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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70414 Find in a Library
Title: Crime and Criminals in the United States (From Criminology Review Yearbook, Volume 2, P 697-727 1980, by Egon Bittner and Sheldon L Messinger - See NCJ-70397)
Author(s): J G Weis; J S Henney
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Crime patterns in the United States, which shift in accordance with such macroscopic societal features as geographic region and urbanization level, point to an increasing rate of violent crimes in the country.
Abstract: Public attitudes toward crime in the United States have shifted from the perception of crime and lawlessness as the most important social problem in the 1960's to ranking it below the high cost of living and inflation in the 1970's, although fear of crime has increased nationwide. This fear varies according to the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of citizens, as well as to their geographical location, with urban residents in the North East being more fearful of crime than their neighbors in the West and South, and Midwesterners being the least concerned about the possibility of personal crime victimization. In the 1970's both property and violent offenses showed a substantial increase, with the rates of arrest for both types of crime also rising. The rate of increase was higher for violent, compared to property, crimes. Some of the crime survey findings related to geographic location and urbanization level show somewhat confusing patterns. The western regions of the United States and large metropolitan areas appear to have the greatest susceptibility to crime. Western states, along with North Central states, maintain the highest ratios of known offenses to arrests. Offender and victim characteristics typically indicate a lone offender, acting against an unknown victim, without the presence of any sort of weapon except in cases of aggravated assault; the typical offender is male, young, black, and economically disadvantaged. The victim, on the other hand, also tends to be a young, nonwhite male: age and low-income background appear to influence negatively the victim's reporting of the criminal episode. The various types of correctional supervision for arrested offenders (i.e., jail, probation, institutionalization, and parole) vary with different types of offenders at different points in the criminal justice process: significant variations within types of correctional supervision also occur in relation to region, jurisdiction, sex, age, race, admission, and release characteristics. Crime trends in the 1980's appear to point to continuing increases in crime and arrest rates, with perhaps the greatest relative increases for violent crimes. Numerous statistical tables, graphs, and projections are included in the text.
Index Term(s): Crime patterns; Crime prediction; Crime Rate; Crime Statistics; Geographic distribution of crime; United States of America; Violent crimes
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