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Child Victimizers: Violent Offenders and Their Victims (Executive Summary)

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 1996
This study presents findings on violence against children from two sources: a 1991 nationally representative sample of State prison inmates serving time for violent crimes against children and law enforcement records of nearly 37,000 child murder victims between 1976 and 1994.

Addressing the mandate of the National Child Protection Act of 1993, which called for a study of offenders who committed crimes against children, this study found that (a) 1 in 5 violent State prisoners (about 65,000 offenders) reported a victim under age 18; (b) older violent inmates were substantially more likely than younger inmates to have victimized a child; and (c) 8 out of 10 prisoners convicted of sexual assault had committed their crime against a victim under age 18. The study uses data from the 1991 BJS Survey of State Prison Inmates and the FBI's 1994 Supplementary Homicide Reports, which include data on child murder victims and offenders who murdered children. The 1991 inmate survey is based on personal hour-long interviews with a nationally representative sample of 14,000 prisoners in about 300 State prisons. The report describes the sociodemographic data on these offenders, the physical or sexual abuse they may have experienced, their current offense, their criminal history backgrounds (including prior offenses against children), and their use of drugs or alcohol at the time of the offense. For child victims of adult offenders, the study includes their sociodemographic backgrounds, the victim-offender relationship, and the consequences to the victim, such as injuries and weapon use by the offender.

Date Published: March 1, 1996