Crime Victim Research Essay

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Crime Victim Research

Introduction

The passing of public law 105-301, “Crime Victims with Disabilities Awareness Act”, in 1998 directly led to research on the details of crime victims with disabilities. That research was to be included in the Bureau of Justice Statistics in its annual National Crime Victims Survey. However, the research resulted in its own publication: “Crime Victims with Developmental Disabilities: Report of a Workshop.” It was written by the Committee on Law and Justice in the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council. There was no study done, but a group of researchers, specialists, and advocates came together to analyze
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The United States marshals, however, performed the collection of the statistics. Four questions were included in the census related to crime. They enquired about the number convicted of crime during the year ending June 1, 1850, the number imprisoned at that time, the nativity and the color of their native born. One more question was added in 1870.

“No great amount of time was spent on the compilation of the statistics of criminals for these three censuses, and the published facts were so brief that even the whereabouts of those for 1850 and 1860 seem not to be generally known,” Louis Newton Robinson, an assistant professor of economics at Swarthmore College wrote. (Robinson, 1969, p. 17).

In 1880 there was a shift. The census became more in depth, but still little attention was paid to compilation and analysis of judicial criminal statistics. For the most part, they pertained to those who were imprisoned. The purpose of those statistics was to judge the “nature and extent of the criminality in a given geographical area” and to “determine the transformation, if any, which is occurring in these two phases.” (Robinson, 1969, pp. 27-28)

That was just the beginning. Years later, the need for improved methods of gathering more specific information increased. There are now two major references for crime statistics. The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)

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