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Immigrant Populations as Victims in New York City and Philadelphia, 1994 (ICPSR 6793) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The purpose of this study was to examine interrelated issues surrounding the use of the criminal justice system by immigrant victims and to identify ways to improve the criminal justice response to immigrants' needs and problems. Two cities, New York City and Philadelphia, were selected for intensive investigation of victimization of immigrants. In each of these cities, three immigrant communities in a neighborhood were chosen for participation. In New York's Jackson Heights area, Colombians, Dominicans, and Indians were the ethnic groups studied. In Philadelphia's Logan section, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Koreans were surveyed. In all, 87 Jackson Heights victims were interviewed and 26 Philadelphia victims were interviewed. The victim survey questions addressed can be broadly divided into two categories: issues pertaining to crime reporting and involvement with the court system by immigrant victims. Variables include type of crime, respondent's role in the incident, relationship to the perpetrator, whether the incident was reported to police, and who reported the incident. Respondents were also asked whether they were asked to go to court, whether they understood what the people in court said to them, whether they understood what was happening in their case, and, if victimized again, whether they would report the incident to the police.

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Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (717 KB)

Study Description

Citation

Davis, Robert C., and Edna Erez. IMMIGRANT POPULATIONS AS VICTIMS IN NEW YORK CITY AND PHILADELPHIA, 1994. ICPSR version. New York, NY: Victim Services Agency [producer], 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997. doi:10.3886/ICPSR06793.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (93-IJ-CX-0024)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   cities, court cases, crime reporting, criminal justice system, immigrants, needs assessment, victimization, victims

Geographic Coverage:   New York City, New York (state), Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1994

Date of Collection:  

  • 1994

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   All immigrants in the United States from 1980 to 1990.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The codebook and data collection instrument are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided in the README file on the diskette version of this study and through the ICPSR Website on the Internet. (2) Data from the national survey of police chiefs, prosecutors agencies, and court administrators are not available as part of this data collection.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The purpose of this study was to examine interrelated issues surrounding the use of the criminal justice system by immigrant victims and to identify ways to improve the criminal justice response to immigrants' needs and problems. Questions addressed by this study can be broadly divided into two categories: issues pertaining to reporting crimes and involvement with the court system by immigrant victims. Some crime reporting questions are: To what extent do immigrant populations underreport crimes to the police? Is underreporting more characteristic of some immigrant groups than others? What are the principal reasons for underreporting? Which types of crimes are most and least likely to be reported to authorities? What is the experience with the police of immigrants who do report crimes? What kinds of institutional barriers exist to reporting crimes to the police, and what could be done to remove the barriers? Questions concerning court system involvement include: Are immigrant victims who do report crimes willing to cooperate with court officials in prosecuting? If they are reluctant, what are their reservations? What institutional barriers exist to cooperating with court officials in prosecuting and adjudicating cases?

Study Design:   This study takes an exploratory look at a set of interrelated issues surrounding use of the criminal justice system by immigrant victims. A variety of convergent methods were used to address the issues examined. Respondents to a national survey of police chiefs, prosecutor agencies, and court administrators from the 50 largest United States cities were asked their opinions about the extent to which victims who were recent immigrants have equal access to the criminal justice system and about impediments to fuller participation. Upon completion of the national survey, New York City and Philadelphia were selected for intensive investigation. Neighborhoods with a strong multi-ethnic character were examined. In New York's Jackson Heights area, Colombians, Dominicans, and Indians were studied. In Philadelphia's Logan section, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Koreans were surveyed. Interviews in Jackson Heights were conducted over the telephone by multilingual Victim Services staff. In all, 87 Jackson Heights victims were interviewed. Of the 26 Philadelphia victims interviewed, 12 were interviewed in person in their homes, and 14 were interviewed by telephone. The interviews in Philadelphia were conducted by local Asian ethnic contractors. Those individuals who reported crimes to the police were asked about their experiences with the police and/or the court. For persons who failed to report a crime, reasons for their reluctance in reporting were elicited.

Sample:   This study began with a national survey of police chiefs, prosecutors agencies, and court administrators from the 50 largest United States cities. Two cities, New York City and Philadelphia, were selected for additional intensive investigation. In each of these two cities, convenience samples were obtained from one neighborhood and three immigrant communities chosen for participation. In New York's Jackson Heights area, Colombians, Dominicans, and Indians were studied. In Philadelphia's Logan section, Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Koreans were surveyed.

Data Source:

personal and telephone interviews

Description of Variables:   Variables include type of crime, respondent's role in the incident, relationship to the perpetrator, whether the incident was reported to police, and who reported the incident. Respondents were also asked whether they were asked to go to court, whether they understood what the people in court said to them, whether they understood what was happening in their case, and, if victimized again, whether they would report the incident to the police.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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