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Victims and Victimology

Victims and Victimology

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Victims and Victimology

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  1. Victims and Victimology Level of Victimization Profile of a “Crime Victim” Theories of Victimization Effects of Victimization

  2. The Emergence of Victimology • Until the 1960s, offenders were studied almost exclusively • What changed? • From the Liberal Perspective • Feminist Movement (rape, intimate violence) • “From the Conservative Perspective • Law and Order” concerns (Dirty Harry) • The NCVS

  3. Defining “Crime Victims” • Focus almost exclusively on “Street” crimes • NCVS • Can we generalize what we know about street crime to white collar crime (e.g., Enron Victims)?

  4. Profile of Victims • Where do crimes tend to take place? • Who tends to be victimized? • Age, Race, Gender, Social Class • Victim-Offender relationships • NOTE: THERE TEND TO BE EXCEPTIONS BASED ON TYPE OF CRIME

  5. The General “Where” • In U.S., West has highest violent and property crime rates, NE lowest • Different from UCR (South higher in UCR, and Midwest lower) • Urban, Suburban, Rural (property and violent) • Certain neighborhoods • Hot Spots

  6. NCVS: VIOLENT OFFESNES

  7. What Demographic Characteristics are Related to Victimization? • Gender (Female less than male) • However, rape and intimate violence exceptions • Social Status • Lower social status more likely to be victims, but... • Age • Younger more likely to be victimized • Race/Ethnicity • Blacks more likely to be victimized

  8. Age and Violent Victimization

  9. Gender and Violent Victimization

  10. Age, Race, and Gender Homicide Victimization, 1997

  11. Victim-Offender Relationships • Crime tends to be intra-racial rather than inter-racial • Myth of Black crimes against whites • In violent crimes, the victim is at least “well known” to the offender in 40% of the cases. • Much less often in property cases

  12. Theories of Victimization • Explain who gets victimized and/or why • Lifestyle Theories/Routine Activities Theory • Deviant Lifestyles (Equivalence Hypothesis) • Physical Proximity • Victim Precipitation

  13. Lifestyle Theories • To predict “direct predatory crime” • Routine Activities Theory: The convergence in time and space of: • Motivated Offenders • Suitable Targets • Lack of Capable Guardianship

  14. Deviant Lifestyle • The Equivalence Hypothesis • Offenders and Victims are the same “group” of folks harming each other • Chance of being murdered greater for youths who are members of gangs • College students more vulnerable to victimization if they report smoking weed and threatening others

  15. Physical Proximity • Live in or near a “high crime” area • Independent of “lifestyle”

  16. Victim Precipitation? • Active (e.g., take the first swing) vs. Passive • Wolfgang homicide study • Rape? • Difference between empirical documentation and normative statements • Empirical facts do not “excuse” or justify

  17. Immediate Problems of Crime Victims • Financial Loss • Property • Wages • Medical Expenses • Physical and Emotional Pain • Depression, PTSS… • Double Victimization

  18. Latest Victim Oriented Movement: Restorative Justice Basic Principles of RJ • The Purpose of the Criminal Justice System should be “restoration” • The Victim and the Community Should be Involved in the Process • Crime control lies in community, not CJS • Crime is an act against person/community • Punishment alone is ineffective • Other ways to “hold accountable”

  19. Restorative Justice in Practice • Victim Offender Mediation • Family Group Conferencing • Peacemaking/Sentencing Circles • Reparative Community Boards • Restitution Programs

  20. Restorative Justice: Reasons to be Skeptical? • How badly does the “community” want to participate? • How badly to victims want to participate? • Is retribution always a bad thing? • Can all victims be “restored”?