This study was designed to examine victim and witness attitudes,
beliefs, problems, and needs as a result of the criminal act
and as a consequence of interactions with the criminal justice system.
The study dealt with three samples. Two of the samples included victims and
witnesses currently involved in the criminal justice
system in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin ("in-system" samples).
The third sample included was of victims originally located by the National
Survey conducted in Milwaukee in early 1974, who were reinterviewed on behalf
of this project by the United States Bureau of the Census ("community"
sample). Members of the "in-system" samples were contacted as their cases
were considered at one of four
stages in the criminal justice process: (1) the screening conference in the
district attorney's office, (2) the preliminary hearing, (3) the misdemeanor
trial, or (4) the felony trial. Both the in-system and community respondents
were asked about their attitudes toward security and safety, criminals, and
restitution, what problems crime victims may have as a result of experiencing
the crime and going to court, and their satisfaction with the handling of
their case by the police, the district attorney, and the judge. Incident
data cover the respondent's relationship to the offender, injuries
sustained, type of crime and what happened, reason for calling/not
calling police, and losses resulting from the crime. Follow-up data supply
information on resulting emotional problems and other problems resulting
from the crime, how people close to the respondent were affected, financial,
interpersonal, and physical-emotional crime-related problems, and court
system-related problems. Additional questions were asked about the types
of services provided by social agencies to the crime victims and witnesses,
the respondent's opinion of the behavior of the police, and, for victims,
perceptions of the importance of providing help for crime victims.
Demographic variables include age, education, race, sex, income,
occupational prestige status, and employment history of respondents.