Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, October 10, 2007


NCJ 219796
Ashley Goff; Emmeline Rose; Suzanna Rose; David Purves
Does PTSD Occur in Sentenced Prison Populations?: A Systematic Literature Review
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health
Volume:17 Issue:3 Dated:2007 Pages:152 to 162

This literature review examined whether any epidemiological studies of sentenced prisoners included data on the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while in prison, and if so, the prevalence of such a condition. Of the 103 potentially relevant studies identified after preliminary screening, only 4 met all the criteria for inclusion in the analysis without having any of the exclusion criteria. For these four studies, PTSD ranged from 4 percent to 21 percent of the sample. Women were disproportionately represented among prisoners with PTSD. All four of the studies indicated that the prevalence of PTSD among sentenced prisoners was higher than its prevalence in the general population. These findings reveal the need for PTSD treatment services for sentenced prisoners. The following literature databases were searched in this review: EMBASE, Medline, PsychInfo, PILOTS, and SIGLE. The Journal of Traumatic Stress was manually searched. Preliminary screening was conducted by reading abstracts of hundreds of papers. Ten exclusion criteria were applied to the studies selected in the preliminary screening. Reference sections of all accessed papers were searched for any additional relevant studies. 2 tables, 112 references, and appended 10-item screening checklist of exclusion criteria

NCJ 219798
Thomas Ross; Maria Isabel Fontao
Brief Report Self-Regulation in Violent and Non-Violent Offenders: A Preliminary Report
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health
Volume:17 Issue:3 Dated:2007 Pages:171 to 178

This study tested the hypothesis that violent offenders have more deficits in self-regulation and self-control than nonviolent offenders. The self-report data show that violent offenders were no different from nonviolent offenders in either facilitating or inhibiting modes of self-regulation and self-control. Compared to a sample of normal, healthy men, both offender groups (violent and nonviolent) reported more problems in the self-regulation of their internal worlds, self-inhibition, volitional inhibition, and volitional avoidance when facing challenging or aversive tasks and life situations. If self-regulatory functions of offenders are generally less effective than those of normal individuals, this has important implications for the treatment of offenders, whether they are violent or nonviolent. For this study, a sample of 70 adult male prisoners were recruited from 2 penitentiaries in South Germany. Violent and nonviolent offenses were defined according to the criteria stipulated in the German criminal code (a violent person must have committed at least one crime against the physical integrity and/or life of another person). Forty-two participants had committed violent offenses (e.g., murder, homicide, manslaughter, rape, and sexual assault), and 28 were incarcerated for nonviolent offenses (e.g., drug and property offenses and fraud). The Volitional Component Questionnaire was used as a self-assessment tool that measured 38 functional components of self-regulation. The German version of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Disorders was used to define personality disorder. T-tests were performed on the subscales of the aforementioned instruments. 1 table and 20 references

NCJ 219938
Laura J. Dunlap; Gary A. Zarkin; Rik Lennox; Jeremy W. Bray
Do Treatment Services for Drug Users in Outpatient Drug-Free Treatment Programs Affect Employment and Crime?
Substance Use & Misuse
Volume:42 Issue:7 Dated:2007 Pages:1161 to 1185

This study examines drug treatment services and the effect that they have on employment and crime of drug user patients. The study hypothesized that patients who receive more treatment services were more likely to be employed and less likely to commit a crime than patients who receive fewer treatment services. However, the results of the study conclude that data on treatment services that is collected in drug-user treatment outcome studies, especially large-scale studies, may not be adequate to examine the effect of treatment services on outcomes. Future studies should consider collecting more in-depth data on a patients’ treatment services experiences and program policies and processes that may influence these experiences. Using the 1992-1995 National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study data, 960 outpatient drug-free patients in 26 programs used for the employment analysis and 945 outpatient drug-free patients in 23 programs used for the crime analysis were studied. The services received were recorded using patient self-reports and record extractions. Discrepancies in the reporting procedures were due to patients’ memory limitations, definitional problems, and the fact that program personnel may not have recorded all services received in patient records. Tables, references, appendix

NCJ 219793
Lesley McAra; Susan McVie
Youth Justice?: The Impact of System Contact on Patterns of Desistance From Offending
European Journal of Criminology
Volume:4 Issue:3 Dated:July 2007 Pages:315 to 345

This article assesses the effectiveness of the Scottish model of youth justice in the context of a growing body of international research that challenges the "evidence base" of policy in many western jurisdictions. The article draws on findings from the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime in order to show how labeling processes within the cultures of juvenile justice agencies have the effect of recycling certain categories of youth into the youth justice system; whereas, other serious offenders escape formal processing. The findings indicate that the deeper a youth is carried into the formal processing system, the less likely he/she is to stop offending. The article concludes that the most significant factor in reducing offending is minimal formal intervention and maximum diversion to programming that does not have the trappings of criminal processing. The current Scottish practice of targeted early intervention is likely to widen the net of youth who are brought into contact with formal youth justice processing. Greater numbers of children are likely to be identified as at risk for delinquency, and any early hearing involvement will result in constant recycling into the system. The more intensive the forms of contact with youth justice agencies, the more damaging they become in the long term in reducing the risk of chronic delinquency. Forms of diversion that caution youth without recourse to formal intervention, such as the police decision to warn youth rather than refer them to formal contact with the youth justice system, are likely to reduce more serious future offending. The current Scottish practice of bringing youth to a hearing and placing them on social work supervision is not associated with a significant decline in serious offending. 9 tables and 50 references

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