Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, June 19, 2007


NCJ 218512
Diana Wendy Fitzgibbon
Institutional Racism, Pre-Emptive Criminalisation and Risk Analysis
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice
Volume:46 Issue:2 Dated:May 2007 Pages:128 to 144

This article analyzes the dynamics of racial discrimination in the areas of criminal justice and mental health policy and practice in the United Kingdom. The main argument is that the racial discrimination against Black people in the areas of criminal justice and mental health policy can be understood in terms of the relationship between three processes: (1) preemptive criminalization, in which criminal justice responses take on an anticipatory form; (2) risk analysis, which is the process of allocating individuals into categories based on their statistical likelihood of committing certain types of acts; and (3) institutional racism, which is racial discrimination that is rooted in the mode of operation of an institution. The growth of preemptive criminalization is explored followed by a consideration of the association between preemptive criminalization and risk management practices. The author shows how the relationship between preemptive criminalization and risk management cast the working class and the poor as a threat to social stability. Next, policing is used as an example of how institutional racism, preemptive criminalization, and risk management interact to produce racial discrimination. The author argues that the control and management of socially excluded risk groups creates a pressure towards the preemptive criminalization of certain groups regardless of their actual rates of criminality. Stop and search procedures put into place by policing institutions provide an example of the link between risk management, preemptive criminalization, and institutional racism. Similar dynamics are seen within the mental health industry, which is charged with socially excluding Black people. Concepts of mental illness are vulnerable to stereotyping which tend to misinterpret culturally appropriate behavior and reflect deep-rooted racism at different stages of the psychiatric process. The author notes that in order to combat institutional forms of racism, there must be a greater focus on the individual rather than the group. Notes, references

NCJ 218528
Julie Stubbs
Beyond Apology?: Domestic Violence and Critical Questions for Restorative Justice
Criminology & Criminal Justice
Volume:7 Issue:2 Dated:May 2007 Pages:169 to 187

This article identifies and discusses key issues that have been neglected in the restorative justice literature from a feminist perspective, using domestic violence as a focus. The author argues that victims' interest and safety, expectations about the victim's role in repairing harms done to her, and the appeal to the use of apology and forgiveness may require modification in cases that involve persistent intimate partner violence. Much of the restorative justice literature assumes that the victim and offender are strangers who have had a single encounter in which the offender harmed the victim in some way. The focus is on accountability for that one harmful event and how the harms done can be repaired by the offender. The rehabilitative focus is on the offender's behavior, beliefs, and attitudes that led to the harmful behavior. In domestic violence cases, however, the offender and victim have typically been involved in an ongoing cycle of abuse that has inflicted persistent psychological and physical harm on the victim. This occurs within a dynamic of the offender's obsession to control the victim. Issues that arise in submitting domestic violence cases to restorative justice processes are the mechanisms for ensuring the victim's safety before, during, and after the restorative process, as well as who is responsible for monitoring the outcomes of any agreement so as to ensure that victims continue to be safe. This suggests that restorative justice processes in domestic violence cases should give top priority to victim safety. Restorative justice processes should include domestic-violence experts who represent law enforcement, women's shelters, legal advocates, and treatment providers. This will ensure that any discussions take into account the factors that distinguish the case and must be addressed in order to ensure the victim's safety, along with that of her children. 9 notes and 83 references

NCJ 218576
Constanze K. Gerhold; Kevin D. Browne; Richard Beckett
Predicting Recidivism in Adolescent Sexual Offenders
Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal
Volume:12 Issue:4 Dated:July-August 2007 Pages:427 to 438

This review screened research literature for reliable markers or risk factors for predicting the sexual recidivism of adolescent sexual offenders. Results indicate that some static or historical risk factors can be identified as linked to sexual recidivism in adolescents. These static risk factors include previous sexual offending, stranger victim, multiple victims, and childhood victimization. In terms of dynamic or changing risk factors, not much was found within the research literature, probably indicating a lack of adequate psychometric assessment tools for assessing dynamic risk among adolescent sexual offenders. Only four studies identified dynamic risk factors, which included inter- and intrapersonal functioning problems and the propensity to blame victims. The research review included systematic computer searches on PsycINFO, Medline, and the Cochrane Library. All publications examining male adolescent sexual abusers and recidivism between 1990 and 2003 among adolescents aged 12 to 21 years were included in the review. Articles excluded from review included unpublished doctoral dissertations, single case studies, studies examining drug treatment impact on recidivism, studies examining prenatal influences on sexual behavior, and studies examining exclusively female or learning disabled offenders. The publications remaining for review involved 12 studies of 1,315 juvenile sexual abusers. The authors point out that in reviewing the research literature on recidivism among adolescent sexual offenders multiple flaws were discovered in the research methodologies. There continues to be a great need for study in the area of adolescent sexual recidivism, particularly in terms of the identification of dynamic risk factors. Instruments to properly measure dynamic variables in adolescents need to be developed and evaluated for validity and reliability. Tables, figure, references

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