Sunday, May 20, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, May 20, 2007


NCJ 218086
Mitch Ruesink ; Marvin D. Free Jr.
Wrongful Convictions Among Women: An Exploratory Study of a Neglected Topic
Women & Criminal Justice
Volume:16 Issue:4 Dated:2005 Pages:1 to 23

This study examined the problem of wrongful convictions involving women in the United States since 1970. Results suggest there are important gender differences present in the known wrongful convictions of men and women. In particular, wrongfully convicted women were more likely than their male counterparts to be convicted of child abuse or drug violations. As anticipated, rape was more common among wrongfully convicted men than wrongfully convicted women. Racial differences were also found to exist among women. Wrongful convictions involving drug offenses were almost exclusively the province of African-American women. African-American women were also more likely than White women to be wrongfully convicted of murder. However, all of the wrongful convictions for child abuse involved White women. It was recommended that future research investigate these gender and racial differences to determine the extent to which the results might be a product of the databases employed in the analysis. Investigations of wrongful convictions date back to the early 1930s. However, the extent to which innocent individuals in the United States are wrongly convicted is largely unknown. When investigations of wrongful convictions occur, they typically focus on rape or murder. These convictions typically focus on male offenders, even though females are also wrongfully convicted. Two databases were consulted to compile a list of wrongfully convicted women: Center for Wrongful Convictions (CWC) and Forejustice. The study consisted of 42 wrongly convicted women. Tables, notes, references

NCJ 218052
Sarah E. Ullman Ph.D.
Comparing Gang and Individual Rapes in a Community Sample of Urban Women
Violence and Victims
Volume:22 Issue:1 Dated:2007 Pages:43 to 51

This study compared the impacts of multiple-offender ("gang") rape with single-offender rapes for a large, diverse sample of female victims. A comparison of trauma histories (e.g., child sexual abuse), assault characteristics (e.g., offender violence), and outcomes (sexual acts and physical injuries), as well as current functioning (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder and lifetime suicide attempts) showed that gang-rape victims had worse outcomes overall compared with victims of single offenders. There were few differences in informal support-seeking by victims of the two types of rape, but gang-rape victims had more negative perceptions of their social networks. Gang-rape victims more often reported their attacks to police and sought medical and mental health sources than single-offender victims; however, they received more negative social reactions from others they told about their assaults. Recommendations are offered for future research and for intervention with gang-rape victims. The study analyzed data from a mail survey collected during the first wave of a longitudinal study of sexual-assault survivors' recovery experiences. Respondents were recruited through fliers, advertisements, and notices distributed on college campuses, in the community, and at mental health agencies and rape crisis centers over a 1-year period in the Chicago metropolitan area. A total of 1,084 women (90 percent) returned the survey. The survey measured demographic information, assault characteristics, trauma-related outcomes, assault aftermath, and current functioning. 1 table and 20 references

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