You work at a university and have been assigned to assist a team of criminologists who are visiting from another country. They will be conducting research on crime in the United States, and they are confused by the several different crime reports that are available. You have been asked to instruct them on the features, pros, and cons of the Uniform Crime Reports (UCRs), the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
Create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation that compares these three crime reports. For each of the three, include as complete a description as possible. Which crimes does it cover? How do the report’s authors obtain their data? Are there any shortcomings that a researcher should be aware of before using data from one of these reports?
One of the researchers intends to write an article that documents the number of violent crimes committed in the United States but not reported to the police. Indicate in your presentation which report would be the best source of data for her to use and why.
Try to limit your slides to bullet points and brief sentences wherever possible; if you wish to explain in greater detail, use the “Notes” feature in Microsoft PowerPoint. Your presentation should consist of 6-9 informative slides plus a separate slide for references.
The concept of deterrence plays an important role in our system. Laws are in place to punish offenders but also to hopefully dissuade potential offenders from actually committing the crime.
Your state has decided to pass a law making it illegal to drive while using a cell phone or texting. The purpose of the new law is not really to punish people since this is not a “bad” crime, like hurting someone or stealing. Rather, the goal is to deter people from driving in a dangerous manner. Prepare a memo to the committee that is looking into this project—the committee needs to understand the concept of deterrence.
Your memo should be of 3 to 4 pages and include:
- A justification for adopting this law, including an explanation of the concept of deterrence
- A explanation of whether deterrence is a Classical concept or a Positive one
- A suggestion for a deterrent punishment, with an explanation as to why you believe that this punishment will have the desired deterrent effect
- An explanation of whether there are any characteristics of potential offenders that influence whether deterrence will work—in other words, whether certain deterrence efforts will work on some offenders and not others
- An explanation of what the state will have to do in order to achieve deterrence
Crime Control vs. Due Process
For many years, New York City suffered from very high rates of both violent and property crime. In 2001, the September 11 attack brought down the World Trade Center towers. Since then, there have been several attempted acts of terrorism as well.
In response to these difficult challenges, the New York Police Department (NYPD) implemented several new procedures, including:
- Stop and frisk
- “Mosque crawling” (undercover surveillance of city mosques)
Prepare a report in Microsoft Word that addresses the following points:
- Describe the two programs listed above.
- Analyze whether these programs have been effective. To do this, you will need to locate crime statistics for New York City and determine whether crime and terrorism have increased or decreased.
- Discuss how these programs relate to the issue of crime control versus due process.
- Explain how the presence of crime or the potential for terrorism might impact New York economically.
Incarceration and probation are commonly used in the American correctional system. Incarceration takes away one’s freedom, while probation allows the offender to continue his or her free life as long as he or she meets certain conditions. Probation is one type of “community correction.” In between incarceration and probation are punishments known as “intermediate” or “alternative” sentences. They may involve some elements of both incarceration and freedom.
For this assignment, you have been asked to educate an incoming law school class about the types of community-based punishments their clients may be faced with. Research and review probation and at least three intermediate sentences. Create an informational handout that describes these sentences for the students, including their benefits and drawbacks.
For each punishment, also describe the purpose or purposes the punishment is intended to serve (rehabilitation, deterrence, etc.). You may use the template found here, if you like, but it is not required.
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