Sunday, May 27, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, May 27, 2007


NCJ 218178
Andrea Schoepfer ; Stephanie Carmichael ; Nicole Leeper Piquero
Do Perceptions of Punishment Vary Between White-Collar and Street Crimes?
Journal of Criminal Justice: An International Journal
Volume:35 Issue:2 Dated:March/April 2007 Pages:151 to 163

This study compared perceptions of punishment for street crimes versus white-collar crimes. The results suggest that policymakers should develop strategies to increase the ability of the threat of formal legal punishments to deter individuals from committing white-collar crime. Results indicated that when the street crime of robbery was compared with the white-collar crime of fraud in terms of perceptions of punishment certainty and severity, respondents’ viewed robbery and fraud as generally similar. However, respondents’ perceived that the street crime of robbery was more likely to be detected and the offenders more likely to be sentenced to more severe punishments than fraud offenders. Results revealed a divide between the perceptions of the punishment white-collar offenders were likely to receive and the punishment respondents’ thought they should receive. Other findings suggested that more educated respondents and those with higher incomes were more likely to believe that street crimes were more likely to be detected and punished more severely than respondents who had less education and income. Data were drawn from the National Public Survey on White-Collar Crime conducted by the National White-Collar Crime Center during a 12-week period beginning in January 1999. Participants were 1,169 citizens who were randomly selected using random digital dialing. Participants completed single-session telephone interviews using the CATI system. Interview questions focused on the distinction between white-collar and street crimes, perceptions of punishment certainty, perceptions of punishment severity, and demographic information, including whether the respondent had been a previous victim of crime. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the data. Differences in perceptions of demographic backgrounds discovered in this study warrant further research exploration. Tables, appendix, references

NCJ 218193
Robert Alan Prentky ; Austin F.S. Lee
Effect of Age-at-Release on Long Term Sexual Re-Offense Rates in Civilly Committed Sexual Offenders
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
Volume:19 Issue:1 Dated:March 2007 Pages:43 to 59

A cohort of 136 rapists and 115 child molesters civilly committed to a prison in Massachusetts and followed for 25 years was examined for the effect of age at time of release on sexual reoffending. The data support the general conclusion that risk of sexual reoffending diminishes as a function of increasing age at the time of release for rapists. There was a significant difference, however, in the reoffending patterns of rapists compared with child molesters according to age at release. Whereas the age-crime pattern was linear and declining among the rapists, child molesters had low reoffending rates according to age just after release, but then had a sharp increase before leveling off for several decades before declining at age 60. The highest risk period for child molesters was middle age (late 20s to mid-40s), followed by a decline. The difference in age-crime patterns of rapists and child molesters should be taken into account when assessing relative risk for reoffending. The study examined the reoffending rates for each of five age-at-release groups, separately for rapists and child molesters. The study tested the fit of linear and quadratic models for 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years, using Cox regression analysis. 5 tables, 3 figures, and 30 references

NCJ 218171
Lior Gideon
Family Role in the Reintegration Process of Recovering Drug Addicts: A Qualitative Review of Israeli Offenders
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume:51 Issue:2 Dated:April 2007 Pages:212 to 226

This study explored the role of the family in the rehabilitation and reintegration process of recovering drug addicts who participated in a prison-based therapeutic community program in Israel. Results revealed that although family involvement has been widely regarded as important to reintegration experiences, the offenders in this study reported that their families had a negative effect on their rehabilitation and reintegration process. This finding was especially significant among offenders who reunited with their spouse. The authors note that such findings tend to occur among families that did not participate in any kind of treatment and as a result were unfamiliar with the special needs of the recovering offender and the recovery process itself. Since the family is an important factor in the process of becoming a drug addict, the family should also be considered an important part of the recovery process. Participants were 39 ex-inmates who completed semistructured interviews about their experiences during the rehabilitation process and about their perceptions of their integration back into the community. Questions about family reunification and sources of support were also included. Participants were recruited from a listing of Sharon prison program participants who completed the prison-based therapeutic community program between 1994 and 1997. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically. Future studies should focus on the experiences of female drug addicts returning to their families after completing prison-based drug treatment programming. Notes, references

NCJ 218166
Martha L. Coulter ; Abigail Alexander ; Victoria Harrison
Specialized Domestic Violence Courts: Improvement for Women Victims?
Women & Criminal Justice
Volume:16 Issue:3 Dated:2005 Pages:91 to 106

This study compared the perceptions of specialized domestic violence court processes versus general court processes among victims, courtroom police, judges, and victim advocates. Results indicated that despite the court’s specialization in domestic violence matters, victims perceived similar problems in both specialized and general courts. Findings further revealed that professionals working within the specialized domestic violence courts had no more domestic violence education and training than professionals from the general courts. Victims reported feeling unsafe in both court models, which contrasted with the positive perceptions of victims’ safety reported by judges and attorneys of the specialized courts. Likewise, attorney’s and judge’s perceptions of victim support countered victims’ perceptions and victims reported a significant need for increased guidance through the court system and its various processes. The findings suggest that more education and training about domestic violence is sorely needed for specialized court personnel at all levels. The study employed a multi-method approach that had two basic components: (1) focus groups of bailiffs and domestic violence victims; and (2) written surveys completed by judges, attorneys, and victim advocates. Participants were recruited from 14 domestic violence courts across 9 Florida counties. Transcripts of the focus group were coded using the constant comparative approach and were analyzed using content analysis. Survey results were statistically analyzed using SAS software. Statistical analyses included chi-square statistics to determine any statistical differences between domestic violence versus the general courts. Future research should focus on comparing the operational management, judicial caseloads, and community collaboration among specialized versus general courts. Tables, references

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