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EMU: CRM 611 - The Sociology of Crime: Research Assignment 1, Sourcebook

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 Sourcebook itself and its internet address. 

Go to the Sourcebook. (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.)

1. What does the Sourcebook say is its suggested citation?

2. What were the most recent figures for total justice expenditures - what year and how many total dollars?

3. Find the number and rated capacity of private adult correctional facilities, by jurisdiction. What state had the largest number of private prison beds available? 

4. Pick an opinion poll from Section II on a public attitude of interest to you. In the paper, mention the table number, table title, and several sentences describing the important information in the table. Be prepared to give a brief presentation to the class. 

5. Is the victim-offender relationship for the total number of violent crimes best described as involving strangers or non-strangers? Is the answer the same for both completed and attempted violence? What percent of rapes are committed by non-strangers? 

6. What would be a responsible conclusion to draw about the number of police officers feloniously killed recently? (i.e., what's the trend?)

7. What was the total correctional population for 1999? 

8. Is it true that from 1930 - 1997, most of the executed prisoners were white? Is there other information or context that would be helpful to include to accurately convey context about the number of blacks and whites executed?

9. Click on 'Prisoners in State & Federal Institutions,' then on the rate (per 100,000 resident population) of sentenced prisoners. Print off a copy to attach to your paper. Write several sentences starting to answer, "What's going on here?" and "What does this say about us as a country?"


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