Identifying sexual and violent re-offenders
Current measures which fail to significantly predict whether sexual offenders will repeat their crime could be improved by taking into account psychological and lifestyle factors. These factors could also enhance risk assessment for violent offenders.
This is the conclusion of Leam Craig, of Forensic Psychology Practice Ltd and Anthony Beech and Kevin Browne of the Psychology Department at Birmingham University, who will present their research today, Monday 22 March 2004, at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology Annual Conference at Leicester University
The Prison and Probation Services currently use a number of scales to assess the risk of convicted sexual and violent offenders. The level of risk identified from these scales is used to determine the appropriate level of supervision in the community.
The researchers looked at how accurate six of these risk scales were when it came to predicting reoffending among a group of sexual, violent and general offenders. These 153 offenders were followed-up in the community for an average of eight years and nine months.
They found 74 per cent of the violent offenders were reconvicted, with 28 per cent being reconvicted for violent offences. Around 18 per cent of the sex offender group was reconvicted for a sexual offence, compared to two per cent of the violent offender group.
Only the recently developed scale, the Risk Matrix 2000 Violence, predicted violent re-offending but none of the scales significantly predicted sexual re-offending.
However, combining the scales with factors associated with re-offending, such as history of foster care, history of substance abuse, history of employment problems/instability, and history of school maladjustment, improved the predictive accuracy for sexual re-offences.
Leam Craig said “It is likely that these additional risk factors reflect general psychological and lifestyle instability to offender groups, rather than being predictive of sexual deviance per se.”
The psychologists hope that this research will improve the assessment of risk of reconviction in sexual and violent offenders. This will aid those working with offenders in the community and help target resources and supervision to those at greatest risk of re-offending, in order to improve public protection.
Sharon Smart | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...