Society's Response to Criminal Victimization
Although crime and victimization rates have steadily declined since the early 1990s, society’s perception and fear of crime is still very high. Greater participation between community members and local law enforcement is needed to help ensure that crime and victimization rates continue to decline. Crime prevention is a concept that can help reduce crime and public fear perception. Combating victimization requires a concerted effort between the public and private sectors. The United States is responding to violent crime in various proactive and reactive ways. Proactive measures are designed to prevent violence; they include community-family action programs, personal protection measures, lifestyle changes, and other crime prevention and security measures designed to divert opportunistic offenders at one’s home, business, or other institutional setting. Victimization cannot be totally prevented; even the best crime prevention efforts are not guarantees against crime. Reactive responses to victimization include community programs and laws implemented in response to a crime problem. The reactive responses are restorative approaches such as victim compensation and support programs, legislation, and civil justice responses. The restorative programs deal directly with victim assistance, although civil justice is designed to punish those responsible or associated with the victimization. The increase in the purchase in weapons reminds us of the fear many have. Community crime planning and increased security measures are a vital part of any crime prevention effort. The 1994 Federal Crime Bill was a significant step in addressing victimization and crime. The best way to curtail victimization is to address the sources of crime. Reducing victimization also includes awareness of personal risks or avoidance of life styles conductive to crime and victimization. Current victimology studies are performed by the World Society of...
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