Crime and Victimization

  1. Summarize one (1) theory of victimization ( Psychological Theory) that Dr. Carla O’Donnell discussed within the related scenario. Support the chosen theory with one (1) real-world example.

The psychological theory of victimization is diverse in the way it describes the psychological behavior of people. According to the theory, people are not born with violent trends but they acquire them from life experiences and the environment. Also, people are at the likelihood of being victimized if they learn to submit to abuse or cannot respond effectively to attempts to oppress them. The same way that people learn normal behavior is the same way that they learn abnormal behavior. People learn such behavior through communication and interactions with other people, and in so doing, they develop motives, drives, and attitudes that make them commit a crime. Learning could also occur from interactions with families and peers. When an aggressive behavior yields specific results, then a person accepts violence to obtain these results. People have different ways of processing life events and experiences, and so the way a person perceives an event will ultimately dictate their reaction. This acquired behavior then becomes a reality that will make a person behave similarly in future events (Gosselin, 2005).

The psychological theory also suggests that children who show aggressive behavior probably have parents who show similar behavior when dealing with other people. In this view, childrens behavior is largely influenced by the behavior of close family members. Environmental experiences could also psychologically affect children’s behavior, which means that children living in violent homes and neighborhoods are more likely to act violently. A real-world example of the psychological theory of victimization and how it influences crime is the Ted Bundy case who was a serial killer. Ted Bundy stalked and killed dozens of young women in the US. This case appears to be a learnt behaviour as Ted Bundy was never born a serial killer (Gosselin, 2005). 

  1. Discuss one (1) real-life scenario involving criminal activity, identifying the federal, state, and / or local agency(ies) that took jurisdiction over the case. 

One real life scenario involving criminal activity is one involving William Brian Duncan in 2010 in Missouri. In that scenario, the suspect is said to have knowingly used a facility of interstate commerce to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. According to the affidavit of the case number 10-0200-JTM-01, the suspect enticed the 14 year old boy in order to have sexual activity with him. The suspect is said to have earlier participated in a Facebook chat with the minor asking the minor about his sexual orientation and when he learnt that the minor was bisexual, he enticed him to meet up and have sex with him. The suspect planned to meet with the minor and agreed to perform oral sex on one another. Duncan was arrested before he could involve in the criminal activity. According to the affidavit, the defendant could be charged with criminal offense for attempting to engage in sexual activity with a minor which is a felony in the state of Missouri. The defendant would also be charged against the felony proscribed by the State of Missouri and also statutory sodomy in the second degree (RSMo. Section 566.064). The defendant was said to have violated the Title 18, United States Code, Section 2422(b) (FBI, 2012).

  1. Explain why the agency(ies) that took the case was the appropriate one for the particular circumstances. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office took over the case, Western District of Missouri, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore and Senior Litigation Counsel Gregg R. Coonrod. The FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force investigated the claims and the case was tried in the federal court. The case was also sponsored by Project Safe Childhood, an initiative by the US department of justice to address child sexual exploitation. The United States District Court in the Western District of Missouri took over the case mainly because the felony took place in the Western District of Missouri. All the offences were charged as violation proscribed by the State of Missouri. The FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force investigated the case because it was a criminal complaint that occurred through the internet. According to the case, the suspect enticed the minor through Facebook chats and the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force was the appropriate agency to carry out the investigations because it specializes in cyber-crimes. The Project Safe Childhood was another agency that had an interest in the case mainly because it touched on child sexual exploitation and abuse and the case was based on child sexual exploitation (FBI, 2012). 

  1. Describe a recent incidence of crime that occurred within your community (Collingswood, NJ). 

A recent crime that occurred within Collingswood, NW is a robbery that occurred at a local gas station on Route 130 Valero. According to the Collingswood police, three people were reported to have attacked the gas station, robbed and beat up the gas attendant at the station. The three men approached the gas station wearing masks and so it was not easy to identify them. The three men stormed into the gas station at around 10.30 pm on September 15 2013, threatened the gas station attendant, and forced him to open the safe. The attendant could not speak English. However, the attendant did not comply and the suspects attacked him by kicking and beating him with the handle of an axe. Later, a customer who wanted to purchase came to the station and when the suspects saw him, the stopped assaulting the gas station attendant and ran away after they had obtained some money from the station. The customer then assisted the victim by calling 911 and the victim was taken to hospital. The victim got minor injuries from the attack and he was treated at the hospital before he was discharged. According to the Collingswood police, all the suspects were wearing dark clothing, scarfs and masks. The suspects were able to run away with an unknown amount of money (Bellano, 2013). 

  1. Suggest how implementing at least one (1) of the changes that Sgt. Evans discussed and another change of your recommendation would have changed the circumstances of the crime that you selected.

According to Sgt. Evans, adopting particular measures within the community could help in making some locations safer and prevent crimes from happening. One measure that could be used to prevent crime and crime victimization is problem oriented policing that involves identifying problems in the community and providing solutions to these problems so as to prevent crime. In this approach, the community would be involved in the policing process as they will identify common problems that result in abnormal behaviour and sit together with the police to find solutions. Collingswood is a small town in New Jersey and so a partnership between the police and the community would help in preventing crime. It is important first to identify problems facing young people whether unemployment, drug abuse, or even alcoholism and deal with them in order to prevent crime. Some of these problems result in crime victimization and suspects end up in committing crime. 

Another way of dealing with crime is to identify people who appear to be targets of crime. In the recent gas station robbery incidence, the suspects attacked while wearing masks and dark clothes. It is important to identify the places where crime is likely to occur and then look for ways of responding to such crimes. The police would work with the community to identify crime spots and provide ways in which victims could seek assistance or protect themselves. One way is to have community police patrols, especially in places where crime is likely to occur and have a quick alarm response system. This strategy would have helped in the gas station robbery and the suspects would have been apprehended.  


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