Sunday, July 01, 2007

British Journal of Criminology Abstracts

Via Psychology and Crime News, a few of many good articles available from the latest British Journal of Criminology:

British Journal of Criminology Advance Access originally published online on November 29, 2006

British Journal of Criminology 2007 47(3):373-389; doi:10.1093/bjc/azl092
Reinventing Prevention
Why Did ‘Crime Prevention’ Develop So Late?

Pat O'Malley and Steven Hutchinson

While crime prevention is taken to exemplify governance in the ‘risk society’, it may represent a retarded example of risk-based urban security. Crime prevention was unaffected by risk-based prevention characteristic of much nineteenth-century government of this domain. The development of risk-based fire prevention, by contrast, was substantially in place at the turn of the twentieth century, promoted by the convergence of insurance and other interests in securing property. Rather than seeing crime prevention as exemplifying the move toward the ‘risk society’ thesis, it may be better understood as a case in which neo-liberal governance and insurance technologies transformed a domain of governance that had been unusually resistant to risk-based approaches.

British Journal of Criminology 2007 47(3):390-404; doi:10.1093/bjc/azl083
The Internal Narrative of Desistance
Barry Vaughan

Recent desistance research has emphasized the importance of shifts in offenders' identities to explain cessation from crime. Explanatory weight is given to how the agent reflects and acts upon relevant social circumstances rather than seeing desistance as the product of greater control exerted by the obligations of new roles. This kind of self-reflexivity is achieved through an internal moral conversation that is often couched in terms of agents' ultimate concerns and their relationship with others. In so doing, desisters fashion a narrative identity, which acknowledges yet disclaims past actions and commits them to an ideal future self.

British Journal of Criminology 2007 47(3):470-490; doi:10.1093/bjc/azl087
Twisting Arms Or a Helping Hand?
Assessing the Impact of ‘Coerced’ and Comparable ‘Voluntary’ Drug Treatment Options
Tim McSweeney, Alex Stevens, Neil Hunt and Paul J. Turnbull

Despite the rapid expansion of options to coerce drug-dependent offenders into treatment—culminating recently in the provisions of the 2005 Drugs Act and the government's ‘Tough Choices’ agenda—research findings to date are equivocal about their impact in reducing crime. This paper presents UK findings from a pan-European study on this issue. The results—at both national and international levels—reveal that court-mandated clients reported significant and sustained reductions in illicit drug use and offending behaviours, and improvements in other areas of social functioning. Those entering the same treatment services through non-criminal justice routes also reported similar reductions and improvements. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of recent policy developments.

British Journal of Criminology 2007 47(3):491-509; doi:10.1093/bjc/azl063
Aspirations of Restorative Justice Proponents and Experiences of Participants in Family Group Conferences
Margarita Zernova

This article will examine some key aspirations of restorative justice advocates. It will do so on the basis of the evidence collected in the course of an empirical study conducted in one family group conferencing project. The article will demonstrate that there is a significant gap between aspirations of proponents and practical realities of restorative justice. Possible explanations for the existence of the gap will be suggested. It will be argued that the findings of this study support some concerns of critics about dangers resulting from pursuing restorative ideals in practice.

British Journal of Criminology 2007 47(3):455-469; doi:10.1093/bjc/azl084
Gun Laws and Sudden Death
Did the Australian Firearms Legislation of 1996 Make a Difference?
Jeanine Baker and Samara McPhedran

Mass murders in Dunblane, United Kingdom, and Port Arthur, Australia, provoked rapid responses from the governments of both countries. Major changes to Australian laws resulted in a controversial buy-back of longarms and tighter legislation. The Australian situation enables evaluation of the effect of a national buy-back, accompanied by tightened legislation in a country with relatively secure borders. AutoRegressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) was used to predict future values of the time series for homicide, suicide and accidental death before and after the 1996 National Firearms Agreement (NFA). When compared with observed values, firearm suicide was the only parameter the NFA may have influenced, although societal factors could also have influenced observed changes. The findings have profound implications for future firearm legislation policy direction.