Data Analysis. Criminal Justice agencies often gather large quantities of variables to be used in descriptive analyses. That is, to help describe situations, populations, and so on. For instance, the Department of Corrections collects data on inmates. Variables often include crime type, race, gender, originating jurisdiction (where they were convicted), education level, and many others.
These data are often captured categorically rather than numerically. For instance, education level might be captured by simply identifying the name of the highest grade an offender achieved, such as high school diploma or GED, Bachelor’s degree, Associates degree, and so forth. Similarly, race data are most often captured by recording the label of the race the offender belongs to, such as Caucasian, African American, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, and so on.
These labels have no inherent numerical value because they are simply categories. Thus, they are categorical variables. You cannot use traditional statistical analysis to investigate relationships between categorical variables because they are not numbers. Instead, you would use nonparametric tests, such as the chi-square test of independence. You will use this test to investigate the data below.
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