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Immigrant Populations as Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
55 pages
This report presents a research proposal and study findings regarding the problems that immigrant groups encounter as crime victims and consumers of criminal justice services, with emphasis on their difficulties in obtaining access to justice and ways to improve the criminal justice response to their needs and problems. Data set archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, located at URL http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/nacjd.
The proposal noted that past research literature has established that various immigrant groups are reluctant to report crime to the police. However, the literature does not discuss steps that might increase crime reporting or how immigrant victims who do report crimes experience the criminal justice system. This study gathered information regarding the experiences of Colombians, Dominicans, and Indians in the Jackson Heights area of New York City and Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Koreans in Philadelphia. Additional information came from officials who responded to a national survey of criminal justice professionals. Results suggested that immigrants are less likely than other victims to report crimes, particularly domestic assault, sexual assault, and gang violence. Officials also believed that immigrants face greater hardships than other victims when reporting to police or attending court. Problems include language barriers, cultural differences, and ignorance of the United States criminal justice system. Findings indicated the need for rigorous victimization surveys to increase knowledge about the specific immigrant groups that underreport crime and to compare native-born and immigrant victims' expectations of the criminal justice system, rates of participation in the court process, and satisfaction with the process and outcome. Attached descriptions of the samples

Date Published: January 1, 1996