Recidivism risk assessment in prison convicts
Procena rizika recidivizma kod osuđenih na zatvorsku kaznu
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The rise in crime and recidivism rates is indicative of insufficiency of prison sentence effectiveness. The punishment has not achieved its desired effect in either the primary or secondary prevention. Furthermore, there is a tendency among citizens to feel that the state is not able to provide them with an adequate protection from crime, especially in its more severe forms, thus more prominent negative and punitive stereotypes towards the offenders arise. In Serbia, sentences of up to three years of prison are predominantly issued, while the alternative sanctions are passed in a more sporadic and reluctant manner. Such a state is not in tune with present safety risks and needs hence it maintains the excess retributive attitude. Therefore, a need for better-quality criminal recidivism risk assessment poses itself, with the aim of achieving more effective implementation and evaluation of the penal treatment and recidivism risk assessment as potential feasibility of threatening citizens'... safety after the release. The three Effective Intervention Principles are concerned with the key questions in the convicts' treatment: Risk, Need and Responsivity (RNR) Principles. Since the focus of the paper has been set on the recidivism risk analysis, a realistic possibility of application of the principles in our prison practice has been considered. Recidivism risk assessment is conducted by the prison experts at the very admission of a convict to their sentence serving, as well as at a later stage of the treatment evaluation. Statistic and dynamic risk factors are also analyzed and recidivism probability is calculated. In our prison practice, recidivism risk assessment is based on an adjusted broader or specific version of Offender Assessment System (OASys) instrument. In this paper, a global recidivism risk assessment practice has been demonstrated and the recidivism risk levels distribution among those sentenced to prison terms has been analyzed in three representative prison institutions of Serbia. The sample included the convicts (271) serving their sentences in Užice Municipal Prison (25.1%), Sremska Mitrovica Detention and Rehabilitation Facility (55.3%) and Padinska Skela Detention and Rehabilitation Facility (19.6%), the duration of the sentence being within the range of two months to 35 years. The sentences of up to three years in prison dominated (81.9%); up to six months of prison being the most frequent (36.5%). The sentences of over three years in prison made up 18.1% of the cases. In this group, the most frequent sentences were those between three and five years of incarceration (10%). The penal recidivism was present in somewhat more than the half of the tested sample (52%). The criminal recidivism risk was most commonly assessed as being low (42.1%), then median (40.6%) and lastly high (17.3%). A paradox of the convicts most frequently being assigned to closed treatments was noted, even though the fewest number of them had been assessed as highly risky, meaning, they were seldom assigned to an open treatment despite mostly being assessed as displaying low risks, which is all in stark contrast to the Risk Principles of the convicts' treatment. There was an additional paradox of risk level and recidivism risk factors determination being conducted with high quality, however, the issue commences when the penal treatment aiming at dynamic risk factors is to be applied. No systematically determined plans or penal treatment specialized programs exist, leading to a situation in which prison sentence implementation boils down to a minimum of prison routines and simplified disabling of the convict from committing new crimes whilst in prison. A statistical analysis has proved that the convicts significantly differ in their recidivism risk levels and the matched treatment and prison type, recidivism and violent behavior tendencies. Such data may be helpful in the course of penal practice planning, which should be directed towards better convicts distribution and specified treatment application adjusted according to the predetermined dynamic criminal recidivism risk factors. The results of the research once more emphasize the imperative of scientifically proved empirical findings regarding recidivism risks and the need for them to be applied in the creation, realization and evaluation of the prison treatment. This would increase the feeling of safety of both individuals and the community where the convicts are released after serving their prison sentence.
Nastojanje čoveka, zajednice i države da se živi u bezbednim uslovima svakodnevno se narušava vršenjem krivičnih dela kojima se napada na život, zdravlje, imovinu, prava, slobode, pravni sistem i druge vitalne vrednosti. To dovodi do osećanja nebezbednosti i straha od kriminaliteta. Reakcija države prema počiniocima krivičnih dela izražava se pokretanjem krivičnog postupka i izricanjem krivičnih sankcija. Najstroža sankcija u našem sistemu je zatvorska kazna koja se izriče aproksimativno u četvrtini slučajeva. Očekuje se da izvršenje zatvorske kazne postigne osnovni cilj - prevenciju recidivizma, odnosno nečinjenje novih krivičnih dela. Podaci o učestalosti recidivizma govore da kažnjavanje osuđenih nije ostvarilo preventivni cilj. U više od polovine slučajeva osuđeni se po otpustu iz zatvora, nakon relativno kratkog vremena, ponovo javljaju kao počinioci novih krivičnih dela, nanovo ugrožavajući bezbednost pojedinaca, zajednice i društva u celini. Stoga se, u cilju očuvanja bezbednost...i građana i društva, procena rizika recidivizma nameće kao bitan element u planiranju vrste i intenziteta zatvorskog tretmana, dodele uslovnog otpusta i eventualnog nadzora nakon otpusta. U radu će biti ukazano na distribuciju nivoa rizika recidivizma kod osuđenih, uz analizu povezanosti sa njihovim osnovnim sociodemografskim i kriminološko-penološkim karakteristikama.
Ključne reči:convict / prison / criminality / recidivism / risk / osuđeni / zatvor / kriminalitet / recidivizam / rizik
Izvor:Bezbednost, Beograd, 2018, 60, 2, 5-29
- Ministarstvo unutrašnjih poslova Republike Srbije, Beograd