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Article

Andy Bickle

Many violent and sexual offenders are mentally disordered or will develop mental disorders while serving their sentence. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 introduced major…

Abstract

Many violent and sexual offenders are mentally disordered or will develop mental disorders while serving their sentence. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 introduced major changes to the sentencing of 'dangerous offenders'. The disposal given to these offenders has implications for subsequent clinical management in secure mental health units, prison and, ultimately, in the community, particularly when it is an indeterminate sentence. This paper argues that the Act also has implications for psychiatric evidence submitted to the courts in such cases. The changes appear to carry significant resource implications too, especially for community forensic psychiatry.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Book part

Anneke Meyer

Purpose – The crime of child sex offending or child sexual abuse is a serious social problem. Since the 1990s, it has been popularly conceptualised as a ‘paedophile…

Abstract

Purpose – The crime of child sex offending or child sexual abuse is a serious social problem. Since the 1990s, it has been popularly conceptualised as a ‘paedophile threat’ and has become one of the most high-profile crimes of our times. This chapter examines the social construction of paedophiles in UK newspapers and its impact on official regulation of child sex offenders.

Methodology/approach – Discourse analysis is used to establish how newspaper language produces common discourses around child sex offenders. Documentary research of government legislation and law enforcement helps analyse the ways in which official regulation is informed by media discourses.

Findings – Newspaper discourses around child sex offenders construct the paedophile as a distinct and dangerous category of person. This media figure informs government legislation and law enforcement in several ways. For example, discourses around paedophiles necessitate and legitimate punitive legal trends regarding child sex offenders and facilitate the conceptualisation of specific laws.

The conceptual shift towards understanding child sexual abuse through the figure of the paedophile has several detrimental consequences. This chapter offers a critique of contemporary media and governmental/legal discourses, pointing to misrepresentation, sensationalism, demonisation and insufficient child protection.

Value – This research indicates that discourses and conceptual shifts around child sex offenders are driven by the media but have come to be accepted and perpetuated by the government and the law. This dynamic not only illustrates the power of the media to set agendas but raises questions regarding the adequacy of official governance informed by media discourses.

Details

Popular Culture, Crime and Social Control
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-733-2

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Article

Aliye Emirali, Rachel O'Rourke and Caroline Friendship

This paper explores absconding from a new perspective. Literature has tended to focus on the risk factors linked with absconding. This paper aims to consider desistance…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores absconding from a new perspective. Literature has tended to focus on the risk factors linked with absconding. This paper aims to consider desistance factors for absconding for prisoners at higher risk of absconding in open prisons.

Design/methodology/approach

Stage 1 used logistic regression to identify factors associated with increased risk of absconding. Stage 2 identified new receptions with increased risk and used thematic analysis to analyse interviews with prisoners that did not abscond after three months.

Findings

Stage 1 found that the total number of previous offences predicted absconding. Stage 2 found three themes linked to desistance in absconding: “support”, “ownership” and “sense of self”.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of ensuring prisoners in open prisons are offered the appropriate emotional and practical support. It also identifies the importance of hope amongst prisoners in open conditions. Future research should further explore this idea in more depth.

Originality/value

Previous literature has looked at absconding from a risk factor perspective. This research identifies the desistance factors associated with absconding for individuals who have been identified as high risk of absconding. Improvements in factors associated with desistance from absconding may support a reduction in absconding from open prisons.

Details

The Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Forensic Psychologists
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-960-1

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Book part

Natasha A. Frost and Todd R. Clear

Prison populations in the United States have increased in every year since 1973 – during depressions and in times of economic growth, with rising and falling crime rates…

Abstract

Prison populations in the United States have increased in every year since 1973 – during depressions and in times of economic growth, with rising and falling crime rates, and in times of war and peace. Accomplishing this historically unprecedented penal pattern has required a serious policy agenda that has remained focused on punishment as a goal for more than a generation. This paper seeks to understand that policy orientation from the framework of a social experiment. It explores the following questions: how does the penal experiment – which we have called the Punishment Imperative – compare to other “grand” social experiments? What were its assumptions? What forms did the experiment take? What lessons can be learned from it? What is the future of the grand social experiment in mass incarceration?

Details

Special Issue New Perspectives on Crime and Criminal Justice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-653-9

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Article

Michael Brookes

HMP Grendon operates as a series of therapeutic communities (TCs), one of which is for sex offenders who have committed very serious sexual offences, many against children…

Abstract

HMP Grendon operates as a series of therapeutic communities (TCs), one of which is for sex offenders who have committed very serious sexual offences, many against children and young adults. Prison officers, who form a significant part of the multidisciplinary staff team, have both therapeutic and discipline responsibilities. It is therefore essential that processes are in place to enable these officers to manage emotions evoked from hearing unpleasant material of a sexual nature and to prevent this exposure negatively impacting upon the way their custodial duties are performed. This paper outlines the different support mechanisms available to prison officers and their views on these arrangements.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article

Melanie Merola

– The purpose of this paper was to understand the experience of those living with the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to understand the experience of those living with the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence.

Design/methodology/approach

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse seven interviews with Young Offenders aged 18-21 who were serving an IPP sentence. Two participants were past their tariff expiry date, two had less than a year until their tariff date and three had more than a year until their tariff date.

Findings

Several themes were found, each with their own subthemes: Injustice of the Justice System, Not Knowing, Coping, Change and Walking on Eggshells. Participants still detailed negative aspects of the sentence but within this was one, important, positive aspect, namely the inspiration the sentence gave for them to change their offending behaviour. However, this has come at a cost with participants feeling as though they have been treated unfairly, finding it difficult to cope, feeling victimised and finding it difficult to see a future.

Practical implications

Lapses in motivation do not necessarily reflect the risk of the person but the difficulty of the sentence. Motivation can be fostered and developed through motivational interviewing, praise and peer support IPPs should be given more credit for the way they manage themselves daily and more understanding when they struggle. IPPs could be victimised by determinate prisoners or by staff. Establishments should be aware of this and help IPPs resolve situations without feeling like they are a victim. Consideration should be given to converting IPP sentences to determinate sentences.

Originality/value

Previous research focused on the negative aspects of the sentence, the purpose was therefore to approach the situation with an open mind and by using a method that allows those with an IPP sentence to share their experience of the sentence. IPA allowed for exploration of the effects of the sentence on those serving it and therefore gains a further understanding of the impact of the sentence.

Details

Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

Keywords

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Book part

Christopher Sturr

How can philosophers contribute to the resolution of the current prison crisis in the United States, and what sorts of philosophical work should activists make use of in…

Abstract

How can philosophers contribute to the resolution of the current prison crisis in the United States, and what sorts of philosophical work should activists make use of in their efforts to address that crisis? This paper examines two periods of prison reform in the 20th century, to indicate the problematic role that traditional theories of the moral justification of punishment have had in the history of reform effects have played. I argue that moral theories of punishment are not the best vehicle for addressing the prison crisis; the approaches suggested by critical social theory are more promising.

Details

Punishment, Politics and Culture
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-072-2

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Article

Mark Pettigrew

– The purpose of this paper is to explore supposed inevitable personal decline for long-term prisoners, particularly those serving a sentence of life without parole.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore supposed inevitable personal decline for long-term prisoners, particularly those serving a sentence of life without parole.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the prison records of a life without parole sentenced prisoner.

Findings

Findings suggest that prisoner deterioration is not inevitable in a whole life prison sentence.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are based on one account, of a female prisoner.

Practical implications

Distinct services and support are required for those with a natural life prison sentence.

Originality/value

To date, there is limited research of prisoners serving life without parole, particularly the mental health implications of denying a prisoner future parole.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Book part

Celesta A. Albonetti

This chapter presents four theories that hypothesize race/ethnicity disparities in sentence outcomes. Empirical studies assessing the relationship between defendant’s…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter presents four theories that hypothesize race/ethnicity disparities in sentence outcomes. Empirical studies assessing the relationship between defendant’s race/ethnicity and sentence severity are discussed.

Methodology/approach

I focus on federal sentencing in terms of support or non-support of the theoretical perspectives.

Findings

Sentence disparity linked to defendant’s race/ethnicity are observed as net main effects, as a component in joint-conditioning effects with other extralegal defendant characteristics, and as a variable that conditions the effect of process-related mechanism of discretion, and legally relevant case characteristics, and as indirect effects.

Originality/value

Theories share substantial conceptual overlap in specifying the relationship between defendant’s race/ethnicity and predictions of the effect of defendant’s race/ethnicity on sentence severity.

Details

Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

Keywords

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