What type of of information can I find in data and statistics?
Data is a collection of facts, such as numbers, words, measurements, or observations. Statistics collect, analyze, interpret and present data. Statistics can help you provide numerical evidence to support your claims.
Using Criminal Justice Statistics
There are 3 primary methods used to measure and collect statistics on the nature and extent of crime. Each has its benefits and limitations:
- Official data derive from crimes known to have occurred that are recorded by law enforcement agencies. The FBI Uniform Crime Reports is an example of this type of data.
- Victim data derive from surveys which ask people about their experience with crime. This type of data is useful for understanding unreported crimes that do not appear in official data sources. The BJS National Crime Victimization Survey is the most important source for this data.
- Self-report data attempt to assess the true extent of various crime patterns by measuring such things as a person's attitudes, values, personal characteristics or behaviors. The Monitoring the Future Survey is an example of data gathered to understand drug use among juveniles.