Friday, October 19, 2007

Crime & Delinquency Abstracts

Just a couple of several good crim just articles at Crime & Delinquency right now. (h/t Psychology and Crime News)

Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 53, No. 4, 633-656 (2007)
Recidivism of Supermax Prisoners in Washington State

David Lovell,University of Washington, Seattle
L. Clark Johnson, University of Washington, Seattle
Kevin C. Cain, University of Washington, Seattle

This study of recidivism among Washington supermax prisoners used a retrospective matched control design, matching supermax prisoners one-to-one with nonsupermax prisoners on mental illness status and up to eight recidivism predictors. Supermax prisoners committed new felonies at a higher rate than nonsupermax controls, but the difference was not statistically significant. Prisoners released directly from supermax to the community, however, showed significantly higher felony recidivism rates than their nonsupermax controls and committed new offenses sooner than supermax prisoners who left supermax 3 months or more before prison release. Limitations, methodological issues, and policy implications are considered.

Crime & Delinquency, Vol. 53, No. 4, 581-604 (2007)
Serious Mental Illness and Arrest: The Generalized Mediating Effect of Substance Use

James A. Swartz,Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
Arthur J. Lurigio,College of Arts and Sciences, Loyola University of Chicago

Past studies of the mediating effects of substance use on the criminal justice involvement of the mentally ill have tended to focus on a single disorder, schizophrenia, and on violent crimes. This study examined the generality of the relationships among psychiatric disorders, substance use, and arrests for violent, nonviolent, and drug-related offenses using data collected for the 2001 and 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Logistic regression models showed that for violent offenses, the statistical association between serious mental illness (SMI) and arrest across psychiatric diagnoses was substantially but only partially mediated by substance use. For nonviolent offenses and for drug-related offenses, the relationship between SMI and arrest was almost completely mediated by substance use and reduced to statistical nonsignificance. These findings suggest that co-occurring substance use increases the chances a person with any SMI, not just schizophrenia, will be arrested for any offense, not just violent offenses, but that the magnitude of this relationship varies by offense type and, to a lesser extent, by disorder.

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