As you learned in Chapter 3 of The Mismeasure of Crime, official crime data are derived from normal functions of the criminal justice system, such as police reports that detail offenses, arrests, charges filed, and the like. As you saw in Unit 1, the official data in the criminal justice field has grown tremendously over the years. Official crime data collected according to set procedures and with data sets such as the UCR can be classified in the context of a criminal justice process and scored, once classified, in terms of the number of occurrences. As you recall from Chapter 4 of Fundamentals of Research in Criminology and Criminal Justice, there can be sources of ambiguity in concept. There can also be sources of ambiguity, as such, in classifying or categorizing crimes. This can be problematic in that the purpose of the UCR and other databases is to establish uniformity in classifications and scoring to better utilize the data collected.
For this assignment, you will use the data from the FBI’s UCR site (linked in the Resources) for the U.S. burglary rate between 1990 and 2008 as the basis for your responses.
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