skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 52186 Find in a Library
Title: ARSONISTS IN PRISON
Journal: MEDICINE, SCIENCE AND THE LAW  Volume:18  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:247-254
Author(s): R J SAPSFORD; C BANKS; D D SMITH
Corporate Author: John Wright and Sons, Ltd
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: John Wright and Sons, Ltd
West Sussex, P019 1UD, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: VARIABLES RELATING TO SENTENCE LENGTH, SENTENCE TYPE, AND RECONVICTION ARE STUDIED IN A SAMPLE OF 23 ARSONISTS SENTENCED TO LIFE AND TWO SAMPLES OF ARSONISTS SERVING DETERMINATE SENTENCES.
Abstract: THIS BRITISH STUDY WAS CONDUCTED IN TWO PARTS. THE FIRST PART COMPARED THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LIFE TERMERS WITH A SAMPLE OF 96 ARSONISTS SENTENCED TO 18 MONTHS OR MORE WHO CAME UP FOR PAROLE REVIEW BETWEEN APRIL 1973 AND APRIL 1974. THE SECOND PART STUDIED 139 ARSONISTS GIVEN SIMILAR DETERMINANT SENTENCES AND RELEASED FROM PRISON DURING THE YEARS 1970-1972, PLUS 8 ARSONISTS WHO WERE SENTENCED TO 5 YEARS OR MORE AND WERE DISCHARGED IN 1973. FIVE FACTORS WERE FOUND TO ENTER INTO A MULTIPLE REGRESSION EQUATION PREDICTING TYPE OF SENTENCE (FIXED-TERM OR LIFE): PSYCHOPATHY, SEXUAL ABNORMALITY, VALUE OF DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE ARSON OFFENSE, HISTORY OF ARSON, AND PERHAPS HISTORY OF CRIME IN GENERAL. ONLY PSYCHOPATHY AND SEXUAL ABNORMALITY WERE VALIDATED IN THE ANALYSIS OF THE LARGER SECOND GROUP. IT WAS FOUND THAT THE MEN SERVING LIFE SENTENCES OR LONG TERM SENTENCES (5 YEARS OR MORE) HAD MANY CHARACTERISTICS IN COMMON BUT THAT NEITHER GROUP RESEMBLED THE SHORT TERM MEN. NONE OF THE FIVE IDENTIFIED FACTORS PROVED PREDICTIVE OF EITHER SENTENCE LENGTH OR RECIDIVISM. THE BEST SINGLE PREDICTOR OF FUTURE CONVICTION WAS THE NUMBER OF PREVIOUS CONVICTIONS, A COMMON FINDING IN CRIME STUDIES. THE FINDING THAT DIAGNOSES OF SEXUAL ABNORMALITY AND PSYCHOPATHY ARE MORE COMMON AMONG LIFERS THAN AMONG MEN SERVING LONG DETERMINATE SENTENCES MAY ARGUE THAT LIFERS ARE MORE DANGEROUS. HOWEVER, FIXED-TERM RELEASEES WHO EXHIBIT THESE CHARACTERISTICS ARE NOT MORE LIKELY TO BE REARRESTED THAN OTHER RELEASEES. TABLES PRESENT STUDY DATA. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Analysis; Arson; Determinate Sentencing; England; Life sentences; Offenders; Recidivists
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52186

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.