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EMU: CRM 611 - The Sociology of Crime: Research Assignment 2: FBI

The research assignments for this class serve the purpose of introducing important sources of criminal justice data and sharpen your ability to both find and report data. It is extremely important to meticulously document the source and context of the data - for example, $, absolute numbers, or % (% increase from what year to when?). Be sure to also include references to the Table and page number; somewhere on your assignment, be sure to include a reference to the FBI site and to the Uniform Crime Reports. 

Go to the FBI (If you use the right side of your mouse to click on the link, you can open it in a new window, which will make it easier to refer back to these questions.) Find the link to the Uniform Crime Reports and click on the link for 1999 (the last year for which there is complete data).

1. What was the total number (NOT the rate) of violent crimes and property crimes in 1999? How many were murder & non-negligent manslaughter? In what month are violent crimes in general and murder in particular most likely to happen? (You don't need to write about it, but I will ask you why this moth would have the highest rate; we'll also discuss the number of murders in the real world v. what we see on TV.)

2. What is the rape rate for 1999? On the next page, read the text under the heading 'Rate.' What is different about how it is reported? Which is the more accurate way to report the information?

3. Could a stolen motorscooter be counted as motor vehicle theft? Is the rate expressed in terms of 100,000 people or motor vehicles? Why might it matter?

4. Does larceny-theft include confidence games? What was the average value of property taken in a larceny theft in 1999? Did purse snatching or thefts from coin operated machines have a higher average take?

5. Using the 'Crime Index Tabulations,' complete the following table

  Violent Crime Rate Property Crime rate Larceny-theft Rate
U.S National      

6. Pick a Metropolitan Statistical Area in Michigan and fill in the bottom row with the city name and crime rate information.

7. How many total arrests were made in the U.S or 1999? What is the racial distribution for Index Crime arrests? How many arrests were made for drug abuse violations and what percent of the drug arrests were for marijuana possession?

8. Go out of the UCR section and click on the link for 'Major investigations.' Read the item on Space Shuttle Fraud, and write a brief summary for the crime(s) and the penalty. 

9. Go to the section on the Freedom of Information Act, then to the Reading Room Index. What name or subject surprised you the most? If you had the time and resources, which file would you be most interested in reading? Why?


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