International Survey on the Use of Emerging Technologies Among Forensic and Correctional Mental Health Professionals
2023, Kirschstein, Madeleine A., Singh, Jay P., Rossegger, Astrid, Endrass, Jérôme, Graf, Marc
Although the global diffusion of e-mental health has increased in recent years, research on the use of technologies in criminal justice settings is limited. To bridge this knowledge gap, we conducted an international online survey (N = 555) of forensic and correctional mental health professionals from Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and 20 additional countries. Telecommunication technologies and mental health platforms had the highest numbers of users, the broadest scope, and the largest increase in use due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In contrast, the use of social media and advanced technologies was lower, narrower in scope, and remained the same or decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Respondents’ age, professional discipline, country, and clinical setting significantly predicted total technology use in clinical practice. The study findings provide an overview of the current patterns of technology use and point to opportunities for research and development.
Exploring the mental healthcare needs of Swiss pre-trial detainees : A pilot investigation of an on-site psychiatric day clinic
2022-07-19, Gerth, Juliane, Endrass, Jérôme, Weber, Michael A., Graf, Marc, Singh, Jay P., Rossegger, Astrid
Research has established that justice-involved individuals experience significant mental health problems. However, mental healthcare in correctional settings is often not sufficiently accessible to meet the demand. Hence, to improve the availability of mental healthcare services, especially for pre-trial detainees, the first Swiss on-site psychiatric day clinic (PDC) was established in 2019. The present cross-sectional observational study aimed to evaluate the need of psychiatric care in pre-trial detention and the PDC’s potential to improve it.
Methods: File record data were collected from the Office of Corrections and Rehabilitation of the Canton of Zurich. Differences in primary psychiatric care consultations and psychiatric hospital admissions between pre-trial detainees and sentenced prisoners were examined. In addition, a total cohort of pre-trial detainees of the first 18 months of PDC operations was examined to identify differences between three treatment groups: (1) pre-trial detainees exclusively treated in the PDC (n = 41), (2) pre-trial detainees exclusively treated in a psychiatric hospital (n = 58), and (3) pre-trial detainees treated in both the PDC as well as a psychiatric hospital (n = 16).
Results: In the five years before the PDC opened, pre-trial detainees had significantly more primary psychiatric care consultations and were admitted to psychiatric hospitals on significantly more occasions than were sentenced prisoners. In the first 18 months of the PDC, psychiatric hospital admission rates for pre-trial detainees decreased by 18.5% and pretrial detainees exclusively treated in the PDC differed significantly from other treatment groups concerning mental disorder, gender, and alleged index offense. They were more likely to be diagnosed with adjustment disorders and were less likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorder.
Conclusion: The use of mental health care among pre-trial detainees is significantly more frequent than among sentenced prisoners concerning both primary care and inpatient treatment. Since establishment of the novel on-site PDC admissions to psychiatric hospitals were found to decrease. Data indicates that especially male pre-trial detainees with adjustment disorders benefitted from this innovative path forward in correctional healthcare. Further research is needed to improve the PDC’s service for female pre-trial detainees.
Domestic homicide and other violent crimes : The same or different phenomena?
2022, Goncalves, Leonel C., Rossegger, Astrid, Sadowski, Friederike, Urwyler, Thierry, Baggio, Stéphanie, Endrass, Jérôme
This study investigated correlates of domestic homicide (DH) and other violent crimes. Data were collected retrospectively from criminal justice files on 617 persons in Switzerland (DH = 47). Multinomial logistic regressions revealed that, overall, DH perpetrators were more likely to be older, female, married, to have a psychiatric hospitalization history, and to be under the influence of delusions when they committed the crime. In addition, they were less likely to have prior convictions. Furthermore, the characteristics associated to DH perpetrators were more similar to domestic violence perpetrators than those of persons who committed non-domestic offenses. Based on the current sample, data, and methods, DH appears to be better explained by specialist theories than generalist views of crime, suggesting that DH and the homicide of non-family members are different phenomena. Therefore, domestic offenders may require specific assessment and intervention methods. However, replications of this study are necessary to generalize the current findings.
What Kind of Therapy Works With Juveniles Who Have Sexually Offended? : a Randomized-Controlled Trial of Two Versions of a Specialized Cognitive Behavioral Outpatient Treatment Program
2022-12, Aebi, Marcel, Krause, Chiara, Barra, Steffen, Vogt, Gunnar, Vertone, Leonardo, Manetsch, Madleina, Imbach, Daniela, Endrass, Jérôme, Rossegger, Astrid, Schmeck, Klaus, Bessler, Cornelia
There is ongoing debate about whether specialized treatment is effective to reduce sexual recidivism in juveniles who have sexually offended (JSOs). Although most treatment programs are based on cognitive behavioral therapy principles for preventing sexual offending, accordant scientific evidence is poor. Following CONSORT guidelines, the present study aimed to evaluate two versions of a short-term outpatient treatment program for JSOs in Switzerland: (a) the Therapy Program for Adequate Sexual Behaviors Version 1 (ThePaS-I), which included offending-specific skills training; (b) the ThePaS-II, which included general socioemotional skills training. Based on changes in self-reported mental health, sexual behaviors, victim empathy, and therapist-rated risk, as well as comprehensive data on sexual and general recidivism, we found some similarities regarding the effects of the two treatments. ThePaS-II showed better short-term changes in self-reported mental health than the ThePaS-I. However, JSOs in the ThePaS-I showed lower rates of sexual reoffending (but not general reoffending) after treatment than those in the ThePaS-II. Despite some methodological limitations, the current findings favor offending-specific skills-based therapy over general skills-based ones for preventing sexual reoffenses. The findings may encourage further methodologically sound studies to examine different treatment approaches for juveniles and adults who have committed criminal offenses.
Lebenspartner/innen, Kinder und Eltern als Angehörige von Inhaftierten im Justizvollzug : Eine Übersichtsarbeit zu den wissenschaftlichen Befunden bezüglich der Auswirkung von Inhaftierungen auf Angehörige und des Einbezugs von Angehörigen
2022, Aebi, Marcel, Frohofer, Franziska, Schnyder, Nina, Endrass, Jérôme, Graf, Marc, Rossegger, Astrid
Die Inhaftierung eines Familienmitglieds wird von Angehörigen häufig als sehr belastend erlebt. Der frühe und enge Einbezug von Angehörigen durch regelmässigen Kontakt während der Haft, den Einbezug in der Massnahme sowie durch Unterstützungs- und Beratungsangebote könnte die negativen Folgen zum Teil reduzieren. Das Werk gibt einen Überblick über die aktuellen wissenschaftlichen Befunde zu den Auswirkungen einer Inhaftierung auf Kinder, Lebenspartner / innen und Eltern sowie zu Nutzen und Risiken des Einbezugs von Angehörigen im Straf- und Massnahmenvollzug. Die Übertragbarkeit der vorwiegend nordamerikanischen Forschungsbefunde auf die Schweiz ist zwar beschränkt, trotzdem können auf der Basis der Ergebnisse einige konkrete Schlussfolgerungen und Empfehlungen für die Angehörigenarbeit im Strafvollzug in der Schweiz gemacht werden. - Fundierte Übersicht über den aktuellen Forschungsstand unter Einbezug der Situation in der Schweiz - Konkrete Empfehlungen für die Praxis zur Verbesserung der Lage von Angehörigen - Mit Anregungen für die Gestaltung von Besuchskontakten von Kindern und Jugendlichen in Haftanstalten
COVID-19 Fears and Preventive Behaviors among Prison Staff
2022-09, da Cunha Gonçalves, Leonel, Baggio, Stéphanie, Schnyder, Nina, Zaballa, Maria-Eugenia, Baysson, Hélène, Guessous, Idris, Rossegger, Astrid, Endrass, Jérôme, Wolff, Hans, Stringhini, Silvia
This study focused on COVID-19 preventive behaviors and fears among prison staff members after the first wave of the pandemic. Cross-sectional data from 171 participants were collected in Switzerland. The level of fears (58.5%) and protective behaviors (100%) were high. Correctional officers adhered less to preventive measures than other staff members (p = .001). Fears were related to a reduction of social contacts (p = .006) and worries about physical health was related to preventive behaviors in general (p = .006). There is a need to raise prison staff awareness regarding their vulnerability to the SARS-CoV-2 in order to improve the effectiveness of health campaigns in prison settings. Special attention should be given to correctional officers.