Flashcards in The Social Construction of Crime Statistics Deck (12):
How do interactionists see official crime statistics?
As socially constructed.
What happens at each stage of the criminal justice system?
Agents of social control make decisions about whether or not to proceed to the next stage.
What does the outcome of the official crime statistic depend on?
The label agents of social control attach to the individual suspect or defendant in the course of their interactions.
What is the label likely to be affected by?
The typifications they hold about the individual.
What do statistics produced by the criminal justice system only tell us about?
The activities of the police and prosecutors, rather than the about the amount of crime out there in society or who commits it.
What are that statistics counts of?
The decisions made by control agents at the different 'decision gates' or stages in the criminal justice system.
What is the dark figure of crime?
The difference between the official statistics and the 'real' rate of crime, because we do not know for certain how much crime goes undetected, unreported and unrecorded.
What are alternative statistics that some sociologists may use?
Victim surveys and self-report studies.
What are victim surveys?
People are asked what crimes they have been victim of.
What are self-report studies?
People are asked what crimes they have committed.
What is an advantage of alternative statistics?
They can add to our picture of crime.