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NCJ Number: 229084 Find in a Library
Title: Stability and Change in Homicide Victim, Offender, and Event Characteristics in Chicago, 1900 and 2000
Journal: Homicide Studies  Volume:13  Issue:4  Dated:November 2009  Pages:355-384
Author(s): Jeff A. Gruenewald; William Alex Pridemore
Date Published: November 2009
Page Count: 30
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study used historical data in examining change and stability in homicide victim, offender, and event characteristics in Chicago between 1898-1902 and 1998-2002.
Abstract: The study found significant increases in the proportion of victims who were Black and ages 15-29; the proportion of offenders who were female and Black; and the proportion of family, gun, and profit-motivated homicides. There were decreases in stranger and argument-related homicides and in the proportion of victims who were female. The authors discuss how the results reflect demographic, structural, and cultural changes in Chicago over the course of the 20th century. Significant factors that influenced the homicide characteristics during the periods examined were the increased availability and lethality of firearms, especially handguns; however, gun availability must be examined within the context of an evolving drug market and gang activity during the last few decades of the 20th century. In addition, it is likely that the effect of increasing lethality of firearms over the last century was partially moderated by medical advances and the increase in trauma emergency rooms specially equipped and staffed to treat gunshot wounds. Cultural changes, such as a smaller proportion of young men serving in the military, may provide a partial explanation for the decreasing age of victims and offenders. In addition, changing child labor standards following the turn of the 20th century may have influenced the age distribution of homicide victims and offenders. Unable to work, youth had more idle time and increased economic strain. Data on Chicago homicides from 1898 to 2002 were taken from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Supplementary Homicide Report. Odds ratios were used to compare homicide characteristics between time periods in examining change and stability for victim characteristics (sex, race, and age), offender characteristics (sex and race), and event characteristics (type of weapon, victim-offender relationship, and circumstances). 3 tables, 11 notes, 78 references, and appended recording schema for homicide characteristics for the 2 periods
Main Term(s): Offense statistics
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Homicide; Homicide trends; Homicide victims; Illinois; Offender profiles; Trend analysis; Victim profiles
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