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Criminal Justice-Crime Victims (Victimology) - Research Paper Example

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Introduction Victims of the criminal justice system are often re-victimized when they are in the system. This is because of the tendency to blame the victim him or herself for the crime. For instance, a victim who is involved in a drug transaction would be considered vulnerable, for putting himself into that situation…
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Criminal Justice-Crime Victims (Victimology)
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Download file to see previous pages These are just a few examples of how victims of crime are revictimized by society and by the court justice system. Discussion According to Von Hentig and Mendelsohn, crime victims put themselves into the position of being victimized (Siegel & Senna, 2009, p. 15). Mendelsohn believed that victims had an unconscious desire to be victimized, and he had typology of victims, putting them into six different categories. Only one of the categories, that of the “innocent” victim was blameless in the actual crime, and the innocent is a victim who is seen as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other five typologies all contributed in some way to the crime, and this represented victim precipitation. The other categories were a victim with minor guilt, an example of which is the provocative woman; the victim who is as guilty as the offender, eg. those guilty of euthanasia; the victim who is more guilty then the offender, eg. those who induce crime; the most guilty victim, eg. a person who is attempting murder who is killed in self-defense; and the simulating victim, those who claim to be victimized, but actually were not (Mendelsohn, 1963). Von Hentig, similarly, viewed victims as being participatory in the crimes, stating that they may either be depressive, which means that they are careless and unsuspecting, therefore are an easy mark; greedy, who is looking for an easy gain, so they are less suspicious (a good example would be individuals who fall for Internet scams offering quick, easy money); wanton, which means that the victim is vulnerable to attack because of his or he life cycle, such as juveniles or the elderly; and the tormentor, which means that the person abuses another and thus becomes the victim of an attack, such as with battered women (Von Hentig, 1948). Cohen & Felson also have a view called the routine activity theory, which means that there are certain activities which lend themselves to crimes being committed, and that there are three variables which makes the criminal and the victim both participants in the crime – the availability of suitable targets, the absence of capable guardians and the presence of motivated offenders. This makes the likelihood that a predatory crime will occur, and the routin activities approach gives equal weight to the role of both the victim and the offender. “Criminal opportunity is significantly influenced by the victim’s lifestyle and behavior; the greater the opportunity for criminals and victims to interact, the greater the probability of crime. Reduce the interaction and the opportunity for crime will decline” (Siegel & Senna, 2009, p. 83). There are a host of victims who are considered by experts in the field to be predisposed to being victims, and this is known as “victim precipitation” (Dunn, 2010, p. 85). This is one of the areas that victimologists, such as Von Hentig and Mendelsonh, was interested in, for they were looking for the characteristics and the types of crimes which would have a victim who is precipitated towards crime. The categories in which victims are seen as precipitated their own victomology are rape, battered women and incest survivors. With rape victims, Menachem Amir used data obtained from the Philadelphia police files that showed that victims’ behavior was seen as an invitation to have sex, and that this was an excuse for rape. Amir ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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