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1 Victimology and Anthropology and Race. 2 Victimology Until recently, victims were not studiedUntil recently, victims were not studied Passive recipients.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Victimology and Anthropology and Race. 2 Victimology Until recently, victims were not studiedUntil recently, victims were not studied Passive recipients."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Victimology and Anthropology and Race

2 2 Victimology Until recently, victims were not studiedUntil recently, victims were not studied Passive recipients of criminal’s greed, anger, etc., “wrong place at the wrong time”Passive recipients of criminal’s greed, anger, etc., “wrong place at the wrong time” Victimology the study of victimsVictimology the study of victims $8 billion per year in stolen property$8 billion per year in stolen property Victims not treated well by CJSVictims not treated well by CJS Loss of wages, physical & psychological complicationsLoss of wages, physical & psychological complications

3 3 Social ecology of victimization When: 6 p.m.. to 6 amWhen: 6 p.m.. to 6 am Personal larceny during dayPersonal larceny during day More serious at nightMore serious at night Where: Open, public area, only rape and simple assault in homesWhere: Open, public area, only rape and simple assault in homes Central cityCentral city Western urban highest, Northeast rural lowestWestern urban highest, Northeast rural lowest

4 4 Victimization NCS indicates that 25% of U.S. households contain at least one individual who was victimized in some way during the past yearNCS 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 times99% will experience personal theft, 87% will be a theft victim 3 or more times

5 5 Victim characteristics Men are twice as likely as women to be victims of robbery and assault.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 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.Victim risk diminishes rapidly after age 25. Contrary to belief, grandparents are safer than their grandchildren.

6 6 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 crimeThe 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/widowsUnmarried/never married more likely to be victims than married/widows African Americans are victimized at highest ratesAfrican Americans are victimized at highest rates Young, black, urban, poor, maleYoung, black, urban, poor, male

7 7 Characteristics (continued) 60% of violent crimes committed by a stranger. However, females usually know their assailants (625,000 victims of intimate violence)60% of violent crimes committed by a stranger. However, females usually know their assailants (625,000 victims of intimate violence) Crime tends to be intraracialCrime 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.54% of offenders report being under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs when they committed the offense resulting in incarceration.

8 8 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 actAbout 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 abuse16% couples report incident of spouse abuse 1% sexually abused1% sexually abused

9 9 Theories of victimization Victim precipitation theory: There are victims who may have actually initiated the confrontation that led to their injury/deathVictim 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 offensesLife-style theory: life-style increases exposure to criminal offenses Increased risk: staying single, associating with young men, urban, going to public places late at nightIncreased risk: staying single, associating with young men, urban, going to public places late at night

10 10 Theories of victimization (cont) Reduced risk: staying home at night, rural, staying out of public places, earning more money, getting marriedReduced 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 jeopardyThus, probabilities of crime depends on the activities of the victim. Crime occurs when victims place themselves in jeopardy

11 11 Theories (cont.) Routine activities theoryRoutine activities theory The volume and distribution of predatory crimes depends onThe volume and distribution of predatory crimes depends on availability of suitable targetsavailability of suitable targets absence of capable guardiansabsence of capable guardians presence of motivated offenderspresence of motivated offenders

12 12 Theories (cont) Increase in crime since 1960Increase in crime since 1960 less caretakers, women entering workforceless caretakers, women entering workforce decline of the traditional neighborhood, flight to the suburbsdecline of the traditional neighborhood, flight to the suburbs volume of easily transportable wealth has increasedvolume of easily transportable wealth has increased

13 13 Theories cont. Equivalent group hypothesis: victims and criminals share similar characteristics because they are not really separate groupsEquivalent 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 activityCrime 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.Proximity hypothesis: crime less a function of life-style, but rather is based on close proximity.

14 14 Theories (cont) Victims and criminals live in the same areasVictims and criminals live in the same areas Probability of being victimized is more a function of where one lives than one’s lifestyleProbability of being victimized is more a function of where one lives than one’s lifestyle High crime: poor, densely populated, highly transient neighborhoodsHigh crime: poor, densely populated, highly transient neighborhoods

15 15 Victim services Studies of the victim have led to new programsStudies of the victim have led to new programs Victim compensation programsVictim compensation programs Court servicesCourt services Public educationPublic education Crisis intervention (such as rape)Crisis intervention (such as rape)

16 16 Protecting victims Victim’s rights: debate about what they should be. Megan’s law, allowing victims to speak at hearings, etc.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 patrolsSelf-protection: target hardening, block watch, neighborhood patrols Gun ownership higher among crime victims: debateGun ownership higher among crime victims: debate

17 17 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.IIOne 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.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 ratesAlso victimized at higher rates

18 18 Race and crime: explanations Economic deprivation and conflict theoryEconomic deprivation and conflict theory Racial isolation, barriers to employment, education, etc.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 offRelative 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

19 19 Explanations (cont) Biological factorsBiological factors Genetic factors among differing ethnic groups seems an unlikely explanation (for example, it could not account for the sudden increase)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.Poor prenatal care and poor nutrition among the poor result in being at risk for LD, neurological problems, ADHD, LBW, etc.

20 20 Explanations In general, children in poor female based households are more at risk, because of the greater difficulties in providing resources and supervision..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 line1/2 of African American children live below the poverty line Moynihan reportMoynihan report

21 21 Explanations Legacy of slavery? (why the rise 100 years later?)Legacy of slavery? (why the rise 100 years later?) Expression of anger? Note that crime tends to be intraracial.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.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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