Date of Degree
Jihong Solomon Zhao
Criminology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance | Social Justice | Sociology
victimization, misconduct, violence within the facility, juvenile offenders, incarceration, juvenile justice
The issue of the victim-offender overlap was identified more than 60 years ago (Wolfgang, 1958), but it was not until the last decade that research interest in the victim-offender overlap began to flourish. Although the victim-offender overlap is arguably established by a substantial body of research, a closer look at the existing literature will find scant attention paid to the incarcerated population. Recent studies (Daquin & Daigle, 2020; Kuo et al., 2021; Toman, 2017) have begun to discover the victim-offender overlap in adult prisons, but the victim-offender overlap in juvenile facilities remains underexplored. To fill the research gap, this dissertation uses data from the 2008-2009 and the 2012 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC-1 and NSYC-2) in the United States as well as the 2015 Census Survey of Youth in Custody in Taiwan (CSYC) to achieve four primary goals. The first goal is to provide a picture of the prevalence of in-facility victimization and misconduct among adjudicated young people in juvenile correctional facilities and to identify a group of them who were involved in both victimization and misconduct during the same time span of their current confinement. The second goal is to determine if this group of young people who experienced victim-offender overlap in custody is unique and can be explained by a specific set of characteristics and risk factors. The third goal is to examine the association between in-facility victimization and misconduct and to explore the explanation for the joint occurrence of victimization and misconduct in juvenile confinement settings. The ultimate goal of this dissertation is to add empirical pieces of evidence across American and Taiwanese contexts to the victim-offender overlap literature and make policy recommendations for juvenile correctional practice.
Findings from multinomial logistic regression models of the two U.S. NSYC studies suggest that perceptions of lower levels of officer legitimacy, complaints filed against facility staff, gang affiliation in the facility, and time served in the facility are associated with higher risks of being victim-offenders than being victims-only, offenders-only, and neither-victims-nor-offenders within the facility. Findings from the multinomial logistic regression model of Taiwan’s CSYC study suggest that violent victimization in childhood is associated with higher risks of being victim-offenders than being victims-only, offenders-only, and neither-victims-nor-offenders within the facility. Furthermore, findings from bivariate probit regression models of the two U.S. NSYC studies suggest younger age, higher facility population, lower levels of officer legitimacy, complaints filed against facility staff, gang affiliation in the facility, and time served in the facility are shared risk factors for violent misconduct and violent victimization within the facility. Findings from bivariate probit regression models of Taiwan’s CSYC study suggest that street gang experience, childhood violent victimization experience, and facility environmental stress are shared risk factors for overall misconduct and overall victimization within the facility. Overall, the results of this dissertation lend support to the victim-offender overlap hypothesis and extend its generality to juvenile confinement facilities in both the Western and Eastern sociocultural contexts. According to the present research, the victim-offender overlap exists when it comes to inmate misconduct and victimization within the juvenile confinement facility, and the results have implications for juvenile justice policy related to the prevalence of violence within juvenile facilities, facility management, gang problems, and the victimization history of justice-involved juveniles.
Lo, Tzu-Ying, "Understanding Victim-Offender Overlap Among Youth in Custody in the United States and Taiwan" (2023). CUNY Academic Works.
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