Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Offences

  • criminal offence
  • index offence
  • new offence
  • sexual offence
  • violent offence

  • Selected Abstracts

    Children Who Commit Sexual Offences: Some Legal Anomalies and Practical Approaches to the Law

    It provides a brief survey of the prevalence of sexual offences committed by children. It reviews some of the key legislation that deals with children who commit sexual offences with a particular focus on some of the anomalies contained within it. Drawing on the experience of the work of the Howard League's legal department, it identifies a systematic failure to deal with these children in a constructive way and suggests some ways in which the law can be used to improve the chances of effective rehabilitation for children who are convicted of sexual offences. [source]

    Psychopathy and offence severity in sexually aggressive and violent youth

    Amber Fougere
    Background,A large proportion of violent crimes are committed by youths. Youths with psychopathic traits may have a higher risk for recidivism and violence. Aims/hypotheses,Our aim was to compare sexually aggressive with violent young men on offence severity and psychopathy. Three hypotheses were proposed: first, young men with previous offences would display a progressive increase in seriousness of offence during their criminal career; secondly, the sexually aggressive and violent young men would not differ in scores on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV); but, thirdly, PCL:YV scores would be positively correlated with the severity of the index crime, as measured by the Cormier,Lang System for Quantifying Criminal History. Methods,Information was collected from the files of 40 young men in conflict with the law, and the PCL:Youth Version (YV) rated from this by trained raters. Results,The offences of these young men became more serious over time, but we found no association between PCL:YV scores and offence type or seriousness. Conclusions and implications,This exploratory research suggests the importance of understanding the progression in offending careers, but a limited role for the PCL:YV in doing so. Given the small sample size, however, and the limit on access to information about details of age, the findings need replication. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Juvenile sex offenders and institutional misconduct: the role of thought psychopathology

    Matt Delisi
    Background,Little is known about the institutional behaviour of incarcerated sex offenders. Aim,To study the relationships between juvenile sex offending, thought psychopathology and institutional misconduct. Method,We applied negative binomial regression and Area Under Curve Receiver Operating Characteristic (AUC-ROC) analyses to self-report and records data from institutionalised delinquents (N = 813) committed to the California Youth Authority to explore the links between sex offending and institutional misconduct, controlling for offender demographics, institution, index offence, and self-reported and official criminal history. Results,Juvenile sex offending was associated with six forms of institutional misconduct (sexual, general and total misconduct as reviewed by parole board) over 12 and 24 months prior to rating. Two measures of thought psychopathology, which were related to psychosis-like thought, were significantly associated with juvenile sex offender status. These constructs did not, however, mediate the independent predictive effects of adolescent sex offending on institutional misconduct. Conclusion,Interventions to help incarcerated young offenders are likely to be particularly important for those with a sex offending history as they are otherwise likely to persist with antisocial behaviours of all kinds within and beyond the institution. Attention to their thought processes may be particularly useful. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Evaluation of a treatment programme for alcohol-related aggression

    Anna McCulloch
    Background,The development of effective treatments for alcohol-related aggression and violence is important in binge drinking cultures, as in parts of the UK. Aim,The aim was to evaluate the progress and experience of 10 participants in Control of Violence for Angry Impulsive Drinkers (COVAID) using a single case methodology. Method,Participants completed 10 individual weekly sessions with trained facilitators following the COVAID manual. Change scores on psychometric questionnaires were examined by calculating clinical significance and reliability of change. Self-reports of alcohol consumption and aggression were examined. Follow-up data on convictions were collected. Participants were asked their opinions about COVAID. Results,Scores on the Alcohol-Related Aggression Questionnaire (ARAQ) improved for nine participants; change was both clinically significant and reliable in five cases. Nine participants improved on the Controlled Drinking Self-Efficacy Scale (CDSES), with seven showing clinically significant improvement. Six participants reported a reduction in alcohol consumption from the first to the second half of the programme. At a mean of 29 weeks post-treatment, none of the participants had been reconvicted for a violent offence. Participants reported finding COVAID useful and interesting. Conclusion,Overall, our findings support the possibility that COVAID may assist in reducing alcohol-related violence and violent offending. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Behaviour problems in childhood and adolescence in psychotic offenders: an exploratory study

    Kris Goethals
    Background,Several studies have shown that adults who develop schizophrenia and commit a criminal offence may already have shown behaviour problems in childhood or adolescence. It is less clear whether such problems follow a particular pattern in such patients. Aims,To examine the utility of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) among offenders, to test whether externalizing behaviour problems, as measured by the CBCL, are more frequent in psychotic offenders than in non-offenders with psychosis, and to investigate relationships between early behavioural problems and adult personality disorder in psychotic offenders. Methods,Three groups of violent offenders detained under the Dutch Entrustment Act (TBS-detainees)(n = 78) and one group of psychotic patients in general psychiatry (n = 16) were rated from case records on the CBCL. Results,There was a significant difference between psychotic offenders with a personality disorder (n = 25) and the non-offender patients with psychosis (n = 16) on the ,delinquent behavior' scale, but no such difference between psychotic offenders with (n = 25) and without (n = 21) personality disorder. A hierarchic cluster analysis revealed significantly higher scores for externalizing behaviour in all TBS-detainees with a personality disorder. Those starting to offend early had higher scores for externalizing behaviour than late starters. Conclusions,Psychotic and non-psychotic offenders with personality disorder resemble one another in their early childhood behaviour problems; psychotic offenders without a personality disorder differ from these two groups but resemble non-offenders with psychosis. In contrast to findings in non-forensic populations, there were no differences on other problem scales of the CBCL. Given the small sample sizes, replication is needed, but the findings lend weight to treatment models which focus on the psychosis in the latter two groups but extend also to personality disorder in the former. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Violent recidivism among mentally disordered offenders in Japan

    Kazuo Yoshikawa
    Background,A new forensic mental health law was enacted in Japan in 2003, enabling development of specialist services. Before their establishment, it is important to determine the nature, frequency and correlates of the problems they are designed to ameliorate. Aims,To establish rates of violent recidivism among mentally disordered offenders before the new legislation, and examine associated risk factors. Method,Data were extracted from one complete annual (1980) national cohort of people judged by the Court or prosecutor to be without responsibility for a criminal offence, or of sufficiently diminished responsibility for it to be diverted for psychiatric treatment. The outcome measure was violent recidivism after community discharge and before 1991. Results,Fifty-two (10%) of 489 in the cohort were arrested or convicted of further violent offences. Violent recidivism was most strongly associated with a substance-related disorder, but histories of violence, homelessness and short index admissions were independently related. Conclusions,Violent recidivism was so unusual that, on this outcome, it could take many years to show any effect of the new service. Desistance from substance use, compliance with treatment and maintenance of stable housing may be better indicators of success, and their achievement a good preventive strategy. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The validity of the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG) in predicting criminal recidivism

    Carolin Kröner
    Introduction,The VRAG is an actuarial risk assessment instrument, developed in Canada as an aid to estimating the probability of reoffending by mentally ill offenders. Aim,To test the predictive validity of the VRAG with a German sample. Method,The predictive validity of the VRAG was tested on a sample of 136 people charged with a criminal offence and under evaluation for criminal responsibility in the forensic psychiatry department at the University of Munich in 1994,95. The predicted outcome was tested by means of ROC analysis for correlation with the observed rate of recidivism between discharge after the 1994,95 assessment and the census date of 31 March 2003. Recidivism rate was calculated from the official records of the National Conviction Registry. Results,Just over 38% of the sample had reoffended by 2003. Their mean time-at-risk was 58 months (SD 3.391; range 0,115 months). The VRAG yielded a high predictive accuracy in the ROC analysis with an AUC of 0.703. For a constant time-at-risk < = 7 years, the predicted probability and observed rates of recidivism correlated significantly with Pearson's r = 0.941. Conclusions,The validity of the VRAG was replicated with a German sample. The VRAG yielded good predictive accuracy, despite differences in sample and outcome variables compared with its original sample. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Relating psychiatric disorders, offender and offence characteristics in a sample of adolescent sex offenders and non-sex offenders

    A.Ph. Van Wijk
    Introduction,Several studies have paid attention to the relationship between psychiatric disorders and adolescent offending but few have distinguished different types of offenders, especially within the category of youngsters who have committed sex offences. Aim,To test for relationships between psychiatric disorder and specific offence category among young male offenders. Method,Nationwide data were extracted from Dutch Forensic Psychiatric Services (FPD) files for five groups of offenders, as defined by their index offence: 308 violent sex offenders; 134 non-violent sex-offenders; 270 sex offenders against children; 3148 violent offenders and 1620 offenders charged with any crime other than interpersonal body contact crimes. They were compared on individual characteristics and psychiatric diagnoses according to DSM-IV criteria. Having a diagnosis of a paraphilia alone was exclusively associated with sex offending, therefore all such youths were excluded from further analyses. The OVERALS technique was used to explore possible relationships between offence, psychiatric diagnoses, sociodemographic and individual characteristics among the remaining young men for whom all pertinent data were available (n = 1894). Results,Sex offenders constituted a distinct group of juvenile delinquents. Developmental disorders were more common among non-violent sex offenders and child molesters. Violent offences were more typical of delinquents from immigrant backgrounds. Conclusion,Group differences in types of psychiatric diagnoses may reflect differences in aetiological factors for the various types of sexual and other delinquent behaviour, and this would be worthy of further study. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Appraising, researching and conceptualizing criminal thinking: a personal view

    Background,It is argued that current interest in the concept of criminal thinking has its roots in traditional theories of criminology and criminal justice such as Sutherland's differential association model, neutralization theory, and Yochelson and Samenow's criminal personality. Aim,The purpose of this paper is to briefly review and summarize theory, research, and practice on criminal thinking as it relates to the author's work in this area. Conclusions,Three self-report inventories , the Criminal Sentiments Scale (CSS), the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS), and the Measures of Criminal Attitudes and Associates (MCAA); three principal areas of research , criminal thinking as a predictor of criminal behaviour, offence as a moderator of criminal thinking, and changes in criminal thinking leading to changes in criminal behaviour; and a general theory of criminal thinking are briefly reviewed in this paper. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Delinquency and the profile of offences among depressed and non-depressed adolescents

    Background,Depression has previously been found to be closely connected to adolescent delinquency, but little is known about how depression is related to different types of delinquency. Aim,To investigate patterns of criminal behaviour according to depression among repeatedly delinquent adolescents. Method,The sample was 14- to 16-year-old repeatedly delinquent adolescents (n 3679) taking part in the Finnish School Health Promotion Study, surveyed for versatility and specialization of delinquency in relation to depression. Results,Patterns of criminal behaviour differed between depressed and non-depressed delinquent adolescents. The delinquent behaviour of depressed adolescents was more versatile than that of non-depressed adolescents who mainly specialized in one offence type. Non-depressed delinquent boys had most often specialized in violence. Most depressed delinquent boys had committed a variety of offences, but among those who did specialize the specialist category was violent offences. Non-depressed delinquent girls had specialized in shoplifting. Among depressed delinquent girls vandalism was the most typical offence. Conclusion,Differences in the delinquent behaviour of depressed and non-depressed delinquent adolescents suggest the value of including clinical assessment, and treatment for some, in an appropriately comprehensive pattern of management. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    A comparison of offenders with intellectual disability across three levels of security

    Todd Hogue
    Background,A number of authors have described, with disparate results, the prevalence of people with intellectual disability and their characteristics, in a range of offender cohorts defined by service use. These have included high security, a range of criminal justice services and community services. There is a need for research comparing cohorts of offenders with intellectual disabilities across different settings. Aim and hypothesis,To conduct such a comparison and test the hypothesis that severity of characteristics measured will be highest in highest levels of residential security. Method,A clinical-record-based comparison a offenders with intellectual disability in high security (n = 73), medium/low security (n = 70), and a community service (n = 69). Results,Groups were similar in age and tested IQ levels. Early psychiatric service contact had been more likely in the lower security groups. In line with the hypothesis, more complex presentations, in particular comorbid personality disorder, was more likely in the highest security group. Both fatal and non-fatal interpersonal violence convictions were significantly related to group, with more in the high security group sustaining a conviction both at the index offence and prior to that. Over 50% of all groups had at least one conviction for a sexual offence. A regression model accounting for 78% of the variance was made up largely of disposal variables (Mental Health Act status and probation) and indications of antisocial traits (criminal damage, lifetime conviction for murder and ICD-10 personality disorder classification). Conclusions and implications for practice,The authors show that context of sampling affects most relationships between intellectual disability (ID) and offending when the methods for measuring ID are held constant. The results also present several questions on the relationship between risk, services available in an area and referral to higher security. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Mortality among mentally disordered offenders: a community based follow-up study

    Tabita Björk
    Background Follow-up information about outcome for hospitalized mentally disordered offenders (MDO) is necessary for evaluation and improvement in quality of forensic psychiatric care. Aim A study was undertaken to estimate the standard mortality rate (SMR) of a population based sample of people sentenced to forensic psychiatric care. Method All MDOs in Örebro County, Sweden, discharged from a forensic psychiatric treatment unit between 1992 and 1999 were identified (n = 46). The variables were gender, age, offence, diagnosis and duration of admission. Case linkage was made with the National Cause-of-Death register. Median follow-up time was 53 months (0,93). Results The sample yielded a significantly elevated SMR 13.4 (95% CI 4.35,31.3) times higher than that in the general population, mostly due to suicide. Conclusions The cohort size is small but representative, and it provides data from an additional country for the growing international pool confirming the high risk of premature, generally self-inflicted death among MDOs. Resettlement and rehabilitation services for them may need to take as much account of mortality risk as that of reoffending. Copyright © 2005 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

    Mental health patients in criminal justice populations: needs, treatment and criminal behaviour

    J. Keene PhD Professor of Primary Care
    Background Government policy requires that health and social care agencies work more closely together and in partnership with the criminal justice system. There is a well-established relationship between crime and mental disorder. Method The Tracking Project provides for the first time in England the means of collating and analysing data on mental disorder (defined as receiving secondary care as patients of a Mental Health Trust) and crime (defined as all those charged with an offence). Data were collected over a three-year period for all individuals who had contact with the criminal justice system and mental health services in an English county. Results In a county population of 800,400, some 30,329 were offenders. More than a third had used a health or social care service during the three-year period; 8.0% were mentally disordered. Those offenders aged 25,64 and who contacted the police more than once were significantly more likely to be mentally disordered. Type of offence was also a relevant variable. The probation service showed broadly similar results. Discussion The research has provided for the first time substantive quantitative evidence of the relationship between crime and mental disorder. The results can be used as the basis for further work to target assessment and risk reduction measures at those most at risk. Copyright © 2003 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

    The probabilities of sex offender re-arrest

    Roderic Broadhurst Associate Professor
    Background Estimates of the probabilities of re-arrest for sex offenders apprehended in Western Australia between April 1984 and December 1994 are reported. Population and method Of the 116,151 distinct male persons arrested for the first time from 1984,94, 2785 were identified with at least one sex offence. Subjects on average were followed up for 5.7 years and assessed by criminal record, Aboriginality, bail status, age, occupation and penal intervention. Three criteria, rearrest for any, repeat sex or a violent offence are used to summarize the ,careers' of sex offenders. Results Overall ultimate probabilities of rearrest for any offence were 0.61, for a repeat sex offence 0.33 and for a violent offence 0.51. Probabilities of re-arrest for non-Aboriginal offenders were lower for all definitions. Younger offenders, Aborigines and those with prior arrest for non-sex offences had higher probabilities for any or violent rearrest but older offenders tended to have higher probabilities of repeat sex offending. Community supervision and imprisonment significantly reduced the ,rate' or speed of re-arrest. Discussion Actuarial risk assessments for low-probability high-consequence events such as dangerous recidivism are useful for identifying groups with a high probability of rearrest, assisting management of these groups and evaluating penal interventions. Copyright © 2003 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

    Changes in patterns of excessive alcohol consumption in 25 years of high security hospital admissions from England and Wales

    Celia McMahon
    Background It is now generally acknowledged that alcohol abuse increases the risk of violence among people with major mental disorder. Studies in the 1980s and earlier, however, tended to report an inverse relationship between their alcohol use and violence. Aims A study was undertaken to test a hypothesis that among people with major mental disorder considered to pose a serious risk to others the likelihood of excessive alcohol consumption in a period leading up to a violent or dangerous act has increased over time. Methods Analysis was made of annual high security hospital admission cohort case register data of 1 January 1975 to 31 December 1999; alcohol use data were taken from interview and records, and problem drinking defined as consumption of alcohol in excess of 21 units per week during the 12 months prior to the index offence or act. Results There was a linear increase in the proportion of patients in five-year admission cohorts who had engaged in excessive alcohol consumption during the year prior to their index offence or act. The increase was steeper among women than men, but cut across all diagnosis and offending groups. It was strongly associated with increasing tendency to abuse illicit drugs. Conclusions The greater proportion of patients affected by excessive alcohol consumption occurred in spite of a reduction over the same period in admission of people in the diagnostic groups most likely to be implicated in substance misuse (personality disorder). This increased trend may simply reflect similar trends in the general population, but may also be associated with a lack of services or current consensus on appropriate treatment for patients whose mental illness is complicated by excessive alcohol use. Regardless, the trend suggests a growing need for ,dual diagnosis' services within and outside high security hospital. Copyright © 2003 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

    Drug misuse and acquisitive crime among clients recruited to the National Treatment Outcome Research Study (NTORS)

    Duncan Stewart
    Background Criminal activity among drug-misusing populations can result in considerable costs. This paper examines the relationship between acquisitive criminal behaviour and drug use among a cohort of 1075 clients recruited to the National Treatment Outcome Research Study (NTORS). Method Clients were recruited from 54 drug misuse treatment programmes in England. A structured interview was administered by clinical staff. The majority of clients were opiate-dependent poly-drug users. Results 27 000 acquisitive criminal offences were reported by the cohort in the three months prior to starting treatment, of which shoplifting was the most common offence. There was marked variation in the amount of acquisitive crime reported; just 10% of the sample were responsible for three-quarters of the crimes committed. Two other groups were identified: low-rate offenders, and those who did not commit an acquisitive crime. Multivariate analyses revealed that frequency of illicit drug use was associated with increased levels of criminal behaviour. Compared with the no-crime group, the high-rate offenders were 11 times more likely to be regular users of heroin, and three times more likely to have used cocaine regularly. Discussion These findings suggest that the most dependent and problematic drug misusers present treatment services with the greatest challenge in terms of reducing levels of criminality. Copyright © 2000 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

    A comparison of risk factors for habitual violence in pre-trial subjects

    S. Z. Kaliski
    Objective: Pre-trial referrals to the Valkenberg Hospital forensic unit over a 6-month period were studied. Habitually violent offenders were compared with those with no history of violence. Methods:, Risk factors known to be associated with violent behaviour were elicited, i.e. demographics, behaviour during index offence (such as impulsivity, identity of victim, use of weapon, accomplices, intoxication, psychotic symptoms), psychiatric and family histories, history of suicide attempts, past child abuse, head injury, criminal record, psychiatric diagnosis and presence of medical disorders. EEG's, Barratt's Impulsivity, Zuckerman's Sensation Seeking and Mini-Mental Scales were administered. Behaviour in the ward during the 30 days was also appraised. Logistic regression models were used to determine relative risks. Results:, There were 155 subjects; 89.7% were male, 71.6% were single and 58.7% were unemployed. For 44.5% the index offence was violent, and 9.7% had committed sexual offences; 61.9% had histories of habitual violence. A psychotic disorder was diagnosed in 32.3% and a personality disorder in 48.4%. Habitually violent subjects were distin- guished by a history of issuing threats (OR=3.68; CI=3.19,4.16; P= 0.000), delusions of persecution (OR=3.43; CI=2.67,4.17; P=0.001), history of conduct disorder (OR=1.95; CI=1.70,2.19; P=0.006), alcohol/substance abuse (OR=2.08; CI=1.53,2.61; P=0.008) and violent index offence (OR=1.66; CI=1.54,2.61; P=0.035). Conclusion: This seems to confirm the relationship between threats, feeling threatened, psychosis, a history of antisocial behaviour and alcohol abuse. [source]

    Substance use and the prediction of young offender recidivism

    Abstract The problem considered is whether self-reported substance use can be used in the estimation of recidivism risk among youths placed in secure care. The Secure Care Psychosocial Screening (SECAPS) and offending records of 447 youths admitted to detention centres in South Australia were examined. The target outcome was any new offending within 6 months of release. Use of a psychoactive substance at the time of committing the most recent offence was not a significant predictor of subsequent offending, nor was acknowledging having a problem with drug or alcohol use. In relation to the recent use of alcohol, marijuana, hallucinogens, sedatives/hypnotics, narcotics, stimulants and inhalants, only the use of alcohol and inhalants appeared to have significant relationships with recidivism. While the relationships were too small to permit using these items on their own to estimate re-offending risk, recent alcohol and inhalant use could be included as part of a broader recidivism risk assessment. [source]

    Application of FAIMS to anabolic androgenic steroids in sport drug testing

    DRUG TESTING AND ANALYSIS, Issue 11-12 2009
    Sven Guddat
    Abstract Mass spectrometric identification of anabolic androgenic steroids challenges standard doping-control methods. To reveal a doping offence the presence of prohibited anabolic androgenic steroids at trace levels in the picogram-per-millilitre range must be confirmed as reliable. Human urine samples containing epitrenbolone, metandienone metabolite (17, -hydroxymethyl-17,-methyl-18-norandrost-1,4,13-trien-3-one), stanozolol, 16,-hydroxystanozolol and 4,-hydroxystanozolol were analysed using LC-FAIMS-MS/MS. These substances are prohibited in sport according to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regulations. Glucuronides were hydrolysed and prepared by liquid-liquid extraction. Excellent recovery and precision were obtained for all compounds. Linear calibration results for epitrenbolone and metandienone metabolite were obtained and concentration information could be determined in the ranges of reliable response between 750,1200 and 100,600 pg/mL, respectively. Limits of detection were estimated at 25 pg/mL (stanozolol), 50 pg/mL (metandienone metabolite, 16,-hydroxystanozolol), 100 pg/mL (4,-hydroxystanozolol) and 500 pg/mL (epitrenbolone). The assay was applied to doping-control samples. For all analytes, LC-FAIMS-MS/MS resulted in excellent interference removal, which effectively extends the post-dose detection time. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The role of alcohol and drugs in homicides in England and Wales

    ADDICTION, Issue 8 2006
    Jenny Shaw
    SUMMARY Background The annual number of homicide convictions in England and Wales is increasing. Previous studies have highlighted the aetiological role of alcohol and drugs in homicide. Aims To examine rates of alcohol and drug misuse and dependence in people convicted of homicide; the role of alcohol and drugs in the offence; the social and clinical characteristics of alcohol- and drug-related homicides; and the social and clinical characteristics of patients with dual diagnosis who commit homicide. Methods A national clinical survey based on a 3-year (1996,9) consecutive sample of people convicted of homicide in England and Wales. Information on rates of alcohol and drug misuse/dependence, the role of alcohol and drugs in the offence and social and clinical characteristics of perpetrators were collected from psychiatric reports prepared for the court in homicide convictions. Detailed clinical information was gathered from questionnaires completed by mental health teams for those in contact with mental health services. Results Of the 1594 homicide perpetrators, more than one-third (42%) occurred in people with a history of alcohol misuse or dependence and 40% in people with a history of drug misuse or dependence. Alcohol or drug misuse played a contributory role in two-fifths of homicides. Alcohol played a major role in 52 (6%) and a minor role in 364 (39%) homicides. Drugs played a major role in six (1%) and a minor role in 138 (14%) homicides. Forty-two homicides (17%) were committed by patients with severe mental illness and substance misuse. Alcohol- and drug-related homicides were generally associated with male perpetrators who had a history of violence, personality disorders, mental health service contact and with stranger victims. Conclusions Substance misuse contributes to the majority of homicides in England and Wales. A public health approach to homicide would highlight alcohol and drugs before severe mental illness. [source]

    Punishment as restoration of group and offender values following a transgression: value consensus through symbolic labelling and offender reform

    Tyler G. Okimoto
    Justice theory has suggested that transgressions pose a threat to the shared values that underlie broken rules or laws, suggesting that in order to address concerns over the values violated by an offence, perceived consensus regarding those values must be reaffirmed. However, little empirical research has been conducted examining how legal responses can address those value concerns. In the current research we argue that punishments, as a common response to injustice, can reaffirm perceived value consensus through two routes: (1) by symbolically labelling the offence as against group values, thus reinforcing values towards observers and (2) by attempting to reform the offender, thus reinforcing values towards the offender. Consistent with this argument, three empirical studies showed that the public and inclusive nature of punishment helps restore a perceived value consensus as such characteristics facilitate these two processes. Moreover, these characteristics had a positive effect on perceived punishment appropriateness particularly when value concerns were heightened. These findings implicate symbolic labelling and offender reform as two processes by which punishments can restore the perception of value consensus and suggest that these processes are integral to justice restoration through punishment when value consensus is a dominant concern. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Older criminals: a descriptive study of psychiatrically examined offenders in Sweden

    Seena Fazel
    Abstract Objective We retrospectively examined psychiatric diagnoses of older offenders referred by court for psychiatric assessment in Sweden, and compared them with younger offenders. Method In Sweden, structured court-ordered forensic psychiatric evaluations are undertaken by a forensic psychiatric team. Data on age, sex, citizenship, psychiatric diagnoses, offences, and legal insanity declarations were obtained for the years 1988,2000 (n=7297). Results There were 210 forensic psychiatric evaluations in those aged 60 and over. 7% had a diagnosis of dementia, 32% psychotic illness, 8% depressive or anxiety disorder, 15% substance abuse or dependence, and 20% personality disorder. Older offenders were significantly less likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia or a personality disorder, and more likely to have dementia or an affective psychosis compared to younger ones. Logistic regression analyses suggested that of the studied factors, the ones most typical of older offenders were a diagnosis of dementia and being charged with a sexual offence. Conclusion There appear to be important differences in psychiatric morbidity between older offenders and younger ones who come into contact with forensic psychiatric services. This research may assist in the planning of forensic and therapeutic services for the increasing number of older adults passing through the criminal justice system. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Spatial and environmental consistency in serial sexual assault

    Samantha Lundrigan
    Abstract This study examines the crime patterns of 76 New Zealand serial sexual offenders in order to determine the extent to which offenders display locational consistency in their choice of crime locations. More specifically, the hypothesis was that there would be intraseries consistency in the distances travelled (spatial consistency) and the characteristics of the crime sites selected (environmental consistency) by serial sexual offenders. For spatial consistency to be tested, the distances travelled from home to offend and the criminal range for each offence series were analysed. Support was found for spatial consistency, and, in line with much overseas research, it was also found that the offenders typically did not travel very far from home to offend (median distance of 3,km). The environmental consistency measure was made up of various physical, temporal, and contextual variables that described the environmental characteristics of an offence. As hypothesised, it was found that offenders displayed intraseries environmental consistency in offence site selection beyond the level of that expected by chance. The implications of this both for understanding offender spatial decision making and for geographical profiling are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Police officers' use of emotional language during child sexual abuse investigations

    Gavin Oxburgh
    Abstract This paper examined the use of emotional language by police officers that interview child victims as well as suspects during sexual offence investigations. It was hypothesised that officers who interviewed child victims prior to questioning suspects would use more emotional utterances during interviews with the suspect than those who had not interviewed the child victims. In addition, it was also hypothesised that the number of emotional utterances used would vary as a function of the gender of the interviewer and the type of offence (e.g. intra or extrafamilial abuse). Thirty-four interview transcripts of investigative interviews with alleged sex offenders were analysed and, contrary to the hypothesis, the results revealed a significant effect of prior acquaintance with the victim, in that a greater number of negative emotional utterances (e.g. contempt, disgust and anger) were used by interviewers who had not previously interviewed the victim. There were no significant effects with regard to gender of the interviewer or the type of offence (e.g. extra, or intrafamilial abuse) and the study found that, despite recent recommendations, the majority of police officers had not received specialist investigative interviewing specific to sex offenders. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    Prosecuting ,Gross' Medical Negligence: Manslaughter, Discretion, and the Crown Prosecution Service

    Oliver Quick
    This article examines prosecutions of health care professionals for gross negligence manslaughter following fatal errors committed in the course of their work. Unease has long surrounded the use of ,gross negligence' as a form of criminal liability, and particularly as it applies to health care professions operating in high-risk settings. The recent dramatic rise of such prosecutions calls for a closer understanding of the processes by which important prosecutorial decisions are made. In particular, this calls for an investigation into the exercise of discretion by prosecutors in interpreting the loosely defined and contested concept of gross negligence. This article analyses data obtained from a statistical analysis of ,medical manslaughter' cases and also from interviews with crown prosecutors. Discussion of the main findings leads to the conclusion that the offence of gross negligence manslaughter is incapable of any objective and fair measurement and ought to be abolished. [source]

    ,Condemn a Little More, Understand a Little Less': The Political Context and Rights' Implications of the Domestic and European Rulings in the Venables-Thompson Case

    Deena Haydon
    In 1993 Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were found guilty of the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger. Aged ten at the time of the offence, the children were tried in an adult court before a judge and jury amidst a blaze of publicity. They were named by the trial judge and sentenced to detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure [HMp]. The Home Secretary set a minimum tariff of fifteen years imprisonment. In December 1999 the European Court of Human Rights held that, in the conduct of the trial and the fixing of the tariff, the United Kingdom government was responsible for violating the European Convention on Human Rights. This article maps how the case became a watershed in youth justice procedure and practice influencing Labour's proposals for reform and the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act. Examining the progression of appeals through the domestic and European courts, it explores the dichotomous philosophies separating the United Kingdom and European approaches to the age of criminal responsibility, the prosecution and punishment of children, and the influence of political policy on judicial decisions. Finally, the ,backlash' against ,threatening children', the affirmation of adult power and knowledge, and the implications of the European judgments in the context of a rights-based agenda are analysed. [source]

    Forecasting murder within a population of probationers and parolees: a high stakes application of statistical learning

    Richard Berk
    Summary., Forecasts of future dangerousness are often used to inform the sentencing decisions of convicted offenders. For individuals who are sentenced to probation or paroled to community supervision, such forecasts affect the conditions under which they are to be supervised. The statistical criterion for these forecasts is commonly called recidivism, which is defined as a charge or conviction for any new offence, no matter how minor. Only rarely do such forecasts make distinctions on the basis of the seriousness of offences. Yet seriousness may be central to public concerns, and judges are increasingly required by law and sentencing guidelines to make assessments of seriousness. At the very least, information about seriousness is essential for allocating scarce resources for community supervision of convicted offenders. The paper focuses only on murderous conduct by individuals on probation or parole. Using data on a population of over 60000 cases from Philadelphia's Adult Probation and Parole Department, we forecast whether each offender will be charged with a homicide or attempted homicide within 2 years of beginning community supervision. We use a statistical learning approach that makes no assumptions about how predictors are related to the outcome. We also build in the costs of false negative and false positive charges and use half of the data to build the forecasting model, and the other half of the data to evaluate the quality of the forecasts. Forecasts that are based on this approach offer the possibility of concentrating rehabilitation, treatment and surveillance resources on a small subset of convicted offenders who may be in greatest need, and who pose the greatest risk to society. [source]

    Criminalising fabricated images of child pornography: a matter of harm or morality?

    LEGAL STUDIES, Issue 2 2010
    Suzanne Ost
    This paper addresses the criminalisation of fabricated images of child pornography. Focusing on the new offence of possessing ,non-photographic pornographic images of children' (NPPIC) under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, it assesses whether harm- and morality-based arguments legitimate the extension of the criminal law to this activity. I contend that harm may be caused to children by NPPIC that are depictions of real child sexual abuse, and images that depict the fantasy sexual abuse of a real, recognisable child. However, it is extremely difficult to find a legitimate basis for prohibiting the possession of fantasy, completely fabricated NPPIC through a reasoned application of the harm principle and thus criminalisation of such images is not justified. Adopting a liberal perspective, I argue that moral harm-based arguments ultimately fail to convince, since legal moralism or moral paternalism should not be acceptable grounds for criminalisation. I conclude that a stronger case for criminalisation would have been made had the offence been limited to NPPIC depicting real child sexual abuse, or featuring real, recognisable children, or targeted at creators and distributors rather than possessors. [source]

    Revisiting the overcontrolled,undercontrolled typology of violent offenders

    Karen D'Silva
    Background,In 1966, Megargee separated individuals with violent behaviour into those who either overcontrolled or undercontrolled their hostility and suggested that this typology might be helpful when considering their treatment. Method,We compared the criminological and psychopathological features of those with a single violent offence (SV) and with those who were repeatedly violent (RV). Results,Fifty-one violent personality disordered offenders detained in medium- or high- secure care were examined (19 in the SV group and 32 in the RV group). In comparison to the RV group, the SV group were less antisocial and psychopathic and showed greater anger and behavioural control. However, these differences appeared to be due to the undercontrolled nature of the RV group, rather than the overcontrolled nature of the SV group. Conclusion,There was little evidence to support an overcontrolled hostility pattern in the SV group in this sample. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The Reclassification of Extreme Pornographic Images

    THE MODERN LAW REVIEW, Issue 1 2009
    Andrew D. Murray
    Legal controls over the importation and supply of pornographic imagery promulgated nearly half a century ago in the Obscene Publications Acts have proven to be inadequate to deal with the challenge of the internet age. With pornographic imagery more readily accessible in the UK than at any time in our history, legislators have been faced with the challenge of stemming the tide. One particular problem has been the ready accessibility of extreme images which mix sex and violence or which portray necrophilia or bestiality. This article examines the Government's attempt to control the availability of such material through s.63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, which criminalises possession of such images. It begins by examining the consultation process and concludes that an underlying public policy objective was the root of the new offence despite the lack of a clear mandate for such a policy. The article then examines whether this weakness in the foundations for the proposed new offence caused the proposal to be substantially amended during the Committee Stage of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill: to the extent that the final version of s.63 substantially fails to meet the original public policy objective. The article concludes by asking whether s.63 may have unintended consequences in that it fails to criminalise some of the more extreme examples of violent pornography while criminalising consensual BDSM images, and questions whether s.63 will be enforceable in any meaningful way. [source]