Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Political Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Maureen Stobb


Amidst our society, a harrowing reality persists: one in ten children bear the burden of enduring sexual abuse before reaching the tender age of eighteen. Alas, this issue often remains hidden from the societal spotlight due to limitations in offense-specific statistical crime data. Since 1930, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report (UCR) has been the primary resource for annual state-level law enforcement data collection. However, the voluntary nature of participation and the mass categorization of offenses within the UCR methodology, lead to the exclusion of crucial data concerning child sexual offenses. This research explores the dynamics of state cooperation with the federal government in achieving common objectives, particularly focusing on the factors influencing state participation in the UCR program.Why do some states participate in the UCR, and others do not? I argue that states participation increases as their detail in statutory language does. Ultimately, this reflects the state's policy emphasis on addressing sexual offenses against children. This study illuminates the interplay between state policy frameworks, statutory language, and participation in federal crime reporting initiatives.