Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Legerski


Violence and victimization are common aspects of life for incarcerated individuals, even youth, with a large majority of offenders reporting experiences of some form of victimization during their stay in custody. Routine activities theory argues that most criminal acts require a convergence of motivated offenders, suitable targets, and the absence of capable guardianship. The purpose of this study is to explore quantitatively, facility and individual level factors that may affect experiences of robbery, physical and sexual assault victimization among youth in residential custody, and how these factors might vary by gender. To answer my research question, secondary data from The Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (2003) was analyzed. The final sample included 4,842 male and 1,529 female youth aged 10-20. Findings indicate that for both males and females, time in the facility was consistently related to frequency of victimization. For male youth, individual factors such as experiencing emotional abuse, and the characteristics of other inmates, mattered more in predicting experiences of victimization. While some individual factors were also significant for female youth, facility factors, such as facility type were more consistently significant in predicting victimization in custody.