognizant of the three major theories. The first is psychodynamic theory, which is centered on. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is defined as a multi-disciplinary approach for reducing crime through urban and environmental design .

Psychological Theories of Crime (Criminology Theories) IResearchNet