It Takes More Than Translating a Flyer: Considerations in Serving Immigrants as Victims of Crime in a Large Midwestern City


  • Kelly Ann Yotebieng Ohio State University
  • Kenneth J. Steinman College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
  • Lauren Phelps Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University
  • Samantha Schoeppner College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
  • Deanna Wilkinson College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University



Hometown associations, public health, development, migrants, networks


Recent public discourse on the possible threats posed by immigrant populations as potential perpetrators of crime seems to ignore the accumulating scholarly literature that shows that immigrants have a documented crime reducing effect on the general population in the United States. Yet, immigrants themselves are placed at heightened risk for a wide variety of victimization experiences. Their needs as victims of crime have rarely been studied. This study aims to partially fill that void by investigating how service providers funded to assist victims of crime work with and attempt to meet the needs of immigrants, including large numbers of refugees, in one large Midwest city. The states Attorney Generals office supported a needs assessment that included a focus on the needs of victims from immigrant (and other) underserved populations. We conducted 21 semi-structured interviews with key informants who had varying degrees of expertise serving crime victims from immigrant communities across the state. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, coded and analyzed using a collaborative, team-based approach. Our analysis describes the challenges faced by service providers serving immigrant victims and recommends directions for future research and policy.


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Author Biographies

Kelly Ann Yotebieng, Ohio State University

Kelly A. Yotebieng, MPH is a PhD candidate and Fulbright fellow with The Ohio State Universitys Department of Anthropology. Her research focuses on the roles of hope and risk in enduring hardship among urban refugees in Columbus, Ohio and Yaound Cameroon. She has spent over 14 years living and working in Central Africa on humanitarian, public health, and human rights issues.

Kenneth J. Steinman, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University

Kenneth J. Steinman, PhD, MPH, is Senior Research Scientist with the Department of Human Sciences in the Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology. His research involves the epidemiology of family violence and evaluation of related prevention and intervention efforts.

Lauren Phelps, Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University

Lauren Phelps holds a Masters degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Health Services Management and policy. She has over twenty years of health care program management and policy evaluation experience in both the public and private sectors.

Deanna Wilkinson, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University

Deanna L. Wilkinson, PhD is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Sciences in the College of Education and Human Ecology and also Associate Professor in the Department of Extension in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Science. Her research focuses on the understanding and prevention of urban youth violence and recovery from violence-related trauma.


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How to Cite

Yotebieng, K. A., Steinman, K. J., Phelps, L., Schoeppner, S. and Wilkinson, D. (2018) “It Takes More Than Translating a Flyer: Considerations in Serving Immigrants as Victims of Crime in a Large Midwestern City”, Border Crossing. London, UK, 8(1), pp. 12–29. doi: 10.33182/bc.v8i1.573.