Policing and Victims / Edition 1

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Overview

When victims contact the police, they expect immediate results. How do police know how to handle victims, possibly the most important yet neglected component of the criminal justice system? Policing and Victims is the first book that specifically shows police how to help victims of crime.

In Policing and Victims, Dr. Laura J. Moriarty and co-authors show that when police know how to work successfully with victims, everyone benefits: cases are more likely to be solved, victims are more satisfied with the police, and police departments gain respect within their communities.

Policing and Victims, a book long overdue, will help police officers understand victimology in a policing context, will help them understand how to deal with specific victim situations such as rape and domestic violence, and will give them additional resources that are crucial to victim recovery. This text will help strengthen the communication between police and crime victims, and can help the reader become a better police officer.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130179203
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/23/2001
  • Series: Prentice Hall's Policing and ... Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 165
  • Product dimensions: 7.05 (w) x 9.13 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Max L. Bromley is an associate professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of South Florida. He has previously served as the associate director of public safety at the University of South Florida and worked in the criminal justice field for almost 25 years. He is the senior coauthor of College Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Awareness, has coedited a volume entitled Hospital and College Security Liability Awareness, and is coauthor of the 5th edition of Crime and Justice in America. In addition, he has written numerous scholarly articles on campus crime and policing as well as technical documents on a variety of criminal justice topics.

Robyn Diehl received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Randolph-Macon College, her master's degree in criminal justice from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in developmental psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, with an emphasis on the effects of community violence on the development of children. Her primary research interest is the effects of lethal and nonlethal violence on criminal behavior. Her most current research is in investigating the effects of violent crime on community response and participation with law enforcement. She has contributed to various technical reports, academic presentations, and scholarly articles.

Bonnie S. Fisher is an associate professor in the Division of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati. She has a Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University (1988). Her research interests include student victimization, violence against college women, campus policing, institutions' responses to a report of sexual assault, and attitudes toward rehabilitation and corrections. Dr. Fisher's most recent work appears in Criminology Security Journal, Justice Quarterly, among others. She is the coeditor of the book, Campus Crime: Legal, Social, and Policy Perspectives.

Denise Kindschi Gosselin is a Massachusetts state trooper and an instructor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Western New England College. Her earned degrees include the master of science in criminal justice, Westfield State College (Massachusetts, 1990). Her research interests include domestic violence issues, distance learning, and juvenile justice. Trooper Gosselin is the author of Heavy Hands: An Introduction to the Crimes of Domestic Violence (Prentice-Hall, 2000).

Janet R. Hutchinson is an associate professor and the director of the Public Administration Program, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University. Her earned degrees include the Ph.D. in public policy, University of Pittsburgh (1993). Dr. Hutchinson worked as a consultant and administrator in public child welfare agencies for 15 years before entering academia. Her most recent work has been in public policy decision making and knowledge use, and in applications of feminist theory to public policy decision making. She is currently working on a book that examines the development of family preservation policies in the United States between 1970 and 1990.

Robert A. Jerin is a professor and chair of the Law and Justice Department at Endicott College. His earned degrees include the Ph.D. in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University (1987). His research interests include restorative justice, crime prevention, victimology, and domestic violence. Dr. Jerin is the author of numerous book chapters and scholarly articles. He is the coauthor of Victims of Crime (Nelson Hall) and the coeditor of Current Issues in Victimology Research (Carolina Academic Press).

Peter J. Mercier is a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, specializing in computer-related crimes. He has 17 years of law enforcement experience. His earned degrees include the master of art in sociology, Old Dominion University. Professor Mercier is an adjunct instructor at Old Dominion University and St. Leo College. His research interests include domestic violence issues and computer deviance. Professor Mercier is the coeditor of Battlecries from the Homefront: Violence in the Military Family (Charles C. Thomas, 2000).

Tracy Woodard Meyers is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Valdosta State University. She received the Ph.D. in family relations with an emphasis in traumatology from Florida State University (1996). She has conducted research in the area of secondary traumatic stress. Her research interests include domestic violence, crisis intervention, child welfare, and trauma and the family. Dr. Meyers is a Florida Abuse Registry Counselor. Additionally, before joining the faculty at VSU, Dr. Meyers spent 10 years working with trauma victims in a variety of social.service agencies. She is the author of numerous research articles and book chapters.

Laura J. Moriarty is a professor of criminal justice and assistant dean, College of Humanities and Sciences, at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her earned degrees include the Ph.D., Sam Houston State University (1988). Her research areas include victims of crime, victimology, fear of crime, and violent crime. She is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of four books: Victims of Crime (with Robert Jerin, Nelson-Hall, 1998), American Prisons: An Annotated Bibliography (with Elizabeth McConnell, Greenwood Press, 1998), Current Issues in Vctimology Research (with Robert Jerin, Carolina Academic Press, 1998), and Criminal Justice Technology in the 21 st Century (with David Carter, Charles C. Thomas, 1998). Additionally, Dr. Moriarty has published numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and nonrefereed articles.

Matthew B. Robinson is an assistant professor of criminal justice in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at Appalachian State University. His earned degrees include the Ph.D. in criminology and criminal justice, Florida State University (1997). His research areas include criminological theory, criminal victimization, and crime prevention. Dr. Robinson is the author of many scholarly articles appearing in the American Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Corrections Compendium, Western Criminology Review, and Journal of Crime and Justice.

Amie R. Scheidegger is an assistant professor of criminal justice at Charleston Southern University. She received her B.S. in criminal justice from Illinois State University in 1990. She earned her M.S. in 1993 and Ph.D. in 1998 in criminology/criminal justice from Florida State University. Her major research interests are female crime and crime prevention. She is currently researching in the area of domestic violence.

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Read an Excerpt

Preface

Police officers are the first representatives of the criminal justice system victims encounter. In many instances, these first encounters result in conflict. For the most part, when victims contact the police, they expect immediate results. Police officers, conversely, expect victims to provide accurate reporting of the events that led to the call for service. These two expectations often result in conflict between the two, when indeed, the two should be allies, working together to resolve the matter.

When police officers and victims do work together, there is a much greater probability of resolving the case. Much of the conflict between police officers and victims stems from a lack of understanding on both parts. The police do not know what victims expect, need, or want from police officers, and victims do not know what police are expected to do.

This ambiguity and lack of clarification regarding the roles and responsibilities of police officers is enhanced as police departments move from a traditional style of policing toward a more "community" type of policing. It is difficult for police officers operating under a traditional style of policing to know what the expectations, in general, are for police officers. Without training or educating the officers, it will further separate police officers and victims.

The purpose of this book is to identify potential areas of conflict between police officers and victims. If we educate and train both current and future police officers on the issues of possible conflict between the two, we can begin to establish a more productive working relationship where the police and victims start to comprehend each others' position more accurately.

This reader is a collection of ten original chapters focusing on the topics of concern voiced by police officers. A focus group was conducted. About a dozen police officers with experience ranging from six to twenty years provided a list of topics they considered paramount for a victimology reader in order to increase their awareness and understanding of victims' concerns and issues.

Contributors to the reader are both practitioners in the field of criminal justice as well as academicians in the fields of criminology, criminal justice, law, policing, political science, social work, and public administration. The book is divided into three sections: Part I—Fundamental Issues, Part II—Victimization Issues, and Part III—Resource Issues.

Part I consists of three chapters. In the first chapter, Matt Robinson defines the term victimology. In the most elementary of definitions, victimology is the study of victims. However, as Robinson explains, the definition of victimology may focus on victims (i.e., people) harmed by illegal acts (e.g., personal or property crime) or it may be broadened to include other types of victims (i.e., organizations, groups, entities) harmed by illegal acts (e.g., environmental crime, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime). Although other authors have argued for a broader definition of victimology, none have actually conceptualized the term. Robinson does this, and he also provides a typology of victimization by offender and victim type. Perhaps most important for this reader, Robinson takes his "new victimology" and applies it to policing—explaining how this new definition impacts policing.

In Chapter 2, Amie Scheidegger explains how the police should treat victims. As she points out in her chapter, "How the police respond to victims of crime impacts the outcome of a case, the recovery process of the victim(s), police-community relations, an individual's faith in and respect for the police, and his or her willingness to cooperate with police/law enforcement in the future." Therefore, it is imperative that police officers learn how to respond appropriately to crime victims. In her chapter, Scheidegger presents information regarding police-victim interactions to help police officers know what to expect from victims as well as what victims expect from the police. Further, she discusses how victims respond to crime, briefly discussing post-traumatic stress disorder. Scheidegger also examines distinct victim populations including elderly victims, victims with disabilities, and ethnically diverse victims and how the police should respond to these victims. The concept of secondary victimization is also discussed. Scheidegger concludes with the recommendation to develop and increase police officer training. ". . . the police must have a keen awareness of the various impacts crime has on victims. The officer must be well trained to understand how crime impacts the victim physically, psychologically, emotionally, and financially. An officer must understand the crisis process as it applies to victims and how to assist special victim populations. The more thoroughly trained an officer is, the more likely he or she will be able to respond adequately and appropriately to crime victims."

In Chapter 3, Peter Mercier addresses the subject of victim reporting—a topic discussed briefly in Chapter 2. As addressed by Mercier, "The police do not discover most crimes. Rather, the majority of crimes are reported to them." Therefore, it is essential that victims actually report crimes. Before making recommendations to increase victim reporting, Mercier provides a thorough review of the academic literature summarizing why victims do and do not report crimes. He then uses this information to develop strategies to increase victim reporting. An overlapping recommendation from Chapter 1 is the need for training of police officers, in particular, the need to train officers how to treat victims. Mercier makes the point that such efforts (and other efforts articulated in his chapter) will increase victim reporting.

Part II, Victimization Issues, contains three chapters. These chapters examine specific crimes and how the police should handle them. In Chapter 4, Tracy Woodard Meyers explains how the police should interview sexual assault victims. Dr. Meyers is a Florida Abuse Registry Counselor who brings her clinical experience and academic knowledge to her presentation on how to interview sexual assault victims. The police officers in the focus group were concerned about who should actually interview the victim. Should a female officer interview a female victim? Should a male officer interview a male victim? Should a female officer interview a child victim regardless of gender? Should there be more than one officer present as the interview is conducted? Should the interviewing officer be made a primary member of the investigation team? Dr. Meyers addresses these questions and more in her chapter, providing practical suggestions and instructions on how to interview victims of sexual assault.

In Chapter 5, Janet Hutchinson discusses the role of the police in investigating child welfare cases. These include dependent, neglected, and abandoned children, and children who have been physically and sexually assaulted. Dr. Hutchinson has consulted with state and local child welfare agencies in 48 of the 50 states over a 20-year period, and has a broad understanding of the issues involved in developing and maintaining successful multidisciplinary investigations of child abuse and neglect. Team members representing different disciplines bring very different perspectives of their responsibilities to the group effort—perspectives that often lead to misunderstandings that undermine multidisciplinary cooperation on child abuse and neglect cases. Dr. Hutchinson examines these goal conflicts, and the advantages and disadvantages of police involvement in child abuse and neglect cases. She also explores strategies that have been successfully used for developing and maintaining viable multidisciplinary teams that include police in investigations.

Chapter 6 focuses on domestic violence. Denise Kindschi Gosselin brings a unique perspective to this topic because she is a state trooper who has practical experience dealing with domestic disputes. She summarizes the academic literature on domestic violence providing the reader with an operational definition of domestic violence. She then discusses police intervention in domestic disputes. The main goal of the chapter is to provide officers with different ways to interview victims of domestic violence. Gosselin discusses purposeful interviewing and provides the reader with a set of misconceptions or false assumptions regarding what is expected at a domestic violence situation. This information is very important because erroneous expectations often lead to unacceptable or inappropriate behavior. By making the reader aware of these pitfalls, Gosselin is helping police officers respond to victims of domestic violence in a more effective manner. Her chapter continues with a full discussion of various interviewing techniques.

Part III, Resource Issues, contains four chapters. Each chapter examines a specific type of resource for victims. The police officers in the focus group were concerned they did not know enough about where to send victims for help. They expressed a desire to be more informed, in a general sense, about the services and resources available for victims.

In Chapter 7, Robert Jerin provides a historical and contemporary overview of victims' rights legislation. He details the grassroots effort that led to the adoption of the first victims' bill of rights. Although all states have adopted a statewide victims' bill of rights, currently there is no federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Jerin includes a list of rights that are found most often in a state's victims' bill of rights. Together these rights represent services. Police officers should be aware of what is promised to victims in such legislation.

In Chapter 8, Laura J. Moriarty and Robyn Diehl address state and federal resources available to victims. They begin with a short overview of why police officers should be concerned about crime victims' needs and what simple things can be done to address those needs. They discuss briefly what the police can expect from victims in terms of their reaction to crime and what victims expect from the police. In order to facilitate the recovery process, the authors advocate that police officers know about victim services on a national, regional, and local level. Moriarty and Diehl provide a list of resources on the federal level. They then specifically discuss one state recommending that the individual resources discussed be located in an officer's state and/or local community. Although compiling such a list will take a little effort on the part of the police department, it will ensure that the police have information to give to victims regarding available resources.

Chapter 9 focuses on one specific environment—the college campus. Max Bromley and Bonnie Fisher focus on campus policing and its evolution, as well as victim advocacy and victims' services provided on college campuses. They provide an overview of the extent and nature of on-campus crime. The authors provide detailed information regarding how colleges and universities have responded to the needs and mandates for victim services providing specific examples from Michigan State University and the University of South Florida. They conclude with a discussion of the challenges faced by campus police officials who provide services to campus crime victims, recommending strategies to reduce the barriers to quality service delivery.

Chapter 10 is the summary chapter. Dantzker and Moriarty discuss children as victims, providing an overview of the topic including a discussion of who protects children. The CASA program is detailed as well as special units in police departments. Finally, each chapter is briefly summarized.

This reader is intended as a resource for police officers, academicians and students. It may be used as a text for courses including Introduction to Criminal Justice/Criminology, any upper division policing course, or a victimology course or special topics course on victims of crime. More important, the reader should provide useful and timely information for both academic and police professionals interested in victims of crime.

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Table of Contents

I. FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES.

1. The Case for a "New Victimology": Implications for Policing, Matthew B. Robinson.

2. Suitable Responses to Victimization: How Police Should Treat Victims, Amie R. Scheidegger.

3. Victim Reporting: Strategies to Increase Reporting, Peter J. Mercier.

II. VICTIMIZATION ISSUES.

4. Police and Sexual Assault: Strategies for Successful Victim Interviews, Tracey Woodard Meyers.

5. Police Involvement in Child Maltreatment: Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Investigations, Janet R. Hutchinson.

6. Victim Interviewing in Cases of Domestic Violence: Techniques for Police, Denise Kindschi Gosselin.

III. RESOURCE ISSUES.

7. Victims' Rights Legislation: An Overview, Robert A. Jerin.

8. State and Federal Victim Resources and Services, Laura J. Moriarty and Robyn Diehl.

9. Campus Policing and Victim Services, Max L. Bromley and Bonnie S. Fisher.

10. Policing and Victims: Children and others., M.L. Dantzker and Laura J. Moriarty.

Contributors' Biographical Information.

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Preface

Preface

Police officers are the first representatives of the criminal justice system victims encounter. In many instances, these first encounters result in conflict. For the most part, when victims contact the police, they expect immediate results. Police officers, conversely, expect victims to provide accurate reporting of the events that led to the call for service. These two expectations often result in conflict between the two, when indeed, the two should be allies, working together to resolve the matter.

When police officers and victims do work together, there is a much greater probability of resolving the case. Much of the conflict between police officers and victims stems from a lack of understanding on both parts. The police do not know what victims expect, need, or want from police officers, and victims do not know what police are expected to do.

This ambiguity and lack of clarification regarding the roles and responsibilities of police officers is enhanced as police departments move from a traditional style of policing toward a more "community" type of policing. It is difficult for police officers operating under a traditional style of policing to know what the expectations, in general, are for police officers. Without training or educating the officers, it will further separate police officers and victims.

The purpose of this book is to identify potential areas of conflict between police officers and victims. If we educate and train both current and future police officers on the issues of possible conflict between the two, we can begin to establish a more productive working relationship where the police and victims start to comprehend each others' position more accurately.

This reader is a collection of ten original chapters focusing on the topics of concern voiced by police officers. A focus group was conducted. About a dozen police officers with experience ranging from six to twenty years provided a list of topics they considered paramount for a victimology reader in order to increase their awareness and understanding of victims' concerns and issues.

Contributors to the reader are both practitioners in the field of criminal justice as well as academicians in the fields of criminology, criminal justice, law, policing, political science, social work, and public administration. The book is divided into three sections: Part I—Fundamental Issues, Part II—Victimization Issues, and Part III—Resource Issues.

Part I consists of three chapters. In the first chapter, Matt Robinson defines the term victimology. In the most elementary of definitions, victimology is the study of victims. However, as Robinson explains, the definition of victimology may focus on victims (i.e., people) harmed by illegal acts (e.g., personal or property crime) or it may be broadened to include other types of victims (i.e., organizations, groups, entities) harmed by illegal acts (e.g., environmental crime, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime). Although other authors have argued for a broader definition of victimology, none have actually conceptualized the term. Robinson does this, and he also provides a typology of victimization by offender and victim type. Perhaps most important for this reader, Robinson takes his "new victimology" and applies it to policing—explaining how this new definition impacts policing.

In Chapter 2, Amie Scheidegger explains how the police should treat victims. As she points out in her chapter, "How the police respond to victims of crime impacts the outcome of a case, the recovery process of the victim(s), police-community relations, an individual's faith in and respect for the police, and his or her willingness to cooperate with police/law enforcement in the future." Therefore, it is imperative that police officers learn how to respond appropriately to crime victims. In her chapter, Scheidegger presents information regarding police-victim interactions to help police officers know what to expect from victims as well as what victims expect from the police. Further, she discusses how victims respond to crime, briefly discussing post-traumatic stress disorder. Scheidegger also examines distinct victim populations including elderly victims, victims with disabilities, and ethnically diverse victims and how the police should respond to these victims. The concept of secondary victimization is also discussed. Scheidegger concludes with the recommendation to develop and increase police officer training. ". . . the police must have a keen awareness of the various impacts crime has on victims. The officer must be well trained to understand how crime impacts the victim physically, psychologically, emotionally, and financially. An officer must understand the crisis process as it applies to victims and how to assist special victim populations. The more thoroughly trained an officer is, the more likely he or she will be able to respond adequately and appropriately to crime victims."

In Chapter 3, Peter Mercier addresses the subject of victim reporting—a topic discussed briefly in Chapter 2. As addressed by Mercier, "The police do not discover most crimes. Rather, the majority of crimes are reported to them." Therefore, it is essential that victims actually report crimes. Before making recommendations to increase victim reporting, Mercier provides a thorough review of the academic literature summarizing why victims do and do not report crimes. He then uses this information to develop strategies to increase victim reporting. An overlapping recommendation from Chapter 1 is the need for training of police officers, in particular, the need to train officers how to treat victims. Mercier makes the point that such efforts (and other efforts articulated in his chapter) will increase victim reporting.

Part II, Victimization Issues, contains three chapters. These chapters examine specific crimes and how the police should handle them. In Chapter 4, Tracy Woodard Meyers explains how the police should interview sexual assault victims. Dr. Meyers is a Florida Abuse Registry Counselor who brings her clinical experience and academic knowledge to her presentation on how to interview sexual assault victims. The police officers in the focus group were concerned about who should actually interview the victim. Should a female officer interview a female victim? Should a male officer interview a male victim? Should a female officer interview a child victim regardless of gender? Should there be more than one officer present as the interview is conducted? Should the interviewing officer be made a primary member of the investigation team? Dr. Meyers addresses these questions and more in her chapter, providing practical suggestions and instructions on how to interview victims of sexual assault.

In Chapter 5, Janet Hutchinson discusses the role of the police in investigating child welfare cases. These include dependent, neglected, and abandoned children, and children who have been physically and sexually assaulted. Dr. Hutchinson has consulted with state and local child welfare agencies in 48 of the 50 states over a 20-year period, and has a broad understanding of the issues involved in developing and maintaining successful multidisciplinary investigations of child abuse and neglect. Team members representing different disciplines bring very different perspectives of their responsibilities to the group effort—perspectives that often lead to misunderstandings that undermine multidisciplinary cooperation on child abuse and neglect cases. Dr. Hutchinson examines these goal conflicts, and the advantages and disadvantages of police involvement in child abuse and neglect cases. She also explores strategies that have been successfully used for developing and maintaining viable multidisciplinary teams that include police in investigations.

Chapter 6 focuses on domestic violence. Denise Kindschi Gosselin brings a unique perspective to this topic because she is a state trooper who has practical experience dealing with domestic disputes. She summarizes the academic literature on domestic violence providing the reader with an operational definition of domestic violence. She then discusses police intervention in domestic disputes. The main goal of the chapter is to provide officers with different ways to interview victims of domestic violence. Gosselin discusses purposeful interviewing and provides the reader with a set of misconceptions or false assumptions regarding what is expected at a domestic violence situation. This information is very important because erroneous expectations often lead to unacceptable or inappropriate behavior. By making the reader aware of these pitfalls, Gosselin is helping police officers respond to victims of domestic violence in a more effective manner. Her chapter continues with a full discussion of various interviewing techniques.

Part III, Resource Issues, contains four chapters. Each chapter examines a specific type of resource for victims. The police officers in the focus group were concerned they did not know enough about where to send victims for help. They expressed a desire to be more informed, in a general sense, about the services and resources available for victims.

In Chapter 7, Robert Jerin provides a historical and contemporary overview of victims' rights legislation. He details the grassroots effort that led to the adoption of the first victims' bill of rights. Although all states have adopted a statewide victims' bill of rights, currently there is no federal amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Jerin includes a list of rights that are found most often in a state's victims' bill of rights. Together these rights represent services. Police officers should be aware of what is promised to victims in such legislation.

In Chapter 8, Laura J. Moriarty and Robyn Diehl address state and federal resources available to victims. They begin with a short overview of why police officers should be concerned about crime victims' needs and what simple things can be done to address those needs. They discuss briefly what the police can expect from victims in terms of their reaction to crime and what victims expect from the police. In order to facilitate the recovery process, the authors advocate that police officers know about victim services on a national, regional, and local level. Moriarty and Diehl provide a list of resources on the federal level. They then specifically discuss one state recommending that the individual resources discussed be located in an officer's state and/or local community. Although compiling such a list will take a little effort on the part of the police department, it will ensure that the police have information to give to victims regarding available resources.

Chapter 9 focuses on one specific environment—the college campus. Max Bromley and Bonnie Fisher focus on campus policing and its evolution, as well as victim advocacy and victims' services provided on college campuses. They provide an overview of the extent and nature of on-campus crime. The authors provide detailed information regarding how colleges and universities have responded to the needs and mandates for victim services providing specific examples from Michigan State University and the University of South Florida. They conclude with a discussion of the challenges faced by campus police officials who provide services to campus crime victims, recommending strategies to reduce the barriers to quality service delivery.

Chapter 10 is the summary chapter. Dantzker and Moriarty discuss children as victims, providing an overview of the topic including a discussion of who protects children. The CASA program is detailed as well as special units in police departments. Finally, each chapter is briefly summarized.

This reader is intended as a resource for police officers, academicians and students. It may be used as a text for courses including Introduction to Criminal Justice/Criminology, any upper division policing course, or a victimology course or special topics course on victims of crime. More important, the reader should provide useful and timely information for both academic and police professionals interested in victims of crime.

Read More Show Less

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