Watch the following videos in their entirety and answer the critical thinking questions below.
Callie Rennison - The Importance of Measuring Crime
Q1: Dr. Rennison explains that the level of crime in a society is an indicator of the health of that society. Winston Churchill remarked similarly in 1910 saying, “The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country.” Discuss these statements.
Q2: If crime trends are going down does this always mean good things are happening? Discuss.
Mary Dodge: Crime Theory
Q1: “Broken windows” theory is one of the most widely known theories beyond the criminal justice field. Do you think the weight given to this theory is warranted? Does its application work?
Q2: Dr. Dodge states, “Crime happens in certain places.” By concentrating law enforcement efforts in certain communities, how can this have adverse affects on that community? Does it enable crime to flourish elsewhere or even ignore crime in other communities?
Q3: Dr. Dodge discusses measures homeowners can take to make their homes less likely to be targeted by criminals. Do these types of actions feed the cycle of fear and crime? Further, how can we move beyond acting on a “symptomatic” level versus addressing more of the root issues? For example, encouraging communities to build relationships of trust in which citizens can support one another and look out for one another instead of building up more and more defenses that support a culture of “us v. them.”
Callie Rennison - Being a Statistician
Q1: Dr. Rennison states that the two major crime-reporting agencies are both within the Department of Justice? Is this a concern? Should there be an additional impartial crime-reporting agency?
Q2: Crimes are not always reported or may not always be recorded correctly. What are other concerns when considering crime statistics?
Callie Rennison - Biology and the Victimization of Crime
Q1: Dr. Rennison explains that some groups disproportionately experience victimizations. What could be the reasons for this? Are they justified?
Q2: Disparities do not always mean discrimination. Even so, what can be done improve the disproportionate rates at which some groups experience victimization?