Category Archives: Prison

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


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


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

Seminar series from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research

glasgowunicloistersThe Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research has announced a new Seminar Series for September-December 2007. Seminars take place at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.

PDF flyer here, or more details on the SCCJR website.

  • 24 September – Jonathan Simon, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley: ‘Governing through Crime and New Labour: Policy Transfer or a Common Culture of Control?’
  • 25 September – Jonathan Simon: ‘Governing through Crime: the Culture of Fear in America’
  • 4 October – Fergus McNeill, Senior Lecturer, Glasgow School of Social Work: ‘Hysteresis, Risk and Reconfiguration’
  • 17 October – Gabriele Marranci, Lecturer in the Anthropology of Religion, University of Aberdeen: ‘Identity, Religion and Ideology among Muslim Prisoners’
  • 1 November – Susanne Karstedt, Professor of Criminology, University of Keele: ‘Law Abiding Majority? The Everyday Crimes of the Middle
  • 5 December – Sarah Armstrong, Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow: ‘Metonymy and Metaphor in Criminology’

Photo credit: Chor_Ip, Creative Commons License

Podcast round-up

MP3onredSome recent podcasts on topics relevant to psychology and crime:

Violent Crime in America (Leonard Lopate show, 28 Aug)

Many theories have been offered up to explain the crime decline of the 1990s – from tougher policing to a decline in the crack cocaine epidemic. But why in the last few years has this decrease in violent crime continued in some cities but not in others? Frank Zimring, Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. Andrew Karmen, Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York, join Leonard to predict whether the crime decline of the 1990s will continue.

Women Migrant Workers in Saudi Arabia (Leonard Lopate show, 23 Aug)

Approximately 2 million women from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and other countries work as migrant domestics in Saudi Arabia. They are routinely underpaid, overworked, confined to the workplace, or subject to verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. And two Indonesian women were recently killed by their employers.

Darfuri Women’s Stories (Leonard Lopate show, 23 Aug)

Mia Farrow, actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador… just returned from another trip to Chad, where she met with Darfuri women in refugee camps… she tells us about the women that begged her to tell the rest of the world their stories, in the hopes that hearing about the horrific abuses they’ve lived through would urge the rest of the world to bring an end to the atrocities in Darfur.

Program Certifies Prisoners as Drug Counselors (NPR, 18 Aug)

Behind the stone walls and razor wire that surround California’s San Quentin State Prison, a group of prisoners is sitting quietly in the prison’s sanctuary for group drug counseling. But the man leading the discussion, Brian Smith, isn’t a psychologist or certified specialist in substance abuse. Smith is a fellow prisoner who has served 24 years of a life sentence. He’s also part of an innovative peer-counseling program at San Quentin that’s turning prisoners into certified drug and alcohol counselors.

Finally, psychologist Dr Robert Young talks with Dr Raj Persaud about a longitudinal study looking at young people who self-harm (Royal College of Psychiatrists podcast, July 07)

Photo credit: Focus_on_me, Creative Commons License

Quick links


Quick links from around the web and blogosphere:

Reports from a review of the Virginia Tech massacre have been published (download via Docuticker) prompting much commentary, including this detailed post over at World of Psychology, where John Grohol discusses the report (pdf) detailing mass murderer Seung Hui Cho’s mental health history.

Providentia draws our attention to a study presented at the recent APA convention which “indicated that sexual assault on women with physical disabilities tended to be more coercive and more physically severe than assaults on women with other types of problems”.

GNIF Brain Blogger discusses research on the implications of war on mental health:

A recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released articles dedicated to the study of conflict, human rights, and international mental health consequences. Some of the most striking papers dealt specifically with the psychological effects of war as well as the implications exposure to violent war crimes have on efforts towards peace building.

Via Karin Franklin, link to a detailed discussion of the efficacy of sex offender treatment over at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Over at The Situationist Blog, consideration of several forensically-relevant issues over the last few weeks, including ongoing discussion of Philip Zimbardo’s latest book The Lucifer Effect here and here, and in a post in which Zimbardo replies to his critics in person. Other recent posts include a commentary on judicial independence and a spotlight on research on race and the death penalty.

Peter Tillers draws our attention to a new paper up at SSRN on The Theater of the Courtroom.

Carnival Against Sexual Violence 30 is up at Abyss2Hope.

Photo credit: bigeoino, Creative Commons License

Even sexual offenders have a story to tell

lockedupAnthropologist James Waldram of the University of Saskatchewan tackles a controversial but important topic in the latest issue of Qualitative Health Research. In his article Everybody Has a Story: Listening to Imprisoned Sexual Offenders he discusses how he gained the trust of incarcerated sex offenders, and explores the ethical and pragmatic aspects of listening to an often-demonised population:

When I first developed the idea of working with sexual offenders in prison, I was told by various individuals “in the know” that these inmates would never talk to me (p.963), [so] …As an anthropologist I employed participant observation as a research technique. This meant that I engaged with the men in what appeared to be nonresearch contexts. I sometimes ate with them, watched television and played board games with them, and basically just “hung out” on the unit (p.965).

He concludes:

Why should we hear the stories of convicted sexual offenders? Why should we bear witness to their lives? The answer is as straightforward as it is complex. If we do not make an attempt to understand those who violate our social norms by perpetrating violence, and yet are unwilling to provide life sentences or support capital punishment, then we are most certainly likely to fall victim again. Sometimes it is in our best interests to listen, however difficult that may be (p.969).



In this article the author addresses two basic questions found at the intersection of ethics and qualitative research methodology: Why are some people reluctant to share their stories? and Are there some people whose stories ought not to be heard? Focusing on imprisoned sexual offenders, the author argues that the establishment of trust in the research relationship is essential to creating safe places for people living with “problem experiences” to tell their stories. He also argues that however repugnant, the stories of society’s worst offenders must be heard if we as a society are to better understand their actions and protect ourselves.

Photo credit: R.Sanque, Creative Commons License

New issue: Aggression and Violent Behavior – special issue on Crime Classification and Offender Typologies


The Sept-Oct 2007 issue of Aggression and Violent Behavior 12(5) is a special issue on Crime Classification and Offender Typologies.

Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • New directions in offender typology design, development, and implementation: Can we balance risk, treatment and control? – James M. Byrne and Albert R. Roberts
  • Recidivism among four types of homicide offenders: An exploratory analysis of 336 homicide offenders in New Jersey – Albert R. Roberts, Kristen M. Zgoba and Shahid M. Shahidullah
  • Can we profile sex offenders? A review of sex offender typologies – Gina Robertiello and Karen J. Terry
  • Battered women versus male batterer typologies: Same or different based on evidence-based studies? – Kimberly Bender and Albert R. Roberts
  • In search of the “Tossed Salad Man” (and others involved in prison violence): New strategies for predicting and controlling violence in prison – James Byrne and Don Hummer
  • Mental illness and violence: A brief review of research and assessment strategies – Andrew Harris and Arthur J. Lurigio
  • Examining the link between institutional and community violence: Toward a new cultural paradigm – James M. Byrne and Jacob Stowell
  • Displaced, dispossessed, or lawless? Examining the link between ethnicity, immigration, and violence – Jacob I. Stowell and Ramiro Martinez Jr.
  • Sex offenders of the elderly: Classification by motive, typology, and predictors of severity of crime – Ann Wolbert Burgess, Michael Lamport Commons, Mark E. Safarik, Ruthann Rockwell Looper and Sara Nora Ross
  • When murder is not enough: Toward a new definition of community violence – Melanie-Angela Neuilly

New issue: Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 18(2)


The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology 18(2) is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • ‘Just Say No’: A preliminary evaluation of a three-stage model of integrated treatment for substance use problems in conditions of medium security – Helen Miles; Lisa Dutheil; Ian Welsby; Daniel Haider
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy as a treatment for borderline personality disorder in prisons: Three illustrative case studies – Claire Nee; Sarah Farman
  • Understanding change in a therapeutic community: An action systems approach – Lucy Neville; Sarah Miller; Katarina Fritzon
  • Older adult patients subject to restriction orders in England and Wales: A cross-sectional survey – P. C. J. O’Sullivan; L. P. Chesterman
  • ‘Getting into trouble’: A qualitative analysis of the onset of offending in the accounts of men with learning disabilities – Tom Isherwood; Mick Burns; Mark Naylor; Stephen Read
  • Risk assessment of child-victim sex offenders for extended supervision in New Zealand – Teresa Watson; James Vess
  • Applying a psychodynamic treatment model to support an adolescent sentenced for murder to confront and manage feelings of shame and remorse – Sinéad Marriott
  • Do forensic psychiatric inpatient units pose a risk to local communities? – Vicente Gradillas; Andrew Williams; Elizabeth Walsh; Tom Fahy
  • Custodial interrogation: What are the background factors associated with claims of false confession to police? – Gisli H. Gudjonsson; Jon Fridrik Sigurdsson; Bryndis Bjork Asgeirsdottir; Inga Dora Sigfusdottir

New reports: round-up of reports from the US, Canada and Australia

ex libris gul law reports collectionA selection of recently-published criminal justice-related reports from the US, Canada and Australia:

Black Victims of Violent Crime, published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, full Report (pdf):

Presents findings about violent crime experienced by non-Hispanic blacks… Highlights include the following: Blacks were victims of an estimated 805,000 nonfatal violent crimes and of about 8,000 homicides in 2005; blacks accounted for 13% of the U.S. population in 2005, but were victims in 15% of all nonfatal violent crimes and nearly half of all homicides; during the 5-year period from 2001 to 2005, the average annual rate of nonfatal violent victimization against blacks was 29 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. For whites the rate was 23 per 1,000, and for Hispanics, 24 per 1,000.

Comparison of Hate Crime Rates Across Protected and Unprotected Groups, published by the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, full report(pdf):

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not currently covered by federal hate crime laws. This analysis compares victimization rates for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals with groups already covered by hate crime laws. Results indicate that the hate crime rate against lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals is comparable to the rate of hate crimes against already protected groups.

Sexual Violence Reported by Correctional Authorities 2006, published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, full report (pdf):

Presents data from the Survey on Sexual Violence, 2006, an administrative records collection of incidents of inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate sexual violence reported to correctional authorities…The report provides an in-depth analysis of substantiated incidents, including where the incidents occur, time of day, number and characteristics of victims and perpetrators, nature of the injuries, impact on the victims, and sanctions imposed on the perpetrators.

Control or Regulation of Prostitution in Canada – Implications for the Police – Royal Canadian Mounted Police research and evaluation report:

In the literature the police perspective [on health and safety of sex workers and the current legal situation in Canada] is too often based on traditional, unfounded, unproven and biased opinions of prostitutes and prostitution. This is problematic for legislators, who require objective and well documented information. This study is a first step in clarifying that relationship. It examines issues relating to legal options, their impact on prostitution and their impact on the police.

Human trafficking to Australia: a research challenge, published by the Australian Institute of Criminology, full report(pdf):

…Human trafficking presents different challenges from domestic crimes, like sexual assault, because of its often transnational nature and the potential involvement of a network of facilitators in a number of countries… This paper argues that we need to be aware of trends, internationally and in the region, to ensure we have early warning of activities that could impact on the level and type of trafficking to Australia, and to ensure we are providing the most effective responses to prevent and detect trafficking. This paper provides an overview of the challenges involved in obtaining reliable information on the trafficking process.

Homicide in Australia : 2005-06 National Homicide Monitoring Program annual report, published by the Australian Institute of Criminology, full report (pdf):

This report presents information on the circumstances and characteristics of homicide in Australia in 2005-06… The report examines the factors which appear to have driven the increase, which includes increases in the number of females killed (87 females killed in 2004-05 compared with 113 females killed in the current year). Stranger homicides also increased from 19 percent in 2004-05 to 26 percent in the current year. While there are noted increases in the current year, comparisons with previous years such as 2003-04 indicate the trends are quite similar.

Photo credit: ex_libris_gul, Creative Commons License

New issue: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 46(3)


The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 46(3) , July 2007 is now online. Follow the link to the publisher’s website for abstracts and access to full text articles.

Contents include:

  • Everyday Tragedies: Justice, Scandal and Young People in Contemporary Britain – MARK DRAKEFORD, IAN BUTLER
  • Probation and the Tragedy of Punishment – ROB CANTON
  • Prisoners’ Families and Resettlement: A Critical Analysis – HELEN CODD
  • Prisoners’ Rights since the Woolf Report: Progress or Procrastination? – DENNIS EADY
  • Men Researching Men in Prison: The Challenges for Profeminist Research – MALCOLM COWBURN
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Professionally-Facilitated Volunteerism in the Community-Based Management of High-Risk Sexual Offenders: Part One – Effects on Participants and Stakeholders – ROBIN J. WILSON, JANICE E. PICHECA, MICHELLE PRINZO
  • COUNTERBLAST: Real Work in Prisons? – FRANCES CROOK