Profiling

Page by Sarah Dye
The study of deviance relates to profiling because many people who commit crimes are not only deviants for being a criminal but are likely to be deviants in other aspects of their lives as well. Sociologists who study deviance look at factors that are correlated with criminal acts like race, class, gender. Not only do they look at these factors in context of criminal behavior but in how these things affect criminals through the entire justice system. The fact that this information can be applied with in the justice system is what qualifies it as being a part of forensics, as forensics itself has to do with evidence that can be used in the courtroom. Organizations, such as the FBI, use sociological data in order to figure out what type of person is most likely to commit a certain type of crime, and who is likely to be a security risk.

We know from sociology that people who are minorities, men or in the lower class are more likely to commit a crime. Women in lower classes are more likely to be victims of crimes. Law enforcement has taken a page out of sociology’s book, so to speak, and applied it to profiling. The following table shows statistical data about murders in 2009.

Expanded Homicide Data Table 3

It is things like this that give law enforcement some guidance when they first start looking at a crime. Profiling has been seen as very controversial however in that it involves racial profiling. Some people argue that racial profiling is not fair or morally right to use. Others argue that it is based on statistical evidence, therefore it is not influenced by any personal stereotypes and that it is a useful tool for law enforcement. Despite the controversy racial profiling has been and most likely will continue to be used by law enforcement.

References:

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2009, September). Expanded Homicide Data Table 3. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from Expanded Homicide Data: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_03.html

O’Conner, T. (2010, August 23). History if Criminal Profiling. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from History of Profiling: http://www.drtomoconnor.com/4050/4050lect01.htm

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