Archive for the ‘Criminal Justice’ Category

lsd

Psychedelic drugs could help to keep ex-offenders out of prison, new research suggests.

U.S. scientists have found that drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms could be used to help reform criminals under community correction supervision.

It has previously been thought that LSD could be used to treat alcohol addiction, but the new research is the first in 40 years to suggest it could be used to stop criminals from re-offending.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, collected data about 25,622 people under community supervision between 2002 and 2007.

All study participants were in the Treatment Accountability for Safer Communities (TASC) program, for people with a history of drug abuse, including alcohol addiction.

The researchers found that criminals diagnosed with a hallucinogen use disorder were less likely to fail the TASC programme, appear in court and be arrested and imprisoned, compared to those who did not have a history of taking the drugs.

Just one per cent of people on the programme were diagnosed with a hallucinogen disorder, while heavy users of cocaine, cannabis and alcohol were the most common.

‘Our results provide a notable exception to the robust positive link between substance use and criminal behaviour,’ the researchers wrote in their study, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

‘They add to both the older and emerging body of data indicating beneficial effects of hallucinogen interventions and run counter to the legal classification as well as popular perception of hallucinogens as categorically harmful substances with no therapeutic potential,’ they added.

The scientists believe that offenders may be especially likely to benefit from LSD treatment as many people become criminals as a result of drug-seeking behaviour and impulsive conduct, often caused by compulsive drug use.

The study took factors such as race, employment, age, history of drug abuse and crimes, as well as gender and education into account.

However, the researchers warned that the findings of the study should not be seen to advocate recreational use of psychedelic drugs.

‘Nevertheless, they demonstrate that, in a real-world, substance-related intervention setting, hallucinogen use is associated with a lower probability of poor outcome,’ they wrote.

They believe the research should be the start of a continued investigation into the use of psychedelic drugs to treat criminals.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2537137/Could-LSD-cut-crime-Psychedelic-drug-help-prevent-criminals-offending.html#ixzz2qK1CX9Vz
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Homicide moves through a city in a process similar to infectious disease, according to a new study that may give police a new tool in tracking and ultimately preventing murders.

Using Newark, N.J., as a pilot case, a team of Michigan State University researchers led by April Zeoli successfully applied public health tracking methods to the city’s 2,366 homicides between 1982 and 2008. They found the killings were not randomly located but instead followed a pattern, evolving from the city’s center and moving southward and westward over time.

Like a flu bug that spreads to susceptible groups such as children and the elderly, homicide clusters in Newark — often fueled by gangs and guns — spread to areas consisting largely of poor and minority residents. Over time, the concentration of homicides effectively disappeared from one area and settled in another.

“By using the principles of infectious disease control, we may be able to predict the spread of homicide and reduce the incidence of this crime,” said Zeoli, public health researcher in MSU’s School of Criminal Justice.

The study is one of the first to use analytic software from the field of medical geography to track long-term homicide trends. Zeoli said the method can be done in real time which would allow police to identify emerging hotspots.

The researchers also identified areas of Newark that had no homicide clusters during the 26-year time frame of the study, despite being surrounded by deadly violence.

“If we could discover why some of those communities are resistant,” Zeoli said, “we could work on increasing the resistance of our communities that are more susceptible to homicide.”

Joining Zeoli on the study were criminal justice researchers Jesenia Pizarro and Christopher Melde and medical geographer Sue Grady.

The study is published in Justice Quarterly, a research journal.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129103541.htm