Saturday, December 15, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, December 15, 2007


NCJ 220533
Alan France; Ross Homel
Pathways and Crime Prevention: Theory, Policy and Practice
Willan Publishing

From an Australian and United Kingdom perspective, this book attempts to contribute to a better understanding of pathways into and out of crime, and to improve prevention policies and approaches that involve intervention before crime and related problems emerge or become entrenched. By using qualitative and ethnographic methods, as well as quantitative approaches and by drawing on new work in the field of developmental prevention, this book explores new evidence from research on pathways into and out of crime. It address a number of key problems, including the theorization of pathways, social context and human agency, the influence of poverty and social exclusion on pathways towards adulthood and toward crime, and the ways in which learning from prevention research can be translated into effective policies and practices. The book argues that by broadening the research questions and exploring contributions from a wide range of disciplines ones understanding of both pathways and the type of interventions that might work will be greatly enhanced. Part 1 of the book is about understanding pathways into and out of crime and part 2 address prevention theory, policy, and practice. Several key concerns and issues running through the book as a whole include: (1) improving the conceptual foundations of pathways research; (2) deepening and widening one’s thinking about the methods that are used in pathways and prevention research; (3) exploring new empirical research into pathways and social contexts; (4) applying the insights of pathways thinking to the design and implementation of preventive interventions; (5) exploring new evidence from evaluations of preventive interventions; and (6) reflecting on the intersections between research, practice, and policy. Figures, tables, and references

NCJ 220481
Russell P. Dobash; R. Emerson Dobash; Kate Cavanagh; Duncan Smith; Juanjo Medina-Ariza
Onset of Offending and Life Course Among Men Convicted of Murder
Homicide Studies
Volume:11 Issue:4 Dated:November 2007 Pages:243 to 271

This study explored the relationship between onset of offending and life course among a sample of homicide offenders. Findings of the study indicated that those in the early-onset group who began offending prior to the age of 13, were more likely to have experienced significant problems in childhood and adulthood; those in the no-offending group with no previous convictions prior to committing a murder, were the least likely to have had problematic backgrounds; and those in the late-onset group who began offending after the age of 13, had childhoods which resembled the no-offending group, but an adulthood that more closely resembled the early-onset group. A dataset of 786 case files of men from the Murder in Britain Study was examined using bivariate analysis and Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA). Different types of murder were examined in terms of a number of theoretically and empirically derived constellations of factors previously shown to be associated with homicide, such as relationship between victim and offender, demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of offenders and victims, childhood and adult background, circumstances prior to the offense, and contextual and situational factors at the time of the murder. Data were coiled from three sources: the existing national homicide indexes for England/Wales and Scotland; primary data gathered from the case files of a sample of men and women convicted of murder; and in-depth interviews with men and women currently in prison for murder. All original data was gathered, coded, and analyzed by a team of four senior researchers with many years of experience studying violent men and female victims of violence. The findings for developmental criminology and homicide research, and the implications for policy and intervention are discussed. Tables, figures, notes, and references

NCJ 220482
Scott Phillips; Michael O. Maume
Have Gun Will Shoot?: Weapon Instrumentality, Intent, and the Violent Escalation of Conflict
Homicide Studies
Volume:11 Issue:4 Dated:November 2007 Pages:272 to 294

This study examined the potential impact of guns on the escalation of interpersonal violence. The results suggested that guns contributed to the violent escalation of conflict, but the impact of guns decreased substantially after accounting for situation-specific intent to harm, revealing support for middle ground in the heated gun control debate. In some acts of violence: attacking a group, attacking a moving car, and attacking from a moving car require guns; without the gun the attack would not have occurred at the moment it did. In some cases, in the absence of guns the aggressors would have hunted down the victims and killed them later with a different weapon in a different setting. Except for those cases, the absence of the gun would have periodically prevented the violent outcome regardless of the aggressor’s intent, suggesting a relationship between guns and violence. The potential impact of guns on the escalation of interpersonal violence is a contentious issue with significant political implications. Gun control advocates are certain that guns kill people while gun control opponents are adamant that people kill people. Both positions are based on limited evidence as most research does not include the data needed to settle the debate. This research offers a direct approach to the more nuanced weapon instrumentality debate and demonstrates the unique forms of data and innovative methodological strategies that are needed to move from heated rhetoric to informed conclusions. The data was collected through interviews with 100 men imprisoned for an aggravated assault or homicide that stemmed from an interpersonal conflict. Each respondent described a matched pair of conflicts: the violent conflict that led to incarceration and a similar nonviolent conflict from the same time period. The matched pair design allowed for control in the accounting of both the aggressor’s violent tendencies and the aggressor’s situation-specific intent to harm. Limitations of the research are noted. Tables, notes, references

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