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Victimization Surveys

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David Brownfield

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Continuing with victimization survey (before test)... - Factors of victimization survey: 1) income 2) age 3) gender 4) race 5) Place of residence - Young people (ages 20 – 21) most likely to be victims of assault. After the age of 25 the chances of being assault drops (not only the elderly are the ones who get victimized). Same patter for crimes within households (theft from garage). Young people living in households are most likely to be victimized (half of them victimized every year – burglary, break and enter, electronic and bike thefts from home). - At the other extreme of household victimization for the elderly (over age of 65) is only among less than 10% of them. o Media focuses on the elderly victims, therefore we think they are more likely to be victimized but this is not the case. - The victimization survey shows (both in Canada and US) that males have higher overall rates of crime victimization over females. - When looked at the combined effects of age and gender (for example – young females more likely to be victimized than older males?)  in order to measure this it is important to look at overall rates and differences and gender is important. Males are more likely to be victimized overall (they are about twice as likely to be victims of aggravated assault). However, when age and gender is combining the results are different  only when males and females are of the same age, males are more likely to be victimized. On the other hand, females 16 – 19 years are more likely to be victimized than 25 and above males. - Third factor to be studied is through race. The rate for black people being victimized is about the same as rate for white people. However, there are differences in terms of offence – whites are more likely to be victimized for larceny or minor assaults and violent offences. The victimization rates of much serious offences are much higher for blacks than for whites. Blacks are 2 – 3 times more likely to be charged for sexual assaults than whites. o In US blacks make only 10% of the population and more than 50% of homicides in US is committed by blacks (similar to Canada). - In victimization survey black females are just as likely to be victims of violent offences as white females. - The early victimization surveys did not include children (under the age of 16). But more recent surveys include children under the age of 12 as well – blacks under the age of 12 are much more likely to be victims of crime than of white children. - Brown talks about how children under the age of 12 in dangerous neighbourhoods (usually black children) are not making plans for education because they do not know if they are even going to live (as a result they are more likely to commit crime as well, since they are not acquiring education) in his book “The Promised Land”. - 4 factor – linked to victimization – the people with highest income level have the highest levels of victimization (however these overall rates are not as they seem, like in the case of race). People with low incomes are more likely to be victims of serious/violent crimes. - Poor people are 2-3 times more likely to be victims of armed robbery or assaults. - The higher people’s (or their family’s) income level the higher the likelihood of that person being a victim of personal larceny. - Jenson finds that income is not a very strong factor/correlate of victimization (age and gender are much stronger correlates/factors). - Jenson argues that the only clear cut differences among victimization for the poorest and the wealthiest. - Place of residence is the last factor correlated with crime. - Cities have higher rates of crimes than suburban or rural areas. However, now crime rates have been increasing for rural and suburban areas. Cities Suburbs Rural Violent Crimes 10.0 2.5 1.5 Property Crimes 55.8 33.1 13.2 - Cities have more than double crime rates than suburbs. - Police reports are the same for this comparison as victimization surveys. - Gill points out that this has not always been the case. Before cities used to have less crime rates compared to suburbs. Suburbs began to catch up in property crime rate. Gill points out that this may be due to increased rural development in suburbs (for example – more shopping malls available). - The traditional belief of cities being more dangerous than suburbs is due to the victimization survey. - There is a difference between official crime and illegal behaviour. - Official crime (delinquency) – acts and characteristics of the offenders along with responses to the action. - Illegal behaviour – refers to the crime or act of delinquency (does not incorporate how it is reacted to or responded to). A person can become a criminal by committing an illegal behaviour but they do not become real official criminal until the act is being responded to and recorded/reported – however, both illegal behaviour and official crime is measuring the same thing. - It has been determined that there have been much higher rates of illegal behaviour than official crime. o Only less than 1% of the illegal behaviour is determined as official crime. It is important to note:  1) The police are well aware that they are not recording a lot of the crime.  2) There have been impressive similarities in the correlates and patterns of crime despite the fact that there are substantially less crimes being reported than the amount of crime actually committed. For example – it is determined that rate of sexual assault among blacks than whites. Self report studies, victimization surveys and official data have similar patterns/correlates on crimes (crime is correlated with age, gender, race, income and place of residence).  3) Trends for violence among children under age 12 is still the same among all methods. Field Experiments - The purpose of random assignment is so that the sample is more simila
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