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CSPS Supervision 4 - Pathways into and out of crime
Transforming Rehabilitation: A summary of evidence on reducing reoffending - Ministry of Justice (2014)For the first time in recent history, every offender released from custody will receive statutory supervision and rehabilitation in the community. We want to make sure that all those who break the law are not only punished, but also engage in rehabilitation.
? On 9 May, we published Transforming Rehabilitation: A Strategy for Reform. This document sets out the Government's plans for transforming the way in which offenders are managed in the community in order to bring down reoffending rates. o Reforms will put in place a system that encourages innovation to improve outcomes. We are introducing new payment incentives for market providers to focus relentlessly on reforming offenders, giving providers flexibility to do what works and freedom from bureaucracy, but only paying them in full for real reductions in reoffending.
? To support organisations working with offenders, we have also launched the pilot Justice Data Lab. o This new service will support organisations, in particular the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, to understand their specific impact on reducing reoffending. Reoffending and desistance
? Recent proven reoffending rates show that the proportion of adults reoffending within 12 months is as follows: o 58% of prisoners released from under 12 months' custody. o 35% of prisoners released after 12 months or more in custody (excluding public protection and life sentences). o 34% of those starting a court order.
? Static factors, such as criminal history, age and gender, cannot be altered and can be among the strongest predictors of reoffending. Dynamic factors, such as education, employment and drug misuse, are amenable to change.
? While the same factors may be relevant for both men and women, the strength of their relationship with reoffending can vary.
? Dynamic factors: o Drug / alcohol misuse o Low self-control o Attitudes that support crime o Social networks o Lack of family and intimate relationships o Lack of employment o Suitable accommodations
? Study from 'Surveying Prisoner Crime Reduction': o For offenders released from custody, the following directly related factors have been identified as being associated with an increased likelihood of offending:
Higher 'Copas rates' (these are scores based on the number of previous sanctions and time elapsed between current and first sanction).
? Additional punishment while in prison (for example, as a result of breaking rules).
? Being homeless or in temporary accommodation prior to custody.
? Use of Class A drugs (ecstasy, LSD, heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and methadone) after release.
? Reporting regularly playing truant while at school.
? Having an index offence that was acquisitive (robbery, burglary, theft and handling). o The following factors were directly associated with a reduced likelihood of reoffending:
? First time in custody.
? Employment in the 12 months before custody.
? Reporting feeling worried about spending time in prison.
? Being older (with each year of age being associated with a two per cent reduction in the odds of reoffending).
? Longer sentences (greater than one year).
? Study by 'Offender Management Community Cohort Study': o For offenders on community sentences (Tiers 2-4*), the following factors were identified in preliminary analysis as independently associated with reoffending:
? Being male.
? Offenders identified by OGRS as being at higher risk of reoffending.
? Having an index offence that was acquisitive (theft, burglary or fraud).
? Being identified as having a drug use problem.
? Starting a Drug, Alcohol or Mental Health Treatment Requirement.
? Having a pro-criminal attitude.
? Having short meetings with offender managers.
? Desistance describes process by which those engaged in a sustained pattern of offending give up crime.
? Desistance factors: o Getting older and maturing o Family and relationships o Sobriety o Employment o Hope and motivation o Having something to give to others o Having a place within a social group o Not having a criminal identity o Being believed in Working effectively with offenders
? A study by Wood (2013) found that 30% of offenders who said they had an 'excellent' relationship with their offender managerreoffended, compared with 40% who said their relationship was 'not very good' or 'bad'.
? There is evidence that supervision can reduce reoffending: o A recent study (Lai 2013), for example, found that offenders with zero or one previous convictions and released from custody on licence had a one-year reoffending rate between 14 and 17 percentage points lower than those released from custody not on licence.
? There is good evidence that, when quality assurance is taken seriously and programmes are implemented as designed, the intervention has a greater impact on reoffending (Lowenkamp, Latessa & Smith 2006 / Ladenberger & Lipsey 2005).
? Pilot programme has been used in Peterborough and Doncaster - providing support to prisoners on short sentences who would not have previously been subject to statutory supervision on release from custody. Evidence on reducing reoffending
? Study by Ministry of Justice (2013): o Offenders sentenced to less than 12 months in custody had a higher one-year reoffending rate than similar, matched offenders receiving:
? A community order, of 6.4 percentage points for 2010
? A suspended sentence order, of 8.6 percentage points for 2010
? A 'court order' (either a community order or a suspended order), of 6.8 percentage points for 2010. o Offenders sentenced to less than 12 months in custody also had a higher reoffending rate than offenders given an immediate custodial sentence of between one and four years. The difference was 12 percentage points for 2010.
? Study by Bewley (2012): o Adding a punitive requirement (unpaid work or a curfew) to a supervision requirement had no impact on the likelihood that the offender reoffended, but reduced the number of reoffences committed within the first year of the community order by 8.1 per cent. This effect was sustained over time, so that the number of offences committed over the two years following the start of the order was reduced by 7.5 per cent. It appeared that this effect was largely driven by the impact of curfew requirements, rather than unpaid work. o Adding a supervision requirement to a punitive requirement reduced the rate of reoffending one year after the start of the community order by 11.5 per cent, and the number of reoffences committed over this period by 12.7 per cent. It reduced the rate of reoffending in the two years after the start of the community order by 6.8 per cent, and the number of reoffences committed over this period by 8.7 per cent.
? There is good evidence that a wide range of drug interventions have a positive impact on reducing reoffending.
? Overall, there is currently insufficient evidence to determine the impact on reoffending of alcohol treatment for offenders.
There is, however, good evidence that alcohol-related interventions can help reduce hazardous drinking more generally. Currently, there is insufficient evidence to determine the impact on reoffending of various forms of help for offenders to find or sustain accommodation. There is mixed/promising evidence, mainly from the US, on the effectiveness of employment/education programmes in reducing reoffending. o Aos, Miller & Drake (2006) found modest but statistically significant reductions in recidivism. Mental health problems, including disorders such as depression and anxiety as well as more severe mental health problems such as psychosis and personality disorders, have been found to be more prevalent among offenders than the general population (Singleton 1998). o There is currently insufficient evidence to determine the impact on reoffending of diversion-based approaches for offenders with mental health problems. There is good evidence supporting the impact of cognitive skills programmes on reoffending. International reviews have found cognitive skills programmes have reduced reconviction rates by around eight (Wilson, Bouffard & Mackenzie 2005) to ten (Lipsey 2007) percentage points. There is good evidence that violence can be reduced through psychosocial interventions, such as anger and emotional management, developing interpersonal skills, and social problem solving (McGuire 2008). 'There is some promising evidence that approaches focusing on family/intimate relationships may contribute to reducing reoffending among adults. This evidence is mainly in relation to family visits and home leave for prisoners (Bales & Mears 2008). There is currently insufficient evidence on the impact of reducing negative peer influences on adult reoffending. Evidence on the effectiveness of restorative justice conferencing is currently mixed/promising. o Overall, restorative justice seems most effective when it follows the face-to-face conferencing model and when it is applied to certain offences and types of offender. The evidence as a whole suggests that mentoring may be most beneficial when it begins in prison and lasts beyond release. Mentoring is also most likely to be effective when the relationship is maintained over time rather than consisting of just one or two sessions. o A good quality UK study (Maguire, Holloway, Liddle, Gordon, Gray & Smith 2010) found that participants in a mentoring scheme in Wales who received between two and six contacts after release were reconvicted at a significantly lower rate than a (broadly matched) control group of those who did not maintain contact. The evidence shows the importance of the role of supervision and the relationship between offender and offender manager. o?????
Good quality supervision, case management and holistic, tailored approaches can support and enable rehabilitation and reintegration.
I. PATHWAYS INTO CRIME Childhood Risk Factors and Risk-focused Prevention - Farrington (2012)Individual and family risk factors for offending and anti-social offending.
? Focuses on UK, US and other Western democracies.
? All about developmental criminology, which is concerned with the development of offending and anti-social behaviour, risk factors at different ages and effects of life events on course of development.
? Interesting to look at characteristics of persistent offending, hyperactivity may start at 2, which may develop into shoplifting in early teens, then robbery in late teens and assault, child abuse and alcohol abuse in later life. Study the sequences over time in order to suggest opportunities for early prevention.
? Offending tends to be part of a syndrome that involves anti-social behaviour from a young age that then develops into persisting in crime at a later age. This leads to a cycle - antisocial child develops into antisocial teenager who develops into antisocial adult, who produces another antisocial child.
? Great deal of interest in early prediction of later offending - but typically prospective prediction (deciding which children will become high-risk adults) is poor, but retrospective prediction is better (easier to decide which high-risk adults were also high-risk children), and this inspires the need for protective measures from a young age.
? Risk factors are considerations which increase the risk of occurrence of offending. The idea of risk-focused prevention is simple. All you have to do is identify the risk factors for offending and implement prevention methods to counteract them. o The idea was imported into criminology from medicine by pioneers such as Hawkins and Catalano (1992). Such an approach has been used in tackling diseases for many years for example risk factors for heart disease include smoking, a fatty diet and lack of exercise, and this can be tackled by doing more exercises topping smoking and having less of a low-fat diet.
? A problem is risk factors is that you have to identify which factors are actually contributing to the cause and which are merely markers. Individual Risk Factors Low intelligence and under achieving
? Survey of 120 Stockholm males (Stattin and Klackenberg-Larsson, 1993) found that low intelligence measured at the age of 3 predicted officially recorded offending results at the age of 30.
Frequent offenders had an IQ of 8 at the age of 3, and non-offenders had an IQ of 101.
? Cambridge Study (1992) showed that offenders tended to be truants at school, and left school at the earliest age possible. It is suggested that the link between intelligence and delinquency is the inability to manipulate abstract concepts; if they are poor at this they tend to do badly in intelligence tests at school and then commit offences because they are unable to see the consequences or the effects on the victim. Can stem from the type of background economically deprived, lower-class families tend to talk in the concrete rather than the abstract and have little regard for the future, talking about the present. Much the same pattern with crime.
? Some theories however say that school failure actually leads to crime. Empathy
? Widespread belief that that low empathy is an important factor related to offending. Assumption that people who can appreciate victim's feelings are less likely to victimize one. But empirical basis is not very impressive. Inconsistent results, not well validated or widely accepted. There are suggestions that there might be more effective factors.
? Mak (1991) found that in Australia, delinquent females had lower emotional empathy than non-delinquent females, but no significant difference for males.
? Although the evidence is generally quite weak, low empathy may be an important risk factor in delinquency. Impulsiveness
? The most crucial personality dimension that predicts offending. There are a number of different constructs that help to predict offending which include impulsiveness, hyperactivity, restlessness, clumsiness, sensation-seeking...
? In the Cambridge Study those nominated by teachers and family members as being the most daring or risk-taking tended to become offenders later in life. Social cognitive skills and cognitive theories
? Researchers suggest that offenders use poor thinking techniques in inter-personal situations (Blackburn, 1993).
? Lack of awareness to other people's thoughts impairs ability to form relationships and appreciate effects of their behaviour on other people. Poor social skills e.g. Lack of eye contact and fidgeting etc.
? Offenders believe what happens to them as a consequence of their actions depends on luck and chance, they feel like they are controlled by other people's circumstances rather than factors which are within their own control, so they think there is no point in trying to succeed. Crime runs in families
? Criminal parents tend to have delinquent children.
? In Cambridge Study: o 63% children with convicted fathers were themselves convicted. o 6% families accounted for half of all convictions.
Reasons for these patterns may include intergenerational continuities in exposure to risk factors. May also be down to genetic factors.
? Most of the 411 sample had criminal families - particularly fathers and brothers. Large family size
? A strong and reliable predictor of delinquency. (Ellis, 1998) Many possible reasons for this, including the fact that the larger the amount of siblings that you have, the less parental attention you get. Household tends to become overcrowded, leading to irritation and conflict. Child-rearing methods
? Supervision/monitoring of children, warmth/coldness of relationships and parental involvement with children. Poor parental supervision is usually the strongest and most reliable predictor of offending (Smith and Stern, 1997). Parents who let the children roam the streets tend to have delinquent children.
? Physical punishment is also a predictor (Newsom et al, 1989 - punishment of 700 Nottingham children, physical punishment between the ages of 7 and 11 predicted later convictions. Also found that low parental involvement in child's activity predicts delinquency.) Most explanations of this are to do with social learning theories, level of attachment to parents. Child abuse and neglect
? Children who are physically abused are more likely to become offenders later in life. It is possible that children adopt the abusive behaviour patterns of their parents, through imitation, modelling and reinforcement. Generates anger and frustration and creates a desire for revenge/aggression. Disrupted families
? Children separated from a biological parent are more likely to offend that children from intact families. Up to the age of 32, boys who experience divorce or separation up to the age of 5 were doubly more likely to offend. (Kolvin et al., 1988)
? But there is also a study which suggests that it might not be the broken home itself that is criminogenic, but rather the parental conflict itself. For example, McCord's 1982 study in Boston found that where children from broken had affectionate mothers, offending rates were equally as low as where the child was from an unbroken home.
? Theories behind these findings include the trauma theory which suggests that the loss of a parent has a damaging effect on the child because of attachment to parent. Life-course theories suggest that separation is a stressful experience that can induce criminality.
? So it's not that the research suggests that being broken up makes you innately more criminal, it's the trauma - but also the disruption and conflict. o Most risk-factors tend to be interrelated, for example children from socially disorganized backgrounds tend to also come from backgrounds which involve poor parental supervision and low intelligence. So theories can only be speculative. o Need to establish which factors predict offending independently of other factors.
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