1st Edition

Criminal Recidivism Explanation, prediction and prevention

By Georgia Zara, David Farrington Copyright 2016
    420 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Willan

    420 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Willan

    Criminal Recidivism intends to fill a gap in the criminological psychology literature by examining the processes underlying persistent criminal careers. This book aims to investigate criminal recidivism, and why, how and for how long an individual continues to commit crimes, whilst also reviewing knowledge about risk assessment and the role of psychopathy (including neurocriminological factors) in encouraging recidivism. It also focuses on the recidivism of sex offenders and on what works in reducing reoffending.

    At an empirical level, this book attempts to explain criminal persistence and recidivism using longitudinal data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development (CSDD). At a psycho-criminological level it joins together quantitative and qualitative analyses, making its content a practical guide to explain, predict, and intervene to reduce the risk of criminal recidivism. The authors present quantitative analyses of criminal careers, as well as qualitative life histories of chronic offenders, in order to bring home the reality and consequences of a life of crime.

    The book is aimed not only at advanced students and academics in psychology, criminology, probation studies, social sciences, psychiatry, sociology, political science, and penology, but also at decision makers, policy officials, and practitioners within the realm of crime intervention and prevention, and also at forensic experts, judges and lawyers.

    Foreword, Rolf Loeber  Introduction  1. Criminal recidivism  2. Criminal careers, recidivists and chronic offenders  3. Chronic offenders and their life stories  4. Risk assessment  5. Psychopathy  6. Sex offending  7. Evidence-based intervention and treatment  8. Conclusions.


    Georgia Zara, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Criminological Psychology at the Department of Psychology, University of Turin, Italy, and is Head and Programme Leader of the Higher Degree in Criminological and Forensic Psychology in the same Department. She has been a Visiting Scholar of the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, UK since 2003. She is also a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society, a Criminologist, and has been appointed an Honorary Judge in Turin’s Surveillance Court. Her major research interests are criminal careers, criminal persistence and recidivism, neurocriminology, psychopathy, and violent and sexual offending.

    David P. Farrington, O.B.E., is Emeritus Professor of Psychological Criminology and Leverhulme Trust Emeritus Fellow in the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University. He received the Stockholm Prize in Criminology in 2013. He is Chair of the ASC Division of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology. His major research interest is in developmental criminology, and he is Director of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, a prospective longitudinal survey of over 400 London males from age 8 to age 56. In addition to over 600 published journal articles and book chapters on criminological and psychological topics, he has published nearly 100 books, monographs and government reports.

    ‘Five percent of offenders commit fifty percent of crimes. Beyond that, what else do we know? This book is the authoritative source for the newest information on reoffending, rearrest, reconviction, reincarceration, specialisation, versatility, life-course-persistent offending, escalation or de-escalation, risk assessment, psychopathic personality, desistence, and most important of all, what works to reduce recidivism.’ - Terrie E Moffitt, Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor, Duke University, USA

    ‘A small group of offenders are accountable for the majority of crime, and our capacity to explain, predict, and prevent recidivism is of the utmost importance for society. David Farrington and Georgia Zara, leading scholars in the field, provide a penetrating analysis of the most important issues in recidivism research. Deeply informative and clearly written, this groundbreaking book provides a fresh and invigorating perspective on criminal recidivism. Engaging and level-headed, this absorbing and very accessible account of recidivism covers all key knowledge bases on criminal reoffending, including prediction, risk assessment instruments, psychopaths, sex offenders, treatment, and much more. It’s an outstanding and invaluable resource for all those who deal with offenders, both in research and practice.’ - Adrian Raine, Richard Perry University Professor, Departments of Criminology, Psychiatry, and Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, USA

    ‘This book is an impressive overview of scientific knowledge on criminal recidivism and its correlates, including relevant European data on this topic. I particularly like Zara and Farrington’s integration of general quantitative results and their qualitative description of persistent offender’s life stories. Crime researchers and Criminal Justice practitioners will find in this book the most solid scientific basis for their analyses and practical interventions.’ - Santiago Redondo, Professor of Criminology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Barcelona, Spain

    ‘This volume addresses critical questions for criminal justice policymakers, academics and students of criminology: Why do people continue to commit crime and what can be done to stop them?  The depth and range provided by the authors in answering these critical questions make this book a truly impressive contribution.’ - Darrick Jolliffe, Professor of Criminology, University of Greenwich, UK