International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Publisher:
Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
2021-09-06
ISBN:
0306-624X

Latest documents

  • Practice Frameworks in the Correctional Domain: How Values Drive Knowledge Generation and Treatment

    Practice frameworks are a unique type of theory that bridge the gap between abstract explanatory theories, knowledge categories, normative assumptions, and treatment theories. The values component of practice frameworks is particularly critical as it frames the problem space (niches) within which practitioners engage in practice tasks, for example, moral repair, risk reduction, or community integration. It also picks out the specific kinds of entities and their relationships that researchers are most interested in. In effect, values and their related principles play a major role in abstractly mapping out domains of practice while the knowledge related assumptions (e.g., core categories and causal powers) flesh out core entities and processes indicated by these values. In this paper we provide an overview of practice frameworks and examine the role of their normative assumptions in mapping out correctional research and practice tasks.

  • Scientism, Ethics and Evil: From Mens Rea to Cerebrum Reus

    Can criminology thrive on quantitative studies alone? Can evil be operationalized? Quantitative work may have, for the time being, supplanted common sense, personal experience and resulting in an improbable “Periodic Table of humanity”. Has the construction of the psychopathic concept surpassed positivist “constitutional” formulations and translated into effective (re)habilitation of individuals lacking affiliative ethical behaviors? Or has it simply fueled a deterministic neo-Lombrosian truism: moral development has a brain. Has it helped so far? Has letting go of fundamental moral concepts, implicit in organized religion - but pervasive in most cultures irrespective of religious affiliation and devotion - in favor of causal explanations based solely on neuroimaging, personality inventories or structured emotional decoding tasks, made a difference in the life – or in the defense for that matter - of wrongdoers diagnosed as intrinsically evil?

  • Wildlife Trade and Law Enforcement: A Proposal for a Remodeling of CITES Incorporating Species Justice, Ecojustice, and Environmental Justice

    Wildlife trade is an increasing problem worldwide, whether legal or illegal. It causes species extinction, connects to organized crime and contributes to social unrest. Wildlife trade is regulated through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a convention that includes most of the countries in the world. Even though wildlife trade is not necessarily breach of any law, wildlife trade still constitutes severe breaches of species justice, ecojustice, environmental justice, and animal rights. By employing these perspectives in the study of wildlife trade, the harms nonhuman animals suffer as victims of this trade receives a broader concern than that encompassed through conventional criminology. This article addresses nonhuman animal victimization through a theoretical lens that includes the justice perspective found in green criminology, and Nussbaum’s concept of dignified existence. Empirically the article is based on an ongoing research project: Criminal Justice, Wildlife Conservation, and Animal rights in the Anthropocene (CRIMEANTHROP). The article starts with an introduction, followed by theoretical outlining and a presentation of empirical findings. These findings are discussed using the theoretical perspectives mentioned above. The concluding discussion suggests a radical shift in the function of CITES, from trade to conditional aid.

  • Editors’ Introduction to the Special Issue: The Virtues of Justice: Rethinking Crime and Punishment
  • Dignity, Social Reintegration of Prisoners, and the New Penal Power: European Human Rights, Experiences of Belgian Prisoners, and Professional Practices

    Over the last 30 years, prisoners’ dignity and fundamental rights have increasingly been protected by European human rights bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This protection is aimed particularly at the traditional power relations between prisoners and uniformed staff. More recently, social reintegration of prisoners has also been recognized by these European human rights standards as a fundamental element of human dignity and an equally important aim of imprisonment as retribution and deterrence. However, it is also accepted that some offenders may be too dangerous to be returned back to society. Psychiatric/psychological assessments are a major element in this decision-making. This “new penal power” receives much less attention in human rights protection. This article compares three intertwining perspectives on this issue: the European human rights perspective on dignity and social reintegration; the experiences and mental suffering of Belgian prisoners who find themselves being stuck in prison as a result of structural problems in the risk assessment and risk management practices; and the professional perspective on how professional standards and good practices based on scientific insights might alleviate some of these threats to human dignity.

  • The Virtues of Justice: Toward a Moral and Jurisprudential Psychology

    Within the theoretical literature on crime control and offender therapy, little has been written about the importance of virtue ethics in the experience of human justice and in the evolution of the common good. As a theory of being, the aretaic tradition extols eudemonic existence (i.e., excellence, flourishing) as a relational habit of developing character that is both practiced and embodied over time. What this implies is that virtue justice depends on a set of assumptions and predispositions—both moral and jurisprudential—whose meanings are essential to comprehending its psychological structure. This article sets out to explore several themes that our integral to our thesis on the virtues (i.e., the being) of justice. We reclaim justice’s aretaic significance, critique the common conflation of justice and law, discuss how the dominant legalistic conception of justice is rooted in a particular view of human nature, suggest how justice might be more properly grounded in natural moral sensibilities, and provide a tentative explication of the psychological character of justice as a twofold moral disposition. Given this exploratory commentary, we conclude by reflecting on how individual well-being, system-wide progress, and transformative social change are both possible and practical, in the interest of promoting the virtues of justice within the practice of crime control and offender therapy.

  • Radicalization in the Social Media Era: Understanding the Relationship between Self-Radicalization and the Internet

    September 11th was a turning point in the understanding of terrorism and radicalization. The Internet has provided an instrumental change regarding how terrorists communicate and spread their propaganda, proving a cause of concern for counterterrorism units. The increased use of social networking platforms has provided a significant change in the process of self-radicalization, with younger generations at greater risk. The aim of the project was to study the relationship between social media and self-radicalization among college and university students. A sample of 499 participants was recruited throughout Amazon Mechanical Turk and social media platforms. Measures on emotional intelligence, psychological involvement on social media, attitudes toward terrorism, and political violence, and loneliness were gathered. Results showed that individuals holding a university degree—especially young men—were more at risk of endorzing positive attitudes toward political violence and terrorism, and, therefore, more at risk of being radicalized.

  • Factors Associated with Prolonged Institutionalization in Mentally Ill People with and Without a History of Violence and Legal Involvement: A Cross-Sectional Study

    This is a cross-sectional study carried out on 34 individuals hospitalized for a long period in the Federal District, in Brazil. To evaluate factors related to prolonged institutionalization in mental patients with history of violence and criminal records. Individuals found were assorted into two groups: with and without criminal records. We analyzed 56 items by reviewing medical records and health records. Demographic and social data, history of violence, criminal involvement, medical history, substance use, and other aspects related to long hospitalizations, by reviewing medical and health records. We found a profile of male individuals: single, male, with an average age of 47.6 years, low education, and little professional qualification from correctional facilities or long-term psychiatric clinics and hospitals. Most men had a history of aggressive behavior, a leading psychiatric diagnosis of psychosis, and an issue with polypharmacy. Two factors showed statistical significance and were highly related to longer institutionalizations: polypharmacy and records of hospitalization for violent behavior. Further studies with these populations are needed to increase knowledge on the subject. They can help health care systems to improve and provide broad, humanized and quality assistance with multi-professional teams, aiming to reduce prolonged hospitalizations.

  • Exploring Models of Care and the Perceived Impact in an Offender Rehabilitation Program

    Offender rehabilitation programs incorporating positive psychology interventions such as a strengths-based model can be effective. This study explores the perceived model of service provided by an offender rehabilitation service and the perceived impact that this service has on the lives of its clients. A qualitative methodology was employed in the context of an action research design, using semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis which is an independent and reliable approach to qualitative analysis. The findings suggest that participants perceive the organization to be operating a strengths-based approach and this is perceived as having the potential to have a range of positive effects for clients. Some contrasting views were also identified within the participant groups and these are discussed in this paper. The results of this study complement the existing research and have several implications for future research in this area.

  • Adverse Childhood Events and Substance Misuse in Men Who Perpetrated Intimate Partner Violence

    Adverse childhood events related to violence suffered have developmental consequences such as the reproduction of such violence in intimate relationships and substance misuse in the later life trajectory. The objective of this study was to analyze the relationship between suffering adverse childhood events and excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs in 120 men, with a mean age of 40.51 years (SD = 11.06), who have abused women in a relationship. The results indicate that those who suffered abuse in childhood and other adverse childhood events in the family of origin consumed alcohol and drugs in excess. Furthermore, the regression models show that alcohol consumption is related to previous substance use by parents, while drug use is related to leaving home due to family conflicts. Also, the consumption of alcohol and other substances is likewise associated with consumption by parents and conflicts within the family. The size of the effect of the relationship increases when different forms of poly-victimization coexist. Conflict treatment is necessary in any setting, especially when it takes place in the family environment and at an early age, to avoid the transmission of maladaptive behaviors associated with substance misuse and violence.

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