The Disturbed Violent Offender: Revised Edition

Pages: 252
Item #: 4316470
ISBN: 978-1-55798-260-5
List Price: $14.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $14.95
Copyright: 1994
Format: Softcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


Fear of violent crime has intensified the search for effective anticrime policies. When the violent offender is also mentally disturbed, the criminal justice and mental health systems face particular challenges. What is the relationship between emotional disorder and violence? How are mentally ill persons driven to commit violent crimes? Can their crimes be prevented? The Disturbed Violent Offender addresses these and other key questions, providing a compelling clinical picture of disturbed violent offenders.

Updated and substantially revised from the original version, published in 1989, this book focuses on the correlation between types of offenders and types of crimes. Toch and Adams report on their study of a year's intake of violent, mentally ill prisoners in New York state and the experiences of those offenders with the state criminal justice and mental health establishments.

Using cluster analysis, the authors make detailed connections between psychological problems and patterns of behavior and criminal offense. They identify typologies for the offenders—those who had received psychological treatment, those who were substance abusers, and those with both attributes—in contrast with a central group. Vivid case histories representative of offender populations illustrate each type. The book addresses criminal acts that reflect pathology, acts by disturbed but nonserious offenders, and acts by the most chronic and dangerous patients.

A new chapter on policy offers a lucid discussion of the continuing policy dilemmas and controversies posed by violent offenders. The authors discuss intervention options and explore the faults of traditional sentencing practices and approaches to behavior prediction and treatment. They offer detailed recommendations for a hybrid or multiservice arrangement in the community or in institutions as an ideal approach to meeting the unusual needs of multiproblem offenders. This readable volume provides a unique combined view of mental health problems and patterns of criminal violence—an up-to-date and insightful perspective on mentally ill offenders.

Table of Contents




  1. Introduction

Part I: A Study of Disturbed Violent Offenders

  1. Research Strategy
  2. Results of Statistical Analyses

Part II: Typological Clusters and Case Studies

  1. Offenders With Histories of Mental Health Problems
  2. Offenders With Substance Abuse Histories
  3. Offenders With No Mental Health-Related Histories
  4. The Disturbed Violent Offense

Part III: Policy Issues

  1. The Extremely Disturbed but Minimally Violent Offender: The Problem of Sentencing
  2. The Extremely Disturbed and Extremely Violent Offender: The Problem of Programming
  3. Responding to the Checkered Careers of Multiproblem Offenders


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Authors

Author Bios

Hans Toch is a distinguished professor at the University at Albany of the State University of New York, where he is affiliated with the School of Criminal Justice. He obtained his PhD at Princeton University and has taught at Michigan State University and Harvard. Toch is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Criminology. He is a recipient of the Hadley Cantril Memorial Award and has served as a Fulbright Fellow in Norway.

Among Toch's recent books are Coping: Maladaptation in Prisons (1989) with Ken Adams and Police as Problem Solvers (1991) with J. Douglas Grant, as well as Violent Men: An Inquiry Into the Psychology of Violence (1992), Mosaic of Despair: Human Breakdowns in Prison (1992), and Living in Prison: The Ecology of Survival (1992), three revised books published by the American Psychological Association. One of Toch's early works was The Social Psychology of Social Movements (1965); his first interests included problems of public opinion, perception and social perception, and violence. Toch has described himself as an applied social psychologist with a "serendipitous specialization" in criminal justice and criminology. The area of specialty evolved during decades of research in California and New York State prisons and in metropolitan police departments. Toch says that his crime-related concerns have made him "an unwitting pioneer" in a "now established interdisciplinary endeavor that has become a growth industry."

Kenneth Adams is associate professor and assistant dean for graduate programs in the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. He received his PhD at the State University of New York at Albany. His earliest research, carried out while a Fellow at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, focused on the delivery of mental health services to prison inmates. Subsequently, he has directed several large-scale research projects, variously supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Justice, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. These projects have centered on the relation of mental health problems to violence and to prison adjustment and on developmental aspects of criminal behavior across the life span. He is also coauthor, with Hans Toch, of Coping: Maladaptation in Prisons. Most recently, his research interests have turned to issues of police violence.