Hall Elizabeth Unit Two Written assignment
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Hall Elizabeth Unit Two Written assignment Document Transcript

  • 1. Victim Typologies 9 Running Header: Victim Typologies In Relation To Hate Crimes Victim Typologies In Relation to Hate Crimes Elizabeth Hall Kaplan University Deviance and Violence CJ266 Melissa Amaya January 19, 2010 Abstract In the year 2009, the United States elected the first African American president, Barack Obama. Some Americans felt that this would end the long overdue racial tensions in this country, and after four months of being in office, polls showed that two out of three Americans believed that out of every three people, two of them felt that as far as racial affairs in this country, things were generally going well. Now, six months later, as the media comes into the one year anniversary of this historical event polls are showing that confidence is dropping in the president’s effect on the matter. (Owens, 2010 Because the media has a direct affect on public opinion, how they portray the news, and what spin is put on the issues affect public opinion. Researchers in the fields of criminology and victimology, use data collected from the Uniform Crime Report and from the National Crime Victimization Survey to base their opinions on before advising lawmakers on what needs to be changed in the law to reflect current times. Because criminals who commit hate crimes choose their victim based on ethnicity, appearance, race, religion, or sexual preference, it is considered especially unsettling to the general public both on the community as a whole, and the individual these crimes affect personally because of the groundless disposition of the crime itself. The reality of the hate crime trends is this, from a criminological point of view. Since 1996, the rate of hate crimes has actually been decreasing.
  • 2. Victim Typologies In Relation To Hate Crimes In the year 2009, the United States elected the first African American president, Barack Obama. Some Americans felt that this would end the long overdue racial tensions in this country, and after four months of being in office, polls showed that two out of three Americans believed that out of every three people, two of them felt that as far as racial affairs in this country, things were generally going well. Now, six months later, as the media comes into the one year anniversary of this historical event, polls are showing that confidence is dropping in the president’s effect on the matter as noted in the article written January 19, 2010 in the Orlando Sentinel, by columnist Darryl E. Owens (2010) titled “Martin Luther King Jr. Day- This moment was supposed to better race relations. It hasn’t.” Because the media has a direct affect on public opinion, how they portray the news, and what spin is put on the issues affect public opinion. Researchers in the fields of criminology and victimology, use data collected from the Uniform Crime Report and from the National Crime Victimization Survey to base their opinions on before advising lawmakers on what needs to be changed in the law to reflect current times. Victimology is the study of victimization in a scientific manner, regarding the relationships victims share with perpetrators, and with the criminal justice system. Criminology is the study of the nature and extent of crime in order to help determine crime rates, trends and methods of deterring recidivism through the study of data and scientific research. Crimes of this racial nature are called hate crimes, and since 1990 several laws have been enacted to help the criminal justice system prosecute and sentence crimes of this sort. While hate crimes have been around since the 1800’s, media and technology advances in science have allowed for the media to monitor and report on these crimes more frequently, the coverage is more widespread, and can be biased or incorrect, since data from the Uniform Crime Report suggests trends that are in fact, the opposite of the way these crimes are portrayed in the media. Victimologists Sellin and Wolfgang have offered a typology of victimization that lists five categories and focuses more on situations instead of victim associations. The five categories are: 1. Primary Victimization- person or faction selects a specific individual or specific type of victim to mark for persecution. 2. Secondary Victimization- victims are not personal objectives for the criminal. 3. Tertiary Victimization- the general public is the injured party. 4. Mutual Victimization- when a crime has multiple perpetrators, one criminal victimizes the other. 5. No Victimization- is when the actual victim of these crimes is not easily distinguishable, such as one person using a whip on another in the act of sexual gratification. Crimes that involve race fall in the category of primary victimization. They are called Hate or Bias Crimes, and the collection of information on these types of crimes began in 1990 with the passing of the Federal Hate Crime Statistics Act in 1990, followed by the Church Arson Prevention Act in 1996, and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999. Because criminals who commit hate crimes choose their victim based on ethnicity, appearance, race, religion, or sexual preference, it is considered especially unsettling to the general public both on the community as a whole, and the individual these crimes affect personally because of the groundless disposition of the crime itself. These crimes are considered mission based killings. Generating this data can allow criminologists and victimologists to now study this data to track trends and to monitor crime rates in areas where groups who preach hate such as the Aryan Brotherhood are concentrated. (Meadows, 2007) According to criminologists, more public fear is generated by violent crimes committed randomly than any other violent crime that could be considered to have a cause that is considered rational to the
  • 3. general public such as a husband shooting a cheating spouse. This is especially true of hate crimes involving race as it is a trait that you are born with. (Meadows, 2007) When the media over publicizes crimes of this nature, the general population of a whole community, district or state can become fearful to conduct business or live their lives as usual. It is this media attention that drives the poll numbers, since most citizens do not know about Uniform Crime Reports and the results found from the data within, or in the case of the article by columnist Darryl E. Owens (2010) who quotes John Altman, political scientist at New York College of Pennsylvania as saying “the only memorable thing that our current president has done to further the discourse on race relations is to bring together a white cop and a black college professor for a beer, it will be a long time before anything changes” The reality of the hate crime trends is this, from a criminological point of view. Since 1996, the rate of hate crimes has actually been decreasing. There was a small spike in 2001, as illustrated in the table on the next page. 1996 had a rate of 3.92 per100,000 people and the hate crime rate was 2.89 per 100,000 people in 2008. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, n.d.) The data from 2009 is not even in yet, and already the media is attempting to sway public opinion by publicizing poll numbers based on general opinion. When the data from 2009 comes out in the Uniform Crime Report the data will probably show the same trends that the 2008 data is displaying, however the opinion of the public will only know what they heard in the media, which in turn shapes the poll numbers, which generates election results. The public is only losing confidence in Obama because the voters thought that things would immediately change when he was elected, but they did not stop to consider that no man could turn the mess this country elected him in around in a single year. Obama remains steadfast in his ideas that positive change promotes more positive changes and that this country needs to rethink the way that the government approaches situations by using the old adage “you get more flies with honey than with sandpaper”. The only way to achieve true peace in the world is, to quote Roosevelt, “to walk softly but carry a big stick. Data from Uniform Crime Report ht Table 2. - Number of Incidents, Offenses, V Table 2. - Number of Incidents, Offenses, V All other
  • 4. Reference: Federal Bureau of Investigation,(n.d.). Hate Crime. Retrieved From the World Wide Web January 18, 2010. http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/civilrights/hate.htm Meadows, R. (2007). Understanding Violence and Victimization, Fourth Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Prentice Hall Owens, Darryl. (2010, January 18). Martin Luther King Jr. Day- This Moment Was Supposed to Better Race Relations. It Hasn’t. Orlando Sentinel, Pg. A1, 883 Words.