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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72271 Find in a Library
Title: Violence and Sexuality - Three Types of Defendants
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1980)  Pages:243-255
Author(s): H Vera; G W Barnard; C W Holtzer; M I Vera
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Defendants charged with acts of violence alone, such as assault; violence and sexuality, such as rape; and purely sexual crimes, such as exposure, are compared along four types of variables to determine if each type of offender can be differentiated by distinctive patterns of characteristics.
Abstract: A total of 1,964 alleged offenders was referred to the medical coauthor for pretrial psychiatric evaluation by judges in counties of north and central Florida over an 8-year period (1970-1977). The information contained in psychiatric reports and notes was coded along 43 variables of four types: (1) background, (2) medical and mental health history, (3) psychiatric evaluation, and (4) criminal event variables. The male offenders receiving psychiatric evaluation were divided into three groups according to the presence or absence of violent and sexual elements in the definition of their crime: (1) 'nonsexually violent' group including 133 men charged with assault, assault and battery, battery, armed robbery, or kidnapping, (2) a 'sexually violent' group including 82 offenders charged with rape, sexual assault, or sexual battery, and (3) a 'sexual nonviolent' group including 64 men charged with child molesting, child fondling, exposure, or lewd and lascivious behavior. Results indicated that the variables that best discriminated among types of alleged offenders are age, history of mental hospitalization, ability to abstract, and psychosis. Other discriminant variables are marital status, school record, criminal record before age 15, types of military discharge, illicit drug use, illicit drug use before age 16, reports of blackout and hallucination, RAIT intelligence, and competency to stand trial. Most of the event variables discriminated among the types of offenders, underscoring the importance of situational characteristics in criminal behavior, particularly the significant high association between alcohol consumption and the violence of the offense. It is concluded that additional research with a wide range of offender populations, as well as development of longitudinal data, is needed to fully document differences and linkages among offenders charged with violent and/or sexual assault. Sixteen references and one data table are provided.
Index Term(s): Sex offenses; Sexual assault; Violent crimes
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