Exploring Demographic, Structural, and Behavioral Overlap Among Homicide Offenders and Victims
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Criminologists tend to focus their attention on the dynamics of offending, paying limited theoretical and empirical attention to the well-established relation between offending and victimization. However, a number of criminological theories predict similarities in the correlates and etiology of victimization and offending, suggesting substantial overlap across offender and victim populations. Empirical research confirms this overlap across offender and victim populations, at least among those involved in non-lethal incidents. This research explores whether similarities between offender and victim populations extend to homicide, using criminal justice, health care, and U.S. Census data linked to homicide offenders and victims in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, between 1996 and 2001. Findings indicate substantial overlap in the social contexts and risk behaviors of homicide offenders and victims. However, results also side with more recent suggestions that although many victims overlap with offender populations, there is also a group of victims that appears to be distinguishable from offender groups. These findings have important implications for both theory and intervention.
Causes and Prevention of Crime