Tuesday, November 1, 2016

O, Canada. You're letting the psychopaths out on parole.

Image result for parole board
In Canada, psychopaths convicted of sexual offenses are 2.5 times more likely to be granted parole than non-psychopaths, even though they have worse criminal records. The authors suggest that it is because psychopaths are more adept at "charming" parole boards. Whom do you like better: Someone who is nervous, twitchy, and socially awkward, or the guy who makes you laugh? The psychopaths made it 388 days without being convicted for re-offending, versus 729 days for non-psychopaths.

Crime profiles and conditional release performance of psychopathic and non-psychopathic sexual offenders (Porter, ten Brinke, & Wilson, 2009)


Purpose. This study investigated the influence of psychopathy and sex offender subtype on criminal history, probability of being granted conditional release, and performance while on conditional release in a diverse group of violent offenders. We predicted that psychopathic sexual offenders would be associated with relatively prolific violent and sexual offending, a high probability of successful conditional release applications despite their past behaviour (resulting from ‘putting on a good show’ in a parole hearing), and poor performance in the community.
Methods. Information was gathered via a correctional file review of 310 Canadian male federal offenders. Offenders were categorized into groups based on their sexual offence history (non-sex offender, rapist, child molester, or mixed rapist/molester) and Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003) ratings. Their offences (sexual, violent, or non-violent) and their complete conditional release histories were coded.
Results. Psychopathy was associated with more violent and non-violent, but not sexual, offences. A significant interaction between psychopathy and offender subtype revealed that psychopathy was associated with a greater number of sex offences within child molesters. High-psychopathy offenders (both sexual and non-sexual offenders) were about 2.5 times more likely to be granted conditional release than non-psychopathic offenders.
Conclusions. Psychopathy is associated with more prolific sexual offending among child molesters and – despite their extensive criminal histories and high recidivism rate – a great proficiency in persuading parole boards to release them into the community. Specialized education and training in dealing with psychopathic offenders is urgently needed.

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