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Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology Sixth Edition. By Andrew Karmen Chapter Six: Victims and the Criminal Justice System: Cooperation and Conflict, Part One. How the System Handles Victims. Criticisms: Box 6.1, page 113 Police Prosecutor Judges Corrections

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crime victims an introduction to victimology sixth edition

CrimeVictims: An Introduction to VictimologySixth Edition

By Andrew Karmen

Chapter Six:

Victims and the Criminal Justice System: Cooperation and Conflict, Part One

how the system handles victims
How the System Handles Victims
  • Criticisms: Box 6.1, page 113
    • Police
    • Prosecutor
    • Judges
    • Corrections

System creates more conflict than resolution for victims

what do victims want punishment or restitution
What Do Victims Want,Punishment or Restitution?
  • Three Goals
    • I. Predators are punished
    • II. Compel lawbreakers undergo rehabilitative treatment
    • III. Repay costs arising from injuries and loss due to the crime
what do victims want
What Do Victims Want?
  • I. Punishment
    • Make examples of criminal—provided deterrence theory really works
    • Incapacitate
    • Satisfies victim thirst for revenge
    • Prevents future vigilantism
    • Retribution—morally sound practice
    • “lex talionis”; eye for an eye; just desserts
what do victims want5
What Do Victims Want?
  • Punishment continued—
  • Opponents of this utilitarian approach have documented that:
    • Punishment—high rates of imprisonment can be impractical, expensive, ineffective and even counter productive
    • Civil libertarians have condemned harsh punishments as a tool of domination and oppression used by tyrants and totalitarian regimes to terrorize subjects into submission
what do victims want6
What Do Victims Want?
  • II. Rehabilitation
    • Some victims want professionals to help offenders become decent, productive, law abiding citizens. Do not want other victims.
    • Victims most likely to endorse rehabilitation if the offender was NOT a complete stranger.
    • Victims may become dismayed when “heavy handed” policies drive the offender to become more violent and attain new heights of antisocial conduct.
what do victims want7
What Do Victims Want?
  • III. Restitution
    • Some victims want restitution rather than retribution or rehabilitation
    • Want to recoup losses and pay bills incurred as result of the crime
    • Loss of pay, medical expenses, household bills unpaid due to being out of work

Victims don’t want inaction, lack of interest, neglect, empty promises, abuse, or manipulation arising from the criminal justice system

victims and the police
Victims and the Police
  • Reporting Incidents
    • Combined reporting rate (NCVS) in 2004=40% of all crimes—Table 6.1, page 137
    • Most likely to report crimes brandishing weapons, physical injuries, or substantial financial loss
    • Violent crimes—Robberies most reported—rapes least reported
victims and the police9
Victims and the Police
  • Records indicate police are aware of 50% of violent crimes and 39% of property crimes in their jurisdiction
  • Citizens not required to inform authorities of crimes committed against them on their property. However, if they conspire or collaborate in a cover-up to conceal a serious crime, they can be arrested for “misprison of a felony.”
victims and the police10
Victims and the Police
  • Responding Quickly
    • Want police to respond quickly and apprehend offender
    • Calls often prioritized by dispatchers
    • Victims often call relatives or friends first
    • Witness verifies and renders needed assistance before calling police
    • Table 6.2, page 139 shows nationwide response times, 1990-2003
victims and the police11
Victims and the Police
  • Police Investigating Complaints
    • Handling Victims with Care
      • Officers seem disinterested, remote, unconcerned about plight of victim
      • Police conclude lack of credibility and discontinue investigation

Studies of police work show:

Protective coating of emotional detachment

Avoiding burnout inhibits impulse to get involved

Macho norms of police culture

victims and the police12
Victims and the Police
  • Many police departments conducting training to assist officers with victim issues
  • Teach how to administer psychological first aid
  • Learning importance of responding quickly, listening attentively, showing concern and refraining from challenging the victim’s version
victims and the police13
Victims and the Police
  • Complaints
    • Founded—verified by police
    • Unfounded—police reject claims
    • Defounded—police believe occurred but not as serious as reported

Police accused of misclassification of above to make statistics look better for themselves and department or workload too great

victims and the police14
Victims and the Police
  • Investigating Complaints/Solving Crimes
    • Homicides—1/2 of all closed cases solved within a week. 93% solved within a year.
    • Larceny—18% closed successfully
    • Vehicle Theft—13% closed successfully
    • Robberies—26% result in arrest
    • Rape—58% no attacker arrested
    • Aggravated Assault—44% no arrests made
    • See Table 6.3, page 145: Trends In Clearance Rates
victims and the police15
Victims and the Police
  • “If more departments could do a better job of catching culprits, a higher proportion of victims would be satisfied with their performance on this most fundamental aspect of a law enforcement agency’s mission.”
    • Author
victims and the police16
Victims and the Police
  • Law enforcement has a duty to notify victim of their rights when complaint lodged
  • Victims expect police to keep them informed of investigative progress
    • 34% of agg. assault victims advised of arrest while 59% of cases solved
    • 14% of burglaries solved while only 7% of victims notified
victims and the police17
Victims and the Police
  • Recovering Stolen Property—unlike clearance rates, no good data of recovery
  • Table 6.5, page 150 reflects Trends in Stolen Property Recovery Rates, 1980-2003
  • Data remains fairly consistent through the years
  • Recovered property often kept by police for evidence to be used in a trial
victims and the police18
Victims and the Police
    • A vital component of a Community Oriented Police Department
    • Police departments must consider a revamp of their operations and reconsider their priorities to deal with the innocent victim concerns explained in this chapter