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Victim-Offender Overlap: Examining Police and Service System Networks of Response Among Violent Street Conflicts

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2019
38 pages
The purpose of this study was to advance research on the victim-offender overlap and improve understanding of the situational and contextual factors in street violence that impact how individuals who have past justice system involvement either access or fail to access victim services after being injured in a violent street conflict.
Qualitative data were obtained from focus groups, semi-structured interviews with victim services providers, and interviews with 103 victims of street crimes. Quantitative data were drawn from surveys and social network data collection with the same 103 victims of violent street assault. Descriptive analyses and regression models were used to assess the impact of police responses to a victimization incident on the victim's receipt of victim services. The findings indicate that the victims became involved in a variety of help-seeking patterns after their injury. Half were involved in some type of police response, regardless of whether they may have reported the incident to the police. A victim's arrest and gang history did not influence whether first responders told the victim about victim services; having police officers respond to the victimization was associated with a greater likelihood of the victim receiving victim services. Victim services were likely to involve mental health treatment; however, few victims reported accessing/receiving any type of service. The majority of victims had no knowledge of their rights as a crime victim and did not know they were eligible for victim compensation and other services. This suggests the importance of improving public awareness and knowledge of the types of crime victim services and rights that are available and who qualifies to receive various types of services. 5 tables, 1 figure, and 41 references

Date Published: December 1, 2019