Scholarly Works - Institute of Criminology


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  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Open Data and sensitive interviews: Reflecting on ethics, consent, and reproducibility
    (2020-12-03) Jarman, Ben; Jarman, Ben [0000-0003-3527-5437]
    Slides and reference list from a presentation given at a lunchtime webinar organised by the Institute of Criminology. Reflects on the Open Research, Open Data and Open Access agendas; describes ethical and methodological issues raised by these when applied to qualitative data; and identifies how these concerns may be particularly relevant when considering qualitative data gathered through studies of prison(er)s.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Safeguarding Children in the Secure Estate, 1960-2016
    (University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology, 2018-10-18) Jarman, Ben; Delap, Lucy; Jackson, Louise; Lanskey, Caroline; Marshall, Hannah; Gelsthorpe, Loraine; Jarman, Ben [0000-0003-3527-5437]; Delap, Lucy [0000-0001-5981-252X]; Marshall, Hannah [0000-0002-8236-0143]
    Background and aims of the research The research for this report was commissioned by the Historical Child Abuse Team of HM Prison & Probation Service (HMPPS), to inform its response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). Their aim was to enhance HMPPS’s institutional memory, and to suggest avenues for improved practice in safeguarding children in custody. The research set out to review the operation of past safeguarding frameworks within what is now known as ‘the secure estate for young people’. Research methods The initial research strategy was twofold: to conduct an orienting review of risk factors for institutional abuse using existing research and the reports of child abuse inquiries; and to review which kinds of establishment held children sentenced to custody for criminal offences by the courts, and under what policy and legal frameworks they did so. These reviews framed our consideration of inspection reports, archival records, and other primary records concerning institutions of interest. The latter were selected according to where known allegations of sexual abuse have been made. All were male-only; to ensure that female custody was included in our analysis, we added the small number known to have held girls to the list. Systematic catalogue searches were then carried out to identify relevant records in the two principal repositories used for the study (the Radzinowicz Library in Cambridge and The National Archives). The results of these searches were uneven. Archival records for the earlier period (1960 to the 1990s) were sparse, and some issues and institutions of interest were not well-covered. We therefore adopted a more pragmatic strategy, pursuing ‘leads’ by browsing the archive catalogues, following cross-references in archival records, drawing inferences about institutions for children using available information (for example, by reviewing how complaints were handled in adult prisons where information was lacking for complaints by children) and turning to academic literature where archival sources lacked information relevant to certain issues. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were also made to access relevant closed archival records but no files of interest were opened in time for inclusion in the report. The review of records covering the later period (1990s onwards) faced a contrasting challenge: the volume of documents published on secure institutions for children is enormous. Due to the three-month time limit for the whole project, it was not possible to comprehensively review the available material on specific institutions, and we therefore focused on published reviews of the children’s secure estate overall, and on overviews of the running of all establishments (such as annual reports and thematic inspection reports). References to specific institutions were then chased up in inspection reports. Summary of key developments in safeguarding in the secure estate Safeguards against abuse from 1960 to the 1990s Changes in the nature and scope of the secure estate (and the youth justice system more generally) during this period were highly complex. Between 1960 and 1998, there was particular turbulence; since 1998 things have stabilised somewhat. The period as a whole, however, remains one in which there have been frequent revisions of institutional aims, management problems, resourcing pressures and cycles of expansion, reorganisation and decline. This turbulence is part of the context for historical abuse; it has not been uncommon, at different times, for institutions to become detached from their original aims, and instead to ‘drift’, sometimes with the result that the duty of care was diluted or suspended. In general, from 1960 until at least the 1980s, policies of all kinds were ill-developed, and often poorly implemented. Responses to abuse were reactive and often failed to recognise or counteract the potential harms which custody might inflict on children. It was common for staff to use their power in irregular ways, and penal institutions often featured violent cultures, in which victimisation of some inmates by others was routine, and sometimes carried out with the tacit consent of staff. Systems aiming to balance children’s interests against those of staff (for example, by enabling them to complain) were often ineffective because they failed to correct the disparities in power that were inherent to institutional life. In penal institutions, complaints could be dangerous to raise: there were significant formal and informal barriers to raising a complaint, and significant risks of formal or informal reprisal from staff members. Investigative procedures were also weak, usually relying on investigation within the institution, or (rarely) external investigation by Boards of Visitors. The independence of Boards from prison authorities was not guaranteed. Arrangements to protect the ‘welfare’ of children were also hampered by resourcing, and by the narrow definition of the issue: Welfare Officers were, for the majority of this period, probation officers mostly responsible for heavy resettlement caseloads, and with limited time for other tasks. In the care system, checks and balances against abuse were often weak, left the same people and organisations responsible for the administration and oversight of institutions, and led to serious conflicts of interest. By the 1970s and 1980s, secure custody within the care system was developing along different lines to that in penal institutions. New justifications for custody were being advanced: that it was not a deterrent, or a training opportunity, but a form of treatment. These ideals were not always achieved in practice, but they led to a shift in official thinking whereby secure conditions were reframed as a way of meeting children’s needs, rather than compelling their compliance. One result was to increase awareness of the risks that could be posed by inadequate safeguards. Catalysts for change, 1990-2000 New discourses and practices regarding child protection emerged in the care system during the 1980s and 90s, most particularly as the result of a series of public inquiries which exposed abuses in residential homes. Increasingly, it was recognised that residential institutions possessed their own risks and were particularly vulnerable to certain characteristic risks of abuse. The new practices were formalised into a single legislative framework by the Children Act 1989, which transformed the regulation of the care system. However, its applicability to children in YOIs was legally uncertain until a High Court ruling in 2002. Legal ambiguity did not prevent observers of the prison system making strong criticisms of YOIs (and later, STCs) a major plank in their prison reform agenda. These criticisms were powerful because they drew on the general rights and protections which the 1989 Act had created for children and which, it could be argued, they were denied in custody. These calls for reform applied the 1989 Act to child imprisonment in novel ways, leading to a ‘new orthodoxy’ in safeguarding. The implementation of a ‘new orthodoxy’, 2000-2016 Since 2000, there have been further developments in the policy framework for the secure estate, but also new indications that policies have not been perfectly implemented. Imbalances of supply and demand for places in the secure estate, and a gradual shift towards a more vulnerable and damaged population, have been among the factors making implementation challenging. Even so, some safeguards are undoubtedly more effective than previously. For example, greater controls are applied through staff vetting, and several custodial practices such as restraint and strip-searching have been reassessed in light of children’s lived experience of these forms of power. Yet these new policies have also been circumvented in new ways. Abuses have come to light which possess both new features and others familiar from past inquiries. Most fundamentally, the arrival of new safeguarding policies has led to the recognition of forms of abuse which went unrecognised before. This has had an unforeseen effect: it has expanded the boundaries of what can potentially be considered abusive. The outcome of this shift remains unclear. Conclusions The safeguarding of children in secure institutions can only be evaluated fully through close attention to organisational culture, as well as the actions and motivations of ‘bad’ individuals. Cultural beliefs affect day-to-day decision-making and are not always congruent with what is laid down formally in policy; indeed, in some circumstances culture is used to justify the circumvention or relaxation of standards which are officially sanctioned. This is particularly likely in residential institutions for children, which feature inherent disparities of power. Race and learning difficulties added to vulnerability, though it is unclear whether this resulted in an increased likelihood of sexual abuse. The apparent absence of allegations of sexual abuse in establishments for girls is difficult to explain using the evidence we have reviewed, but does not appear to be because girls in custody were less vulnerable. New safeguarding policies implemented since the 1990s contain their own vulnerabilities and have generated their own forms of illegitimacy. It is difficult for institutions to recognise these. It is a consistent pattern, throughout the history we have reviewed, that abusive practices had often seemed unlikely or unthinkable, but later became visible. Thus while preventive safeguards are, in themselves, important, it is also important that institutions do everything possible to promote trusting, positive relationships between staff members and the children in their care, and to ensure that both staff and children are able to make meaningful challenges to aspects of custodial practice. The size of institutions appears relevant here, as do structures of accountability which avoid excessive formality. It is also important that institutions are open to outside scrutiny. This is not merely a question of regular inspection: it is clear from the historical record that those responsible for scrutinising the secure estate could become acculturated, so that their ideas about what is ‘normal’ and acceptable began to reflect those of the culture around them. Contemporary arrangements for inspection and oversight need to retain awareness of this risk. Abusive cultures develop largely because it is relatively easy for staff, in the context of organisations with steep power differentials, to present certain practices as justifiable means to legitimate ends. Over the long term, the operational context for the secure estate is always likely to be characterised by fluctuations in resourcing, and imbalances between supply and demand. Shifting priorities (of the sort which have been associated with the development of abusive cultures) are likely always to affect provision. In consequence, cultural blind spots will always be possible, and identifying them will always impinge on the interests of those who hold power. This makes protections for whistleblowers a key measure to protect children against abuse. In short, despite safeguarding policies and frameworks and inspection regimes, the potential for abusive practices to develop must be viewed as evolving, and thus always possible. This points to three final reflections: • the use of custody for children should be limited as far as possible, because of the inherent tensions in residential institutions where there is a marked disparity of power and an element of coercion in the allocation of residents; • there are distinct benefits to historical research in this area, because it enables a long view to be taken on present-day safeguards and abuses, and reveals continuities in the kinds of risks affecting the implementation of safeguards; • child safeguarding must be understood as an ongoing, iterative process, rather than as the attainment of a defined standard of practice.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Disagreeing about development: An analysis of parent-teacher agreement in ADHD symptom trajectories across the elementary school years.
    (Wiley, 2018-09) Murray, Aja Louise; Booth, Tom; Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel; Murray, Aja Louise [0000-0002-9068-3188]
    OBJECTIVES: It is well-known that in cross-sectional analyses, agreement between informants is modest as best when rating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and other disruptive behaviour disorder symptoms. We here aimed to develop recommendations for the use of multi-informant data in the context of longitudinal developmental analyses that examine symptom trajectories over time. METHOD: Using parallel process modelling, we estimated parent-teacher agreement in inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptom initial levels and slopes across the elementary school years (ages 7, 9, and 11) for a community sample of n = 1,388 youth. We also used these models to examine whether initial levels and slopes differed significantly across informants. RESULTS: Informant agreement was low to moderate and higher for inattention slopes (r = .47) than for hyperactivity/impulsivity slopes (r = .23). Parents and teachers reported opposite developmental trends for inattention with teachers reporting declines and parents reporting increases over time. Parents reported overall higher levels of hyperactivity/impulsivity, but there were no average informant differences in slopes. CONCLUSION: Of the options available, we recommend specifying separate but correlated factors for different informants in developmental analyses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This can be achieved within latent growth curve and growth mixture models.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Quantifying the Strength of General Factors in Psychopathology: A Comparison of CFA with Maximum Likelihood Estimation, BSEM, and ESEM/EFA Bifactor Approaches.
    (Informa UK Limited, 2019) Murray, Aja Louise; Booth, Tom; Eisner, Manuel; Obsuth, Ingrid; Ribeaud, Denis; Murray, Aja [0000-0002-9068-3188]; Eisner, Manuel [0000-0001-5436-9282]
    Whether or not importance should be placed on an all-encompassing general factor of psychopathology (or p factor) in classifying, researching, diagnosing, and treating psychiatric disorders depends (among other issues) on the extent to which comorbidity is symptom-general rather than staying largely within the confines of narrower transdiagnostic factors such as internalizing and externalizing. In this study, we compared three methods of estimating p factor strength. We compared omega hierarchical and explained common variance calculated from confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) bifactor models with maximum likelihood (ML) estimation, from exploratory structural equation modeling/exploratory factor analysis models with a bifactor rotation, and from Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM) bifactor models. Our simulation results suggested that BSEM with small variance priors on secondary loadings might be the preferred option. However, CFA with ML also performed well provided secondary loadings were modeled. We provide two empirical examples of applying the three methodologies using a normative sample of youth (z-proso, n = 1,286) and a university counseling sample (n = 359).
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Developing a Crime Harm Index for Western Australia: the WACHI
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2018-07) House, Paul D; Neyroud, Peter W
    RESEARCH QUESTION Can a reliable measure of precise harm levels for the 100 most harmful and frequently occurring offences be developed in Western Australia (WA) based on analysis of actual court penalties for first-time offenders? DATA Criminal and traffic court sentences in 2.2 million records over 6.5 years were analysed to extract the number of days of imprisonment actually imposed in sentencing decisions for approximately 52,000 first-time offenders (see House 2017). METHODS Sentences for all first offenders in a sample of the 102 most common offence categories were analysed to compute for the median number of days of imprisonment to which each first offender was sentenced in each of the categories. Monetary penalties and conditional community sentences were converted to equivalent ‘prison days’ and added to the computation of the median of days of imprisonment per offence category. The number of reported offences in WA in the study period for each of the 102 categories was then multiplied by the median prison days sentenced per category. The sum of the products of median prison days times offence count was then tallied across all offence categories to form a weighted index of crime harm, which we define as the Western Australian Crime Harm Index (WACHI). Applying a minimum requirement of at least five separate court cases for each crime category, a total of 88 offence categories survived the reliability threshold for inclusion in the index. FINDINGS The 88 offence categories in the WACHI contain both high-harm and highvolume offences, permitting 95% of all offences reported for over 5 years to be assessed for WACHI scores. The counts for these offences moved in different directions from the WACHI total in two of the four year-to-year comparisons. Changes in WACHI were shown to have been highly sensitive to increased reporting of historical sex crimes, isolated in one district each of both Metropolitan Perth and one Regional centre. CONCLUSIONS Carefully implemented use of the West Australian CHI could improve both public safety and policing by adding precision to resource allocation decisions, assessments of priorities and evaluations of policing initiatives. The WACHI would be even more reflective of the changing level of harm to victims if all crime trends were to be based on crimes that occurred in the year under analysis, with separate reporting of crimes that happened many years ago. With that key adjustment, police professionals, department of justice officials, citizens and local governments can use a WACHI to make better decisions about how to prioritise policing in a wide range of contexts.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Penalization and Multidimensional Poverty: Improving our understanding of poverty amongst offenders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
    (Springer, 2018-08-13) Chávez Villegas, Cirenia
    Using a multidimensional approach to poverty measurement, this article aims to contribute to an improved understanding on the main aspects of deprivation experienced by former participants of organized crime in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city that became the epicenter of violence due to the ‘war on drugs’ declared in 2006. A sample of 180 surveys and 20 in-depth interviews were implemented to evaluate multidimensional poverty amongst young men serving a prison sentence for a series of crimes related to organized criminal activity (aged 12 to 29) in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. An equal number of surveys were implemented to a group of non-offenders who had no criminal record and resided in a marginalized area of the same city. The research finds that while offenders fared worse in several non-income dimensions of poverty compared to non-offenders, qualitative evidence revealed that experiences of poverty of offenders were not homogenous, as suggested by existing studies. One of the key findings to emerge from the research is that participation in organized crime decreases income poverty; however, participation did not constitute an effective nor sustained pathway out of poverty nor did it decrease deprivation in other dimensions due to a highly skewed distribution of income in the illegal economy and the use of gains from illegal activity to fuel conspicuous consumption, findings that are similar in the established Western literature on youth gangs.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The impact of longitudinal offending trajectories on mental health: Lifetime consequences and intergenerational transfer
    (Elsevier BV, 2019) Reising, K; Ttofi, MM; Farrington, DP; Piquero, AR
    Objectives: This paper set out to contribute to the literature by linking research into offending pathways with the study of longitudinal effects and intergenerational transmission of mental health. Methods: Data was used from two generations of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, a longitudinal study of 411 men from London and their children who were followed since 1961-62. Results: Findings from this study (1) indicate that symptoms of depression and anxiety were highest among those who commenced offending in adulthood and (2) demonstrated familial continuity of mental health: poor offspring mental health was related to father’s criminality, but not to their offender group. Conclusions: A thorough understanding of the heterogeneity of offenders is essential for policy and practice. It is suggested that future research further examines individuals who only commence offending in adulthood, since they have been shown to not only face a variety of adverse outcomes themselves, but are also likely to have children with distinct patterns of internalizing problems across. Keywords: life-course-persistent offending, late-onset offending, adolescence-limited offending, adverse mental health outcomes, intergenerational transmission
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Effects of recruit training on police attitudes towards diversity: a randomised controlled trial of a values education programme.
    Strang, HJ; Platz, D; Sargeant, E; Strang, Heather [0000-0002-7085-519X]
    Research Question Did a values education program taught to Queensland police recruits change their attitudes towards police workplace diversity and equality, relative to recruits in the same cohorts who did not received the program? Data A survey designed to measure attitudes towards workplace diversity and related issues was administered three times to 260 police recruits, who were randomly assigned to receive a values education program or not over the 25-week initial police recruit course. The surveys were conducted in week two of the course, at the conclusion of the values education program, and six weeks after the program concluded. Methods Three separate cohorts were split by batch random assignment into experimental and controls, for 132 experimental recruits and 128 controls. Using a variety of validated scales and items, the attitudes of the two groups were compared at all three survey waves, and in comparative longitudinal trends. Findings While the values education program did not improve experimental group recruit attitudes towards diversity in the workplace over time, it protected that group from a clear decline in support for diversity associated with the standard recruit training experience. Because the design was an RCT, the study clearly revealed that the benefit of the program was as a successful buffer against what happened to reduce diversity support among the other recruits. Conclusions The findings show that in at least one police recruit experience, there is a clear shift away from support for diversity by race and gender in the police workplace in the course of initial training. Fortunately, the results also provide at least one possible preventative measure for that problem, in the form of a values education program similar to one used widely in many countries.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    This Nudge Was Not Enough: A Randomised Trial of Text Message Reminders of Court Dates to Victims and Witnesses
    (Springer International Publishing, 2018-07) Barnes, GC; Cumberbatch, Jonathan R
    Research Question Do text messages to mobile phones of victims and witnesses two or three days before they are scheduled to appear in court reduce their nonappearance rates in minor criminal cases? Data A sample of 811 victims and witnesses sent a postal notice to attend a specific Magistrates’ court in Staffordshire on a specific date. Cambridge Crime Harm Index value of the criminal charges, court appearance and trial outcome data were collected in all cases. Methods A text message reminder was randomly assigned to be sent to 405 treatment cases 2-3 days before the court trial date. Treatment as delivered comprised 84% of the treatment group. Findings The base rate of victims and witnesses’ not attending magistrates’ trials prior to the RCT was 26%. The non-attendance rate during the RCT was 22% in the control group 24% in the treatment group (p = 0.444). A 14% higher guilty rate for trials attended by the treatment group (58%) than the control group (51%) was marginally significant (p = 0.052). No treatment-control differences in attendance were found when moderated by crime type or CHI score. Conclusion A text message in isolation did not significantly affect victim and witness attendance at criminal cases in the three Magistrates’ Courts. However, it does show that texting is a reliable, quick and cheap method of communicating with witnesses.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Pressing for Sentence? An Examination of the New Zealand Crown Prosecutor’s Role in Sentencing
    (Rutgers University, 2018-09) Britton, AWM
    Prosecutors are among the most powerful actors in any criminal justice system. Their exercise of discretion, however, has not been subjected to the same level of public and empirical scrutiny as other parts of the criminal justice system. To deepen understanding, I empirically explore for the first time the form, function and limits of the New Zealand Crown Prosecutor's role at the sentencing stage of the criminal justice process. Semi-structured interviews of a non-representative sample of ten Crown Prosecutors are analysed using Hawkins’ framework of ‘surround’, ‘field’ and ‘frame’. Findings suggest that whilst New Zealand’s regime shares history, principles, and structural features with English and Australian regimes, it goes further to permit Crown Prosecutors a more assertive role in sentencing. In the 'surround', populist and managerial pressures create frustration, strain, and concern. Changes to funding models suggest the potential for unjust sentencing outcomes has increased. The ‘surround’ also intrudes upon and transforms decision-making ‘frames’. The opinions and presence of stakeholders influences decisions and practices at office and individual levels. Justice may be reactive, forward-looking, or negotiated depending on the particular mix of individuals involved – something accentuated by the regime’s privatised and decentralised form. Findings also suggest that Crown Prosecutors ‘frame’ their role in occupational terms. The lack of interest of universities, professional bodies, and law and policy-makers in offering or requiring prosecutorial training before entry to the role is influential. This renders decision-making more susceptible to pressures in the ‘surround’ and ‘field’, and increases variation in decision-making ‘frames’.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Targeting Escalation in Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from 52,000 Offenders
    (Springer, 2017-08-31) Barnham, L; Barnes, GC; Sherman, LW
    Research Question Does the severity or frequency of intimate partner violence or abuse reported to police increase over time, once a unique perpetrator-victim couple has come into contact with police in Thames Valley UK? Data A total of 140,998 recent (non-historical) incidents of intimate partner violence or abuse reported to Thames Valley Police in 2010-2015 were identified, with 52,296 unique perpetrators for whom a standard 731-day observation period was possible after each perpetrator’s first incident was reported in the intake period from 1st January 2010 through 31st December. Duplicate entries were eliminated and standard eligibility criteria were assured by data-cleaning from the NICHE records management system of Thames Valley Police. Methods All non-crime incidents or reports of crime against intimate partners were coded by the Cambridge Crime Harm Index (CHI) with the sum of total days of recommended imprisonment for each offence (as the guideline starting point for sentencing) summed across all offences for each offender (Sherman, et al 2016), with CHI scores for each successive incident plotted in sequence. Prevalence and frequency of repeat police contacts were also computed for each perpetrator, as well as the conditional probability of each new offence given the number of prior offences. Findings Most perpetrators identified in the 52,296 initial reports (77.6%) had no report of crime after the initial report. A further 21.2% had crime harm totals of less than 10 days of recommended prison time, with only 893 (1.7%) of the total universe of four years’ worth of perpetrators who had a reported crime harm total over offences with a recommendation of over 10 days sentencing in the 731-day observation period. A slightly larger “power few” of 3% of perpetrators accounted for 90% of total intimate partner abuse crime harm inflicted by all perpetrators, while 97% of perpetrators produced only 10% of total crime harm. Overall, among the few who had numerous repeat incidents, there was increasing frequency but no evidence of increasing seriousness of harm caused to victims. The 100 most harmful offenders in 2010 maintained a high (but greatly decreased) level of harm in 2011, but on average were very-low harm offenders in 2012-15. Conclusions This analysis suggests that the intimate partner abuser population is highly segmented in Thames Valley, with a small power few inflicting most of the harm. While the most serious offenders may remain difficult to identify prospectively, any valid prediction model could help to prevent a substantial amount of crime harm against intimate partners. Investing in such prediction methods may do more to help victims than an undifferentiated strategy putting most resources into low-risk cases. Keywords Intimate partner violence – policing –Crime Harm Index—Forecasting High Harm
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Predicting Domestic Homicides and Serious Violence in Dorset: A Replication of Thornton's Thames Valley Analysis
    (Springer, 2017-07-25) Strang, HJ; Chalkley, R; Strang, Heather [0000-0002-7085-519X]
    Research Question: What facts known to police, if any, could have predicted the 107 domestic and family murders and near-murders in Dorset (UK) police area over a recent seven-year period, using methods identical to Thornton’s (2011, 2017)? Data: All 107 cases of domestic murders, manslaughter, attempted murder or grievous bodily harm with intent in Dorset between April 2009 and March 2015, plus a matched case-control sample of 214 arrestees for less-deadly violent offences. Methods: Replicating Thornton’s Thames Valley analysis, two methods were used: 1) calculating errors in predictions from previous risk assessments using the UK’s DASH (Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment) risk assessment protocol, and 2) making a case-control comparisons of Thornton’s risk factors between the deadly domestic violence cases in Dorset to a Dorset sample of victims and offenders in all violence cases during the same time period. Findings: False negative risk assessments were found in 67% of the deadly violence cases with prior police contact (45 of 67) not classified by DASH as “high risk.“ The false positives in the same time period totalled 12,279 cases of no serious harm among 12,301 cases receiving high-risk assessments, for a 99% false positive rate. Possible alternative predictors were found in differences between deadly offenders and controls, both male and female, although it is not known whether these variables were added to the records before or after the deadly violence event. Male offenders in deadly violence cases were 120% more likely to have their police records note a self-harm warning, 20% more likely to have a suicide warning, yet only half as likely to have a mental health warning as control case males. Female offenders in deadly violence cases were 355% more likely to have a weapons warning on file, 244% more likely to have a mental health warning, and 146% more likely to have a drugs warning than female control case offenders. Conclusions: The current risk assessment tool (DASH) failed to predict the majority of deadly domestic violence cases over six years in Dorset. Other factors could do better, but more research is required before highly accurate forecasting tools can be applied to help save the lives of more domestic abuse victims. Key Words: Domestic homicide, prediction, DASH, case control, suicide threats, self-harm.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    A Cautionary Note about the Use of Estimated Homicide Data for Cross-National Research
    (SAGE Publications, 2017-11-01) Eisner, MP; Kanis, S; Messner, SF; Heitmeyer, W; Eisner, Manuel [0000-0001-5436-9282]
    A major development in criminology in recent years has been the efforts by the World Health Organization to provide reasonably reliable estimates of homicide rates for a large number of nations. In some instances, these estimates entail adjustments of the records on homicide from vital statistics or criminal justice sources submitted by participating nations. These adjustments are designed to deal with underreporting and detected anomalies. In other instances, the estimates are generated by regression modeling. The purpose of this research note is to raise awareness among the community of homicide researchers of the nature of the WHO homicide estimates and to offer caution about their appropriate use for cross-national research.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Non-custodial deaths: Missing, ignored or unimportant?
    (SAGE Publications, 2019-04) Gelsthorpe, LRR; Phillips, Jake; Padfield, Nicola; Padfield, Nicola [0000-0002-4360-490X]
    This article presents the findings from two separate pieces of research that were conducted by the authors on deaths that occur within the criminal justice system, but outside custodial settings. The article begins with a review of the literature on deaths both within and outside custody before going through the research findings which inform the article. The overarching argument is that deaths outside custodial settings are less understood, and receive much less scrutiny and public attention than equivalent deaths that occur in custody. We explore the reasons for this neglect, drawing attention to policy, methodological and sociological factors. We conclude by reflecting on possible ways of overcoming this neglect by drawing on a body of work which argues in favour of an ethic of care.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Predicting Domestic Homicide and Serious Violence in Leicestershire with Intelligence Records of Suicidal Ideation or Self-Harm Warnings: a Retrospective Analysis
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2017-09) Button, Ian MD; Angel, Caroline; Sherman, Lawrence W
    $\textit{Research Question}$ Does prior information retained in police intelligence records about an offender’s suicidal tendencies help to predict a future domestic homicide or attempted homicide? $\textit{Data}$ Records on 158,379 arrestees in 1997–2015 were examined for suicidal or selfharm warnings by date of entry and compared to 620 offenders identified in cases of domestic homicides or serious violence over the same time period. $\textit{Methods}$ The percentage of offenders in domestic homicide and serious violence cases who were known to have reported suicidal ideation prior to those crimes was compared to the overall percentage of arrested persons who had such reports. $\textit{Findings}$ Of the total 620 deadly violence offenders, 125 had a marker for suicide or self-harm, of which 35 (5.6%) were posted prior to the deadly domestic violence. Of the 80 homicide cases (excluding grievous bodily harm), 7 had suicide or self-harm markers prior to the homicidal offence, for a rate of 8.75%. These rates compare to an overall marker rate among the 158,379 arrestees in the time period studied, of whom 7,241 were identified as holding a warning marker at the point of data collection for this study in 2016, which equated to only 5% of the group, of which an estimated 38% would have occurred prior to a crime (2,752 cases), or 1.7% of the 158,379. By that metric, it is three times more likely that offenders charged with an act of deadly domestic violence had prior suicidal warning markers than offenders not charged with such crimes (5.6/1.7 = 3.3), and 5.2 times more likely for homicide offenders to have a prior marker than for all arrestees. $\textit{Conclusions}$ Police intelligence system markers for suicide or self-harm can provide valuable information for building more accurate prediction models for domestic homicide and serious assaults.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    (Elsevier BV, 2001-06) Mckenzie, K; Murray, AJA; Wilkinson, A; Murray, G; Metcalfe, D; O'Donnell, M; McCarty, K
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Integrated case management of repeated intimate partner violence: a randomized, controlled trial
    (Springer Nature, 2017-09-01) Goosey, J; Sherman, LW; Neyroud, P
    Research Question: Can integrated case management by a multi-agency partnership of the relations between offenders and victims with repeated incidents of intimate partner violence (IPV) reduce the frequency or severity of harm from that violence? Data: Three batches of 60 IPV dyads were enrolled in a trial, with data collected on services delivered to them and police records for 2 years before and 2 years after random assignment to treatment and control groups. Methods: The study measured the delivery of all three elements of treatment offered: (1) victim support through Berkshire Women’s Aid, (2) one-to-one perpetrator counselling through motivational interviewing techniques and (3) follow-up visits to the home addresses of perpetrators and victims. The outcomes for each couple in severity of harm were compared in a before-after, difference-of-differences analysis of Cambridge Crime Harm Index scores. After-only frequency of non-criminal domestic conflict events was also compared. Findings: Delivery of programme elements was highly variable, but more intense in the treatment group than in control, especially in terms of police visits to offenders (T = 60%, C = zero). Mean difference between 24 months of post-random assignment and the 24 months baseline period for C cases was an increase of 4.15 Cambridge Crime Harm Index (CHI) prison days, while T cases had a mean change of 8.85 fewer CHI days in prison in post-assignment than in baseline. This difference was significant with outliers removed, but not with two control group baseline cases included. There was also a substantially higher rate of frequency of non-crime events in the 24 months after random assignment in T (112) than in C (85). Conclusions: The overall effect of the programme appeared to have been beneficial, as measured by the Crime Harm Index. The evidence cannot specify how much of that benefit was caused by the more consistent police visits to offenders versus other elements of the programme for both victims and offenders.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Young People’s Differential Vulnerability to Criminogenic Exposure: Bridging The Gap Between People and Place Oriented Approaches in the Study of Crime Causation
    (SAGE, 2018-01-01) Wikstrom, P-O; Mann, R; Hardie, B; Wiggan, Beth [0000-0002-8271-559X]
    The overall purpose of this study is to contribute to bridging the gap between people and place oriented approaches in the study of crime causation. To achieve this we will explore some core hypotheses derived from Situational Action Theory (SAT) about what makes young people crime prone and places criminogenic, and about the interaction between crime propensity and criminogenic exposure predicting crime events. We will also calculate the expected reduction in aggregate levels of crime that will occur as a result of successful interventions targeting crime propensity and criminogenic exposure. To test the hypotheses we will utilise a unique set of space-time budget, small area community survey, land use and interviewer-led questionnaire data from the prospective longitudinal Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+) and an Artificial Neural Network approach to modelling. The results show that people’s crime propensity (based on their personal morals and abilities to exercise self-control) has the bulk of predictive power, but also that including criminogenic exposure (being unsupervised with peers and engaged in unstructured activities in residential areas of poor collective efficacy or commercial centres) demonstrates a substantial increase in predictive power (in addition to crime propensity). Moreover, the results show that the probability of crime is strongest when a crime prone person takes part in a criminogenic setting and, crucially, that the higher a person’s crime propensity the more vulnerable he or she is to influences of criminogenic exposure. Finally, the findings suggest that a reduction in people’s crime propensity has a much bigger impact on their crime involvement than a reduction in their exposure to criminogenic settings.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Re-examining the Problems of Long-term Imprisonment
    (Oxford University Press, 2016-07-01) Hulley, S; Crewe, B; Wright, S; Crewe, Benjamin [0000-0002-5296-5475]
    Drawing on an amended version of a survey employed in three previous studies, this article reports the problems experienced by 294 male prisoners serving very long life sentences received when aged 25 or under. The broad findings are consistent with previous work, including few differences being found between the problems experienced as most and least severe by prisoners at different sentence stages. By grouping the problems into conceptual dimensions, and by drawing on interviews conducted with 126 male prisoners, we seek to provide a more nuanced analysis of this pattern. We argue that, while earlier scholars concluded that the effects of long-term confinement were not ‘cumulative’ and ‘deleterious’, adaptation to long-term imprisonment has a deep and profound impact on the prisoner, so that the process of coping leads to fundamental changes in the self, which go far beyond the attitudinal.