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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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and Anthropology and Race

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.