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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50084 Find in a Library
Title: ABORIGINES IN CRIME STATISTICS - AN INTERACTION BETWEEN POVERTY AND DETECTORS
Journal: AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:11  Issue:2  Dated:(JUNE 1978)  Pages:71-80
Author(s): R SANSON-FISHER
Corporate Author: Southdown Press
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Southdown Press
Melbourne, Australia
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: POSSIBLE REASONS FOR THE OVERREPRESENTATION OF ABORIGINES IN OFFICIAL CRIME STATISTICS ARE EXAMINED, AND THE CONCEPT OF THE BEHAVIORAL MATRIX (A DERIVATIVE OF THE LABELING THEORY OF DETECTION) IS INTRODUCED.
Abstract: THERE ARE TWO PRIMARY APPROACHES TO THE DETECTION OF DELINQUENCY. THE FIRST IS THE IMPARTIAL MODEL THAT ASSUMES A ONE-TO-ONE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A DEVIANT ACT AND DETECTION. THE LABELING MODEL RECOGNIZES THE ROLE OF THE DETECTOR AS AN ADDITIONAL VARIABLE IN THE PERCEPTION OF DEVIANCE. THIS LATTER MODEL CONSIDERS NOT ONLY THE INDIVIDUAL OFFENDER BUT ALSO THE DETECTOR AS IMPORTANT IN THE PROCESS OF APPREHENDING AND LABELING ADOLESCENTS. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LABELING APPROACH TO DEVIANCE IS THE IMPLICATION THAT THERE IS NOT NECESSARILY A ONE-TO-ONE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN AN ANTISOCIAL ACT AND DETECTION. FACTORS AFFECTING DECISIONS REGARDING THE DEVIANCE OR NONDEVIANCE OF JUVENILE BEHAVIOR ARE THE CULTURE OF POVERTY (OPPORTUNITY RATES, SURVIVAL SKILLS, AND MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS) AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN WHAT CONSTITUTES A CRIME. CRITERIA BY WHICH PEOPLE ARE TO BE EQUATED PROVE DIFFICULT, AND THERE APPEARS TO BE NO AUTOMATIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL BECOMING DEVIANT AND HIS OR HER INCLUSION IN OFFICIAL CRIME STATISTICS. THE OVERREPRESENTATION OF ABORIGINES IN OFFICIAL DELINQUENCY STATISTICS IS ACCOUNTED FOR IN TERMS OF A COMPLEX INTERACTION BETWEEN: (1) FACTORS AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION OF JUVENILE BEHAVIOR (SOCIETAL DETERMINATION OF THE LEGAL CODE AND GENERALIZED DEPRIVATION OF THE ABORIGINAL GROUP); AND (2) FACTORS AFFECTING THE DETECTION OF JUVENILE BEHAVIOR (THE EXTRA-DETECTOR SELECTOR PROCESS THAT PRODUCES HIGHER VISIBILITY OF THE ABORIGINAL GROUP, THE DISCRETIONARY SELECTION PROCESS USED BY THE DETECTOR, AND NONRELIABILITY IN INTERPRETING THE LEGAL CODE DUE TO SUCH THINGS AS AMBIGUITIES IN THE DEFINITION OF LAWS). REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Behavioral science research; Crime Statistics; Labeling theory; Theory
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50084

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