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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77516 Find in a Library
Title: Confronting Crime
Journal: Washingtonian  Volume:16  Issue:8  Dated:(May 1981)  Pages:114-123
Author(s): J Sansing; D Jubera
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the extent of crime in the District of Columbia, recounts typical incidents of victimization, and assesses the criminal justice system's and the citizens' response to the crime threat.
Abstract: Housebreaking and street muggings (stranger-to-stranger crimes) pose the greatest threat and take the greatest toll on the peace of mind of the city's inhabitants. Incidents illustrating this form of assault indicate the vulnerability of people living in the inner city. Material, physical, and psychological effects of victimization are described; the article notes that psychological stress is compounded by police inability to capture the offender in most cases. This circumstance leaves victims with a feeling of abandonment, to which some neighborhoods have responded with organized community crime prevention efforts by citizens. Such groups, however, are often criticized as racist and antiliberal. Criminals dampen citizen cooperation through witness intimidation or threatened reprisals. These circumstances have given rise to the recent call for mandatory sentences for some crimes, especially those where weapons are involved. A climate of dissatisfaction with government authorities prevails. Supplementing the article is a delineation of comparative crime rates in Washington and its suburbs for both major crimes and burglaries. Also appended are prominent citizens' accounts of their victimization experiences and tips on protecting the home from intruders. A successful neighborhood crime watch program and the pros and cons of burglar alarms are covered. Illustrations are provided.
Index Term(s): Block watch; Burglary; Citizen crime precautions; Community crime prevention programs; Mugging; Police community relations; Psychological victimization effects; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Victim-witness intimidation; Victimization; Washington
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