Comments to 3 other students

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1. Fatima Walton-Brown
Module 6
I currently work for NYC Parks as a Recreation Supervisor and my position is to have programs for people of all ages. Daily and weekly we have to do programs reports online on a parks database called shear point and then we have to do a report where we show how many people was in the class what we did and show pictures of what we did. Every season we have to come up with programs if the program we had prior did not expand then we are giving the opportunity to do the program again or we have to let the program go. Once giving the opportunity to keep the program it has to be changed, something should be added that’s different, targeting a different age group. The purpose of the reports is too see if our numbers are growing and to try and tackle more of our age populations that pop up the most. We also have a system call safari where everybody is able to see the numbers and compare it to other centers. That safari is a reporting system I don’t like because it compares centers and for what I see it doesn’t show how big the center is or the hours of operations, and another thing is that some center do great with working with children and not really doing that much adult program. We also have to do 7 hours of outreach to get more people in the center ad there is a report for that.

For me when it comes to gathering statistical data in comparative criminal justice it makes a person more computer based and can allow judges to stop using their discretion. Who’s to say that a first time offender who killed (serious offense) a person who captured and rapped them will run if they were granted bond and was release on their own recognizance won’t come back? In the database that was explained in the ted talk Universal Risk assessment tool she spoke about three things that she focused on if the defendant will commit a new crime before they come back to court, If the person will commit a act of violence and last if the person will show up to court In general. But metal health was not one of them, I feel that there are so many people who commit a crime and once in prison they show signed of mental health issues and they in some cases they are treated or even separated. If we learn who has mental health problems early on they can get the help they need early on and that can also help with crimes committed in the future.
2. Connor Rutherford
Module 6
My current job doesn’t really do much with statistics, but I certainly think it could. One major aspect of my job involves contacting witnesses and either trying to get background information off the record or convince people to be included in complaints as confidential witnesses or anonymous employees and that involves a lot of calls and a lot of rejections.

I would imagine that if we tracked information about the people we called such as gender, age, level of education, location, seniority of position, industry and tenure there would be some group of people that are more willing to cooperate and are more likely to have relevant information for different types of cases. Of course, no stone is left unturned as the saying goes, but with this type of information available we might be able to turn over the most promising stones more quickly.

As for the difficulties of gathering statistical data in comparative criminal justice, I think some of the main issues are first of all, availability of data in any capacity and secondly the existence of readily comparable data. Many jurisdictions keep record of different information and certain data can have different definitions. This is especially true when comparing data across different countries.
3. Max Pomerantz
Module 6
In accounting, statistical analysis greatly helps us in being able to view trends and make determinations based on those trends. For example, if one is reviewing the quarterly statements of a global fortune 500 company and wants to see if there are any irregularities in one of the balance sheet accounts, cash for example, a basic starting point could be comparing bank account balances from different time periods to the current time period and if they are a certain pre-determined percentage difference off from one another, further analysis is then needed for the specific account. In forensic accounting/financial investigation, statistical analysis is used in benchmarking procedures in determining lost revenue, lost profits, etc. In a general law enforcement setting, Anne Milgram lays out the usage of statistics very well in the TED talk. For example, statistics greatly help in determining who is more likely to double offend which is very useful for the judicial system and the greater prison system and who is more likely to commit a violent action versus a non-violent crime. The use of statistics and computer-based answers also takes the subjective aspect out of decisions (if the computer models are built fairly) and is also much faster when decisions need to be made. The biggest issue in my mind is that people still have to build the statistical models. The models are only as good as the people who build the models. If any strong biases, whatever they may be, exist in the people who build these models, they have a respectable chance of showing in the statistical models themselves.

Question of the discussion board –
In our discussion forum reflect on why statistics are important for your job or area of expertise. Explain what may be some issues in terms of gathering statistical data in comparative criminal justice. Remember to comment in at least one other student’s post.

My discussion board –
Module 6 Discussion Board
Statistics is an important aspect in any job to create a clear perception of activities involved and smooth running of roles. According to TED Talk by Anne Milgram on the importance of statistics to fight crime, it is difficult to keep track of a job and capture important matters if there is no proper way of management like the use of statistics.
The research analysis job on matters affecting society like an increase in drug abuse and others is a job that greatly requires the use of statistics. It would seem difficult if no statistics are taken at least every month to check on the progress and track of all things. Data and statistical analysis enables the researchers to know when there are increases and decreases in drug abuse cases and factors that lead to this vice in a given area. The statistics also help to formulate strategies that will work efficiently and be able to curb this matter. Through statistics, the researchers get knowledge of the risks they can face in the course of their research, and measures are taken to overcome the risks.
Despite the effectiveness of statistics, many challenges are faced along the way in the process of gathering statistical data. Risk assessment tools used are expensive which is a huge limiting factor to many people. The process is time-consuming as it takes time to group data and start analyzing it. Most statistical analysis tools are only limited to their specified areas of research. This hinders research to be performed in other fields. At times, the statistics used to perform the analysis are not the exact measures but only an estimate. Errors may occur in between and therefore wrong results are produced which may be misleading.
In conclusion, statistics is an essential aspect that is required for any job to thrive and be able to come up with good strategies in their area of expertise.

Maxfield & Babbie (2011) Chapter 13: Interpreting Data” Research Methods for Criminal Justice and Criminology

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