This national study of child custody disputes within the context of child protection investigations confirms and reinforces the perception in the field that child custody disputes are more likely to reopen for investigations, include higher rates of malicious referrals and involve a higher proportion of children with emotional and functioning issues compared to non-custody-related investigations. Future research might consider the reasons for these higher rates so to improve the identification of these cases and to make more informed decisions about how best to respond to these families. The greatest contribution of this study is that it provides important new evidence to reinforce the need to prioritize child custody disputes within the context of child protection services given the unique challenges and opportunities for making well-informed case plan decisions.
Division of Forensic Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, and Doping Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden. email@example.com
CONTEXT: Observations suggest that the use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) may trigger uncontrolled, violent rage. Other observations indicate that certain groups of criminals may use AAS with the intention of being capable of committing crime more efficiently. OBJECTIVE: To examine the proposed association between the use of AAS and criminality. DESIGN: A controlled retrospective cohort study of registered criminal activity among individuals tested for AAS use during the period of January 1, 1995, to December 31, 2001. SETTING: All individuals in Sweden who were tested for AAS use during this period. These individuals were referred for testing from both inpatient and outpatient clinics as well as from centers for treatment of substance abuse. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals testing positive for AAS (n=241), with those testing negative for AAS during the same period (n=1199) serving as the control group. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The ratios (expressed as relative risk [RR]) of the incidences of several categories of crime in the 2 study groups. RESULTS: The risk of having been convicted for a weapons offense or fraud was higher among individuals testing positive for AAS than among those testing negative (RR, 2.090 and 1.511, respectively; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.589-2.749 and 1.208-1.891, respectively) whereas there were no significant differences with respect to violent crimes (RR, 1.116; 95% CI, 0.981-1.269) or crimes against property (RR, 0.942; 95% CI, 0.850-1.044). When patients referred from substance abuse centers were excluded, a lower risk for crimes against property was observed for the individuals who tested positive for AAS (RR, 0.761; 95% CI, 0.649-0.893) and the risk for fraud in the 2 groups was equalized (RR, 1.117; 95% CI, 0.764-1.635). The increased risk for a weapons offense among the individuals testing positive for AAS remained virtually unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to the impulsive violent behavior previously shown to be related to AAS use, such use might also be associated with an antisocial lifestyle involving various types of criminality. However, the existence and nature of this possible association remain unclear and call for further investigation.
States often seek to regulate the use of police force though citizen complaint systems. This paper examines these systems, specifically, whether patterns of bias found in other juridical contexts are mirrored in the adjudication of police assault. The analysis focuses on prosecutors as the first instance of adjudication who determine whether to move forward with investigation, effectively deciding the majority of cases. We ask whether prosecutor sex is associated with the probability that a police assault claim will be investigated. We leverage a natural experiment in Sweden where prosecutors are assigned through a modified lottery system, effectively randomizing appointment. Our findings suggest that prosecutor gender plays a role in judicial outcomes: women prosecutors are 16 percentage points more likely to investigate claims of police assault than their male counterparts. These findings have implications for scholars interested in state human rights abuses, democratic institutions, and judicial inequality.
OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationship between criminal violence and number of outlets for on-premise sales of alcohol. METHOD: The data comprise aggregate time series for Norway for the period 1960-95. Two crime indicators were used: (1) crimes of violence investigated by the police per 100,000 inhabitants aged 15 years and above (15+) and (2) convictions for criminal violence per 100,000 inhabitants (15+). Outlet density was measured as number of public drinking places per 10,000 inhabitants (15+). RESULTS: On the basis of autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) analyses of differenced data, a positive and statistically significant relationship (p = .03) was found between outlet density and crimes of violence investigated by the police. This replicates the findings that are reported from cross-sectional studies. The relationship was also positive, but of borderline significance (p = .06), when convictions for criminal violence were used as outcome. CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that increases in the number of public drinking places are associated with increases in criminal violence. Although other kinds of data support the findings, these are the first to be based on longitudinal data. To test for robustness and cultural specificity it, therefore, seems warranted to replicate the study on data from other drinking cultures.
Patients with schizophrenia have been shown to have an increased risk of criminality, especially violent crimes.
The aim of the current study was to describe the pattern of crimes committed by Danish patients with schizophrenia and examine the sanctions given for crimes in relation to the different periods in the patients' lives: not yet known to the psychiatric hospital system, known to the system but not yet diagnosed with schizophrenia, and after being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Information from the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register was correlated with data from the Danish National Crime Register.
One of the more prominent findings was that 16% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia receive a prison sentence or a suspended prison sentence, despite the fact that Denmark is a co-signatory of the European Prison Rules and should treat, rather than imprison, individuals with schizophrenia.
The findings suggest that greater alertness is needed in the judicial system for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The aim of this study was to examine the rate of criminal recidivism among female homicide offenders evaluated by forensic psychiatrists, to compare this rate with that of other violent female offenders, and to analyze the explanatory variables of recidivism.
This was a retrospective study of all women (N=132) sent for forensic psychiatric examination after being convicted of homicide or attempted homicide in Finland during 1982-1992; subjects were followed up until mid-1999. Data were collected from the national crime register, the prisoner record, and Statistics Finland. The authors compared the rate of violent repeat offending in this group with that of other violent women and analyzed the explanatory variables of recidivism.
During the follow-up period, 23% of the study group committed a repeat offense, 15% of which were violent and 3% of which were homicides. Almost half of all repeat offenses occurred within the first 2 years after the index offense. There was no statistically significant difference in violent recidivism between the study group and other violent female offenders. Of those who committed repeat offenses, 81% were diagnosed with a personality disorder, and 10% were diagnosed with psychosis. Criminality prior to the index event, alcohol or drug dependency, and young age significantly raised the risk and rapidity of further offenses.
The risk of recidivism was high in this study group yet was similar to that of other violent female offenders. The risk was high very early after release. It seems that women and men who are violent and have personality disorders are comparable in their risk of recidivism.
This study aimed to estimate the proportion of an unselected population in an urban community (Bergen, Norway) that was exposed to physical violence during the preceding year, and to determine the proportion seeking medical treatment and pressing legal charges.
A structured telephone interview was performed as part of monthly opinion polls.
During a one-year period in 1997/1998, 3,005 residents of Bergen were interviewed. Of these, 41 (1.4%) had been exposed to physical violence during the preceding year; 10 (24%) of them had sought medical treatment, and 16 (39%) had pressed legal charges. The majority of the victims had been treated at Bergen Accident and Emergency Department. The interviewees knew about a total of 347 other people who had been assaulted during the preceding year. Of these assault victims, 224 (65%) sought medical treatment and 181 (52%) pressed legal charges, according to the respondents.
A high proportion of the assault victims did not seek medical treatment and did not press legal charges.