Martin, R. A., & Legault, R. L. (2005). Systematic measurement error with state-level crime data: evidence from the More Guns, Less Crime debate. Journal of research in crime and delinquency, 42(2), 187-210.
Summary of the key points and findings
The article Systematic measurement error with state-level crime data: evidence from the More Guns, Less Crime debate by Martin and Legault considers the data available to the government Uniform Crime Report (URC) and discusses the may influence the More Guns Less Crime (MGLC0 parameter estimates. Importantly, the authors find out that even the cursory analysis and examination of the data from the URC it is evident that the state-level MGLC information and data suffers many errors in double counting, reporting, and imputation. Further, the data is subject to manipulation by some officers who want to put unrealistic information in the system to push forward their agenda. Further, the data available at the URC is identical with information from the Federal Bureau of Investigations FBI data that is published under the Crime in the United States. Moreover, the FBI is an agency established by the federal government while the NACJD and ICPSR are research agencies under the state-level academic institution.
The authors looked at the data that was involved in the MGLC state level to identify and find the issues wrong with it. Their purpose was not to assert the validity of the hypotheses but to examine the reliability and validity of the data they used and to indicate the data can make a big difference. Moreover, they tried to clarify the errors put forward by Malts and Targonskis assumption that the data analyzed by Lott does not suffer the problems identified by the article. From the analysis of the data, it is evident that there is a systematic bias in the information. The initial analysis of the URC and state-level indicated several inconsistencies. Some of the crime dataset for 1993 and 1997 were nearly identical.
The authors of the article suggest that the data used for the study does not have numerous problems. The few issues that arise include law adoption and some offenses were eliminated. Moreover, the paper finds out that most of the errors come from the use of aggregated crime by court data that is not well documented. Consequently, the paper states that inaccuracies in population data that is mainly used for imputation process can adversely affect the disaggregation of crime data and information and may also induce error. Further, the authors state that when compounding the error the crime rates might inflate while deflating other errors. Further, the oversight that leads to such errors is the CCW law adoption. Such factors result in the errors leading to the inadequate capture of the correct information regarding the crime rates.
Relationship of the article to criminal justice and research components
Criminal justice is the system of practice through which the government and other institutions directed towards upholding social control, mitigating crime, and deterring crime or any violence that violates the laws. The article talks about crimes such as burglary, car theft, and violence in several counties in the United States. Such information is crucial in determining how justice can be administered in the regions affected. Consequently, such information is critical in enabling the county in identifying the areas that are worse hit by the crime. The information is also crucial as it helps the three components of criminal justice system work together in the enforcement of fairness and law. The judicial system includes the law enforcement, corrections in the judicial system and the courts. All these components are necessary for criminal justice, and the criminals are processed in such a system in the course of administering justice to the people wronged.
The article mainly identifies two main criminal activities, which are burglary and violence in several states in the United States. From such the data available the authors can compare several countries which help them form a conclusion based on the data they review. For the data, the authors can compare the crime rate in some areas and identify the areas which are crucial in administering criminal justice. The article tries to determine the areas which have the high level of robbery and violence acts enabling the courts and law enforcers to take the necessary action to try to reduce such acts. Furthermore, such information is crucial in criminal justice as the law enforcers will have an easy time in administering the justice and maintaining public order as they are aware of areas which are affected by illegal activities. This gives the court and other components of delivering justice an upper hand. This is an important strategy in the process of ensuring justice is served to the people wronged. Moreover, the law enforcers can predict the areas that will likely experience the criminal activities and will be able to ensure they mitigate the same.
The article uses several data from credible sources such as the URC and the FBI in comparison to identify the crime rate in some states in the United States. The article conducts an intensive analysis of violence and burglary to come up with statistical information about the speed at which such activities take place. This shows that the authors sacrificed their time to ensure that they analyzed the information correctly to enable them to make an informed decision and had a cognitive conclusion that was supported by the analysis of the information at hand.
Similarly, the article conducts several analysis such as state-level data anomalies, county-level data anomalies, data errors, and comparison of state- level sets. This give the data the credibility it deserves as the conclusion of the article is supported by data that is credible data analysis through several that make the conclusion. . Further, the data available at the URC is identical with information from the Federal Bureau of Investigations FBI data that is published under the Crime in the United States. Moreover, the FBI is an agency established by the federal government while the NACJD and ICPSR are research agencies under the state-level academic institution.
Furthermore, the article mainly identifies two main criminal activities, which are burglary and violence in several states in the United States. The article tries to determine the regions which have the high rate of robbery and violence acts enabling the courts and law enforcers to take the necessary action to try to reduce such acts. Consequently, the paper states that inaccuracies in population data that is mainly used for imputation process can adversely affect the disaggregation of crime data and information and may also induce error.
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