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Coping With Victimization: The Effects of Police Intervention on Victims' Psychological Readjustment

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1987
18 pages
Beginning with the premise that police-victim interactions shortly after victimization mediate the psychological impact of criminal victimization, the Detroit Victims Experiment was designed to test the notions that (a) new police officers could be sensitized to the psychological needs of victims, and (b) this sensitivity would ameliorate the severity of the victims' stress reactions, facilitate readjustment, and improve the prospects of cooperation with the criminal justice system.
In a randomized experimental design, police recruits who received the victim-focused training reported significantly more favorable attitudes, perceptions, and behavioral intentions vis-a-vis victims than did the control group. However, victims were largely unaffected by this police intervention across a wide range of outcome measures. Implications for crisis theory and policy are discussed. (Author abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1987