In the United States of America, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has classified crimes in such a way that it is easy to understand the nature of the crime. Fischer and Claude observed that the Federal Bureau of Investigations puts all crimes under two broad categories – violent crime and property crime. Under violent crime, there are subcategories such as murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assaults.
Under property crimes, subcategories are; burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft, and larceny. Between 1960 and 1991, the rate of violent crime increased four times. During the same period, the rate of property crime doubled. Before the effective measures to curb the crime rates were put in place, the rate of crime kept on increasing year after year. The trend of violent crimes per 100,000 in the USA was as follows. In 1960, the number of violent crimes was 200. In 1972, it rose to 401, and in 1991, the number of violent crimes reached 758”.
On the other hand, there were 1726 property crime cases in 1960. In 1965, there were 2249 cases while in 1979 they rose to 5011.The property crime rates reached a climax of 5140 in 1991. As a result of the increasing rate of crime, crime control departments focused on the crime control models and methods. Modern crime control models are based on legislation, rehabilitation, probation, and incarceration.
During the 1960s, the rate of both violent and property crime kept on going up. The measures to curb the rising crimes were not elaborate. It is during that time that the branches of the government of the United States of America joined hands to legislate and implement effective programs to control crimes.
In 1960, the Congress of the United States passed the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act. This act brought into existence the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). LEAA was obligated to fund, recruit, and train law enforcement officers. The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act was one of the crucial steps towards crime control that the government of the United States of America took.
In 1994, Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act was signed into law by the President Bill Clinton. This law enabled the mobilization of 30 billion dollars, which was used in crime control. The law focused on the fight against crime in both local and the national government. The effort included upgrading and improving prisons. It also funded the departments involved in crime control. The act of 1994 made some crimes federal crimes. Such crimes attracted more penalties and became qualified for capital punishments. In that act, the offenders imprisoned three times for committing the same crime were to be sentenced for life imprisonment. The act of 1994 banned manufacturing of semi automatic weapon for ten years, except if it was for police or military use.
In the year 2000, Violence Against Women Act was revised. The bill strengthened the mobilization of funds to look into the issues that touched on the violence against women. The act enhanced hiring one hundred thousand police officers to help control crime. Megan’s Law obligated the law enforcement departments to provide the community with the information regarding sexual offenders. This information included their names, address, and photos. The information was to be placed on the printed media as well as the multimedia. Megan’s Law also provided for monitoring sexual offenders to prevent them from committing more crime.
Following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 11th September 2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed into law. The bill gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation a go ahead to listen, record, and investigate telephone conversation around the USA. It also gave it the power to hold and retain suspicious non-citizen for investigations as well as questioning.
According to Levitt and Steven, there are various methods that are employed to control crime. Incarceration is one of them. It involves imprisoning the offenders and confining them in the correction facilities. The offender’s freedom is limited until their sentence is passed. Incarceration facilities in the United States of America hold more than two million inmates. The number has increased because of an extended period of imprisonment that is used as the crime control measure. In incarceration facilities, convicts are offered both academic and vocational education.
Probation is another method that is used for crime control. It is one of the community based supervision. In probation, offenders are not put in incarceration facilities. Instead, they are given freedom to remain together with the community. Probation allows offenders to stay with the society, but they are supervised and monitored.
Parole is community-based supervision where offenders are released from incarceration facilities before their imprisonment term is over. In this method, offenders commit themselves to abide by the rules and make regular contacts with the authorities. A regular contact allows the authority to monitor as well as supervise the offenders. In some cases, crime control departments assign an officer to the offender so as to monitor his or her movements. These days, global positioning satellite technology is being used to supervise the offenders under the probation and parole programs.
In conclusion, the present crime control model has been gradually developed to its present form. From the1960s, the government departments dealing with crime control have played a great role. These departments’ achievements can be statistically confirmed. This is because the number of violent crimes per 100,000 people dropped from the peak of 758 in 1992 to 386 in 2012. Property crimes also reduced dramatically from 5140 in 1991 to 2859 in 2012. Although crime is inevitable, the efforts to control it have been fruitful, and the outcome is vivid.
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