You are here

The Mismeasure of Crime

The Mismeasure of Crime

Second Edition

December 2010 | 280 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

A unique look at the problems in measuring crime both historically and internationally

Filled with real world examples derived from media reports on crime trends and other sources, this fully updated Second Edition analyzes the specific errors that can occur in the three most common methods used to report crime—official crime data, self report, and victimization studies. For each method, the authors examine strengths and weaknesses, the fundamental issues surrounding accuracy, and the method's application to theoretical and policy research. Throughout the book, the authors demonstrate the factors that underlie crime data and illustrate the fundamental links between theory, policy, and data measurement.

1. Introduction: The Pervasiveness (and Limitations) of Measurement
2. The History of Measuring Crime
3. Official Crime Data
4. Self-Reporting Studies
5. Victimization Surveys
6. Crime Patterns, Evaluating Crime Policies, and Criminological Theories
About the Authors

Well rounded and easy to read.

Professor F. Gostjev
Sociology Criminal Just Dept, Bridgewater State Univ
August 26, 2015

Very easy to read and understand.

Dr Julie Nikanga
January 13, 2014

meets requirements of class

Ms Deborah Vaughan
Criminal justice, Southside Virginia Community College - Daniel
October 22, 2013

Class was not offered

Professor Drew Neal
Criminal Justice, Career Centers of Texas
April 16, 2013

An excellent book for students which looks at official data, self report, and victimization studies. How the collected data is analyzed and used, and how through human error crime can often be 'mismeasured'.

Miss Frances Jackson
Public Services, Peterborough Regional College
November 4, 2011

I'm only not adopting this text because it would be better suited to a Methods Course. It has great coverage of the issues and processes of data collection, analysis and interpretation. It puts first and foremost the requirement that students recognize that data is problematic and how to deal with issues of reliability and validity, where to find data and how to constructively explore the problematics of crime data and statistics.

Mr Andrew Timleck
Sociology Dept, McDaniel College
December 23, 2010
Key features

New to the Second Edition:

  • New coverage includes an all-new section on crime mapping, as well as new material on Web-based and email surveys.
  • Coverage of recent developments on measuring crime includes new material on sexual assault on college campuses.
  • Expanded coverage of racial profiling is included in Chapter 6.
  • Other important enhancements include increased discussion of sex offender registries and a new section and critique on the increasing use of "projected deviance" measures.
  • Updated data and many new examples bring the book fully up to date.

Key Features

  • Coverage of the factors that underlie crime data and other measures of social phenomena helps readers learn to critically analyze social data.
  • helps readers learn to critically analyze social data.
  • The book's historical and international perspectives give readers a wider view of the problems in measuring crime.
  • A wide range of examples, including many derived from the popular media's reporting on crime trends, help readers see the relevance of crime data for the development of crime policies.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.