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7.7E: Violent Crime

  • Page ID
    8147
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    A violent crime is a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim.

     

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

     

    Explain how the United States Department of Justice classifies violent crime

     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    Key Points

     

    • The United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) counts five categories of crime as violent crimes: murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault.
    • Violent crimes include crimes committed with and without weapons. With the exception of rape, males are the primary victims of all forms of violent crime.
    • The rate of violent crime victimization in the United States declined by more than two thirds between the years 1994 and 2009.

     

    Key Terms

     

    • Simple Assault: In law, assault is a crime which involves causing a victim to apprehend violence.
    • aggravated assault: Assault with disregard for the value of life, or with a deadly weapon.
    • Forcible Rape: A type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent.

    A violent crime is a crime in which the offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end, such as robbery. Violent crimes include crimes committed with and without weapons. With the exception of rape (which accounts for 6% of all reported violent crimes), males are the primary victims of all forms of violent crime.

    The comparison of violent crime statistics between countries is usually problematic due to the way different countries classify crime. Valid comparisons require that similar offences between jurisdictions be compared. Often this is not possible because crime statistics aggregate equivalent offences in such different ways that make it difficult or impossible to obtain a valid comparison.

    The United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) counts five categories of crime as violent crimes: murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. According to the BJS, the rate of violent crime victimization in the United States declined by more than two thirds between the years 1994 and 2009. Nearly 8% of sentenced prisoners in federal prisons on September 30, 2009 were in for violent crimes; 52.4% of sentenced prisoners in state prisons at yearend in 2008 were in for violent crimes; and 21.6% of convicted inmates in jails in 2002 were in for violent crimes.

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    Chicago Violent Crime Map: Map of violent crimes in 2005 in Chicago community areas per 100,000 residents.

    Since the 13th century AD, evidence shows large long-term declines in the rate of murder, from one hundred people to one person per 100,000 between 1200 and 2000 AD. By contrast, there is a widespread belief that violent crime is on the rise, due largely to a mass media, which disproportionately reports violent crime.