Men with schizophrenia who behave violently: the usefulness of an early- versus late-start offender typology. (1/29)

Persons who develop schizophrenia are more likely than nondisordered persons to commit crimes. It is important to investigate those who offend, in order to develop treatment programs that effectively prevent recidivism, and eventually, early childhood violence prevention programs. Recent studies have shown that among offenders with major mental disorders, there are two groups: early starters, who begin their criminal careers in adolescence; and late starters, who first offend as adults. The present study examined 272 violent male offenders with schizophrenia in Sweden who underwent a pretrial psychiatric assessment between 1988 and 1995. Early- and late-start offenders were found to present differences in behavior, comorbid disorders, personality traits, and referrals for treatment in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Their parents also differed. The findings have implications for treatment and management of offenders with schizophrenia, for risk assessment, and for prevention.  (+info)

Neuropsychiatry of frontal lobe dysfunction in violent and criminal behaviour: a critical review. (2/29)

OBJECTIVES: To establish the link between frontal lobe dysfunction and violent and criminal behaviour, based on a review of relevant literature. METHODS: Articles relating evidence of frontal lobe dysfunction with violence or crime were collected through a MEDLINE search using the keyword "frontal lobe" combined with the terms "aggression," "violence," "crime," "antisocial personality disorder," "psychopathy," "impulse control disorders", and "episodic dyscontrol." Reference lists were then searched for additional articles. RESULTS: High rates of neuropsychiatric abnormalities reported in persons with violent and criminal behaviour suggest an association between aggressive dyscontrol and brain injury, especially involving the frontal lobes. The studies reviewed support an association between frontal lobe dysfunction and increased aggressive and antisocial behaviour. Focal orbitofrontal injury is specifically associated with increased aggression. Deficits in frontal executive function may increase the likelihood of future aggression, but no study has reliably demonstrated a characteristic pattern of frontal network dysfunction predictive of violent crime. CONCLUSIONS: Clinically significant focal frontal lobe dysfunction is associated with aggressive dyscontrol, but the increased risk of violence seems less than is widely presumed. Evidence is strongest for an association between focal prefrontal damage and an impulsive subtype of aggressive behaviour.  (+info)


A 10-year study of the effects of reconstructive surgery on selected inmates in a British Columbia provincial prison is described. It is proposed that physical defects can be dominant causes of crime, and that the correction of facial defects in inmates of a penal institution can effect a striking improvement in their conduct during imprisonment, and make them more confident on re-entry into society. This survey, covering 450 patients operated on in a 10-year period, demonstrates a marked decrease in the rate of criminal recidivism.  (+info)

"Intuitive" lie detection of children's deception by law enforcement officials and university students. (4/29)

Adults' ability to detect children's deception was examined. Police officers, customs officers, and university students attempted to differentiate between children who lied or told the truth about a transgression. When children were simply questioned about the event (Experiment 1), the adult groups could not distinguish between lie-tellers and truth-tellers. However, participants were more accurate when the children had participated in moral reasoning tasks (Experiment 2) or promised to tell the truth (Experiment 3) before being interviewed. Additional exposure to the children did not affect accuracy (Experiment 4). Customs officers were more certain about their judgments than other groups, but no more accurate. Overall, adults have a limited ability to identify children's deception, regardless of their experience with lie detection.  (+info)

Pathological effects of the supermaximum prison. (5/29)

The drawings of Todd (Hyung-Rae) Tarselli, a prisoner confined in a Pennsylvania "close-security" or "supermaximum" prison, tell a story--one that graphically portrays the devastating effects of a prison on the mental health of its inmates.  (+info)

Paedophilia on the Internet--a study of 33 convicted offenders in the Canton of Lucerne. (6/29)

BACKGROUND: The connection between the consumption of pornography and "contact-crimes" is unclear. The Internet has facilitated the mass consumption of pornography in general and specifically illegal pornography such as child-pornography. In 1999, the owners of "Landslide Production Inc.", an international provider of child-pornography in the USA were arrested and the credit-card-numbers of their clients were put at the disposal of the law enforcement agencies of the countries concerned. METHODS: Roughly 1300 Swiss citizens were subsequently arrested in the course of the nationwide action "Genesis". In the canton of Lucerne 33 men were identified. The police-files of these men were screened for psychosocial, criminological and psychosexual data. RESULTS: Most of these middle-aged men held comparatively elevated professional positions, only ten were married, eleven had never had an intimate relationship to a woman, and only thirteen of them had children. Only one of them had a relevant criminal record. The level of abuse depicted in the illegal material was high, all but one consumed pornography from other fields of sexual deviation. The personal statements of the offenders in general were hardly reliable, in three cases, however, the diagnosis of sexual deviation could be established from the files. The estimated time some of the offenders must have spent online in order to retrieve the material allows the diagnosis of Pathological Internet-Use. CONCLUSIONS: Deviant sexual fantasies seem to be widespread also among men otherwise not registered for any offences. The consumption of even particularly disgusting material may not be a specific risk factor for "contact" crimes.  (+info)

Looking for pyromania: characteristics of a consecutive sample of Finnish male criminals with histories of recidivist fire-setting between 1973 and 1993. (7/29)

BACKGROUND: As pyromania is a rare diagnosis with questionable validity, we aimed to describe a forensic psychiatric population of arson recidivists. METHODS: The medical records as well as the forensic psychiatric examination statements of 90 arson recidivists referred for pretrial psychiatric assessment in Helsinki University Hospital Department of Forensic Psychiatry between 1973 and 1993 were reviewed. RESULTS: The most important diagnostic categories of arson recidivists were personality disorders, psychosis and mental retardation, often with comorbid alcoholism. In all, 68% of arsonists were under alcohol intoxication during the index crime. Psychotic as well as mentally retarded persons with repeated fire-setting behaviour were mostly "pure arsonists"--persons guilty only of arsons during their criminal careers. Arson recidivists with personality disorder, in contrast, often exhibited various types of criminal behaviour and arson appeared to be only one expression of a wide range of criminal activity. Comorbid alcoholism was apparently a more rarely observed phenomenon among pure arsonists than in "nonpure arsonists". We found only three subjects fulfilling the present diagnostic criteria for pyromania. CONCLUSION: Using the criteria of the DSM-IV-TR, pyromania must be regarded as an extremely rare phenomenon. Especially the question of substance intoxication as an exclusion criterion for pyromania should be reconsidered.  (+info)

Quantifying the contributions of three types of information to the prediction of criminal conviction using the receiver operating characteristic. (8/29)

BACKGROUND: Quantifying the contributions that different types of information make to the accurate prediction of offending offers the prospects of improved practice and better use of resources. AIMS: To quantify the contributions made by three types of information--demographic data alone, demographic and criminal record and demographic, criminal record and legal class of disorder--to the prediction of criminal conviction in patients. METHOD: All 425 patients discharged from the three special (high secure) hospitals in England and Wales over 2 years were followed for 10.5 years. The contribution of each type of information was described in terms of the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and the number needed to detain (NND). RESULTS: The AUC values using the three types of information were 0.66, 0.72 and 0.73 respectively. Prediction based on the full model using an optimal probability cut-off implies an NND of 2. The AUCs for serious offences were 0.67, 0.69 and 0.75 respectively. CONCLUSIONS: For long-term prediction of conviction on any charge, information on legal class adds little to the accuracy of predictions made using only a patient's age, gender and criminal record. In the prediction of serious offences alone the contribution of legal class is significant.  (+info)