Victimisation and Punishment - Coggle Diagram
Victimisation and Punishment
Characteristics include: young, female, old, immigrants, depressed, mentally ill, the acquisitive, minorities, dull, normal lonesome, heartbroken, tormentor, the blocked/ the fighter
Wolfgang: Victim Precipitation:
looked at murders in the USA and found that
26% of 588 homicides
in Philadelphia involved victim precipitation. This means that the victim triggered the events leading to the murder.
Hans Von Hentig: Victim Proneness:
There are 13 characteristics which make someone more likely to be a victim of crime.
Positivist victimology focuses on interpersonal crimes of violence.
: argues that
people contribute to their own victimisation
as there are certain characteristics/ behaviours which make someone more likely to be a victim. e.g. walking home alone in the dark, leaving valuables on display, dressing provocatively, provoking threats.
Explains trends in victimisation e.g. young people more likely to be victims than middle-aged people bc they are more likely to get drunk, be out late, not have burglar alarms etc
Takes away agency from the criminal- they actively choosing to commit crime when this is not a natural and definite response. An open window is not an invitation to enter a home/ steal property
: criminalising the victims rather than the perpetrator e.g. telling women they should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimised. Judges/ prosecutors have implied women's behaviour/ actions have led to their sexual assault= criminals given reduced sentences.
Critical victimology (Marxists, feminists, labelling theorists)
Mawby and Walklate:
victimisation is a form of ‘structural powerlessness’. Structural factors such as patriarchy and poverty place powerless groups such as women and the poor at great risk of being victims- they are marginalised, ignored, oppressed etc
Tombs and Whyte
: employers tend to manipulate ‘safety crimes’ where injured workers are often blamed for their actions instead of the company taking responsibility for their negligence of health and safety procedure. This is referred to as the ‘
hierarchy of victimisation
Critical victimology argues that some social groups (e.g. women and the w/c) are structurally more at risk of being victims of crime. They focus on actions/ behaviour of individuals but point that society is structured in a way that some groups are more vulnerable than others.
Evaluation: Arguably the very rich are structurally at risk of crime because they make an attractive target to those seeking to profit from crime. CSEW: higher proportion of those with income over £50,000 had been victims of crime than those with a household income of under £10,000
: The role of prisons has changed over time. Prisons are now being used as the main form of punishment in the USA and in the UK. Politicians use prisons to prove to the electorate that they are tough on crime, in order to gain electoral popularity and win elections.
4 goals of Prison:
: physically preventing criminals from being able to commit crime, also protects the public by locking away violent criminals
: punishes the offender by taking away their freedom- forced to stay in an overcrowded, violent, degrading place
: reforming criminals so they can reintegrate into society and not go on to commit more crimes in the future (through educational programmes, workshops etc)
: Deter people from committing crime through the threat and fear of going to prison
believed that punishment is ‘expressive’ as it heals the wounds of the public while also promoting the value consensus.
Traditional societies did this using
which was simple, effective and often brutal. It involves the criminal paying for their crimes- they caused harm and thus harm should be done to them in response.
However, modern societies have moved to using
. Punishment must now restore a sense of equilibrium to society by ensuring that the community is healed from the damage of the offence that was committed. This restores social solidarity.
The role of punishment is to benefit capitalism through the imprisonment of the w/c, which provides them with free labour.
The CJS use ‘selective law enforcement’ to protect the interests of the ruling class and therefore acts as a ‘repressive state apparatus’ by making the proletariat conform due to the fear of punishment.
: emphasise importance of restorative justice and - the idea that a key role of punishment is to make amends for harm caused.
: emphasise importance of deterrence- if criminals makes a rational choice to offend and see people being punished harshly for their transgression they should make a rational choice to not offend.
CSEW Data 2017: Those most likely to be victims:
men slightly more than women
young people (both m&f)
mixed race most likely ethnicity to be victims (over 2x more likely than white people, who were least likely to be victims amongst larger ethnic groups)
long-term unemployed and students
those living in urban areas more than those in rural areas
those living in deprived areas
having a significant disability
CSEW: a victim survey that provides a rich and detailed data set of victimisation. Provides a more complete picture than police statistics and facilitates quantitative analysis of patterns and trends of victimisation
Social Construction of Victimhood
Tombs and Whyte:
a victim is a social construct. The state has power to define who they decide is a victim through the CJS. They can apply the label of victim to some and withholds it from others.
CJS has an
: "failure to label" or "de-labelling" conceals the true extent of victimisation and it's real causes which hides the crimes of the powerful.
What is a victim also depends on historical and social context e.g. before 1991 it was legal to rape your wife, therefore a wife was not a victim. Two prostitutes may be viewed as victims of grooming/ sexual abuse by a transgressive feminist but in the eyes of a law, they could be criminals.
Victim of label can influence the self-concept and can become a master status: Two individuals might have the exact same experience of victimisation but one might consider themselves a victim as they have internalised the victim label while the other may not consider themselves a victim- depends on each person's self concept