Victimology
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Victimology. and Anthropology and Race. Victimology. Until recently, victims were not studied Passive recipients of criminal’s greed, anger, etc., “wrong place at the wrong time” Victimology the study of victims $8 billion per year in stolen property Victims not treated well by CJS

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Victimology

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Victimology

Victimology

and Anthropology and Race


Victimology1

Victimology

  • Until recently, victims were not studied

  • Passive recipients of criminal’s greed, anger, etc., “wrong place at the wrong time”

  • Victimology the study of victims

  • $8 billion per year in stolen property

  • Victims not treated well by CJS

  • Loss of wages, physical & psychological complications


Social ecology of victimization

Social ecology of victimization

  • When: 6 p.m.. to 6 am

  • Personal larceny during day

  • More serious at night

  • Where: Open, public area, only rape and simple assault in homes

  • Central city

  • Western urban highest, Northeast rural lowest


Victimization

Victimization

  • NCS indicates that 25% of U.S. households contain at least one individual who was victimized in some way during the past year

  • 99% will experience personal theft, 87% will be a theft victim 3 or more times


Victim characteristics

Victim characteristics

  • Men are twice as likely as women to be victims of robbery and assault.

  • The violent victimization rate for females has been stable, but there has been a 20% increase for males in last 15 years

  • Victim risk diminishes rapidly after age 25. Contrary to belief, grandparents are safer than their grandchildren.


Characteristics continued

Characteristics (continued)

  • The poor are more likely to be victims of violent crime, while the middle class are more likely to be victims of property crime

  • Unmarried/never married more likely to be victims than married/widows

  • African Americans are victimized at highest rates

  • Young, black, urban, poor, male


Characteristics continued1

Characteristics (continued)

  • 60% of violent crimes committed by a stranger. However, females usually know their assailants (625,000 victims of intimate violence)

  • Crime tends to be intraracial

  • 54% of offenders report being under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs when they committed the offense resulting in incarceration.


Violence in the home

Violence in the home

  • About 1 1/2 million children are physically abused. Average number of assaults per year for these children: 10.5, rarely a one-time act

  • 16% couples report incident of spouse abuse

  • 1% sexually abused


Theories of victimization

Theories of victimization

  • Victim precipitation theory: There are victims who may have actually initiated the confrontation that led to their injury/death

  • Life-style theory: life-style increases exposure to criminal offenses

  • Increased risk: staying single, associating with young men, urban, going to public places late at night


Theories of victimization cont

Theories of victimization (cont)

  • Reduced risk: staying home at night, rural, staying out of public places, earning more money, getting married

  • Thus, probabilities of crime depends on the activities of the victim. Crime occurs when victims place themselves in jeopardy


Theories cont

Theories (cont.)

  • Routine activities theory

  • The volume and distribution of predatory crimes depends on

  • availability of suitable targets

  • absence of capable guardians

  • presence of motivated offenders


Theories cont1

Theories (cont)

  • Increase in crime since 1960

  • less caretakers, women entering workforce

  • decline of the traditional neighborhood, flight to the suburbs

  • volume of easily transportable wealth has increased


Theories cont2

Theories cont.

  • Equivalent group hypothesis: victims and criminals share similar characteristics because they are not really separate groups

  • Crime victims as a group report a high amount of criminal activity

  • Proximity hypothesis: crime less a function of life-style, but rather is based on close proximity.


Theories cont3

Theories (cont)

  • Victims and criminals live in the same areas

  • Probability of being victimized is more a function of where one lives than one’s lifestyle

  • High crime: poor, densely populated, highly transient neighborhoods


Victim services

Victim services

  • Studies of the victim have led to new programs

  • Victim compensation programs

  • Court services

  • Public education

  • Crisis intervention (such as rape)


Protecting victims

Protecting victims

  • Victim’s rights: debate about what they should be. Megan’s law, allowing victims to speak at hearings, etc.

  • Self-protection: target hardening, block watch, neighborhood patrols

  • Gun ownership higher among crime victims: debate


Race and crime

Race and Crime

  • One in every four African American males between the ages of 20 and 29 are under some form of correctional supervision in the U.S. This was not always the case: The proportion has doubled since W.W.II

  • 1/8 of the population, but 1/2 of those arrested for violent crimes, 1/3 for property crimes, 1/2 of those in prison.

  • Also victimized at higher rates


Race and crime explanations

Race and crime: explanations

  • Economic deprivation and conflict theory

  • Racial isolation, barriers to employment, education, etc.

  • Relative deprivation: growing disparity between poor and middle class (Middle class African Americans have rapidly increased income and educational levels, those in inner cities are worse off


Explanations cont

Explanations (cont)

  • Biological factors

  • Genetic factors among differing ethnic groups seems an unlikely explanation (for example, it could not account for the sudden increase)

  • Poor prenatal care and poor nutrition among the poor result in being at risk for LD, neurological problems, ADHD, LBW, etc.


Explanations

Explanations

  • In general, children in poor female based households are more at risk, because of the greater difficulties in providing resources and supervision..

  • 1/2 of African American children live below the poverty line

  • Moynihan report


Explanations1

Explanations

  • Legacy of slavery? (why the rise 100 years later?)

  • Expression of anger? Note that crime tends to be intraracial.

  • Ecological research: Migration from rural South in the 1920s and 1930s into transitional area. A rise in crime would be predicted. It would be expected to last longer because of segregation.


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