Special Issue "Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Heng Choon (Oliver) Chan
Website
Guest Editor
City University of Hong Kong, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Teaching Laboratory for Forensics and Criminology, Hong Kong, S.A.R.
Interests: Psychological criminology; Asian criminology; psychology and the law; sexual violence; violent offending; stalking behavior; bullying behavior
Dr. Samuel Adjorlolo
Website
Guest Editor
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Department of Mental Health, University of Ghana
Interests: Forensic mental health; risk assessment and offender rehabilitation; psychological criminology; gambling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are organizing a Special Issue on psycho-criminology, crime, and the law in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. This peer-reviewed scientific journal publishes original articles, critical reviews, research notes, and short communications in the interdisciplinary area of environmental health sciences and public health.

Psychological criminology is regarded as the convergence of psychology and criminology in which psychological criminology is concerned with the use of psychological knowledge to explain or describe, with the attempt to change, criminal behavior. This Special Issue focuses on the application of psycho-criminological approaches and constructs to crime, criminal and civil law, and the influence of law on behavior. This is to explore how individual criminal behavior is acquired, evoked, maintained, and modified through personality, social, and/or environmental influences. Contributors from criminology, criminal justice, psychology, psychiatry, sociology, legal, forensic sciences, genetics, public health, and allied fields. From a public health perspective, the key aim of this Special Issue is to advance our understanding of psycho-criminological mechanisms (i.e., personal, social, and environmental influences) associated with different criminal behavior in the intersections of the law.

Dr. Heng Choon (Oliver) Chan
Dr. Samuel Adjorlolo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • crime and delinquency
  • criminal behavior and the law
  • mental health and crime
  • forensic mental health
  • public health perspective of the crime
  • environmental conditions and crime
  • risk and protective factors of criminal behavior
  • crime prevention and intervention
  • offender rehabilitation
  • civil and criminal mental health law

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Concurrent and Longitudinal Predictors of Adolescent Delinquency in Mainland Chinese Adolescents: The Role of Materialism and Egocentrism
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207662 - 21 Oct 2020
Abstract
Background: Although studies have examined the influence of materialism on adolescent well-being, there are several methodological limitations: studies examining the influence of materialism on adolescent delinquency are almost non-existent; researchers commonly used cross-sectional designs; the sample size in some studies was not large; [...] Read more.
Background: Although studies have examined the influence of materialism on adolescent well-being, there are several methodological limitations: studies examining the influence of materialism on adolescent delinquency are almost non-existent; researchers commonly used cross-sectional designs; the sample size in some studies was not large; validated measures on materialism in non-Western contexts are rare; there are very few Chinese studies. Besides, no study has examined the hypothesis that egocentrism is the mediator in the influence of materialism on adolescent delinquency. Methods: Using a short-term longitudinal design, two waves of data were collected from 2648 early adolescents in mainland China. At each wave, students completed validated measures of materialism, egocentrism and delinquent behavior. Results: Materialism and egocentrism positively predicted adolescent delinquency at Wave 1 and Wave 2 and over time. While materialism at Wave 1 positively predicted increase in delinquency over time, egocentrism did not. However, PROCESS analysis showed that egocentrism mediated the longitudinal influence of materialism on adolescent delinquent behavior. Conclusions: Materialism and egocentrism are predictors of adolescent delinquency, with egocentrism serving as a mediator in the influence of materialism on adolescent delinquency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
Open AccessArticle
Getting the Perpetrator Incorporated and Prioritized in Homicide Investigations: The Development and Evaluation of a Case-Specific Element Library (C-SEL)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6430; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176430 - 03 Sep 2020
Abstract
Homicide investigators in the digital era have access to an increasing amount of data and the processing of all persons of interest and pieces of evidence has become nearly impossible. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a case-specific element library (C-SEL) [...] Read more.
Homicide investigators in the digital era have access to an increasing amount of data and the processing of all persons of interest and pieces of evidence has become nearly impossible. This paper describes the development and evaluation of a case-specific element library (C-SEL) that can be used to incorporate and prioritize persons of interest in homicide investigations. In a survey, 107 experts in the field of criminal investigation assigned an initial score to the elements. Each element was extended with underlying factors that can be used to adjust the initial score based on the relevance and credibility of the source. A case study was conducted using three Dutch real-world cases to evaluate the methodology. The results look promising and are better than four methodologies currently used in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
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Open AccessArticle
Juvenile Homicide Offenders Look Back 35 Years Later: Reasons They Were Involved in Murder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113932 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
Murders committed by juveniles have been a serious concern in the United States for more than 50 years. Decisions by the United States Supreme Court during the 21st century have reduced the likelihood that juvenile homicide offenders will be sentenced to life without [...] Read more.
Murders committed by juveniles have been a serious concern in the United States for more than 50 years. Decisions by the United States Supreme Court during the 21st century have reduced the likelihood that juvenile homicide offenders will be sentenced to life without parole (LWOP). As a result of these decisions, hundreds of prisoners who were sentenced as juveniles for murder to LWOP under mandatory sentencing statutes or its equivalent are now eligible for the reconsideration of their sentences. In light of these changes in sentencing policies and practices, follow-up research on juveniles convicted of murder is essential. This research is part of a 35-year follow-up study of 59 boys who were convicted of murder and sentenced to adult prisons in a southeastern state, and initially interviewed in the early 1980s. Twenty of these men agreed to participate in clinical interviews during which they reflected upon the reasons (i.e., motives, circumstances) for which they got involved in criminal behavior as juveniles. These reasons, which broadly tap tenets of psychological and sociological theories, were analyzed in terms of predominance. Thereafter, the attention focuses on looking at the relationship of these 20 reasons to recidivism among the 18 juvenile homicide offenders (JHOs) who have been released from prison. JHOs who lived in neighborhoods where crime was routine and who engaged in crime because the opportunity presented itself were approximately 20 and 22.50 times more likely to be arrested post release and returned to prison, respectfully. The implications of these findings, the limitations of the study, and suggestions for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
Open AccessArticle
The Phenomenology of Group Stalking (‘Gang-Stalking’): A Content Analysis of Subjective Experiences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072506 - 06 Apr 2020
Abstract
Epidemiological data suggest that as many as 0.66% of adult women and 0.17% of adult men in the western world may suffer the subjective experience of being group-stalked (‘gang stalked’) at some point in their lives. Yet the gang stalking experience has been [...] Read more.
Epidemiological data suggest that as many as 0.66% of adult women and 0.17% of adult men in the western world may suffer the subjective experience of being group-stalked (‘gang stalked’) at some point in their lives. Yet the gang stalking experience has been subject to little scientific study. This paper reports an attempt to elicit the core phenomena involved in gang-stalking by allowing them to emerge de novo through the qualitative analysis of accounts of individuals who describe being gang-stalked. Fifty descriptions of gang-stalking that satisfied study inclusion criteria were identified from the internet and subjected to content analysis. Twenty-four core phenomena were elicited, together with 11 principal sequelae of the experience of being gang-stalked. These were then divided into groups, producing a framework for the phenomena of the gang-stalking experience. The results were compared with frequencies of the same categories of experience then extracted from the original data of the only previous study on gang-stalking phenomena. Whilst the methodology of the current study was more rigorous, the core phenomena were similar in each. The current study confirmed the seriousness of the sequelae of the gang-stalking experience. These support the need for further exploration of the phenomenon, for which this study forms a basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
Open AccessArticle
The Code of the Street Fights Back! Significant Associations with Arrest, Delinquency, and Violence Withstand Psychological Confounds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072432 - 03 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Since Anderson’s now classic, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City, an increasing number of researchers have found a significant association between the code of the street and antisocial behavior. Less researched, however, is the [...] Read more.
Since Anderson’s now classic, Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City, an increasing number of researchers have found a significant association between the code of the street and antisocial behavior. Less researched, however, is the relationship between the code of the street and cognate psychological factors. Building on the hypothesis that the code of the street is simply a reflection of elements of the population who exhibit antisocial traits, our aim in this study is to empirically test whether the observed association between the code of the street and antisocial behavior can withstand psychological confounds among a sample of institutionalized juvenile delinquents. Negative binomial regression models show that the code of the street remained a significant predictor of antisocial behavior despite the specification of psychopathy and temperamental traits and other controls. Moreover, as theorized, differential effects were found for African American delinquents compared to non-African American delinquents. We discuss theoretical and practical implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
Open AccessArticle
Stalking and Intrusive Behaviors in Ghana: Perceptions and Victimization Experiences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072298 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Most studies of stalking and other forms of intrusive behavior are conducted in the West. Little is known about the phenomenon in the African context. The present work represents the first dedicated stalking study conducted in Ghana. Based on a sample of 371 [...] Read more.
Most studies of stalking and other forms of intrusive behavior are conducted in the West. Little is known about the phenomenon in the African context. The present work represents the first dedicated stalking study conducted in Ghana. Based on a sample of 371 male and female university students, this study explored the gender distribution of overall perceptions and experiences, and frequency and duration of personal worst experiences of stalking and intrusive behavior. Several significant gender differences were noted. Females were generally more likely than males to perceive a range of intrusive activities as unacceptable. Females and males were equally likely to have experienced aggression and surveillance, and unwanted attention types of behaviors, while males were more likely than females to have experienced persistent courtship and impositions, and courtship and information seeking types of behaviors. In respect of their worst experience of intrusive behavior, females were more likely to report unwanted communications, aggressive courtship, property damage, and harassment of third parties, whilst males were more likely to have been threatened with harm. More than half of our participants (55.5%) were judged to have been stalked. Given the devastating nature and impact of stalking victimization, the findings may provide impetus to increase awareness of stalking in Ghana and add urgency to calls for anti-stalking legislation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
Open AccessArticle
Expressiveness and Instrumentality of Crime Scene Behavior in Spanish Homicides
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224526 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
One of the current trends in the study of criminal profiling consists of developing theoretical and methodological typologies to offer information of operational use in police investigations. The objective of this work was to verify the validity of the instrumental/expressive model, so as [...] Read more.
One of the current trends in the study of criminal profiling consists of developing theoretical and methodological typologies to offer information of operational use in police investigations. The objective of this work was to verify the validity of the instrumental/expressive model, so as to establish homicide typologies based on modus operandi relationships, characteristics of the victims, and characteristics of perpetrators. The sample consisted of 448 homicide cases registered in the database of the Homicide Revision Project of the Office of Coordination and Studies of the Spanish Secretary of State and Security. Through multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis, three expressive homicide subtypes were identified (expressive-impulsive, expressive-distancing, and expressive-family), as well as two instrumental homicide subtypes (instrumental-opportunist and instrumental-gratification). The expressive homicide typologies accounted for almost 95% of all of the studied cases, and most of the homicides occurring in Spain were found to take place between individuals who know one another (friends, family members, intimate couples/ex-couples). The findings from this study suggest that the instrumental/expressive model may be a useful framework for understanding the psychological processes underlying homicides, based on the study of relationships between the crime and aggressor characteristics, which may be very helpful in the prioritization of suspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
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Open AccessArticle
Homicide Profiles Based on Crime Scene and Victim Characteristics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3629; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193629 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
One of the current trends in homicide research includes developing works based on scientific study and empirical evidence, which offer conclusions that can be used in an operational manner during police investigations. The objective of this study was to identify homicide characteristics from [...] Read more.
One of the current trends in homicide research includes developing works based on scientific study and empirical evidence, which offer conclusions that can be used in an operational manner during police investigations. The objective of this study was to identify homicide characteristics from behaviors carried out on the crime scene and victim characteristics associated with those of the perpetrators of these crimes in Spain. The sample consisted of 448 homicide cases from the database of the Homicide Revision Project led by the Office of Coordination and Studies of the Secretary of State and Security. After creating six classification tree models, it was found that the modus operandi of the aggressor and the victim characteristics may permit hypothesizing about the demographic characteristics of the perpetrator (gender, age, and country of origin), his/her criminal record, and the type of relationship with the victim. Furthermore, the importance of the study of victimology during a criminal investigation is highlighted, as it may indirectly offer information about the potential perpetrator. The findings of this study suggest that criminal profiling contributes notably to the decision-making process to establish more rigorous suspect prioritization, improve the management of human resources and materials, and increase the efficiency of criminal investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
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Open AccessArticle
Dropout from Court-Mandated Intervention Programs for Intimate Partner Violence Offenders: The Relevance of Alcohol Misuse and Cognitive Impairments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2402; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132402 - 06 Jul 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
There is considerable interest in offering insight into the mechanisms that might explain why certain perpetrators of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) drop out of interventions. Although several socio-demographic variables and attitudes towards IPVAW have been proposed as risk factors for IPVAW [...] Read more.
There is considerable interest in offering insight into the mechanisms that might explain why certain perpetrators of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) drop out of interventions. Although several socio-demographic variables and attitudes towards IPVAW have been proposed as risk factors for IPVAW perpetrators’ dropout, less attention has been paid to alcohol misuse, and its interactions with empathic and cognitive deficits, in the discontinuation of the treatment. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to compare the profile of a carefully selected sample of IPVAW perpetrators, divided into four groups: those who completed the intervention with low (n = 267) and high alcohol consumption (n = 67); and those who dropped out before the intervention ended with low (n = 62).and high alcohol consumption (n = 27). Furthermore, we also studied the initial risk before the intervention started and the official IPVAW recidivism during the first year after the intervention ended. Our results revealed that IPVAW perpetrators, especially those who did not complete the intervention and had high alcohol consumption/alcohol misuse, were less accurate in decoding emotional facial signals and presented more errors and perseverative errors than those who completed the intervention. These differences were particularly marked in comparison with those who showed less alcohol consumption. Furthermore, the first group also presented the highest risk (assessed by therapists) and official recidivism rate (official records). Conversely, the lowest rate of IPVAW reoffending was presented by IPVAW treatment completers with low alcohol consumption. Hence, our study identifies different targets that should be addressed during the initial stages of interventions in order to prevent or reduce IPVAW dropout, which in turn might reduce violence recidivism in the long term through their effects on emotional information processing and behavioural regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Antisocial Disorders in Adolescence and Youth, According to Structural, Emotional, and Cognitive Transdiagnostic Variables: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3036; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093036 - 27 Apr 2020
Abstract
Transdiagnostic causal variables have been identified that have allowed understanding the origin and maintenance of psychopathologies in parsimonious explanatory models of antisocial disorders. However, it is necessary to systematize the information published in the last decade. The aim of the study was to [...] Read more.
Transdiagnostic causal variables have been identified that have allowed understanding the origin and maintenance of psychopathologies in parsimonious explanatory models of antisocial disorders. However, it is necessary to systematize the information published in the last decade. The aim of the study was to identify through a systematic review, the structural, emotional and cognitive transdiagnostic variables in antisocial disorders of adolescence and youth. Recommendations for systematic reviews and meta-extraction and analysis of information according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), the Cochrane Collaboration and Campbell were followed. We found 19 articles from 110 reviewed documents. The results indicated that at a structural level there is a general psychopathological factor (psychopathy or externalizing), non-emotional callousness and impulsivity from behavioral inhibition and activation systems, and negative affect traits as base structures. In the emotional level, the study found a risk component from emotional dysregulation and experiential avoidance. In the cognitive level, a key role of anger-rumination and violent ideation as explanatory variables of antisocial disorders. We concluded that the interaction of these identified variables makes it possible to generate an evidence-based transdiagnostic model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psycho-criminology, Crime, and the Law)
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