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Crime is a way of behavior forbidden by law of a country and disapproved by people. Crime always presupposes a conviction. In different times and societies, there were various views on crime. Every country has some organs that define and investigate crime rates as well as make corrections. Often, all these organs are called a criminal justice system. This system presupposes, first of all, a social control and prevention of a crime. It also protects the accused of a crime from unfair judgment and abuse of power. There are the police that provide safety and investigate crimes, lawyers that prosecute or defend people accused of a crime, and the people who render decisions or make laws like the Supreme Court.
In the United States of America, the crime rate may be measured in three different ways. Usually, Congress gets the data from the Uniform Crime Reports and the National Incident-Based Reporting Systems (NIBRS). The national crime victimization survey is another popular way to get information about crime rate.
The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) was first established in 1920. It was one of the first methods to measure crime in the country. This method was firstly used to help the criminal justice system organs to fight the crime by providing current and exact data. Nowadays, the UCR data is primarily used by the government officials and the media and for some planning purposes.
In 1970, there appeared an urgent need to have more detailed and substantial data. Therefore, the Uniform Crime Reports system had to be updated. Following this aim, the FBI together with the Bureau of justice statistics started their researches on how to improve the UCR system. In May 1995, it was finished. It represented a new way of crime measurement. It was called the National Incident-Based Reporting Systems. Though it was only a blueprint, some time later, the FBI improved and developed it into a modern NIBR system.
The national crime victimization report is the third way of collecting crime data. The U.S. Department of Justice (2004) states, “It is the primary source for information on the characteristics of criminal victimization and on the number and types of crimes not reported to law enforcement” (p. 1). Nowadays, it has three main objectives: (1) to give detailed information about victims and consequences of crime, (2) to evaluate different types of crimes that are not reported to police, (3) to give a total number of various crimes (CRS report for Congress, 2008, p.21).
In 2010, there were 406, 3 violent crimes, 4, 8 homicides and 2, 941 property crimes per very 100,000 of population (The uniform crime reports,2010).
The Bureau of Justice (2011) also asserts, “The U.S. murder arrest rate in 2009 was about half of what it was in the early 1980s. Over the 30-year period ending in 2009, the adult arrest rate for murder fell 57%, while the juvenile arrest rate fell 44%”.
Another survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice informs, “67.5% of prisoners released in 1994 were rearrested within 3 years, an increase over the 62.5% found for those released in 1983”.
Thus, the criminal statistics in the United States of America is not very promising. Different organs of the criminal justice system have to work more carefully in order to decrease the constantly increasing criminal rate statistics in the country. They should also improve and develop some new methods of investigating and judging crimes. Furthermore, nowadays, the recidivism rate is very pessimistic. The current recidivism statistics shows that there are great problems in the modern system of corrections. This system does not work properly if 67 percent of released prisoners again get behind jails within three years. The authorities should develop a totally new system of rehabilitations of accused people. They must make them forget about crime once and for ever, because the safety and the well-being of citizens of the county depends on their job.