Discussion 1: Measuring Violent Crime

“Don’t go out at night or you will be murdered.”

“Keep your windows locked or someone will break in and rape you.”

“Violent crime is increasing exponentially; you have to protect yourself.”

These are common statements heard daily, but what are the facts? Crime can be broken down and measured in many different ways. There are many different types of crime, including property crimes, violent crimes, white-collar crimes, and cybercrimes. The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program identifies violent crime as four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The number (incidences) of these four crimes has increased in the past decade due to population changes; however, in order to account for changing populations, the UCR uses a prevalence rate of crimes per 100,000 people. This allows for consistent reporting.

In this Discussion, you estimate the number of violent crimes that have occurred in a U.S. city, county, state, or region in the past year. You then compare your estimates to the actual numbers from the UCR.

By Day 2

Without consulting any resource material, estimate the number of crimes committed per 100,000 people for each of the following—murder, rape, and aggravated assault—that have occurred in a city, county, or state of your choosing in the U.S. in the past year. Also, estimate the percent of males versus females who commit the majority of crimes, and describe what you think is the most frequent offender/victim relationship. Post the name of the area you selected as well as your estimate of the number of each crime committed.

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Bartol, C. R., & Bartol, A. M. (2017). Criminal behavior: A psychological approach (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

  • Chapter 1, “Introduction to Criminal Behavior” (pp. 1–27)
  • Chapter 10, “Multiple Murder, School and Workplace Violence” (pp. 305–309)

Bureau of Justice Statistics. (n.d.). Home page. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from http://www.bjs.gov/ 

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016b). Uniform crime reporting. Retrieved from https://ucr.fbi.gov/ 

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016c). Welcome to a new way to access UCR statistics. Retrieved from http://www.ucrdatatool.gov/ 

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016d). A word about UCR data. Retrieved from https://ucr.fbi.gov/word 

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (2017). Easy access to the FBI’s supplementary homicide reports. Retrieved from https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/ 

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2017j). Forensic insights: Introduction to violent crime [Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Psychological Aspects of Violent Crime

Excellent – above expectations Good – met expectations Fair – below expectations Poor – significantly below expectations or missing

Main Discussion Posting Content

Points Range:

21.6 (54%) – 24 (60%)

Discussion posting demonstrates an excellent understanding of all of the concepts and key points presented in the text/s and Learning Resources. Posting provides significant detail including multiple relevant examples, evidence from the readings and other scholarly sources, and discerning ideas.

Points Range:

19.2 (48%) – 21.57 (53.92%)

Discussion posting demonstrates a good understanding of most of the concepts and key points presented in the text/s and Learning Resources. Posting provides moderate detail (including at least one pertinent example), evidence from the readings and other scholarly sources, and discerning ideas.

Points Range:

16.8 (42%) – 19.17 (47.93%)

Discussion posting demonstrates a fair understanding of the concepts and key points as presented in the text/s and Learning Resources. Posting may be lacking or incorrect in some area, or in detail and specificity, and/or may not include sufficient pertinent examples or provide sufficient evidence from the readings.

Points Range:

0 (0%) – 16.77 (41.93%)

Discussion posting demonstrates poor or no understanding of the concepts and key points of the text/s and Learning Resources. Posting is incorrect and/or shallow and/or does not include any pertinent examples or provide sufficient evidence from the readings.

Reply Post & Peer Interaction

Points Range:

7.2 (18%) – 8 (20%)

Student interacts frequently with peers. The feedback postings and responses to questions are excellent and fully contribute to the quality of interaction by offering constructive critique, suggestions, in-depth questions, use of scholarly, empirical resources, and stimulating thoughts and/or probes.

Points Range:

6.4 (16%) – 7.16 (17.9%)

Student interacts moderately with peers. The feedback postings and responses to questions are good, but may not fully contribute to the quality of interaction by offering constructive critique, suggestions, in-depth questions, use of scholarly, empirical resources, and stimulating thoughts and/or probes.

Points Range:

5.6 (14%) – 6.36 (15.9%)

Student interacts minimally with peers or the feedback postings, and responses to questions only partially contribute to the quality of interaction by offering insufficient constructive critique or suggestions, shallow questions, or providing poor quality additional resources.

Points Range:

0 (0%) – 5.56 (13.9%)

Student does not interact with peers (0 points) or the feedback postings and responses to questions do not contribute to the quality of interaction by offering any constructive critique, suggestions, questions, or additional resources.

Writing

Points Range:

7.2 (18%) – 8 (20%)

Postings are well organized, use scholarly tone, contain original writing , proper paraphrasing, follow APA style, contain very few or no writing and/or spelling errors, and are fully consistent with graduate level writing style.

Points Range:

6.4 (16%) – 7.16 (17.9%)

Postings are mostly consistent with graduate level writing style. Postings may have some small organization, scholarly tone, writing, or APA style issues, and/or may contain a few writing and spelling errors.

Points Range:

5.6 (14%) – 6.36 (15.9%)

Postings are somewhat below graduate level writing style. Postings may be lacking in organization, scholarly tone, APA style, contain many writing and/or spelling errors, or show moderate reliance on quoting vs. original writing and paraphrasing

This week, you estimate the prevalence and incidence rates of violent crimes and compare your estimates to the actual data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. You also look at your personal perceptions of violent crime in the United States.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Compare prevalence and incident rates of violent crime to personal estimates of violent crime
  • Analyze personal perceptions of violent crime in the United States