Criminal Justice Databases


Assignment: Criminal Justice Databases

Numerous databases available today provide useful data for conducting criminal justice research. For example, databases offered by the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program contain data on crimes for which offenders were arrested. Also, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) provides statistics about both victims and offenders. The criminal justice issue or problem being researched helps determine which criminal justice database to use. For example, if you wanted to investigate whether the elderly in a given area are being victimized more than other age groups, you could use the NCVS, which includes victim demographics and is not limited by whether an arrest has been made. On the other hand, the UCR program would not be appropriate to use in this case because it does not provide data about where a crime occurred and is limited only to crimes in which an arrest was made. In this Assignment, you become familiar with various criminal justice databases, and you will consider which one might be best for researching a criminal justice issue or problem of interest to you.

To prepare:

  • First, identify a criminal justice problem or issue of interest to you. This will become the research problem that you will revisit throughout the course.
  • Next, use the Learning Resources provided this week to help you examine how data analysis and research can be used in a specific criminal justice setting along with the importance of data analysis and research in that setting.
  • Finally, select a database you would use to research the issue or problem you identified. You may select one covered in the resources this week or one that you find through your own search.

In 300 words, respond to the following:

  • Describe the criminal justice problem or issue you identified. 
  • Explain how you might use the database you selected to research the problem or issue. 
  • Explain the importance of data analysis and research for criminal justice professionals when attempting to address this problem. 

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