Category Archives: Mental health

Videos and podcasts

MP3onredRecently released video and podcasts on topics relevant to psychology and crime. Follow the links for access to the audio and visual material.

Advances in the History of Psychology recently alerted us to a 2005 PBS documentary The New Asylums, which examined the plight of mentally ill prisoners in the USA:

In “The New Asylums,” FRONTLINE goes deep inside Ohio’s state prison system to explore the complex and growing issue of mentally ill prisoners. With unprecedented access to prison therapy sessions, mental health treatment meetings, crisis wards, and prison disciplinary tribunals, the film provides a poignant and disturbing portrait of the new reality for the mentally ill.

All in the Mind (15 March) explores the psychological impact of being on Death Row: “…extraordinary first hand accounts from men who spent decades incarcerated on Death Row. And, psychologists investigating the state of the confined mind.”

An earlier AitM (23 Feb) focused on women offenders, including those convicted of infanticide, and asks if women offenders require different rehabilitation and treatment programmes to men.

Since the beginning of the year the Leonard Lopate show has featured several segments of forensic interest, including:

Photo credit: Focus_on_me, Creative Commons License

Understanding the Police Decision to Arrest People With Mental Illness

An interesting article in the latest issue of Psychiatric Services discusses police decision making when faced with people with mental illness. Here’s the abstract:

The criminalization hypothesis assumes that deinstitutionalization coupled with inadequate police training has led to the increased arrest of people with mental illness. Arrest is viewed as a means to manage the troublesome behavior that often results from mental illness. Supporting research has emphasized the contributing role that illness plays in the arrest decision. This assumption largely ignores an extant criminal justice literature on the factors that influence arrest. On the basis of a review of this criminal justice literature, beginning with Bittner’s 1967 seminal work, a framework is proposed that incorporates three contexts—manipulative, temporal, and scenic—surrounding the police encounter and the relationship of these contexts to mental illness. These three “horizons” incorporate the characteristics of the community, the offender, and the incident, all of which are recognized as influential in shaping police discretion. The scenic horizon is indicative of the features of the community. The temporal horizon includes police knowledge that stretches beyond the specific incident and officer characteristics. The manipulative horizon involves the current incident from the standpoint of the officer and includes considerations of safety for the community as well as the immediate concerns of the officer. Implications of this framework are then explored with respect to both police and mental health service mandates.

Reference:

Quick links – investigations, courtroom, punishment, profiling and more

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Quick links from around the web and blogosphere:

Investigations and courtroom :

The Sunday Times (25 Nov) reports on a new facial morphing technique called EvoFIT “that transforms the Photofit faces of criminal suspects into animated caricatures up to seven times more likely to be recognised than standard likenesses”. The system was developed by UK psychologists, one of whom commented that using the new system leads to “…a massive jump in the level of recognition [which] is really reliable”. Lots more information including plenty of downloadable papers on the EvoFIT webpages .

The Eyewitness Identification Reform blog highlights scholarly commentary on the effectiveness of cross-examination for getting at the truth of eyewitness evidence.

Following a detailed and extensively researched analysis, Prof. Epstein [the author of the commentary] concludes that the highly revered truth-seeking tool of cross-examination, while perhaps effective at rooting out liars, is utterly ineffective at uncovering the truth when faced with a witness who is confident, but honestly mistaken about what he or she remembers – which accounts for the majority of cases in which mistaken identification has led to wrongful conviction.

Mo over at Neurophilosophy (a great blog that doesn’t often post on forensic issues) discusses research on creating false memories by doctoring photographs. Participants who saw altered images had different memories of the events in the photographs:

For example, those participants shown the doctored photograph of [a] protest in Rome…in which figures placed in the foreground give the impression of violence, rated the event as being significantly more violent and negative than it actually was. In their comments, they also provided false details, such as conflicts, damages, injuries and casualties that did not appear in the photos and were not documented at the event.

The whole issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology is about ‘cognition and the media’ and includes other papers on the fallability of memory, which will be of use to anyone interested in eyewitness memory.

Anne Reed at the fabulous Deliberations blog reports on research into the Grim Power of Grim Evidence. Apparently “jurors presented with gruesome evidence, such as descriptions or images of torture and mutilation, are up to five times more likely to convict a defendant than jurors not privy to such evidence.”

Punishment:

The ever-interesting Karen Franklin comments on juvenile detention, and starts by posing some simple questions with disturbing answers. Did you know, for instance, that only two nations sentence children to life in prison? According to Karen, they are Israel, with 7 child lifers, and the USA, with an astonishing 2,387 child lifers.

Michael Connolly at Corrections Sentencing offers a detailed discussion of an article which “calls for broad application of empirical psychology to the study of the motive behind punishments”. The article is in press and due to appear in 2008.

  • Reference: Carlsmith, K.M., & Darley, J.M. (in press). Psychological aspects of retributive justice. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, M. Zanna, Ed. (Elsevier, NY, 2008) vol. 41.

Psychopaths:

The criminal psychopath is the topic of a post at Top Two Inches, and over at the Deception Blog, a comment on research on whether psychopathic liars give themselves away through their verbal behaviour.

Profiling:

Crimson Shadows posts (with permission) the full text of ex-FBI profiler John Douglas’s response to Malcolm Gladwell’s article on profiling that appeared in the New Yorker last month. Douglas argues that Gladwell’s article misrepresents the science and practice of profiling.

Miscellany:

Terrific analysis of an fMRI study linking paedophilia to differences in the brain over at the Brain Ethics blog,  critiquing both the method and the interpretation of the results of this study.  In sum “at the least, just because the brain shows a difference, one cannot conclude anything beyond this about causation.”

The BPS Research Digest has also included a couple of forensically relevant posts recently: detecting feigned mental retardation and inter-ethnic violence.

As well as the post on juvenile detention mentioned above, Karen Franklin’s posted a lot of other good stuff recently too, including pointing us towards a Canadian news article on false confessions, commenting on how the UK is considering stricter controls on the use of expert scientific evidence, and a great piece on tracking serial killers in South Africa.

Romeo Vitelli’s Providentia blog reports on an intervention program for young victims of violence, child abuse and brain development, and an usual case of car fetishism.

Photo credit: bigeoino, Creative Commons License

New issue: Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 18(4)

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Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 18(4) is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • Medical evidence for the purposes of recall to hospital under Section 42(3) of the Mental Health Act 1983 – Ikechukwu Obialo Azuonye
  • Opening communicative space: A Habermasian understanding of a user-led participatory research project – Paul Godin; Jacqueline Davies; Bob Heyman; Lisa Reynolds; Alan Simpson; Mike Floyd
  • Risk typologies of serious harm offenders managed under MAPPA: Mental health, personality disorders, and self-harm as distinguishing risk factors – Joanne Wood
  • Homicide-suicide in the Netherlands: A study of newspaper reports, 1992 – 2005 – M. C. A. Liem; F. Koenraadt
  • Forensic inpatient male sexual offenders: The impact of personality disorder and childhood sexual abuse – Manuela Dudeck; Carsten Spitzer; Malte Stopsack; Harald J. Freyberger; Sven Barnow
  • HoNOS-secure: A reliable outcome measure for users of secure and forensic mental health services – Geoff Dickens; Philip Sugarman; Lorraine Walker
  • Parental schemas in youngsters referred for antisocial behaviour problems demonstrating depressive symptoms – Leen Van Vlierberghe; Benedikte Timbremont; Caroline Braet; Barbara Basile
  • The role and scope of forensic clinical psychology in secure unit provisions: A proposed service model for psychological therapies – Gisli H. Gudjonsson; Susan Young
  • On aggression and violence: An analytic perspective – Colin Campbell

New issue: Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 18(3)

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Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 18(3) is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • Theory of mind function, motor empathy, emotional empathy and schizophrenia: A single case study – Karen Addy; Karen Shannon; Kevin Brookfield
  • The development of a scale for measuring offence-related feelings of shame and guilt – Kim Wright; Gisli H. Gudjonsson
  • An audit of the association between the use of antipsychotic medication and bone density measurement in female patients within a special (high security) hospital – Jane Orr; Liz Jamieson
  • A study of forensic psychiatric screening reports and their relationship to full psychiatric reports – Pål Grøndahl; Stein E. Ikdahl; Alv A. Dahl
  • Staff responses to the therapeutic environment: A prospective study comparing burnout among nurses working on male and female wards in a medium secure unit – Rajan Nathan; Andrew Brown; Karen Redhead; Gill Holt; Jonathan Hill
  • Evaluating innovative treatments in forensic mental health: A role for single case methodology? – Jason Davies; Kevin Howells; Lawrence Jones
  • The identification and management of suicide risk in local prisons – Jane Senior; Adrian J. Hayes; Daniel Pratt; Stuart D. Thomas; Tom Fahy; Morven Leese; Andy Bowen; Greg Taylor; Gillian Lever-Green; Tanya Graham; Anna Pearson; Mukhtar Ahmed; Jenny J. Shaw
  • The validity of the Violence Risk Scale second edition (VRS-2) in a British forensic inpatient sample – Mairead Dolan; Rachael Fullam
  • Criminal barristers’ opinions and perceptions of mental health expert witnesses – Ophelia Leslie; Susan Young; Tim Valentine; Gisli Gudjonsson
  • The Michael Stone Inquiry: A somewhat different homicide report – Herschel Prins

New issue: Crime & Delinquency 53(4)

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Crime & Delinquency 53(4) , October 2007 is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • Strain, Attribution, and Traffic Delinquency Among Young Drivers: Measuring and Testing General Strain Theory in the Context of Driving – Steven J. Ellwanger
  • Applying a Generic Juvenile Risk Assessment Instrument to a Local Context: Some Practical and Theoretical Lessons – Joel Miller and Jeffrey Lin
  • Serious Mental Illness and Arrest: The Generalized Mediating Effect of Substance Use – James A. Swartz and Arthur J. Lurigio
  • Whistle-Blowing and the Code of Silence in Police Agencies: Policy and Structural Predictors – Gary R. Rothwell and J. Norman Baldwin
  • Recidivism of Supermax Prisoners in Washington State – David Lovell, L. Clark Johnson, and Kevin C. Cain

New issue: Aggressive Behavior 33(6)

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Aggressive Behavior 33(6) , Nov/Dec 2007 is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • The impact of aggressive priming, rumination, and frustration on prison sentencing – Eduardo Antonio Vasquez, Vanessa O. Bartsch, William C. Pedersen, Norman Miller
  • Longer you play, the more hostile you feel: examination of first person shooter video games and aggression during video game play – Christopher P. Barlett, Richard J. Harris, Ross Baldassaro
  • Sequence and priming in 15 month-olds’ reactions to brief arm restraint: evidence for a hierarchy of anger responses – Michael Potegal, Sarah Robison, Fiona Anderson, Catherine Jordan, Elsa Shapiro
  • Young adults’ media use and attitudes toward interpersonal and institutional forms of aggression – Sonya S. Brady
  • Women who kill their husbands: mariticides in contemporary Ghana – Mensah Adinkrah
  • Psychopathy and behavioral correlates of victim injury in serious juvenile offenders – Michael J. Vitacco, Michael F. Caldwell, Gregory J. Van Rybroek, Jason Gabel
  • Human proactive aggression: association with personality disorders and psychopathy – Sylvain O. Nouvion, Don R. Cherek, Scott D. Lane, Oleg V. Tcheremissine, Lori M. Lieving
  • Physical aggression as a function of perceived fighting ability among male and female prisoners – John Archer
  • Impulsive and premeditated subtypes of aggression in conduct disorder: differences in time estimation – Donald M. Dougherty, Rachel E. Dew, Charles W. Mathias, Dawn M. Marsh, Merideth A. Addicott, Ernest S. Barratt

New issue: Psychology, Crime & Law 13(5)

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The October 2007 issue of Psychology, Crime & Law 13(5) is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

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Contents include:

  • Alcohol as drug of choice; Is drug-assisted rape a misnomer? – Miranda Horvath; Jennifer Brown
  • Appropriate treatment targets or products of a demanding environment? The relationship between aggression in a forensic psychiatric hospital with aggressive behaviour preceding admission and violent recidivism – Michael Daffern; Murray Ferguson; James Ogloff; Lindsay Thomson; Kevin Howells
  • The measurement and influence of child sexual abuse supportive beliefs – Ruth Mann; Stephen Webster; Helen Wakeling; William Marshall
  • The stability and generalizability of young children’s suggestibility over a 44-month interval – Annika Melinder; Matthew Scullin; Tone Gravvold; Marianne Iversen
  • The role of cognitive distortions in paedophilic offending: Internet and contact offenders compared – Dennis Howitt; Kerry Sheldon
  • The impact of bullying and coping strategies on the psychological distress of young offenders – Susie Grennan; Jessica Woodhams
  • A psychometric study of six self-report measures for use with sexual offenders with cognitive and social functioning deficits – Fiona Williams; Helen Wakeling; Stephen Webster
  • An investigation into maladaptive personality functioning in Internet sex offenders – Sarah Laulik; Jane Allam; Lorraine Sheridan

New issue: Behavioral Sciences & the Law

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The July / August 2007 issue of Behavioral Sciences & the Law 25(4) is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • The function of punishment in the civil commitment of sexually violent predators – Kevin M. Carlsmith, John Monahan, Alison Evans
  • Constructing insanity: jurors’ prototypes, attitudes, and legal decision-making – Jennifer Eno Louden, Jennifer L Skeem
  • Facets of psychopathy, Axis II traits, and behavioral dysregulation among jail detainees – Richard Rogers, Mandy J. Jordan, Kimberly S. Harrison
  • Improving forensic tribunal decisions: the role of the clinician – Shari A. McKee, Grant T. Harris, Marnie E. Rice
  • Determining dangerousness in sexually violent predator evaluations: cognitive-experiential self-theory and juror judgments of expert testimony – Joel D. Lieberman, Daniel A. Krauss, Mariel Kyger, Maribeth Lehoux
  • An examination of behavioral consistency using individual behaviors or groups of behaviors in serial homicide – Alicia L. Bateman, C. Gabrielle Salfati
  • Can defendants with mental retardation successfully fake their performance on a test of competence to stand trial? – Caroline Everington, Heidi Notario-Smull, Mel L. Horton
  • The role of death qualification and need for cognition in venirepersons’ evaluations of expert scientific testimony in capital trials – Brooke Butler, Gary Moran
  • Plea bargaining recommendations by criminal defense attorneys: evidence strength, potential sentence, and defendant preference – Greg M. Kramer, Melinda Wolbransky, Kirk Heilbrun
  • Megan’s law and its impact on community re-entry for sex offenders – Jill S. Levenson, David A. D’Amora, Andrea L. Hern
  • Criminality and continued DUI offense: criminal typologies and recidivism among repeat offenders – Richard A. LaBrie, Rachel C. Kidman, Mark Albanese, Allyson J. Peller, Howard J. Shaffer

Docuticker round-up

ex libris gul law reports collectionLatest criminal justice-related reports from Docuticker

Public School Practices for Violence Prevention and Reduction: 2003–04 (National Center for Education Statistics): “This Issue Brief (1) examines principals’ reports of the prevalence of formal practices in public schools designed to prevent or reduce school violence and (2) describes the distribution of these practices by selected school characteristics.”

When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2005 Homicide Data (Violence Policy Center): “This annual report details national and state-by-state information on female homicides involving one female murder victim and one male offender.”

No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws in the United States (Human Rights Watch): “the first comprehensive study of US sex offender policies, their public safety impact, and the effect they have on former offenders and their families.”

Exploring the Drugs-Crime Connection within the Electronic Dance Music and Hip-Hop Nightclub Scenes (Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware / National Institute of Justice): “This report explores how the cultural ethos, behavioral norms, activities, and individual and group identities (subcultural phenomena), inherent to the electronic dance music … and the hip hop/rap nightclub scenes … impact the relationship between alcohol, drugs, and crime, with additional attention to victimization.”

Building an Offender Reentry Program: A Guide for Law Enforcement (International Association of Chiefs of Police): “In an effort to determine the state of law enforcement’s participation in offender reentry initiatives, the International Association of Chiefs of Police partnered with OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance to comprehensively examine law enforcement’s role in offender reentry initiatives.”

Suicide Trends Among Youths and Young Adults Aged 10–24 Years — United States, 1990–2004 (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC): “The report is an analysis of annual data from the CDC?s National Vital Statistics System”

Law Enforcement for Lawabiders (Police Foundation): “Why do people comply with the law? Professor Tracey Meares of Yale University explores the power of private social control in controlling and reducing crime.”

Violent Deaths and the National Violent Death Reporting System (CDC): “The National Violent Death Reporting System collects data on violent deaths from a variety of sources. Together, these sources offer a more comprehensive picture of the circumstances surrounding a homicide or suicide.”

Upward trend in racist crimes in at least 8 EU countries (European Parliament): “The report analyses discrimination in employment, housing and education across the 27 Member States.”

Minding Moral Responsibility (Engage, via SSRN): “… one of the most enduring areas of controversy in our criminal law involves questions about mitigation and the insanity defense.”

Fatal fires: fire-associated homicide in Australia, 1990-2005 (Australian Institute of Criminology)

2007 Annual Report on Organized crime in Canada (Criminal Intelligence Service Canada)

The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007 (Gambling Commission UK)

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