AMONG THE LATEST RESEARCH POSTED AT http://www.ncjrs.gov/. CHECK FOR OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST THERE AS WELL.
Angela M. Moe
Women, Drugs, and Crime
Criminal Justice Studies: A Critical Journal of Crime, Law and Society Volume:19 Issue:4 Dated:2006 Pages:337 to 352
Using the narratives of 30 incarcerated women, this study examined the motives and rationales for women's drug use, as well as their struggle to support and, in some cases, end their addictions. The women's accounts of being introduced to drugs, dealing with addiction and its effects, and trying to stop using drugs were linked to the influence of several factors that portrayed a web of social problems. One theme that emerged from their stories was the role of family members and/or a neighborhood that was supportive of drug use. This direct and persistent exposure to drug-using individuals and communities influenced not only the women's decisions to try drugs but also their options for supporting their addictions. The abuse and neglect the women experienced in their families provided an early impetus for the women to try to improve their lives without relying on their families. Due to poor educational attainment, work experiences, previous criminal record, and/or their addictions, legitimate means of earning an adequate income were unavailable. The effects of drug use, particularly over the long term, undermined their physical and emotional health as well as their economic security. A drug-addicted woman may be a survivor of child abuse, abused by an intimate partner, a mother, a prostitute, and/or homeless. Any effort to address one of these needs must deal with the others. Appropriately tailored treatment programs must be developed not only in jails and prisons, but must also be available in the community without charge. 45 references
Martin Grann ; Niklas Langstrom
Actuarial Assessment of Violence Risk: To Weigh or Not To Weigh?
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume:34 Issue:1 Dated:January 2007 Pages:22 to 36
This study examined the potential benefits of using weighted, compared with nonweighted, algorithms for the actuarial assessment of risk for future violence among 404 mentally disordered offenders in Sweden. The findings indicate that applying weights to reflect the relative strength of risk factors for violence does not improve predictions, but rather results in statistical shrinkage effects. The more sophisticated the weighting algorithm, the greater the shrinkage effect. The authors advise, however, that even though the weighting techniques applied in this study showed poor results, this may not be the case should predictor variables be improved, exchanged, or complemented with other variables in future research. Another finding was that the area-under-the-curve (AUC) estimate varied significantly between the various combinations of randomly drawn subsets of the population. When reviewing the performance of the various weighting paradigms, aspects other than the predictive validity should also be considered. One such aspect is the transparency of the model, i.e., whether it is possible to go back and reconstruct what went wrong in cases where the model failed. The 404 study participants were diagnosed with either personality disorder or schizophrenia in Sweden from 1988 to 1993. The cohort was followed for an average of 8 years. The 10 risk factors used in the assessment were previous violence, young age at first violent incident, relationship instability, employment problems, substance use problems, major mental illness, psychopathy, early maladjustment, personality disorder, and prior supervision failure. 2 tables, 1 figure, 6 notes, and 64 references
Shelley Johnson Listwan ; Patricia Van Voorhis ; Philip Neil Ritchey
Personality, Criminal Behavior, and Risk Assessment: Implications for Theory and Practice
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume:34 Issue:1 Dated:January 2007 Pages:60 to 75
This study examined whether personality, as measured by the Jesness Inventory, was related to reoffending (recidivism) over a period of 10-12 years for a cohort of Federal prison inmates. In two of three tests, specific personality attributes were significantly predictive of recidivism, defined as any new arrest and arrest for a specific charge, including drug offenses, property offenses, or violent offenses. The impact of personality attributes was independent of other risk factors. The "aggressive" and "neurotic" personality types, as defined by the Jesness Inventory, were significantly related to long-term recidivism even when race and risk were controlled. Neurotics were more likely than the other personality types to be arrested for a drug-related offense. This may be due to the medicating of anxiety and depression. Although aggressive offenders had high recidivism rates, rates for neurotic offenders were higher. Neurotics suffer from trait (ongoing) and not state (related to circumstance) anxiety. Their childhoods are often characterized by abuse and dysfunction, and they have difficulty adjusting to prison, as evidenced by their high rates of depression and aggression while incarcerated. The original (Time 1) sample consisted of 369 inmates admitted to either a Federal penitentiary or a Federal prison camp between September 1986 and July 1988. The Time 2 sample consisted of 75 percent of the Time 1 sample (n=277). Social, demographic, and criminal-history data were obtained through interviews and reviews of presentence investigations. The Jesness Inventory was administered at Time 1. Recidivism data were collected in November 1998 (Time 2). 3 tables, 3 figures, 7 notes, and 63 references