Consider the role and status of victims in the criminal justice system
There can be more than one way to define a victim, in one instance it’s believed that a victim is someone that has been harmed physically, emotionally and/or economically harmed by incriminating actions perpetrated by another being. (Karmen 2010) It can be argued that the family of the offender is in fact a victim too. In the sense that family and friends may experience the lost of a family member or a friend, if they were to become incarcerated as a result of their actions. They may also have to deal with news reports if the offence makes the media and the ‘shame’ that comes with having a family member or friend in prison and televised. The victim’s family/friends also have to deal with a lost, in crimes such as murder, or a crime that incorporates drastic change that can revolutionise the life of these individuals. Organisations/companies can also be tricked and schemed, potentially turning them into victims. Crimes such as fraud and illegal downloading are in fact crimes too. It can be said that all these people employed within the business and the business itself is in n fact victims too. This essay will consider both the role and status of victims within the criminal justice system describing the concept of the part a victim plays within a criminal proceeding and also touching upon the likeliness of one to become a victim and reasons for this.
When considering the status of a victim some are more fitting of the ‘victim status’ than others. So who are these likely victims? Is there a particular group of people or an individual that is deemed more likely to become a victim than any other person? It’s arguable to say that, the place where someone lives, their race, age, sexuality and/or gender are in fact factors that may increase ones chances of becoming a victim of crime. (Briggs 2009) This hypothesis supports the perspective that one’s chance of becoming a victim is in fact unevenly spread across society (Davies 2010) For example Davies (2009), expresses how the difference in age is relevant to victimisation ‘’innocent children and the elderly being perceived as particularly vulnerable (Davies 2009 pp75) The youngster hold habit of hanging on the streets, increasing the chances of them becoming a victim of street crime such as robbery, assault and theft. While the elderly are subjected to stay indoors due such factors as ill health, incapability to get around and bad weather conditions. These factors all help to increase the likeliness of them becoming a victim of a household crime. (Davies 2010). Carrabine et’al (2009), expresses the typical offender to be ‘male’, (Carrabine et’al 2009. pp. 186) and found that those that tend to live in the ‘’run-down inner city’’ and areas of council accommodation’’ were in fact more likely to commit crime. Seeing these individuals as ‘’vulnerable to crime problem occurring.’’ (Carrabine et’al 2009 pp.186) Nils Christie (1986) a Norwegian criminologist cited in Newman (2007) proposed that the ‘ideal victim’ is in fact a weak individual in relation to the offender, resulting in the victim most likely to be a female, sick or elderly. His ideology also illustrated that the victim became a victim through acting morally or going about their everyday routine, in that aspect Christies' theory demonstrates a general care for the victim calling them ‘blameless’ for what has happened. (Newman 2007 pp.342-343) Ones race and being an ethnic minorities is seen as a factor that influences the likeliness of becoming a victim as afro-Caribbean’s and Asians are more at risk of experience a house-hold offence or a personal offence than whites. Some of the offences that take place against these groups of ethnic minorities may be racially motivated or explained by socio-economic. (Phillips and Bowling 2002) In the sense that one’s socio- economic status is based on their family income, parental education level, parental...
Bibliography: Briggs, S. and Friedman, J. (2009) Criminology for Dummies, Wiley publishing, Indianapolis
Carrabine E, Cox P, Lee M
Christie, N. (2004) A suitable Amount of Crime, Routledge, London Cited in; Newman T. (2007) Criminology, Willian publishing: Devon
Justice agencies failing victims says criminal justice audit (2011) Available from [Accessed 9 December 2011]
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