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Childhood Victimization And Adult Criminals Essay

Decent Essays
There have been numerous studies throughout the decades regarding childhood victimization and how it relates to adult criminality. This report will summarize a few of these studies and compare their results in order to attempt to find a correlation between childhood abuse, neglect, or sexual abuse and adult criminals. A common assumption amongst those in the field of criminal justice is that most adult criminals were victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, and/or neglect in their childhood. A study by Steele in 1975 found that, of 200 detained juvenile offenders, between 72% and 84% had backgrounds of child abuse (Weeks & Widom, 1998). A 1979 study by Lewis, Schanok, Pincus, and Glaser found that of a sample of male juvenile offenders, 75% had experienced childhood physical abuse. In follow-up interviews with the same subjects previously surveyed, 80% reported childhood physical abuse (Weeks & Widom, 1998). A study done by the Department of Correctional Services Research and Reporting Unit in 1983 had inmates answer a questionnaire; 25.2% of the inmates who answered the questionnaire reported childhood victimization (1998). A study by Belyea and Zingraff in 1984 surveyed 18,784 male inmates in North Carolina and found that 9% reported childhood abuse or neglect (1998). Dutton and Hart completed two studies, in 1992 and 1994, on 604 adult male inmates to assess abuse they received before the age of 18. 31% of those sampled were physically abused; 11% sexually
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