skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


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
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.