Comparative Criminal Justice Systems CRIME, TRANSNATIONAL CRIME, AND JUSTICE CHAPTER TWO Reichel Questions Why measure crime and compare crime data ? What do comparative criminoligists study? What do comparative criminal justice scholars study? Limits of Comparative Criminal Justice Variation in crime rates (crime as a social phenomenon) must first be established before behavioral explanations (crime as social behavior) are offered. Limitations of International Crime Data Underreporting: social and political reasons Nonstandard Definitions Differences in collection and recording practices: inconsistencies and politics Underreporting Social Reasons Citizens fail to report many crimes because of: No insurance Accessibility to police Limited telephone access Fear of reprisals; fear or dislike of police (mistrust) Wish to protect the perpetrator Not serious/no loss Different social norms in different countries, i.e., rape in U.S. and Mexico Underreporting (cont’d) Political Reasons Countries fail to report crime because: Some countries lack the technical resources and knowledge necessary to report crime data. Some countries are concerned that crime data will negatively affect their nation’s world standing or tourist trade. Some countries are concerned that crime data will indicate a weakness in their political philosophy. Some countries are too involved in civil war to keep track of crime problems. Nonstandard Definitions Major issue: Determining what is a crime versus what is legal Interpol and the United Nation’s request countries report to report crime according to their categories, however, this creates confusion and controversy. Laws and legal codes in some cases are so different that it is difficult to make comparisons, i.e., rape – Italy and Croatia. In other words, comparing a specific crime in two countries may not actually compare similar acts. Differences in Collection and Recording Practices Styles of different interviewers and recorders may vary considerably. Inconsistency in crime data collection and recording by police departments (both within and across countries). Countries in developing countries lack manpower and technology to efficiently collect, record, and report crime data. Many countries do not have a unified criminal justice system, thus they may not be able to collect crime statistics on a national level. Some countries count crimes when they are reported to police, other countries count crimes when police forward them for prosecution. Data Sets for Crime Comparison Interpol data Council of Europe surveys United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime surveys United Nations Survey on Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems International Crime Victim Survey Crime Trends Crime survey results cannot be used to rank countries, they are appropriate for assessing the direction of change in crime. In other words, they are useful for identifying trends over time. Questions Does the availability of guns influence a country’s violent crime rate? Why would homicide rates be a reliable indicator of that crime across countries whereas many crimes are not comparable indicators ? Transnational Crime It is difficult to define transnational crime, however, it normally includes the reliance of several individuals and groups in many countries working together to complete the crime. It often has an organized component, i.e., transnational organized crime. Transnational Crime Types Aircraft Hijacking Money Laundering Computer crime/cyber crime Sea Piracy Corruption and Bribery of Theft of art and artifacts public and political officials Trafficking in persons Environmental crime Trafficking in human body Drug Trafficking parts Arms Trafficking Terrorism Characteristics of Terrorism Distinction between domestic and international terrorism, i.e., Oklahoma City – September 11, 2001. Political in aims and motives. Exploitation of fear (terror) through violence or the threat of violence. Psychological effects (fear through intimidation). Perpetrated by a subnational group or non-state entity. Characteristics of Terrorism (cont’d) Designed to create power when there is no power. To terrorists, there are no rules of warfare or codes of conduct. The goal is that through the publicity generated from their violence, terrorists will have the leverage to effect political change. Perpetrated by some organizational entity with an identifiable chain of command capable of conspiratorial conduct. Terrorism Typologies Nationalist: seek to form a separate state for their own national group, i.e., freedom fighters. Examples include: IRA, Basque Fatherland and Liberty, and Kurdistan Worker’s Party. Religious: use violence to further what they believe are divinely commanded purposes – a spiritual rather than a military objective. Examples include: Al-Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah, Aum Shinrikyo. Terrorism Typologies (cont’d) State-Sponsored: Used by radical states as foreign policy – provide a cost effective way to wage war covertly through terrorists, i.e., U.S. embassy – Tehran (1979). States considered to sponsor terrorism include: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria. Terrorism Typologies (cont’d) Left-Wing, Right-Wing, and Anarchist: Left- wing groups seek to destroy capitalism and replace it with a communist social regime. Right-wing groups seek to create fascists states. Anarchists are revolutionaries who seek to overthrow all forms of government. Examples include: Left-Wing (Red Brigade, Baader-Meinhof Gang, Japanese Red Army); Right-Wing (Neo-Nazis, skinheads, white supremacists); and, Anarchist (contemporary anti-globalization groups). Question Why should we care about transnational crime? What is the general response toward transnational crime - both in the U.S. and in other countries?
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