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Critical Issues in General Crime

NCJ Number
Cheryl Holm-Hansen; Melanie Ferris; Mao Thao
Date Published
March 2009
32 pages
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety commissioned this report to "tell the story" of victim services in the state and suggest new directions for the future, with attention to "critical issues in general crime."
Background material develops the concept of "general crime" as a "broad category of offenses with varying causes and consequences for victims." In examining legislative protections for victims, the report notes that although Minnesota has a comprehensive set of protections for crime victims, these policies are not always implemented. An overview of the perpetrators of general crime notes that a number of demographic and background characteristics increase the risk that persons who experience these variables will commit a crime. An overview of crime victims emphasizes that they could experience a wide array of adverse physical, psychological, social, and financial consequences because of their victimization. A review of general crime victim services in Minnesota concludes that a wide array of services are available for crime victims; however, significant gaps remain. An overview of law enforcement and judicial responses to crime victims notes that it is important that law enforcement and judicial personnel develop and comply with policies that provide opportunities for crime victims to participate in their case processing while receiving needed support and guidance in times of stress and difficulty. In conclusion, the report argues that a comprehensive approach to crime must include an array of community-based and targeted crime prevention efforts.