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NCJ Number: 64453 Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION (FROM CUADERNOS PANAMENOS DE CRIMINOLOGIA, N 7, 1978)
Author(s): M MARQUEZ
Corporate Author: Universidad de Panama
Instituto de Criminologia
Panama
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Universidad de Panama
Panama City, Panama
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: Spanish
Country: Panama
Annotation: CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION CANNOT RELY EXCLUSIVELY ON THE METHODOLOGIES AND TOOLS OF SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY, SUCH AS MEASUREMENTS, BECAUSE CRIME IS A COMPLEX PHENOMENON, WITH RAMIFICATIONS IN HUMANISTIC DISCIPLINES.
Abstract: IN FORMULATING EFFECTIVE CRIME PREVENTION AND CONTROL POLICIES, CRIMINOLOGISTS CAN UNDOUBTEDLY BE AIDED BY CRIME MEASUREMENTS, BOTH IN QUALITATIVE WAYS (E.G., DEGREE OF SERIOUSNESS, WHICH ENABLES JUDGES TO ARRIVE AT SUITABLE AND INDIVIDUAL SENTENCES), AND THROUGH QUANTITATIVE DATA (E.G., THE CHARACTERISTICS OF, AND TRENDS IN CRIME AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON). NUMERICAL CRIME DATA, HOWEVER, ARE GATHERED FROM THREE MAJOR SOURCES-POLICE STATISTICS, COURT STATISTICS, AND CORRECTIONAL STATISTICS-NONE OF WHICH ARE COMPLETELY ACCURATE, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL BASED ON DIFFERENT LEGAL AND WORKING DEFINITIONS AND CLASSIFIED ACCORDING TO DESCRIPTIVE VARIABLES TAILORED TO THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS OF EACH ISSUING AGENCY. MOREOVER, A TRULY ACCURATE CRIME SURVEY WOULD INCLUDE THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CRIMES COMMITTED DURING A SPECIFIED PERIOD OF TIME, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY WERE DISCOVERED, REPORTED, INVESTIGATED, TRIED, AND SENTENCED, BUT THERE ARE ALWAYS THE 'DARK FIGURES' OF CRIME, WHICH ARE NEVER CONSTANT AND CONSEQUENTLY DISTORT THE EVALUATION OF THE PHENOMENA UNDER OBSERVATION. AT ANY RATE, CRIMINALITY MEASUREMENTS ARE USED IN FORMULATING EFFECTIVE SOCIAL ACTION AND CRIME PREVENTION PLANS. A CAREFULLY PLANNED CRIMINOLOGICAL POLICY SHOULD BE PLURALISTIC (I.E., USING ALL VIABLE TECHNIQUES AND APPROACHES), DYNAMIC (ALWAYS ABREAST OF ONGOING SOCIAL CHANGES IMPACTING ON CRIME), AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY (DRAWING UPON THE FINDINGS OF SOCIOLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY, ANTHROPOLOGY, MEDICINE, ETC.). CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION IS STILL IN ITS EARLY STAGES IN PANAMA, BUT THE STUDIES COMPLETED SO FAR, ALTHOUGH INCONCLUSIVE, APPEAR TO QUESTION THE CONCEPT OF CRIMINOLOGY AS A 'CURATIVE' DISCIPLINE. --IN SPANISH (LGR).
Index Term(s): Crime analysis; Crime Control Programs; Crime Rate; Crime Statistics; Criminal investigation; Criminality prediction; Criminology; Effectiveness; Panama
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