Crime In College Campuses Essay

1145 words - 5 pages

According to the Uniform Crime Report, a violent crime occurs on an average of every twenty-six seconds in the United States (UCR, National Data). Young people, primarily between the ages of 17 and 19 and in their early twenties, commit the vast majority of crime (Barkan and Bryjak, 33). It is also common for individuals at this age to attend college. Based on the Uniform Crime Report (Table 9), twenty-four colleges and universities have increased enrollment rates from 2005 until 2012 in New York State alone. Despite the consistent increase in the number of individuals continuing their education, it appears that the amount of violent crime has decreased among college campuses. This contradicts the common crime myth that crime is increasing throughout the United States when in fact it is actually slightly decreasing or remaining constant. It is possible for the relationship between increasing enrollment rates and decreasing rates of violent crime to be explained by the common misconception that crime is actually decreasing. However, there is evidence that supports this inverse relationship is due to the underreporting of crime among college campuses, which often happens because the college doesn’t want to damage its reputation. As a result, they choose to deal with the crime themselves rather than getting the authorities involved.
The collection of violent crime data in the UCR includes the numbers of murders and manslaughters, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, property crimes, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts, and arsons (Table 9). The most common crime that is rarely reported throughout college campuses is rape. Based on the UCR, the rape counts from 2005 through 2012 throughout campuses in New York State are minimal to nonexistent. Barkan and Bryjak mention that college campuses commonly manipulate crime data, particularly that of rape, because they want to avoid it from reaching the public’s attention. Rather than informing the police of the serious violent act, campuses often choose to handle the matter through student discipline hearings (Barkan and Bryjak, 29). This accounts for the inaccuracy in the Uniform Crime Report because the UCR only consists of data that comes from the FBI’s crime-reporting system. Therefore, if the college handles the matter on their own, the police are not informed, and the data is misrepresented in the crime report.
Women between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four are four times more likely to experience sexual assault, making college women likely candidates. “Fewer than 1 in 20 college rape victims report the attack to campus police or local law enforcement personnel (Barkan and Bryjack, 61).” Victims fail to report the attacks due to embarrassment, fear, and commonly shame because it is likely that they were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Despite crime myths, it is much more likely that the offender will be acquainted with the victim rather than a stranger. In college,...

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