NS7202: Offenders: Causes, Assessment and Treatment

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Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

NS7202: Offenders: Causes, Assessment and Treatment

Module Title Offenders: Causes, Assessment and Treatment
Module Code NS7202
Module Tutor Claire L Marsh
School School of Natural and Social Sciences
CAT Points 30
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

This module introduces the student to considering what crime is and how it is measured. It provides the student with a background to the various ways in which criminal behaviour can be explained (from criminological, biological and psychological perspectives) and to consider their applicability to different offender groups. It provides an advanced understanding of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of, and current approaches to the a) assessment and b) treatment of offenders. The evaluation of information in a coherent and defensible manner is emphasised as well as being able to evaluate standardised tests and self-report scales. The module will also critically appraise current practice with offenders.

Indicative Syllabus
  • Problems associated with definitions and measurement of crime; the impact of variations in crime figures on the development of theories of criminal behaviour.
  • Explanations of criminal behaviour: Biological, Criminological, and Psychological perspectives
  • Explanations of criminality in specific offender groups (e.g., juveniles, women)
  • Explanations of specific types of offending (e.g., sex offending, terrorism)
  • Purpose and contextual factors in assessment and treatment
  • Functional analysis and case study formulation
  • Risk and needs assessment
  • Actuarial tools used to assess offenders
  • Structured clinical judgement of risk/treatment needs
  • Assessing competence and provision for the mentally disordered offender
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of interventions
  • Cognitive-behavioural interventions for offending behaviour
  • Obstacles to treatment and treatment 'readiness', drop-out and non-completion.
  • Learning Outcomes

    A student passing this module should be able to:

    1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks for explaining criminal behaviour and specific types of offending, including the perspectives brought to this issue from different disciplinary and professional positions;
    2. Apply biological, criminological and psychological explanations of offending behaviour to crime types and critique the research methodologies used in these fields.
    3. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding, and to critique the debates regarding the treatment and punishment of criminal offending behaviour.
    4. Demonstrate an advanced and systematic understanding of psychological theory and research applicable to the assessment and treatment process.
    5. Critically analyse the contributions made by psychological techniques to the processes of assessment and treatment.
    6. Demonstrate an understanding of the methods of assessing risk and need (including psychometrics, structured clinical judgment), including those instruments applied with vulnerable/special populations.
    7. Propose recommendations and formulate judgements on treatment and assessment of risk and need, identifying potential obstacles to the assessment/treatment process and proposing ways of overcoming these in order to enhance efficacy.
    Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 48
    Independent Learning Hours: 252
    Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 50% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 3,000 words or equivalent
    002: 50% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 3,000 words or equivalent
    Special Assessment Requirements None
    Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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