Victims, violent crime and the criminal justice system: Developing an integrated model of recovery


MacLeod M & Paton D (1999) Victims, violent crime and the criminal justice system: Developing an integrated model of recovery. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 4 (2), pp. 203-220.

Purpose. This study examines the social psychological and organizational factors which affect recovery from stress and trauma as a consequence of criminal victimization. Arguments. The argument is advanced that some obvious contradictions in the literature can be resolved by conceptualizing the social psychology of criminal victimization in a contingent rather than a prescriptive manner. Two distinct groups are examined: one where the victimization experience is rare and isolated, and the other where the victimization experience is chronic or repetitive because of the victim's professional status (e.g. police officers). It is argued that drawing this distinction affords an opportunity to illustrate the theoretical implications of victimization and how these implications are, to some extent, contingent upon status. Conclusions. It is concluded that (i) the complexity of control processes can be better understood when considered in a contingent manner, and (ii) in order to understand how these contingent processes operate, one needs to take into account the wider social psychological environment and the extent to which other processes support and sustain individual control efforts. These ideas are summarized in the form of an integrated model of criminal victimization which, in turn, may form the basis for effective therapeutic and procedural interventions. It is also hoped that this integrated model will permit other researchers to place their work within the criminal justice system in a useful and coherent way.

Legal and Criminological Psychology: Volume 4, Issue 2

Publication date30/09/1999