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  1. 1. Crime in the US 3 minute writing Consider the following: 1
  2. 2. The Question: 1. When a top government official deliberately defies congress (lawmakers) and finances a foreign conflict by selling weapons illegally to a foreign power, is that a crime? 2. If a government employee discovers the activity and releases secret documents to the public, is that a crime? 2
  3. 3. The Example: 1. In the Iran Contra affair President Regan knew of and supported a covert effort to sell arms to Iran (illegal), and use the money to support the Contras of Nicaragua (illegal). 2. Edward Snowden recently released and is still releasing secret NSA documents that show illegal bugging of the United Nations, and numerous embassies as well as Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry. 3
  4. 4. The Crime Clock should be viewed with care. The most aggregate representation of UCR data, it conveys the annual reported crime experience by showing a relative frequency of occurrence of Part I offenses. It should not be taken to imply a regularity in the commission of crime. The Crime Clock represents the annual ratio of crime to fixed time intervals. 4
  5. 5. • According to Konradi and Schmidt (2005) Crime rates are higher now than in the 1950s (due to a spike in the 1960s). • They state that since the early 1970s crime rates have been very stable. But a glance at some graphs from the Department of Justice actually show a drop in crime since the early 1990s. 5
  6. 6. Violent Crime rates on the decline 6
  7. 7. Homicide rates on the decline according to DOJ 7
  8. 8. Property crime rates, again, on the decline 8
  9. 9. There are two widely accepted measures of crime in the US. They are: • Uniform Crime Report (now called the FBI Crime Index) the most widely used index. • National Crime Victimization Survey 9
  10. 10. They don’t agree very much. According to Konradi and Schmidt the UCR tends to over state crime because it reports the number of arrests (more than one person can be involved in a singe crime). Also, due to funding based upon arrests, the police are liable to overstate conditions of crime. 10
  11. 11. However Leon-Guerrero (2005) note that the number of crimes committed is higher than the number of crimes reported (by the police). Think Crime Victimization Survey. What do you think? 11
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. Predatory Crime • Victims who suffer loss of property or some kind of physical harm. • Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. • Aggravated assault. • Forcible rape. • Robbery • Burglary • Larceny-theft • Motor vehicle theft • Arson. 13
  14. 14. More types of crime: • Illegal service crimes (drugs, gambling, prostitution). • Public disorder crimes (disorderly conduct, drunkenness). • Crimes of negligence (unintended victim). • Computer crime. • White collar crime. • Cybercrime (cyberbullying, hacking, obscenities, investment fraud, identity theft)14
  15. 15. White Collar Crime costs the United States cost about 300 billion dollars annually. This is more than street crime does. 15
  16. 16. White Collar Crimes • Personal or ad-hoc crimes • Abuses of trust • Crimes that are incidental to and in furtherance of organizational operations • Crimes carried on as a business by full-time con-artists. 16
  17. 17. Most serious crimes are committed by powerful wealthy people, referred to by criminologist James W. Coleman as the criminal elite, and those crimes are clearly rooted in economic and social factors. Wealthy people are generally socialized to believe in the importance of continuously increased wealth accumulation… John C. Alessio (2013-01-28) 17
  18. 18. Index crime data typically are available on middle and lower class people only. The lack of systematic information about upper class involvement in index crime has resulted in criminologists referring to “crimes of the rich” and “crimes of the poor,” which is another form of the simplistic dualism mentioned earlier. While there can be no doubt that there are crimes committed exclusively by the rich, there is no reason to believe the amount of their participation in index crimes is any less than the participation of people from the other classes. John C. Alessio (2013-01-28) 18
  19. 19. White Collar Arrests: 19 Enron Scandal Martha Stewart Bernard Madoff
  20. 20. 20
  21. 21. What happens to white collar criminals? • Arrest but detention at the country club 21
  22. 22. Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina 22
  23. 23. Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina 23
  24. 24. Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina 24Madoff in Prison at Butner
  25. 25. Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina 25 I still wouldn’t want to live there!
  26. 26. Working Class Prison 26 Pelican Bay Prison
  27. 27. Working Class Prison (color coded) 27
  28. 28. Private Prisons (for profit) 28
  29. 29. Private Prisons (for profit) 29
  30. 30. Private Prisons (for profit) 30 From American Live Wire
  31. 31. Private Prisons (for profit) 31
  32. 32. John Oliver on Prisons in the US (18 minutes) 32
  33. 33. Cyber Crime Can you think of some? Write some down, then look at the next slide and see what I may have missed on my list or added to yours.
  34. 34. Adult corrections on the rise 34
  35. 35. Organized Crime 1. The determination of a group of people to make money by any means necessary. 2. The provision of illegal goods and services to people who want them or can be coerced into taking them. 3. The use of political corruption to maintain and extend the activities. 4. The persistence of the activities by the same organizations over successive generations of people. 5. A code of conduct for members. 35
  36. 36. Juvenile Delinquency • First juvenile court was established in 1899 in Chicago. • Three types of juveniles under the juvenile court jurisdiction: – Youthful offenders – those who engage in behavior for which adults can be tried in a criminal court. – Status offenders – those who violate the juvenile court code – Minors in need of care – those who are neglected or abused and in need of the court’s care. 36
  37. 37. Juvenile Gangs • Are now pervasive • Causes include – Poverty – Discrimination – Lack of opportunity – Status – Security against other gangs 37
  38. 38. Why Crime? Differential Association Theory (Edwin Sutherland, 1883-1950) • Association of norms among criminals and potential criminals. • Sub cultural norms. • Affects both street crime and white collar crime. 38
  39. 39. Why Crime? Structural Strain (Consider Robert K. Merton) • Lack of opportunity • Rigid class structure • And Durkheim’s theory of Anomie • Labeling theory 39
  40. 40. Drugs and drug arrests. 40
  41. 41. Drug arrests by age 1970-2007 41
  42. 42. Are we using more drugs or just getting busted more frequently? 42
  43. 43. Arrests, drugs, race. 43
  44. 44. Even though crime in general has gone down drug arrests have gone up. Why do you think this is the case? 2 minute writing and discussion. 44
  45. 45. Homicide victimization rate by age, 1970-2003 45
  46. 46. Who commits violent crime in the US? 46
  47. 47. Young people commit more violent crimes than older people. Why? • 12-15 55/1000 • 16-19 56/1000 • 20-24 45/1000 • 25-34 29/1000 • 35-49 23/1000 • 50-64 10/1000 • 65+ 3/1000 47
  48. 48. Family income has a direct effect too. Explain why. • Less than $7,500 47/1000 • $7,500-$14,999 37/1000 • $15,000-$14,999 32/1000 • $25,000-34,999 29/1000 • $35,000-49,999 26/1000 • $50,000-$74,999 21/1000 • $75,000+ 18/1000 48
  49. 49. Racial and ethnic minorities commit more crimes than the dominant whites. Is this group the “underclass?” Think about what this might mean in terms of class position, race, and ethnicity in the US. Consider: 1 Who makes the laws? 2 Who breaks them? 3 Who do the laws serve? 4 Why are laws broken? 49
  50. 50. Crime in Salinas 2008 • Salinas 17 homicides per 100,000 people (with a population of 145,000 per census bureau). • San Francisco 12 homicides. • San Jose 3 homicides. • Los Angeles 10 homicides. • Chicago 18 homicides. • Oakland 31 homicides. (KCBA.COM) 50
  51. 51. 51
  52. 52. The United States does not have the highest crime rate of all developed nations— although it does have the highest homicide rate. Why might this be? Consider the following: 52
  53. 53. (from Eitzen, 2007) • Countries where there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor have the highest levels of violent crime. • The greater proportion of the population living in poverty, the higher the rate of violent crime. 53
  54. 54. • Violent crime is worse in those societies with weak “safety nets” for the poor. • The war on drugs has exacerbated organized crime in drug dealing (violent crime). • The greater availability of guns (250 million for a population of 300 million) 54
  55. 55. If the US does not have the highest crime rate of all industrialized countries, why then does it have the highest rate for incarceration? See following slide. 55
  56. 56. 56
  57. 57. 57
  58. 58. 58
  59. 59. Who else commits crimes? We know corporations do. Let’s look at some: 59
  60. 60. And The Banks: 60
  61. 61. 61
  62. 62. 62
  63. 63. 63
  64. 64. Wage Theft 64
  65. 65. FBI on Wage Theft 65
  66. 66. Wage Theft 66
  67. 67. Wage Theft 67
  68. 68. Who else commits crimes? Can a government commit crimes? If it is a legitimate power, then how can it? But then again, just what is legitimacy? 68
  69. 69. Wounded Knee, 1890 between 150 and 300 Sioux murdered 69 An 1890 massacre [by the US Calvary] left some 150 Native Americans dead, in what was the final clash between federal troops and the Sioux. Nearly half of the Sioux killed at the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre were women and children.
  70. 70. 70 My Lai Massacre in Vietnam 1968 Estimated civilian deaths committed by US soldiers are over 500.
  71. 71. My Lai Massacre in Vietnam 1968 71 Time magazine's article on November 28, 1969 and Life magazine on December 5, 1969, finally brought My Lai to the fore of the public debate about Vietnam War.
  72. 72. 72 My Lai Massacre in Vietnam 1968 Richard L. Strout, the Christian Science Monitor political commentator, emphasized that, "American press self-censorship thwarted [army helicopter pilot and whistleblower] Ridenhour's disclosures for a year." "No one wanted to go into it", his agent said of telegrams sent to Life, Look, and Newsweek magazines outlining allegations.
  73. 73. Bosnian Massacre 73 "more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys" executed and "nearly 25,000 women, children and elderly people were forcibly deported, making this event the biggest war crime to take place in Europe since the end of the Second World War". European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2009 on Srebrenica,
  74. 74. Waterboarding 74 A 2005 Justice Department opinion provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, officials said. October 4, 2007 washingtonNews (In NYT, 2015) Crime?
  75. 75. Waterboarding Mr. Kiriakou, who first came to public attention in 2007 when he spoke publicly about waterboarding, is one of eight current or former government employees prosecuted by the Obama administration for disclosing secrets to reporters; only three such cases were prosecuted under all previous presidents. NYT 2015 75 Treason?
  76. 76. The Question 1. When a government (administration) deliberately defies congress (lawmakers) and finances a foreign conflict by selling drugs, is that a crime? 2. If a government employee discovers the activity and releases secret documents to the public, is that a crime? 76
  77. 77. Which one of these should be punished? 1. In the Iran Contra affair President Regan knew of and supported a covert effort to sell arms to Iran (illegal), and use the money to support the Contras of Nicaragua (illegal). 2. Edward Snowden recently released and is still releasing secret NSA documents that show illegal bugging of the United Nations, and numerous embassies as well as Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry. 77
  79. 79. Stats on gangs 79
  80. 80. 80
  81. 81. 81
  82. 82. 82