A test of methodology intended to assist detection of aggressive offence paralleling behaviour within secure settings
Version of Record online: 24 DEC 2010
2009 The British Psychological Society
Legal and Criminological Psychology
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 213–226, September 2009
How to Cite
Daffern, M., Howells, K., Mannion, A. and Tonkin, M. (2009), A test of methodology intended to assist detection of aggressive offence paralleling behaviour within secure settings. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 14: 213–226. doi: 10.1348/135532508X342919
- Issue online: 24 DEC 2010
- Version of Record online: 24 DEC 2010
- Received 23 April 2008; revised version received 27 June 2008
Purpose. Treatments and risk assessments determined by the offence paralleling behaviour (OPB) framework appear to have found a place in practice well ahead of empirical support and conceptual clarity. Although the framework is intuitively appealing its inappropriate use may have profound negative implications for patients. Incapacitation and unnecessary treatments may be demanded when observed behaviours are interpreted as evidence of persistent pathology related to previous patterns of criminal offending. Conversely, behaviours occurring within institutions that are not topographically similar but that fall within the same response class and do represent the continuation of problematic patterns of behaviour may be ignored if observers are not sensitive to the possibility that problem behaviours, albeit muted, may persist within institutions.
Methods. This paper presents a study examining the similarity of personality disordered patients' violent index acts with their aggressive behaviour during hospitalization.
Results. Results revealed evidence of cross situational similarity for some but not all aggressive behaviours.
Conclusion. These results provide support for the OPB framework. However, the lack of similarity on a significant number of incidents indicates a need for thorough, structured analysis to determine whether an aggressive behaviour observed in an institution parallels violent acts preceding incarceration.