Victimology Is The Branch Of Criminology Dealing Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #94494138 Related Topics: Fbi, Broken Windows, Criminology, Serial Killers
Excerpt from Essay :

Victimology is the branch of criminology dealing with victim characteristics, victim data, and patterns of victimization. The study of victimology is useful to criminologists for a variety of reasons. Victimology can help show which populations are at greater risk for which crimes, thereby allowing more effective public policies and anti-crime initiatives. Likewise, knowing which populations are at greater risk for which crimes can help law enforcement prevent crimes. Victimology can also be used to point out potential flaws or loopholes in the criminal justice system, which may be harmful to victims or to justice in general. One of the most important functions of victimology is to allow for the development of victim assistance programs. Programs to help victims range from legal counsel and advocacy to ongoing support and psychological counsel, to community-wide safety measures. Victimology takes the focus off the criminal and even the crime. Doing so helps divert media attention to the underlying issues rather than glorifying criminal behavior.

According to the FBI (2014), victimology arose from the victim rights movement of the 1970s and 1980s, and "resulted in the creation of many programs designed to assist victims of crime and in the passage of laws at the local, state, and federal level establishing certain rights for victims," (p. 1). At this point, all states do have victim compensation programs that may help cover some, but not all expenses associated with the crime (FBI, 2014). Some of the expenses the state may be able to provide include the cost of funeral services or medical care. The victim may also be entitled to compensatory measures that were acquired from the trial, as collection of punitive damages may be the case. As Conklin (2012) likewise notes, offender restitution,...

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Less mutable are the constitutional rights of victims. One of the roles of victimology is to promote victim advocacy and empowerment, which can in part be achieved through comprehensive public education and awareness campaigns. For instance, victims need to know what their rights are after a crime has been committed, including their right to be protected further from the accused, the right to be notified in cases where the perpetrator has been released from prison, the right to retrieve stolen property if the police have relocated it, the right to notification of pending trials for the accused, the right to be present at pertinent court proceedings, the right to consult the prosecuting attorney, the right to timely resolution of the case, the right to access information, and the right to be treated with fairness and dignity at all times (FBI, 2014). Many of these rights are facilitated by the Victim Notification System, which allows the individual access to information about the pending trial or case.

The variables studied by victimologists include gender, age, occupation, marital status, drug use history, neighborhood dynamics, and rates of crime in the community (Morton, Tillman & Gaines, n.d.). Demographic and other types of variables inform which persons are more at risk for which crimes. Generally, criminal justice workers classify victims as being low, moderate, or high risk (Morton, Tillman & Gaines, n.d.). The three primary criteria for victimization in general include accessibility or availability, in crimes of opportunity. In other words, the victim happened…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Conklin, J.E. (2012). Criminology. 11th Edition. Prentice-Hall.

Fattah, E.A. (2000). Victimology: past, present, and future. Criminologie 33(1), 17-46.

FBI (2014). Rights of federal crime victims. Retrieved online: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/victim_assistance/victim_rights

Morton, R.J., Tillman, J.M. & Gaines, S.J. (n.d.). Serial murder. FBI. Retrieved online: http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/october/serial-killers-part-8-new-research-aims-to-help-investigators-solve-cases/serial-murder-pathways-for-investigations


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