There exist several differences in the two states’ programs and their crime report rates. First, Massachusetts and Texas classify crimes with a varying degree of particularity – Texas’ report reflects types of offences that are not seen in the numbers provided by Massachusetts law enforcement. For example, such offences as “failure to stop and render aid” and “driving while intoxicated” are not seen in the Massachusetts numbers (Crime Victim Services [CVS], 2018, p. 16). Other crimes mentioned only in the report by Texas include human trafficking, harassment, child pornography, stalking, and more (CVS, 2018). The categories of offences in Massachusetts are broader than these distinctions. They separate into general crime types, such as violent crime, murder, robbery, or arson (Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], 2019). While this presentation establishes variety in crime reporting, it may lead to a lack of information about specific offenses.
Another interesting distinction is the percentages of different crimes in the states. For example, the Texas report demonstrates that assault and aggravated assault are the largest categories of applications for financial benefits – 11,956, almost half of all submitted applications (CVS, 2018, p. 16). The following categories are minor sexual abuse, sexual assault, robbery, and homicide (CVS, 2018). In Massachusetts, the highest rates of known offences are seen in such categories as larceny-theft, property crime, and assault and violent crimes (FBI, 2019). While both reports have these crime types, the number of crimes and applications differ significantly. This discrepancy in the rates can show that people underreport certain offenses or do not ask for compensation. It also may suggest that crimes such as sexual assault go unreported in Massachusetts – the report covers rape charges, and the numbers are extremely low. Overall, the comparison of the two data sets reveals two varying approaches to crime typology and recognition.
Crime Victim Services. (2018). Empowering the future: Crime victim services annual report 2018. Web.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2019). Massachusetts: Offenses known to law enforcement by city, 2019. Web.