What Is Crime? Definitions and categories of crimes discussed.

Essay by kuriouskatHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2006

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Webster's college dictionary defines a crime as an action that is deemed injurious to the public welfare and is legally prohibited. Within the United States today, crimes are taking place every few seconds. In fact, in 1995, one crime index offense took place every two seconds within the US. There are many factors in this world today, which play key roles on affecting crime. Age, gender, social class, drug use, and educational level all have a key affect on not only the amount of crimes which are being committed, but which types of crimes are being committed by which people. One interesting aspect which has an affect on crime today is ethnic and cultural origins. By breaking down crimes into which types of people commit them, one can better understand and eventually learn how to prevent certain crimes from occurring.

In 1995, within the United States, as a whole, the majority of crimes were committed by whites.

66.8 percent of all crimes were committed by whites. 30.9 percent of all crimes were committed by African Americans. 1.1 percent were committed by American Indian or Alaskan Natives, and 1.1 percent were committed by Asian or Pacific Islander. These percentages give good information on the overall of who commits crimes, but it does not really go deep enough under the surface to show which crimes are committed more by which people. A further breakdown into specific crimes is much more beneficial.

Murder and non-negligent manslaughter, defined in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, is the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another. The classification of this offense is based solely on police investigation as opposed to the determination of a court, medical examiner, coroner, jury, or other judicial body. Crimes which are not included in this category are deaths caused...