A West Virginia University sociology professor has been named the 2010 Richard J. Terrill Paper of the Year award winner by the International Criminal Justice Review for her research examining how a person’s daily routines and elements of country structure can expose them to potential criminal attacks.

Rachel Stein’s paper, “The Utility of Country Structure: A Cross-National Multi-Level Analysis of Property and Violent Victimization,” looks at gender, age, marital status, daily activities and the amount of time an individual spends outside of the home, among other factors, to evaluate the link to instances of burglary and assault.

“This paper was an expansion of my dissertation, done on a much larger international level,” said Stein, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

“It is critical to recognize how certain situations can lead to victimization for efforts to be made that can minimize these experiences.”

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, crime victims suffer a tremendous amount of physical and psychological trauma. The primary injuries victims suffer can be grouped into three distinct categories: physical, financial and emotional.

Stein focused on 47 nations and reviewed their male and female populations, the number of women in the workplace, economic factors and cultural values and compared those aspects with other data to decipher whether a single set of circumstances can be used to better understand when, where, why and how attacks happen.

Among her findings:
• males are more often the victims and offenders of crime;
• assaults occur more frequently in countries that have women in the workplace, but have a higher male population;
• and developing countries have higher occurrences of property victimization since perceived inequality is a common motive in this type of offense.

The International Criminal Justice Review is a scholarly journal dedicated to presenting system-wide trends and problems on crime and justice throughout the world. The Richard J. Terrill award is jointly sponsored by Sage Publications and the Department of Criminal Justice at Georgia State University.

The award is named for Richard J. Terrill, the journal’s creator and former editor, and is given annually to the paper deemed the publication’s highest quality submission for the year.

Stein received her award at the Academy of Justice Sciences Annual Meeting this past March.

For more information, contact Rachel Stein, assistant professor of sociology, at (304) 293-8806 or rachel.stein@mail.wvu.edu.



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