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NCJ Number: 229099 Find in a Library
Title: Exploring the Use of Victim Surveys to Study Gang Crime: Prospects and Possibilities
Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:34  Issue:4  Dated:December 2009  Pages:489-514
Author(s): Callie Marie Rennison; Chris Melde
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which contained a measure of victims' perceptions of offenders' gang status in the 1992-2005 surveys, this study addresses the advantages and disadvantages of using the NCVS for gang-violence research and compares victimizations reportedly committed by gang and nongang offenders across situational, offender, and victim characteristics.
Abstract: Historically, gang researchers have used official data, ethnographic studies, and data collected via self-report methods. The use of multiple data sources together has mitigated the limitations of single sources and enabled researchers to draw conclusions about the nature of gang crime with greater accuracy. The current study concludes that an additional data source with many advantages for the study of gang violence is the victimization survey. The NCVS is such a source. Unlike other data sources, the NCVS provides a wide array of information on situational characteristics of crime, including incident, offender, and victim characteristics. Such data enables researchers to explore the situational dynamics of crime perceived by victims to have been committed by gang members. This analysis of NCVS data on victim-perceived gang and nongang violence from 1992 to 2005 shows that gang members committed less violent victimization than nongang offenders during this period; however, victims indicated that although perceived gang members perpetrated fewer violent incidents than nongang offenders, gang members were responsible for disproportionately more serious violence, as perceived by victims. Victim-perceived gang members committed robbery and aggravated assault at a higher percentage than did nongang offenders. In contrast, a smaller percentage of the violence committed by gang offenders involved rape/sexual assault and simple assault compared to nongang offenders. Much of the findings in this research confirm findings in the general gang literature based on other data sources. 4 tables; 10 notes; 72 references; and appended descriptions of situational, offender, and victim characteristics
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Data collection devices; Data collections; Gang violence; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; National crime surveys; Research methods; Victimization surveys; Victims of gangs
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