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A profile of violent female offenders in secure psychiatric care

Rebecca Evans (Based in the Forensic Psychology Department, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)
Clive Hollin (Based in the Psychology Department, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK)
Clive Long (Based in Psychology and Psychological Therapies, a registered charity trust hospital in England, Northampton, UK)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 15 March 2013

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore whether female psychiatric homicide offenders form a distinct group when compared to women who have committed other types of serious violent offences.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of background and psychological characteristics for 13 homicide and 13 non‐homicide offenders, matched by date of birth, were compared. In addition, change in psychological and behavioural presentation after 12 months stay at a registered charity trust hospital in England was considered.

Findings

The findings indicate that the two groups were broadly similar, although the non‐homicide violent offenders had somewhat more troubled backgrounds. The two groups responded similarly to treatment, although the homicide offenders displayed significantly fewer aggressive risk behaviours whilst in care.

Practical implications

It is concluded that the two groups present with similar needs, with indications of greater treatment need for polynomial substance misuse for the non‐homicide group.

Originality/value

This is the first study to compare directly these two specific groups of violent female offenders, considering both static background variables, and behaviour whilst in security.

Keywords

Citation

Evans, R., Hollin, C. and Long, C. (2013), "A profile of violent female offenders in secure psychiatric care", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 31-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/20093821311307749

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited