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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2019

Monique Delforterie, Jan Willem van den Berg, Betto Bolt, Teunis van den Hazel, Leam Craig and Robert Didden

While there is a significant proportion of people with a mild intellectual disability (MID) or borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) who commit sexual offenses, little…

Abstract

Purpose

While there is a significant proportion of people with a mild intellectual disability (MID) or borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) who commit sexual offenses, little research has focused on the risk factors for sexual recidivism in people with MID-BIF. The purpose of this paper is to compare the scores on the STATIC-99R and STABLE-2007 between persons with sexual offense histories with and without MID-BIF.

Design/methodology/approach

Data using the STATIC-99R and STABLE-2007 were collected in 85 male patients divided into an MID-BIF group (IQ 50–85, n=50) and comparison group (IQ>95, n=35).

Findings

The MID-BIF group and comparison group did not differ significantly on the static risk factors and total score of the STATIC-99R. However, of the 13 dynamic risk factors of the STABLE-2007, the MID-BIF group scored significantly higher on the items Impulsive acts, Poor problem solving skills and Lack of concern for others, while the comparison group scored significantly higher on the item Deviant sexual preference.

Originality/value

The higher score on a number of dynamic risk factors for patients with MID-BIF could partly be explained by the characteristics associated with MID-BIF. Although dynamic criminogenic risk factors which are usually identified as targets for treatment appear the same for people with and without MID-BIF who commit sexual offenses, adaptations to the modality of treatment will still need to be made for people with MID-BIF.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 16 June 2021

Leam A. Craig

In January 2013, new court procedure rules were introduced in England and Wales, which resulted in significant changes to the instruction of expert witness psychologists…

Abstract

Purpose

In January 2013, new court procedure rules were introduced in England and Wales, which resulted in significant changes to the instruction of expert witness psychologists (EWPsychs). This study aims to build on the results of previous survey studies of psychologists working as expert witnesses in identifying the current challenges faced by EWPsychs.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a mixed-methods design, a sample 58 practicing psychologist expert witnesses were surveyed, and qualitative data was analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

Findings

Six overarching themes emerged from the online survey data: training and knowledge, changes to procedure rules and Legal Aid Authority fees, quality of reports, pressures to change opinion, conflict with EWPsychs and expert witness feedback. Over a third of psychologists working as expert witness have not received specific expert witness training, with a quarter of respondents indicating that the capped legal aid fees are a determining factor in whether they accept instruction as an expert witness, and almost two-third of respondents believing that the legal aid rates do not accurately reflect the work that they do.

Practical implications

There is clear demand for high-quality EWPsychs and a need to develop expert witness training programmes and guidance documents to better support the next generation of EWPsychs.

Originality/value

These results inform existing policy, clinical practice and guidance documents in supporting psychologists working as expert witnesses.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2019

Joanne Emma Robinson and Leam Craig

The purpose of this paper is to adapt a social climate measure for use within a forensic intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) service and examine perceptions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adapt a social climate measure for use within a forensic intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) service and examine perceptions of social climate and the links with patient aggression across three levels of security.

Design/methodology/approach

Four staff participated in a focus group to discuss how the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES) could be adapted for IDD patients. Subsequently, a pilot study with three patients highlighted some difficulties in administering the adapted measure. Alterations in the administration of the measure were implemented with a further ten patients residing across three levels of security. The EssenCES was adapted to include more visual prompts to assist in the patients’ completion of the measure. The frequency of aggressive incidents in each of the three settings was also collated.

Findings

Statistical analysis revealed a non-significant trend where positive social climate ratings increased as the security level decreased. There was a significant difference in the frequency of aggressive incidents across the three levels of security; however, there were no significant relationships found between the questionnaire ratings and the frequency of incidents.

Research limitations/implications

The results lacked statistical power due to the low number of participants. Further studies with adapted social climate measures need to be conducted to assess the implications of social climate on individuals with IDD in secure forensic services.

Originality/value

The study adapted and piloted a social climate measure for individuals in a forensic IDD service.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Grace Trundle, Leam A. Craig and Ian Stringer

The purpose of this paper is to explore the different clinical features of pathological demand avoidance (PDA) and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) presented in the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the different clinical features of pathological demand avoidance (PDA) and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) presented in the form of a single case study. The study highlights the potential of misdiagnosis and conceptual confusions to practitioners in forensic settings between the two conditions when working with offenders with personality disorders.

Design/methodology/approach

A case formulation using the “five Ps” method based on the personal history of an incarcerated male is presented and the clinical similarities and differences between PDA and ASPD are delineated. These differences and similarities are evaluated and applied to offender management including intervention options.

Findings

There are considerable similarities between ASPD and PDA making the two conditions difficult to separate. Both diagnostic criteria identify childhood behavioural problems, aggression, destructiveness, conduct disorder (CD), manipulation and non-compliance as indications of the disorder. For example, the criteria for later adult ASPD are the presence of childhood antisocial behaviour and CD. However, these behaviours may also be suggestive of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and non-compliance that are part of PDA. Violent behaviours and aggression can also be perceived in a similar way. Misdiagnosis of PDA as ASPD reduces the efficiency of treatment programmes.

Originality/value

The implications of these findings could prove useful in the successful risk management of offenders with PDA. Given the similar behavioural characteristics between PDA and ASPD, the prevalence of PDA among offenders may be higher than observed. The aim of this study is to raise awareness of potential conceptual complications and clinical confusions between the two conditions with a view to aid offender management through case formulation. A large scale study into offenders with PDA would draw attention to the prevalence of the condition as well as its association with offending behaviour.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

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Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Daniel T. Wilcox, Leam A. Craig, Marguerite L. Donathy and Peter MacDonald

The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of mental capacity legislation when applied to parents with learning difficulties who lack capacity within childcare…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the impact of mental capacity legislation when applied to parents with learning difficulties who lack capacity within childcare and family law proceedings in England and Wales.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper relies on a range of material including reports published by independent mental health foundations, official inquiries and other public bodies. It also refers to academic and practitioner material in journals and government guidance.

Findings

The paper critically reviews the application of the guidance when assessing mental capacity legislation as applied in England and Wales and offers by way of illustration several case examples where psychological assessments, and the enhancement of capacity, have assisted parents who were involved in childcare and family law proceedings.

Research limitations/implications

There has been little published research or governmental reports on the number of cases when parents involved in childcare and family law proceedings have been found to lack capacity. No published prevalence data are available on the times when enhancing capacity has resulted in a change of outcome in childcare and family law proceedings.

Practical implications

The duty is on the mental health practitioners assessing mental capacity that they do so in a structured and supportive role adhering to good practice guidance and follow the guiding principles of mental capacity legislation assuming that the individual has capacity unless it is established that they lack capacity. Guidance and training is needed to ensure that the interpretation of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and its application is applied consistently.

Social implications

For those who are considered to lack mental capacity to make specific decisions, particularly within childcare and family law proceedings, safeguards are in place to better support such individuals and enhance their capacity in order that they can participate more fully in proceedings.

Originality/value

While the MCA legislation has now been enacted for over ten years, there is very little analysis of the implications of capacity assessments on parents involved in childcare and family law proceedings. This paper presents an overview and, in places, a critical analysis of the new safeguarding duties of mental health practitioners when assessing for, and enhancing capacity in parents.

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2004

Leam Craig, Kevin Browne, Ian Stringer and Anthony Beech

The assessment of risk of recidivism in sexual offenders is fundamental to clinical practice. It is widely accepted that, compared with actuarial measures of risk, unaided…

Abstract

The assessment of risk of recidivism in sexual offenders is fundamental to clinical practice. It is widely accepted that, compared with actuarial measures of risk, unaided clinical judgment has generally been found to be of low reliability. Consequently, the literature has shown a surge in actuarial measures. However, a major difficulty in assessing risk in sex offenders is the low base rate, leading to an increased likelihood of making a false positive predictive error. To overcome this, risk assessment studies are increasingly using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC), which displays the relationship between level of risk and decision choice. This note summarises the methodological issues in measuring predictive accuracy in assessing risk of re‐offending in sexual offenders, and identifies from the literature both static and dynamic risk factors associated with sexual offence recidivism.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Louise Dixon, Leam Craig and Stephen Wormith

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Leam Craig, Claire Nagi and Roger Hutchinson

Assessment of mental capacity in people with learning disabilities involved in criminal proceedings has been debated, and the introduction of mental capacity legislation…

Abstract

Assessment of mental capacity in people with learning disabilities involved in criminal proceedings has been debated, and the introduction of mental capacity legislation in the United Kingdom makes provisions for people who lack the capacity to make decisions about their welfare. However, while the new legislation is designed to protect people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, it is not clear how this legislation applies in criminal cases where the capacity to consent to sexual relations has been questioned. Until recently there was no clear definition of capacity to consent to sexual relations, and the aim of this paper is to consider the key aspects of this legislation and apply it to a case example. The definitions and assessment procedures involved in assessing ‘mental capacity’ are considered, and practice guidance for mental health professionals working in this field is offered.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Leam A. Craig, Ian Stringer and Cheryl E. Sanders

This study summarises the results of a cognitive‐behavioural treatment group for sexual offenders (n=14) with intellectual limitations in the community.

Abstract

Purpose

This study summarises the results of a cognitive‐behavioural treatment group for sexual offenders (n=14) with intellectual limitations in the community.

Design/methodology/approach

All participants were convicted sex offenders serving probation orders or prison licences who attended a 14‐month treatment programme designed for sex offenders with intellectual limitations. The programme comprised of five main components: sex education; cognitive distortions; offending cycle; victim empathy; and relapse prevention. All participants completed psychometric measures specifically designed for people with intellectual limitations before and immediately after completing the treatment programme. The four core measures include: Victim Empathy; Sexual Attitudes and Knowledge Assessment (SAK); Questionnaire on Attitudes Consistent with Sexual Offenders (QACSO); and Sex Offences Self‐Appraisal Scale (SOSAS).

Findings

Post assessment results reveal significant improvements in sexual offence related attitudes; reductions in attitudes relating to cognitive distortions and pro‐sexual assault beliefs; and significant improvements in victim empathy.

Research limitations/implications

Although none of the participants have been reconvicted for committing new sexual offences during the follow‐up period, given that the follow‐up was restricted to 12 months post‐treatment, it is not possible to conclude this intervention was successful in reducing risk of sexual recidivism.

Originality/value

The results from this study support the use of cognitive‐behavioural approaches in demonstrating positive cognitive shift (reconstructing cognitive distortions and attitudes to victim empathy) for sexual offenders with intellectual limitations.

Details

The British Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6646

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Anthony R. Beech and Leam A. Craig

The aim of this paper is to provide up‐to‐date discussion of the types of factors used to assess sexual offenders risk.

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1184

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to provide up‐to‐date discussion of the types of factors used to assess sexual offenders risk.

Design/methodology/approach

The current status of the factors used to assess risk in sexual offenders is examined.

Findings

Risk factors broadly fall into two categories: static factors (i.e. generally unchangeable information such as previous offence history) from which a number of actuarial scales have been developed; and dynamic factors (i.e. psychological dispositions) that are typically identified in treatment. It is suggested that these risk factors are artefacts of the same behavioural and psychological vulnerabilities at different stages of assessment, with static factors acting as markers for underlying dispositions, while dynamic factors are the underlying dispositions.

Practical implications

The paper discusses in some detail the status of age as a risk factor, where even though it is typically considered a static risk factor in a number of actuarial scales (allowance typically being made if individuals are over/under 25), there is a dynamic element (i.e. change with age or the passage of time) to this aspect of assessment.

Originality/value

This paper may be useful to practitioners working in the field, in terms of providing a useful heuristic framework for risk conceptualisation.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

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