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NCJ Number: 186492 Find in a Library
Title: Living Criminologically with Naked Emperors
Journal: Criminal Justice and Policy Review  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:March 2000  Pages:6-15
Author(s): Hal Pepinsky
Date Published: March 2000
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the author’s criminological research on crime measurement, argues that the task of counting crime is impossible, and outlines alternative criteria for the study and control of crime and personal violence.
Abstract: Counting criminality rests on counting crime. Two obstacles impede the counting of crime even after measurements correct for class bias and political influences. One obstacle is that the most damaging and traumatizing crimes are the most deeply hidden and that the motives perceived to underlie behavior and not the behavior itself affect what people consider to be crime. Thus, displays of empathy are people’s greatest assurance that others are safe. The repression of the feelings of trauma rather than the trauma itself produces dissociation and violence, according to Miller’s explanation. The structure and process provided by approaches such as the Navajo peacemaking court offer a path by which people regain empathy and transcend the compulsion to do violence. The peacemaking court is a paradigm of what might also be called participatory democracy, the social process that promotes empathy over violence. Criminologists should use such a paradigm to study how to make participation in social life more democratic. This approach is more valid than the usual approaches for measuring progress toward the control of crime and personal violence. 31 references
Main Term(s): Police statistics
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Crime patterns; Crime Rate; Crime rate studies; Crime Statistics; Criminology; Fear of crime; Research methods
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