Positivist Victimology: Positivist Criminology

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Historically the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice primary focus was on the offender, which meant that the victim did not receive proper attention. In criminal law victims appeared as witnesses, complainants or alleged victims until the trial ended. With an adversarial court system like that of America and the UK, the conflict is between the prosecution and the defendant. The victim who is at hand simply provides evidence for an offence that in reality was not necessarily committed against them but against the Crown, the state or the community. Garland remarked that light was rarely shed on victims other than as members of the public whose trouble bring about state action. Even then, their interest was considered as part of the general…show more content…
Positivist victimology was established in the-mid twentieth century of the discipline of victimology itself and specifically to the work of Hans von Hentig, Benjamin Mendelsohn and Hinderlang, Gottfredson and Garafalo. The positivist victimology is about "recognising the factors that cause the non-random victimization pattern, concerning the interpersonal violent crimes, and endeavouring to identify the victims who are prone to contribute to their own victimization". In this essay I will be critically discuss the key contributions positivist victimologists have made to the issue of victimisation. In doing so, this essay will focus on victim precipitation, by looking at work of Hentig, Mendelsohn and Wolfgangm. Following from this it will look at lifestyle theory by Hinderlang, Gottfredson and Garafalo and then the routine activity theory finally it will look at victim crime…show more content…
The “greedy” types were easily mislead because of their greediness. The “wonton” type was vulnerable because of their neediness. The “tormentor” type ends up being attacked by the victim he or she abused. Hence, the tormentor gets attack and becomes the victim because of the retaliation by the person they were abusing. This is equivalent to the wife who was being abused by her husband subsequently kills her husband. Hentig typologies of likely victim pave the way for notion of victim precipitation. This is because his typologies highlight the fact that some victims may play a part in crime against themselves.

Hentig theory also led to change in societal attitude towards crime. His theory also brought influential change. For example, his theory was regarded as a wonderful approach to the investigation of homicide. In that, the victim is dead and the offender is unknown and therefore by examining the victim’s lifestyle by interviewing friends and family, this aid law-enforcement agent to turn their attention and resources to the victim as a way of finding the unknown perpetrator. However, a criticism against his work was that it was was speculative rather than empirically

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