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.
• 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
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
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.
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?
• Victims who suffer loss of property or some kind
of physical harm.
• Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter.
• Aggravated assault.
• Forcible rape.
• Motor vehicle theft
More types of crime:
• Illegal service crimes (drugs, gambling,
• Public disorder crimes (disorderly conduct,
• Crimes of negligence (unintended victim).
• Computer crime.
• White collar crime.
• Cybercrime (cyberbullying, hacking,
obscenities, investment fraud, identity theft)12
White Collar Crime costs the United States
cost about 300 billion dollars annually.
This is more than street crime does.
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
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
John C. Alessio (2013-01-28)
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
John C. Alessio (2013-01-28)
White Collar Arrests:
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.
• First juvenile court was established in 1899 in
• Three types of juveniles under the juvenile court
– 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
– Minors in need of care – those who are neglected or
abused and in need of the court’s care.
• Are now pervasive
• Causes include
– Lack of opportunity
– Security against other gangs
Differential Association Theory
(Edwin Sutherland, 1883-1950)
• Association of norms among criminals and
• Sub cultural norms.
• Affects both street crime and white collar
(Consider Robert K. Merton)
• Lack of opportunity
• Rigid class structure
• And Durkheim’s theory of Anomie
• Labeling theory
Young people commit more
violent crimes than older people.
• 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 35
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
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.
1 Who makes the laws?
2 Who breaks them?
3 Who do the laws serve?
4 Why are laws broken?
Crime in Salinas 2008
• Salinas 17 homicides per 100,000 people
(with a population of 145,000 per census
• San Francisco 12 homicides.
• San Jose 3 homicides.
• Los Angeles 10 homicides.
• Chicago 18 homicides.
• Oakland 31 homicides.
The United States does not have the highest
crime rate of all developed nations—
although it does have the highest homicide
Why might this be? Consider the following:
(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 is worse in those societies
with weak “safety nets” for the poor.
• The war on drugs has exacerbated
organized crime in drug dealing (violent
• The greater availability of guns (250 million
for a population of 300 million)
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.
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?
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
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.