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NCJ Number: 125778 Find in a Library
Title: Estimating the Magnitude and Mechanisms of Copycat Crime (From The Media and Criminal Justice Policy, P 87-101, 1990, Ray Surette, ed. -- See NCJ-125773)
Author(s): R Surette
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using anecdotal evidence and a review of relevant literature, this study examines the dynamics of the media's influence on "copycat" crimes.
Abstract: Crimes whose techniques and methods copy crimes to which the perpetrators have been exposed in the media are know as "copycat" crimes. This study indicates that copycat crime is a persistent social phenomena, common enough to influence the total crime picture mostly by influencing crime techniques rather than the motivation to commit a crime or the development of criminal tendencies. A copycat criminal is likely to be a career criminal involved in property offenses rather than a first-time violent offender. The specific relationship between media coverage and the commission of copycat crime is currently unknown, and the social-context factors influencing copycat crimes have not been identified. The tentative model of copycat crime proposed by this chapter consists of a process of identification and priming leading to some degree of generalized imitation. This chapter's suggested research uses in policymaking are to identify the characteristics of the at-risk population and then to limit the size of this population through deterrence efforts. 15 footnotes, 64 references.
Main Term(s): Media-crime relationships
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Media violence
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