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CRC funded reports

2008/09

Summaries of these reports are given below. These reports are held by the Australian Institute of Criminology's JV Barry Library and are available on inter-library loan. For full bibliographic information on any report, search the Library's Catalogue.

  1. Schizophrenia and offending: area of residence and the impact of social disorganisation and disadvantage
  2. Adolescent Stalking: offence characteristics and effectiveness of criminal justice interventions

Schizophrenia and offending: area of residence and the impact of social disorganisation and disadvantage

Frank Morgan, Vera Morgan, Joe Clare, Giulietta Valuri, Richard Woodman and Assen Jablensky
Criminology Research Council grant ; (30/04-05)

Schizophrenia is the most common of the psychotic disorders and is characterised by fundamental distortions of thought (delusions), perception (hallucinations) and emotional response. It is a disabling illness, with a lifetime population prevalence of 0.5% to 1.7% (Jablensky et al 1992). The estimated one-month treated prevalence of psychotic illness in Australia is 4.7 per 1000 estimated resident population aged 18-64 (Jablensky et al 2000). This figure does not include those persons not in contact with treatment services. The place in society and the care of people with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia constitutes one of the thorniest issues in public health and social policy worldwide. In recent years, advances in the management of this disorder have made it possible for an increasing number of individuals with schizophrenia to lead semi-dependent or independent lives in the community. However, irrespective of the deinstitutionalisation of mental health care and the concomitant focus on the human rights of the mentally ill, the capacity of communities and of society at large to deal with emerging problems of criminalisation of mental illness and of marginalisation, homelessness, poverty and victimisation has been put to a severe test. This has been compounded by widespread stereotyping and stigmatisation of individuals with mental illness. The 1996 General Social Survey (US) revealed 'an underlying negative attitude to persons with mental health problems, an exaggeration of the impairments or "threat" associated with these disorders, and a startling negativity towards individuals with substance dependence problems' (Pescosolido et al 1999).

Adolescent Stalking: offence characteristics and effectiveness of criminal justice interventions

Rosemary Purcell, Teresa Flower and Paul E Mullen
Criminology Research Council grant ; (06/05-06)

Stalking has emerged since the early 1990s as a form of human behaviour which commands not only considerable public attention, but is increasingly attracting the interest of the police, the courts and mental health professionals (Mullen, Pathé & Purcell, 2008). The term stalking describes a constellation of behaviours in which one person repeatedly imposes on another unwanted contacts and/or communications to such an extent that the recipient fears for his or her safety. Considered individually, the behaviours associated with stalking may seem innocuous or inoffensive, for example, making phone calls, sending gifts or waiting nearby a person's home or workplace. When such acts are repeated over time, however, they can become more ominous for the recipient and potentially constitute a damaging form of victimisation.

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