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NCJ Number: 209353 Find in a Library
Title: Animal Cruelty: Pathway to Violence Against People
Author(s): Linda Merz-Perez; Kathleen M. Heide
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 205
Sponsoring Agency: AltaMira Press
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Publication Number: ISBN 0-7591-0304
Sale Source: AltaMira Press
Division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc
1630 North Main Street, #367
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using interviews and criminal records of both violent and nonviolent inmates in a maximum-security prison, this book assesses qualitative and quantitative data to identify correlations between childhood cruelty to animals and adult violent behavior.
Abstract: In defining "animal cruelty," the book relies on the consensus of most laws in the United States, which define it as failure to provide adequate food, water, and shelter, or the use of physical force to leave a mark or otherwise cause injury to an animal. The sample sizes for this study were 50 violent and 50 nonviolent offenders, which were randomly derived by computer with the assistance of institutional staff at a maximum-security prison in Florida. Interviews were completed with 97 of these inmates between July 1995 and April 1996. The majority of offenses committed by violent offenders involved murder or attempted murder and sex offenses. With the exception of one offense of possession of a firearm by a felon, all of the most serious offenses committed by the nonviolent inmates were property crimes. Among the variables measured in the interviews were cruelty to animals in each of four categories (wild, farm, pet, and stray animals); the frequency and seriousness of cruelty committed by the subject; subject response to the cruelty he committed; cruelty to animals observed by the subject, along with its frequency and seriousness; and the subject's response to the observed cruelty. Study findings support previous research in determining that violent offenders who committed crimes as adults were significantly more likely than nonviolent offenders to have committed childhood acts of cruelty against animals in general and pet and stray animals in particular. Future longitudinal research is recommended. 13 tables, 112 references, and a subject index
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Cruelty to animals; Juvenile to adult criminal careers; Violent crimes; Violent men; Violent offenders
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