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NCJ Number: 62777 Find in a Library
Title: CHARACTERISTICS OF A SAMPLE OF LIFERS (FROM LIFESENTENCE PRISONERS, 1979, BY D SMITH - SEE NCJ-62775)
Author(s): J WORTH
Corporate Author: Great Britain Home Office
Research and Planning Unit
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Great Britain Home Office
London. SW1H 9AT, England
Type: Statistics
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A RANDOM SAMPLE DRAWN FROM THE MALE LIFE-SENTENCE PRISON POPULATION OF PRISONS IN ENGLAND AND WALES AS OF DECEMBER 1974 IS DESCRIBED IN TERMS OF AGE, OFFENSE, PRIOR RECORD, AND RELATIONSHIP TO VICTIM.
Abstract: A TOTAL OF 104 MEN WERE INCLUDED IN THE SAMPLE, REPRESENTING ONE-QUARTER OF THE MALE LONG-TERM PRISON POPULATION. MURDERERS FORMED THREE-QUARTERS OF THE LIFER SAMPLE. THE REMAINDER CONSISTED OF MEN FOUND GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER AND NONHOMICIDE OFFENSES. HALF OF THE MURDERERS IN THE SAMPLE WERE SERVING THE FIRST 5 YEARS OF THEIR SENTENCES. THE MEN TENDED TO BE YOUNG, PHYSICALLY FIT, OFTEN SINGLE, AND PRIMARILY INDIGENOUS TO THE BRITISH ISLES. SOME 80 PERCENT OF THE SAMPLE HAD APPEARED BEFORE THE COURTS ON EARLIER OCCASIONS; 40 PERCENT HAD PREVIOUSLY COMMITTED SEXUAL OR VIOLENT OFFENSES OR BOTH. HALF THE MEN HAD BEEN CONSUMING ALCOHOL SHORTLY BEFORE COMMITTING THE CURRENT OFFENSE. MOST COMMITTED THE OFFENSE WITHOUT AN ACCOMPLICE. TWO-THIRDS OF THE MEN ATTACKED PEOPLE RELATED OR KNOWN TO THEM. VICTIMS OF THE ENTIRE SAMPLE INCLUDED 50 WOMEN, 44 MEN, AND 16 CHILDREN. LIFERS WHO HAD COMMITTED HOMICIDE MOST COMMONLY ATTACKED THEIR VICTIMS WITH A SHARP INSTRUMENT, USUALLY A KNIFE. THE SAMPLE DIFFERED FROM THE MALE POPULATION IN ENGLAND AND WALES IN A NUMBER OF RESPECTS. A LOW PROPORTION WERE MARRIED. IN ADDITION, A HIGH PROPORTION HAD A HISTORY OF MENTAL DISORDER, WERE UNEMPLOYED, AND WERE UNSUCCESSFUL EITHER EDUCATIONALLY OR OCCUPATIONALLY. THESE DIFFERENCES ARE ALSO TYPICAL OF OTHER CRIMINAL SAMPLES. TABULAR DATA AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED IN THE CHAPTER. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED-LWM)
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); England; Homicide; Inmate statistics; Life sentences; Offenses; Wales
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62777

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