• A comparison of anger in offenders and non-offenders who have intellectual disabilities

      Nicoll, Matthew (2013)
      Background: There is growing evidence of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy to treat anger in offenders with intellectual disabilities. The aim is to lower anger levels; the rationale is that this will reduce recidivism. However, the hypothesis that anger levels amongst offenders are higher than non-offenders has not been tested.; Method: The study utilizes a case-comparison design to examine whether levels of anger are higher amongst people with intellectual disabilities who have offended in comparison with those who have not offended. Anger levels are compared for 29 offenders with intellectual disabilities and 27 non-offenders with intellectual disabilities (all male).; Results: No differences were found between offenders and non-offenders on measures of anger. The offending group was shown to have higher levels of aggression.; Conclusions: Results suggest that there is no difference in levels of anger between offender and non-offenders to begin with. The limitations of the study are discussed, but the implication of the study questions the legitimacy of the rationale to utilize anger treatment to reduce recidivism in offenders with intellectual disabilities.; © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    • A comparison of the general public's, forensic professionals' and students' attitudes towards female sex offenders

      Gakhal, Baldeesh K. (2011)
      Research investigating attitudes toward sex offenders has failed to specify the gender of the "sex offenders". Given that most participants are unlikely to think of women as sex offenders, it is likely that reported attitudes relate to male sex offenders. This study investigated the attitudes towards female sex offenders of 92 members of staff employed by a UK chain store (public sample), 20 probation officers employed by a Regional Sex Offender Unit (forensic professional sample) and 64 undergraduate psychology students (student sample).Participants completed the Attitudes Toward Female Sex Offenders Scale adapted from the Attitudes Toward Sex Offenders Scale. Forensic professionals held significantly more positive attitudes than both the students and public. Comparisons between the responses in this study with those of previous studies revealed that the forensic professionals in this study held significantly more positive attitudes towards female sex offenders than professionals in previous studies did towards "sex offenders". (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
    • A description and research review of the Clearwater Sex Offender Treatment Programme

      Wong, Stephen C. P. (2013)
      This article provides a description and research review of an in-patient sex offender treatment programme, the Clearwater Sex Offender Treatment Programme, over its history of more than two decades of operation at the Regional Psychiatric Centre (RPC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. We begin by reviewing the Clearwater Programme referral criteria and mandate, its methods of assessment and evaluation and the programme content, structure, treatment philosophy and model of change. A review of applied research undertakings of the Clearwater Programme follows, including past treatment outcome evaluations, examinations of therapeutic change and attention to responsivity considerations (e.g. treatment attrition). We finish with some conclusions, comment on programmatic developments taken by the Clearwater Programme and anticipated future research directions. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
    • A multisite examination of sexual violence risk and therapeutic change

      Wong, Stephen C. P. (2014)
      OBJECTIVE: We conducted a prospective multisite examination of sexual offender risk and treatment change on a large federal Canadian sample of 676 treated sex offenders followed up for an average of 6.31 years post release.
    • A psychometric examination of treatment change in a multisite sample of treated Canadian federal sexual offenders

      Wong, Stephen C. P. (2014)
      In the present study, we examined the degree of change and predictive accuracy of a number of well-known psychological self-report measures intended to identify treatment targets for sexual offenders. Participants included 392 federally incarcerated sexual offenders who participated in low, moderate, or high intensity sexual offender programs offered within penitentiaries under the jurisdiction of the Correctional Service of Canada. These men were followed in the community for an average of 5.42 years postrelease. Very small to moderate pretreatment and posttreatment changes were found on measures of cognitive distortions, aggression/hostility, empathy, loneliness, social intimacy, and sex offender acceptance of responsibility. However, pretreatment and posttreatment scores on these measures frequently demonstrated weak and inconsistent relationships to sexual, violent, and general recidivism. In addition, within-treatment change on these measures bore little relationship to outcome. However, when statistically corrected for pretreatment score the relationship of treatment change to outcome frequently improved, particularly on measures of physical aggression and anger, even after controlling for Static-99R score. Clinical and research implications are discussed regarding the assessment and evaluation of change on psychological risk factors in treated sexual offenders.Copyright PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.
    • A structured cognitive behavioural approach to the assessment and treatment of violent offenders using offence paralleling behaviour

      Daffern, Michael (2010)
      Seizing opportunity for effective intervention, evaluating treatment progress and determining readiness for release are critical tasks for mental health professionals involved in the care and treatment of violent offenders. To assist those concerned with these tasks, to enhance integrity and to ensure comprehensiveness, treatment programmes and structured risk assessment methods have been developed and promoted. The offence paralleling behaviour (OPB) framework has emerged as a potential adjunct to these risk assessment methods and structured treatment programmes. The OPB framework is however in its infancy. This chapter introduces the rationale for structured methodology that may be used to examine similarity in aggressive behaviours across situations and in particular whether aggressive behaviours occurring within custody are offence paralleling. Assessment of similarity is central to the OPB framework. Mental health professionals working within institutions must determine whether behaviours observed within institutions can legitimately be referred to as offence paralleling and therefore whether they are relevant to treatment planning and release decision making. Although OPB may occur prior to a criminal act, this chapter focuses on aggressive acts occurring during incarceration subsequent to an act of aggression. This chapter also explores the potential for the OPB framework to be used as an adjunct to structured treatment programmes and risk assessment methods. Before proceeding, there are two important assumptions implicit to the OPB framework and relevant to aggressive behaviour that require scrutiny: 1. Behaviour within institutions is similar, albeit muted by environmental constraints and opportunity, to past aggressive behaviour occurring outside the institution or in an environment of interest (e.g. a less secure psychiatric setting or supported residential facility). 2. It is possible to reliably identify OPB. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: chapter)
    • A systematic review of the safety and effectiveness of restraint and seclusion as interventions for the short-term management of violence in adult psychiatric inpatient settings and emergency departments

      Johnston, Susan J. (2006)
      Aims: The aim of this review was to assess whether restraint and seclusion are safe and effective interventions for the short-term management of disturbed/violent behaviour. Staff and service user perspectives on the use of these interventions were also considered. The review was undertaken as part of the development process for a national guideline on the short-term management of disturbed/violent behaviour in adult psychiatric inpatient settings and emergency departments in the United Kingdom. Method: An exhaustive literature search was undertaken. Systematic reviews, before and after studies, as well as qualitative studies were included. Searches were run from 1985 to 2002. Findings: Thirty-six eligible studies were identified. However, none were randomised controlled trials. Most of the included studies had many limitations, such as small sample sizes, confounders not adequately accounted for, potential selection bias, poorly reported results, and lack of clarity as to whether mechanical restraints were used. This review must therefore be viewed as a mapping exercise, which illustrates the range and quality of studies that have been undertaken in this area to date. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Insufficient evidence is available to determine whether seclusion and restraint are safe and/or effective interventions for the short-term management of disturbed/violent behaviour in adult psychiatric inpatient settings. These interventions should therefore be used with caution and only as a last resort once other methods of calming a situation and/or service user have failed. Copyright © 2006 Sigma Theta Tau International.
    • A systematic review on the effectiveness of sex offender risk assessment tools in predicting sexual recidivism of adult male sex offenders

      Tully, Ruth J. (2013)
      Purpose: This study aimed to systematically review the effectiveness of risk assessment tools in predicting sexual recidivism of adult male offenders.; Background: Sex offender risk assessment aids risk management within the criminal justice system. Some tools follow an actuarial approach and some adopt structured professional judgement. There has not been a systematic review evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of those tools and appraising the overall quality of the primary research.; Methods: Six electronic databases and reference lists of relevant meta-analyses were searched. Three experts were contacted to obtain relevant studies. Inclusion criteria were applied to the identified references and the included studies were quality assessed, using pre-defined criteria, prior to data extraction and synthesis.; Results: Electronic search yielded 4949 hits. Of these, 1419 duplicates, 1 meta-analysis and 3382 irrelevant hits were excluded. 14 publications identified from previous meta-analyses were included. 2 non-English language duplications of publications were excluded. 89 publications that did not meet inclusion criteria and 15 inaccessible publications were excluded. 11 studies that did not meet minimum threshold criteria and 1 study that re-analysed an already included sample were then excluded, leaving 43 publications containing 43 studies.; Conclusions: All included tools demonstrated at least moderate predictive accuracy, with two reporting a large effect size (VRS-SO and SRA), although these two came under much less empirical scrutiny than the others and may have been the subject of developer bias in the research that is available. The VRS-SO was found to have the highest mean quality score, this again being limited by the number of studies and developer bias. The quality of the primary research is variable. More independent high quality research is needed, particularly on structured professional judgement incorporating dynamic risk factors.; Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • Age, actuarial risk, and long-term recidivism in a national sample of sex offenders

      Wong, Stephen C. P. (2014)
      Age at release has become an increasing focus of study with regard to evaluating risk in the sex offender population and has been repeatedly shown to be an important component of the risk assessment equation. This study constitutes an extension of a study of sex offender outcomes prepared for the Evaluation Branch, Correctional Service of Canada. The entire cohort of 2,401 male federally incarcerated sexual offenders who reached their warrant expiry date (WED) within 1997/1998, 1998/1999, and 1999/2000 fiscal years were reviewed for the study. Sexual and violent reconviction information was obtained from CPIC criminal records over an average of 12.0 years (SD = 1.7) follow-up. This study focused upon the cohort of sex offenders who were 50 years or older at time of release (N = 542). They were stratified according to risk using a brief actuarial scale (BARS) comprising six binary variables. For the most part, older offenders showed low base rates of sexual recidivism regardless of the risk band into which they fell. The exception was a small group of elderly offenders (n = 20) who fell into the highest risk band, and who showed high levels of sexual recidivism. The results of this combination of cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of elderly sexual offenders may have important implications for offender management, particularly in light of the increasing numbers of offenders in Canada who fall into the over 50 age cohort. Copyright © The Author(s) 2013.
    • An overview of the relationship between moral reasoning and offending

      Palmer, Emma J. (2003)
      Through research it has been established that there is a relationship between level of moral reasoning and offending behaviour, with offenders generally reasoning at less mature levels than non-offenders. However, recent research looking at this association in more detail has revealed that it may be only certain moral values that are associated with offending. There has also been little research on the psychological mechanisms that may mediate the relationship between moral reasoning and offending. Therefore, this paper attempts to place moral reasoning theory into a wider theoretical model of delinquency, arguing that the development of moral reasoning and other social cognitive processes are influenced by children's early socialisation experiences. These social cognitive factors, such as social information processing and the cognitions that impact on this (including moral reasoning), are seen as significant in determining individuals' behaviour in social situations. This theory is then used as a basis for suggestions for incorporating moral reasoning into effective interventions with offenders.
    • Anger and general health in young offenders

      Swaffer, Tracey; Hollin, Clive R. (2001)
      There is a substantial literature that focuses upon the experience and expression of anger, and the effect that this might have upon an individual's general health. However, remarkably little is known about the relationship between anger and general health with young offenders. Using self-report measurements, the relationship between anger and general health is explored in a population of young offenders. The study showed that a series of significant relationships existed between young offenders' responses on measures of anger and their general health. The implication of these findings for both staff training and the development of anger management programmes is explored as well as methodological limitations.
    • Anger and its links to violent offending

      Howells, Kevin (2004)
      The emotion of anger is clearly important as an antecedent for many forms of violence. In this article I describe some contemporary influential psychological ideas about the nature of anger and its links with aggressive and violent behaviour. I also describe the application of such ideas to therapeutic interventions with violent offenders in the form of 'anger management' and similar programmes. I review the evidence for and against the effectiveness of these interventions and make suggestions as to how outcomes, including reductions in reoffending, might be improved. Finally, I propose that a broader approach is needed for the future. Interventions to reduce anger-related violence need to focus on the psychological readiness of the client on developing a broader theoretical orientation and on primary prevention.
    • Anger, over-control and serious violent offending

      Howells, Kevin (2005)
      With few exceptions, existing theoretical and clinical analyses of anger in relation to violence have concerned themselves with the understanding and management of high levels of angry experience and low levels of anger control. In contrast, clinical observations and other accounts of those with histories of extreme violence have identified inhibited or unexpressed anger as an important antecedent for some forms of violence. In this paper we review existing models and accounts of dysfunctional low levels of angry experience and/or expression, apply recently developed theories of emotional regulation to these problems, and discuss some of the implications of this work for the delivery of anger management programs for seriously violent offenders. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • Appraising the risk matrix 2000 static sex offender risk assessment tool

      Tully, Ruth J. (2015)
      This critical appraisal explores the reliability and validity of the Risk Matrix 2000 static sex offender risk assessment tool that is widely used in the United Kingdom. The Risk Matrix 2000 has to some extent been empirically validated for use with adult male sex offenders; however, this review highlights that further research into the validity of this static tool with sex offender subgroups or types is necessary in order to improve practical utility. The Risk Matrix 2000 relies on static risk predictors, thus it is limited in scope. This article argues that the addition of dynamic items that have been shown to be predictive of sexual recidivism would further enhance the tool. The paper argues that adding dynamic risk items would fit better with a rehabilitative approach to sex offender risk management and assessment. This would also provide a means by which to effectively plan sex offender treatment and evaluate individual offenders' progress in treatment; however, difficulties remain in identifying and assessing dynamic risk factors of sexual offending and so further research is required.; © The Author(s) 2013.
    • 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

      Daffern, Michael; Howells, Kevin (2007)
      Effective treatment of aggressive behaviour and accurate release decision making are necessary components of adequate clinical practice in forensic psychiatric units. Unfortunately, methods to identify treatment targets and ameliorate aggressive behaviour have developed at a slower pace than risk assessment technologies. Recent progress on the identification of offence paralleling or functionally equivalent behaviour offers a framework for individually tailored treatment and idiographic release decision making, although empirical scrutiny of this approach is inadequate. This paper describes an examination of the relationship between aggressive behaviour prior to admission with aggression during inpatient psychiatric treatment, and reconviction for violent offending following discharge. Results showed a relationship between pre- and post-admission aggression but no relationship between aggression during inpatient psychiatric treatment with either pre-admission aggressive behaviour or violent recidivism. These findings indicate the importance of state psychological variables, specifically those states affected by symptoms of psychiatric illness, as well as environmental activators and inhibitors of violence that operate within the hospital. These require inclusion in an adequate functional analysis of aggressive behaviour for forensic psychiatric patients. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
    • Arson

      Hamilton, Laura (2012)
    • Assessing and managing forensic risk: How research findings can contribute to improving practice

      Hollin, Clive R. (1997)
      Following clarification of some basic terms, this article offers an overview of the literature that considers the actuarial assessment of risk of general reoffending, risk of violent reoffending and risk of sexual reoffending for mentally disordered offenders. It is suggested that we can build up this robust research base to devise clinically sensitive risk management systems. The outline of such a system is offered for discussion amongst colleagues working the field.
    • Assessing treatment readiness in violent offenders

      Howells, Kevin (2009)
      Although violent offenders are widely considered to be difficult to engage in therapeutic change, few methods of assessing treatment readiness currently exist. In this article the validation of a brief self-report measure designed to assess treatment readiness in offenders who have been referred to violent offender treatment programs is described. The measure, which is an adaptation of a general measure of treatment readiness developed in a previous work, displayed acceptable levels of convergent and discriminant validity and was able to successfully predict treatment engagement in violent offender treatment. These results suggest that the measure has utility in the assessment of treatment readiness in violent offenders.
    • Brief anger interventions with offenders may be ineffective: A replication and extension

      Howells, Kevin (2010)
      Anger-management interventions are widely delivered in the criminal justice and forensic mental health systems. Whilst previous research has generally supported the thesis that anger management is an effective intervention for anger problems in general there remains a need to determine its effectiveness with offender populations. This paper reports the results of a controlled outcome study of a 20 h anger-management program offered to offenders. Those receiving treatment showed improvements in their knowledge about anger, but showed little change on measures of anger and anger expression when compared to waiting-list controls. Scores on measures of treatment readiness and level of need for treatment were however, correlated with post-treatment improvement. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the assessment and selection of appropriate participants for offender anger-management programs. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • Brief anger management programs with offenders: Outcomes and predictors of change

      Howells, Kevin (2005)
      Anger management interventions with offenders, particularly violent offenders, are a common form of rehabilitative activity. The rationale for addressing anger problems is clear-cut and there is good evidence that anger management can be effective with some client populations. Information relating to effectiveness with serious offenders, however, is sparse. An intervention study is reported in which offenders receiving anger management were compared with waiting list controls on a range of dependent measures. In general, the degree of pre-treatment/post-treatment change was small and experimental versus control differences were not statistically significant. The degree of improvement was found to be predictable from pretreatment measures of anger and treatment readiness. Explanations of the low impact of anger management on violent offenders are discussed and recommendations made for improving outcomes.