New report highlights need for services for crime victims in Colorado

Crime report looks at victims' plight

DENVER — A new report was released by the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition Tuesday that addresses the challenges victims face after a crime.

The CCJRC commissioned Ridder/Braden and Stay Current Strategies to survey 500 crime victims and look at what they experience in the days, weeks and months afterward.

The survey had five key findings:

  • Crime affects everyone. However, violent crime disproportionately affects communities of color. Black people who were surveyed were 34 percent more likely to have experienced a violent crime than white people while Latinos were 38 percent more likely.
  • The report found that nearly one-third of all crimes are not reported to police. The people who did report the crime wanted to recover stolen property or obtain proper documents for insurance reasons. Half of the survivors who did not report crimes said they didn’t think anything would come of it if they did because they didn’t have evidence to support their claims. Hispanics were the most likely to report a crime. Young people were the least likely to report a crime.
  • Crime can lead to significant trauma for victims, particularly violent crime. About 86 percent of the people surveyed said they experienced some symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The report also found that crime survivors are likely to be victimized again. Nearly eight in every 10 people surveyed say they have been victimized three or more times. Meanwhile, nearly one-third of crime survivors said they were victimized eight or more times.
  • Crime survivors tend to believe that the criminal justice system treats people of color differently, regardless of whether the are a victim or perpetrator. The report found that black and Latino crime survivors reported experiencing inappropriate police behavior at a far higher rate than others.
  • The majority of crime survivors believe that treatment and rehabilitation for the person who committed the crime is better than jail. The study found that by a four-to-one margin, survivors want Colorado to focus more on rehabilitating criminals than punishing them.

The study also looked at services that are available to the victim of a crime. It concluded that funding for victims services has nearly quadrupled since 2014 from $7.6 million to $37 million. However, many crime survivors don’t know about the services that are available.

The CCJRC is hosting a press conference to talk about the report Tuesday morning and try to connect victims with the services that are available.

Read the full report here.

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