Selecting the CriminalSelecting the criminal explains why the prison population has the socio-demographiccharacteristics that it has. The prison population does not look like the population ofpeople who commit crimes.A. The Political ProcessThe definition of which behavior is considered as criminal begins in political bodiessuch as city councils, state legislatures, or Congress (see Reiman, 1998). These political bodies pass laws against certain kinds of behavior. Legislative bodies decide penaltiesfor violating the laws they pass.B. Selection by the VictimTwo out of three crimes are never reported to the police. They victim makes a decision whether to report. Robertson (1989:127) contends there are two factors which determine whether or not a given offender moves to the next stage.1. The seriousness of the offense.2. The status of the offender.With reference to the seriousness of the offense, petty crimes and white-collar crimes seldom come to the attention of the police. The social status of the offender has great
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prison population, lower-class males, West Coast town