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Child Victimizers: Violent Offenders and Their Victims: Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1996
3 pages
L A Greenfeld
Publication Type
Report (Study/Research)
This report presents statistics and information on the characteristics of violent offenses against children, the characteristics of offenders who commit such crimes, victim characteristics, and child murder victims.
An estimated 18.6 percent of inmates serving time in State prisons in 1991 for violent crimes (about 61,000 offenders nationwide) had been convicted of a crime against a victim under age 18. One in five violent offenders serving time in a State prison reported having victimized a child. More than half of the violent crimes committed against children involved victims aged 12 or younger. Seven in 10 offenders with child victims reported that they were imprisoned for a rape or sexual assault. Two- thirds of all prisoners convicted of rape or sexual assault had committed their crime against a child. All but 3 percent of offenders who committed violent crimes against children were male. Offenders who had victimized a child were on average 5 years older than the violent offenders who had committed their crimes against adults. Although nearly 70 percent of those serving time for violent crimes against children were white, whites accounted for 40 percent of those imprisoned for violent crimes against adults. Inmates who victimized children were less likely than other inmates to have a prior criminal record. Violent child-victimizers were substantially more likely than those with adult victims to have been physically or sexually abused when they were children. Three in four child victims of violence were female. For the vast majority of child victimizers in State prisons, the victim was someone they knew before the crime. Children under the age of 18 accounted for 11 percent of all murder victims in the United States in 1994. Between 1976 and 1994, an estimated 37,000 children were murdered. Half of all child murders in 1994 were committed with a handgun; about 7 in 10 victims aged 15 to 17 were killed with a handgun. 3 figures and 2 tables
Date Created: June 25, 2018