Juvenile Crime Victims and Their Incarcerated Offenders

Richard K. Ormrod, University of New Hampshire
David Finkelhor, University of New Hampshire

ABSTRACT
This paper examines data from the 1997 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities for information about adults incarcerated for victimizations of children and youth. These offenders against juveniles are very different from offenders against adults in a number of ways. Most incarcerated offenders against juveniles (65%) are sex offenders, while by contrast sex offenders comprise only a small portion (7%) of the offenders against of adults. Most incarcerated offenders against juveniles victimized someone in their own family or household (48%) or an acquaintance (34%), while the majority of offenders against of adults victimized a stranger (54%). The majority of incarcerated offenders against juveniles are white (64%), over 30 years of age (51%) and have been married (56%), while the majority of offenders against of adults are non-white (59%), under 30 (66%) and have never been married (60%). There is no evidence that State prison inmates who committed crimes against pre-adolescent children received lighter sentences than other inmates, while those who offended against teenage victims appear to have received typically less severe sentences than other offenders (even after controlling for the major factors that can influence sentence length like crime seriousness and recidivism).

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Updated 05/20/2006