Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sytske Besemer publishes in Journal of Quantitative Criminology about specialisation in intergenerational transmission.

Sytske's article entitled "Specialized Versus Versatile Intergenerational Transmission of Violence: A New Approach to Studying Intergenerational Transmission from Violent Versus Non-Violent Fathers: Latent Class Analysis" has recently been published online in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.
The paper investigates whether fathers who have been convicted of a violent offense transmit criminal and violent behavior more strongly than fathers who were convicted, but never for violence. First, a more traditional approach was taken where offending fathers were divided into two groups based on whether they had a violence conviction. Secondly, Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was performed to identify two classes of fathers, one of which was characterized as violent. Sons of fathers in this class had a higher risk of violent convictions compared with sons whose fathers were in the other class.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Best 50 Criminology Blogs

Forensic Science has created a list of their favourite criminology blogs. Below you can find their top 5 and what they write about it. Moreover, our blog features in their list as well!

General Blog of Crime: Ignore any thoughts of generality that may come up in your head when thinking about this blog. The graduate students who contribute well-wrought pieces to this site are incredibly in tune to the specifics of their criminological insights. The site is only general in that a myriad of topics that fall under the criminology umbrella are discussed and dissected here. The site balances nicely between contemporary crime stories and historical episodes of violence.
Why We Love It: An excellent blog example of a few graduate students passionate about criminology who write incisively on the subject.

CrimLaw: Readers will find little personal information about the blogger of this prolific and expansive page. Instead, they'll have to pull out a few forensic tools of their own by reading this writer's postings that are analytical but not too brainy. Even criminology newbies won't find themselves falling behind with the comprehensive material on offer here. The blog focuses a good deal on the state of Virginia, but readers everywhere will enjoy the site's appealing take on crime and the law.
Why We Love It: A super-factual Virginia-based criminal blog that provides readers with rich analysis of crime in both the state and around the world.

Women in Crime: Lady killers and femme fatales need not apply to contribute to this all-female blog. The women here all stand on the upright side of the law and provide cogent and thoughtful opinions on all sectors of the criminological environment. The writers boast a diversity of backgrounds: Some are current or former defense attorneys, others claim healthy careers as crime authors, and still more are criminal profiles and private investigators. Proof that though it's a man's world, women know best how to keep it in check.
Why We Love It: The ladies show the fellas how proper criminology writing is done: with heart, a big brain, and an appetite for justice.

Neurological Correlates: This is the perfect blog for anyone insatiable about uncovering the ins and outs of the human psyche, disturbances to which often lead to a life led in crime and violence. This site concentrates on what makes tick the brains of psychopaths and narcissists, among other prototypes of dysfunctional behavior. The writers then take the further step and clarify brain connections to criminal activity and violent tendency. A great site that helps you figure out the "why" after the "what" and "how" are known.
Why We Love It: This blog goes beyond a typical whodunit page and focuses on why it all took place in the first place.

The Innocence Project: There's more to the field of criminology than studying the minds of those who commit foul deeds. The science also delves into understanding the complexities of what happens when those so-called evildoers are discovered to have been themselves fouled. The law has consistently incarcerated incorrectly and unceremoniously scores of people who were simply caught in poor circumstances. This blog serves as a cleanser to the criminology blog scene, helping to make it right when the law does wrong.
Why We Love It: This blog does justice to the wrongfully jailed and helps to keep the criminology community accountable.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Criminal rehabilitation: a spotlight on Europe

On the Cambridge University homepage, Johann Koehler talks about how a 'soft on crime' approach might be the way forward to break the cycle that 'career criminals' are in. Read the full article here.

Friday, 9 September 2011


Office Hours - conversations with top social scientists about their research and the social world - have recorded an interview with Megan Comfort, who conducted etnographic research in a Californian prison on intimate relationships and wrote the book Doing Time Together about it. She talks about the women who visit their partners in prison. Interesting! Here's the podcast.

About the book:
"By quadrupling the number of people behind bars in two decades, the United States has become the world leader in incarceration. Much has been written on the men who make up the vast majority of the nation’s two million inmates. But what of the women they leave behind? Doing Time Together vividly details the ways that prisons shape and infiltrate the lives of women with husbands, fianc├ęs, and boyfriends on the inside.

Megan Comfort spent years getting to know women visiting men at San Quentin State Prison, observing how their romantic relationships drew them into contact with the penitentiary. Tangling with the prison’s intrusive scrutiny and rigid rules turns these women into “quasi-inmates,” eroding the boundary between home and prison and altering their sense of intimacy, love, and justice. Yet Comfort also finds that with social welfare weakened, prisons are the most powerful public institutions available to women struggling to overcome untreated social ills and sustain relationships with marginalized men. As a result, they express great ambivalence about the prison and the control it exerts over their daily lives.

An illuminating analysis of women caught in the shadow of America’s massive prison system, Comfort’s book will be essential for anyone concerned with the consequences of our punitive culture.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

24/7 isn't the only way: A healthy work–life balance can enhance research

A commentary in Nature describes exactly what I (and I know some others here too) think about a work-life balance: 24/7 isn't the only way: A healthy work–life balance can enhance research.