MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAlthough societal interest in violence is not new, the lay public and legal and mental health professionals have become increasingly interested in distinguishing nonstranger and stranger violence. The importance of the victim-offender relationship is underscored by the fact that society appears to be less fearful of the nonstranger offender than it is of the stranger offender. This research explores the role of the victim-offender relationship in crimes of violence. Inmate self-report, official data, and prison infraction data were used. All data collection occurred within the Arizona state prison system and included 273 inmate subjects who committed violent offenses. The victim-offender relationship was studied in the context of the validity of offender self-report, the prison experience of inmates, criminal justice processing of offenders, recidivism of offenders, specialization of offenders, and offender's perception of victim contribution. Results suggest that the violent offender self-report is valid and reliable, and that stranger and nonstranger offenders are similar in some ways and different in others. In particular, stranger offenders have more disciplinary problems in prison; are charged and convicted of less serious crimes but are given longer sentences; have more extensive juvenile records and histories of drug abuse; are more likely to have been in prison before; do not have more extensive self-reported crime commission rates; are no more or no less likely to specialize; and are less likely to perceive victim contribution than nonstranger offenders. Conclusions and implications for public policy are discussed.