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NCJ Number: 68476 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: INFORMING THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE RISK OF HOMICIDE VICTIMIZATION
Author(s): W WILBANKS
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE TYPES OF MEANINGFUL INFORMATION AND STATISTICS THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE PROVIDED WITH ON THE CRIME OF GREATEST CONCERN TO THE AVERAGE CITIZEN, I.E. HOMICIDE, ARE DISCUSSED BY AN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINOLOGIST.
Abstract: THIS PAPER ANALYZES THE TYPES OF INFORMATION, WHICH SHOULD BE OFFERED TO CITIZENS ANXIOUS TO LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT THE CRIME OF HOMICIDE AND/OR MURDER. FEAR OF BECOMING A VICTIM OF HOMICIDE IS WORLDWIDE, BUT MEANINGFUL AND HELPFUL INFORMATION IS LIMITED. IN ORDER TO ALLAY PUBLIC FEARS AND ELIMINATE MISCONCEPTIONS AND MISINFORMATION ON THE TOPIC OF HOMICIDE, PEOPLE SHOULD BE GIVEN ACCURATE AND UNDERSTANDABLE INFORMATION. LOCAL HOMICIDE VICTIMIZATION SURVEYS FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION SHOULD CONTAIN FIGURES ACCOMPANIED BY CLEAR EXPLANATIONS ON WHAT THEY MEAN AND DO NOT MEAN. FIGURES RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC SHOULD ALSO BE SCIENTIFICALLY SOUND AND POLICY RELEVANT (I.E., COUNSEL ON HOW PEOPLE CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES AND WHAT THEIR GOVERNMENT'S CRIMINAL POLICIES ARE. STATISTICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION ON HOMICIDE AND/OR MURDER OFFERED TO THE PUBLIC SHOULD ADDRESS ALL KNOWN PUBLIC CONCERNS, INCLUDING HOMICIDE TRENDS; POPULATION SUBGROUPS (HOW MUCH AFFECTED AND IN WHAT WAY); PATTERNS OF HOMICIDE (E.G., WHERE IT OCCURS MOST FREQUENTLY: IN THE STREETS, IN PRIVATE HOMES, PUBLIC PLACES, BARS, ALL-NIGHT FOOD STORES AND GAS STATIONS, LIQUOR STORES, IN TAXICABS); SIGNIFICANT HOMICIDE DIMENSIONS (E.G., ACCORDING TO AGE, SEX, AND RACE VARIABLES). SUCH INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE HIGHLY SPECULATIVE AND QUALIFICATION-RIDDEN. LIFETIME PROBABILITY FIGURES FOR VICTIMIZATION BY HOMICIDE ARE OF QUESTIONABLE UTILITY FOR THIS PURPOSE. OTHER TYPES OF INFORMATION EXAMINED IN THIS PAPER INCLUDE: GAINS IN LIFE EXPECTANCY FROM THE ELIMINATION OF HOMICIDE; RANKING HOMICIDE AMONG OTHER CAUSES OF DEATH; DEATHS BY HOMICIDE AS A PERCENTAGE/RATIO OF ALL DEATHS; RISK OF DEATH BY HOMICIDE AS A RESULT OF OTHER CRIMES (THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION CRIME CLOCK). A MORE ACTIVE ROLE IS RECOMMENDED FOR CRIMINOLOGISTS IN EDUCATING THE PUBLIC WITH REGARD TO HOMICIDE FIGURES, TRENDS, AND POLICIES. A LIST OF BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES IS APPENDED.
Index Term(s): Homicide; Murder; Public information; Trend analysis; Violent crime statistics
Note: PAPER PRESENTED AT THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VICTIMOLOGY, HELD AT MUENSTER/WESTPHALIA (FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY), ON SEPTEMBER 2-8, 1979.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68476

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