In Understanding Crime Statistics, Lynch and Addington draw on the work of leading experts on U.S. crime statistics to provide much-needed research on appropriate use of this data. Specifically, the contributors explore the issues surrounding divergence in the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which have been the two major indicators of the level and of the change in level of crime in the United States for the past 30 years. This book examines recent changes in the UCR and the NCVS and assesses the effect these have had on divergence. By focusing on divergence, the authors encourage readers to think about how these data systems filter the reality of crime. Understanding Crime Statistics builds on this discussion of divergence to explain how the two data systems can be used as they were intended - in complementary rather than competitive ways.
James P. Lynch is co-author (with Albert D. Biderman) of Understanding Crime Incidence Statistics: Why the UCR Diverges from the NCS and (with Rita J. Simon) of Immigration the World Over: Statutes, Policies and Practices. He has published in many journals including Criminology, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, and Justice Quarterly. Lynn A. Addington's recent work has appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and Homicide Studies and has been supported by grants from the American Education Research Association (National Center for Education Statistics - National Science Foundation), the American Statistical Association, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the National Institute of Justice.
Introduction: 1. Introduction James P. Lynch and Lynn A. Addington; Part I. Overview of the Two National Measures of U.S. Crime: 2. Introduction to the National Crime Victimization Survey Michael Rand and Callie Rennison; 3. Introduction to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program Cynthia Barnett-Ryan; Part II. Defining Divergence and Convergence: 4. What is convergence, and what do we know about it? David McDowall and Colin Loftin; Part III. Sources of Divergence in the NCVS: 5. Methodological change in the NCVS and the effect on convergence Shannan M. Catalano; 6. Series victimizations and divergence Mike Planty; 7. Exploring differences in estimates of visits to emergency rooms for injuries from assaults using the NCVS and NHAMCS Jacqueline Cohen and James P. Lynch; Part IV. Sources of Divergence in the UCR: 8. Using NIBRS to study methodological sources of divergence between the UCR and NCVS Lynn A. Addington; 9. Explaining the divergence between UCR and NCVS aggravated assault trends Richard Rosenfeld; 10. Missing UCR data and divergence of the NCVS and UCR trends Michael D. Maltz; Conclusion James P. Lynch and Lynn A. Addington.