Vol.3, Issue 2, July 2011

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Drug abuse and criminal family records in the criminal history of prisoners Drug abuse and criminal family records in the criminal history of prisoners

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Date modified: 09/26/2013
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Francisco J. RodríguezCarolina BringasLuis RodríguezJavier López-CeperoBeatriz Pérez; and Cristina Estrada

pp.  89-105


Abstract: The relationship between criminal behavior and the risk factors, family criminal records and drug use, has been firmly established. With the aim of defining the role of these risk factors in the initiation and evolution of criminal behavior, a field study with prison inmates was designed. A survival analysis with the age at which the first unsanctioned crime was committed and the age at which entered by first instance into prison was applied to the data of 157 prison inmates in Villabona (Asturias, Spain). The results of a survival analysis showed that drug abuse re-offenders initiated in criminal acts at an earlier age (13 years) than the primary offenders (16 years); re-offenders from family criminal records began his/her criminal activity earlier (13 years) than primary ones (16 years); re-offenders with non-criminal family records, initiate in criminal acts at 14 years, whereas primary at 16; the recidivist drug abusers enter by first instance into prison earlier (19 years) than the primary ones; non-drug consuming primary offenders enter prison for the first time at the age of 24 whereas recidivists do so at the age of 19; the first entrance into prison of the recidivist with family criminal records occurs early (19 years), than for the primary offenders (23 years); and the recidivist prisoners of non-family criminal records cross the threshold of the prison by first time youngsters (21 years) than the primary inmates (26 years). The implications of these results may lead towards a more effective intervention against crime.


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Child custody assessment: A field survey of spanish forensic psychologists’ practices Child custody assessment: A field survey of spanish forensic psychologists’ practices

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Date added: 07/01/2011
Date modified: 09/26/2013
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Mila ArchAdolfo JarneMaribel Peró; and Joan Guàrdia

pp. 107-128


Abstract: The participation of forensic psychologists has become common practice in proceedings involving families in dispute over child custody, and also to assess the suitability of joint custody. In order to know the practice, methodology, and decision-making criteria of Spanish forensic psychologists experienced in family cases, 66 Spanish forensic psychologists (error margin ±.06) responded to a Spanish adaptation of the questionnaire for the assessment of child custody evaluation practices by Keilin and Bloom (1986) and Ackerman and Ackerman (1997). The results showed that it was indifferent for the respondents to be retained by the court or one of the parties, and that the evaluation included a document review, each parent’s individual interview, each child’s individual interview, psychological tests run to parents and children, observation of parent-child interaction, and reports by other professionals. As regards the custody type, most of them chose sole custody. As for decision-making criteria for sole custody, the results showed that Spanish forensic psychologists follow a hierarchical decision-making model that begins, firstly, with the application of criteria concerning the child’s protection (e.g. cruelty, abuse, negligence), then moving on to parental abilities. The decision over joint custody also follows a hierarchical decision-making model, where suitability is assessed initially and, if applicable, a decision is made based on its possible success or failure.


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Retrieval experience as an accurate indicator of person identification in line-ups Retrieval experience as an accurate indicator of person identification in line-ups

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Antonio L. ManzaneroBeatriz López; and María José Contreras

pp. 129-140


Abstract: Responses in eyewitness identification of a person in a line-up may be based on two types of recovery experiences, remember and know experiences. Remember responses involve eyewitness identification of the target person as an episodic memory task, because it implies retrieving information about the target person in the place and at the time of the event. Know responses, in contrast, engage recognition based on familiarity or perceptual facilitation, that is, as a semantic memory task. To explore the relation between retrieval experiences and recognition accuracy, 86 participants took part in a recognition task with two conditions: one with an interpolated target absent line-up and the other only with the target present line-up. Accuracy of recognition and retrieval experience was measured. The results showed that, having previously participated in a target-absent line-up, increased omissions, while the number of hits decreased. Furthermore, participants’ know responses were associated to false recognition, whilst remember responses were associated to hits in recognition. Thus, asking eyewitnesses to inform about the kind of retrieval experience in which they based their recognition responses, may serve as a reliable indicator of accuracy in recognition. Future studies are needed to investigate whether this is also the case in natural settings.


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Augmenting ACID with affective details to assess credibility Augmenting ACID with affective details to assess credibility

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Date added: 07/01/2011
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Ryan AnsarraKevin ColwellCheryl Hiscock-AnismanAmber HinesRoland FleckLindsey Cole; and Delyana Belarde

pp. 141-158


Abstract: There is a need within the criminal justice systems of many countries to create a valid and applicable system of investigative interviewing and credibility assessment. The present study assesses the general validity one such system, called Assessment Criteria Indicative of Deception (ACID). ACID comprises interviewing strategies that facilitate the detection of deception and content criteria that highlight differences in verbal behavior. Sixty university undergraduates performed a staged theft under time pressure and with incentives designed to increase external validity. The participants were interviewed and assessed using the ACID procedure. Half of them were instructed to answer honestly and the other half to deny his/her participation in the theft.  Results showed that honest statements were longer, more vividly detailed, and more spontaneously structured than deceptive statements. Also, the addition of affective details as a dependent measure significantly improved the ACID system. Overall, 48 of 60 statements were accurately classified (26 of 30 honest statements and 22 of 30 deceptive statements). The ACID procedure was effective and benefited from the addition of affective details. The strengths and weaknesses of this study are discussed in light of basic research into deception and potential forensic application.


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Attitudes toward prostitution: Is it an ideological issue? Attitudes toward prostitution: Is it an ideological issue?

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Date added: 07/01/2011
Date modified: 09/26/2013
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Inmaculada Valor-SeguraFrancisca Expósito; and Miguel Moya

pp. 159-176


Abstract: Prostitution has been the subject of intense debate in all societies and cultures though to varying degrees of public acceptance or rejection. The choice of legal approach to deal with this issue (i.e., legalization or prohibition) may be influenced by ideological factors. The primary aim of this study was to assess, in a sample of 620 individuals drawn from general population, the legal stances towards prostitution, and attitudes and beliefs regarding the underlying motives and behaviour of men who resort to prostitution. Moreover, the effects of sexist attitudes and beliefs and the legal stance towards prostitution on victim-blaming in cases of physical or sexual assault to prostitutes were assessed. The results reveal significant differences in legal stance towards prostitution in relation to attitudes and beliefs concerning the underlying motives and behaviour of men who procure the services of a prostitute. In other words, a high score in prohibition was associated to hostile attitudes and belief regarding the behaviour of men who resort to prostitution whereas a high score in legalization predicted benevolent attitudes and beliefs towards these men. Furthermore, the results show that a high degree of hostile sexism and the legal stance of prohibition predicted victim-blaming in physical or sexual assault to prostitutes.


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