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Firesetting and firesetters in the Netherlands

Individualization, identification and treatment

Paperback Engels 2016 9789462367098
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Samenvatting

Firesetting can have devastating effects, including loss of life and serious financial damage. With its potentially severe negative consequences, this type of behaviour has enormous impact on society. Remarkably, however, this phenomenon has received little attention in research, leaving the questions largely unanswered regarding how firesetters can best be individualised, caught by the police and treated in forensic mental health institutions. Based on the first large-scale research project studying firesetters in the Netherlands, this monograph provides answers resulting from analyses at a macro, meso and micro level. These analyses show that firesetters are a heterogeneous group, whose subgroups have their own specific diagnostics and characteristics. These characteristics can guide the police investigation in cases of firesetting. Furthermore, the subgroups found have specific treatment needs, as described in a differentiated treatment model. In order to be effective, treatment should focus on these specific needs. In short, this study contributes to knowledge on the firesetting phenomenon, highlighting the need for differentiation both in individualising and identifying as well as in treating firesetters.

This book is part of the so-called Pompe series, which contains publications by staff members of the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology in Utrecht, and by authors closely aligned to the school of thought for which the Institute is known. One of its main characteristics has always been the combination of legal and social-scientific approaches to problems of criminal law. The central theme of the Institute’s research programme is the protection and enforcement of fundamental rights in a changing world. Within that programme, research focuses on the position of vulnerable groups in relation to the state and on the significance of individual human rights in an international context.

Specificaties

ISBN13:9789462367098
Taal:Engels
Bindwijze:paperback
Aantal pagina's:351
Druk:1
Verschijningsdatum:20-10-2016
Hoofdrubriek:Juridisch
ISSN:

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Inhoudsopgave

Preface v
Overview vii
Table of contents ix

Chapter 1
Introduction 1
1 Terminology 2
1.1 Legal qualification of firesetting 2
1.2 Operationalisation of firesetting in research 3
1.3 Terminology used in this book 3
2 Epidemiological information regarding fire and firesetting in the Netherlands 4
2.1 Prevalence 4
2.2 Police data 5
2.3 Firesetting in Dutch court; an impression 8
3 Current knowledge on firesetting in Dutch literature 10
3.1 Pre-trial forensic mental health evaluations of Dutch firesetters 10
3.2 Mental health of firesetters in prison 12
3.3 Firesetters with a special measure for mentally ill offenders 13
3.4 Treatment of firesetters in tbs hospitals 14
3.5 Recidivism in Dutch firesetters 15
3.6 Conclusions on current knowledge and shortcomings in Dutch literature 16
4 Research questions and aims 16
5 Research strategy and design 18
6 Scientific relevance 19
6.1 Explanatory theoretical framework 20
6.2 Identification and individualization 20
6.3 Treatment of firesetters 21
7 Societal relevance 22
8 Outline 22

Chapter 2
Methods of data collection and analysis 25
1 Data sources 25
1.1 Firesettes evaluiated in inpatient pre-trial forensic mental health assessment (PBC data) 26
1.2 Convicted firesetters (PF data) 27
1.3 Firesetters in the forensic registration and information system (FRIS data) 28
1.4 Interview data 28
2 Samples, measures and data analysis 29
2.1 PBC data 29
2.2 Police File data 32
2.3 Forensic Registration and Information System data 33
3 Ethical considerations 34

Part I Historical and theoretical background

Chapter 3
The historical development of firesetting from a medico-legal perspective 1800-1950 37
1 Introduction 37
2 Structure 38
3 Firesetting as a criminal offence 38
3.1 The first Dutch Criminal Code (1809-1810) 38
3.2 The French Code Pénal (1810-1886) 39
4 The notion of criminal responsibility 41
4.1 The first Dutch Criminal Code (1809-1810) 41
4.2 The French Code Pénal (1810-1886) 41
5 The rise of modern psychiatry 42
5.1 Before psychiatry: incarceration 42
5.2 Psychiatry’s first steps: Breaking the chains and Moral Treatment 44
6 The general role of psychiatry in criminal proceedings 47
6.1 Forensic medicine, focus on the body 47
6.2 Starting point of forensic psychiatry, growing attention for the mind 48
7 A medico-legal background on firesetting in the first half of the nineteenth century 50
7.1 Pyromania, an irresistible impulse 50
7.2 ‘Fired up’ teens, or firesetting caused by irregular development 52
7.3 Firesetting, an unexpected lightning strike? 54
7.4 Pubertal problems questioned 55
7.5 Firesetting with a reason 57
7.6 Pyromania, a resistible impulse? 58
7.7 Pyromania as a cause of criminal irresponsibility 59
7.8 Pyromania and the Dutch courts 61
Excursus 63
8 Firesetting as a criminal offence: the new Dutch Criminal Code (1886) 64
9 The notion of criminal responsibility under the new Dutch Criminal Code (1886) 65
10 The rise of modern psychiatry 66
10.1 Development of biological psychiatry and its implications for treatment optimism 66
10.2 Growing individuality and psychoanalysis, beginning of a new age 68
11 The general role of psychiatry in criminal proceedings 71
11.1 Biology and a New Direction 71
12 A medico-legal background on firesetting in the second half of the nineteenth century 72
12.1 Growing doubts, pyromania as a distinct disorder 72
12.2 Pyromania as a reasoned act. 73
12.3 Dismissal of pyromania as a distinct diagnostic category 74
12.4 Organic pathology and degeneration 76
12.5 Pyromania as a cause of criminal irresponsibility 78
12.6 Pyromania and the Dutch courts 80
13 A medico-legal background on firesetting in the first half of the twentieth century 81
13.1 Pyromania: shifting attention 81
13.2 Searching for underlying pathology and overt motives 82
13.3 Pyromania and covert motives 85
13.4 Burning with desire 87
13.5 Single causes of firesetting 91
13.6 Pyromania as a cause of criminal irresponsibility 93
13.7 Pyromania and the Dutch courts 94
14 Conclusion 96

Chapter 4
The observation of mental disorder and dangerousness in firesetters
A Dutch contemporary appraisal 99
1 Introduction 99
2 Structure 101
3 Pro Justitia reports in the Pieter Baan Centre 102
4 Mental disorder and dangerousness 103
5 Differences in offender and offence characteristics 104
5.1 Offender-related differences 106
5.2 Offence-related differences 107
6 The criminal-law response to firesetting in the Netherlands 108
6.1 Conclusions on criminal accountability, risk of recidivism and recommendation 109
6.2 Differences in criminal accountability, risk of recidivism and recommendation 110
7 The influence of mental disorder in cases of firesetting 110
7.1 Conclusion on accountability with respect to DSM classification 111
7.2 Forensic mental health recommendation with respect to DSM classification 112
8 The influence of dangerousness in cases of firesetting 112
8.1 Conclusion on accountability with respect to recidivism risk 113
8.2 The forensic mental health recommendation with respect to recidivism risk 113
9 Discussion 114
9.1 Offender and offence characteristics over time 114
9.2 The influence of mental disorder 116
9.3 The influence of dangerousness 116
10 Conclusion 117

Chapter 5
Explaining firesetting
A multidisciplinary approach 119
1 Introduction 119
2 Structure 119
3 A criminological approach: routine-activities theory 120
3.1 Criminological theory 120
3.2 General information on routine-activities theory (RAT) 120
3.3 Applicability of RAT to firesetting 122
3.4 Discussion 124
4 A psychological approach 125
4.1 Introduction 125
4.2 Single-factor explanations: social learning, biology and addiction 126
4.3 Multi-factor explanations 127
4.3.1 Functional analysis model 128
4.3.2 The multi-trajectory theory of adult firesetting 130
4.4 Discussion 134
5 A psychopathological approach: disordered offenders 135
5.1 Introduction 135
5.2 Mental disorders associated with firesetting 135
5.3 Pathologically motivated firesetting 136
5.4 Discussion 137
6 Conclusion: an integrative explanatory model of firesetting 138

Part II Literature review

Chapter 6
Characterization and categorization of firesetters 143
1 Introduction 143
2 Characteristics 144
2.1 Introduction 144
2.2 Characteristics related to the offence 144
2.3 Characteristics of the offender 146
2.4 Summary 148
3 Categorizations 148
3.1 Introduction 148
3.2 Motive as distinctive factor 149
3.3 Characteristics of the offender or offence as distinctive factor 152
3.4 Multiple distinctive factors 155
3.5 Summary 158
4 Conclusion 159

Chapter 7
Treatment of firesetters 161
1 Introduction 161
2 Literature search 162
3 Findings 163
4 What Works 164
4.1 General treatment principles 164
4.2 Assessment 164
4.3 Elements ‘that work’ 166
4.3.1 Fire safety education 166
4.3.2 Social skills and assertiveness training 167
4.3.3 Cognitive behavioural therapy 167
4.3.4 Behavioural interventions 168
4.3.5 Pharmacotherapy 169
4.4 Combining the elements: treatment programmes 170
5 Conclusion 172

Part III Firesetters and their fires from an empirical perspective

Chapter 8
Populations of firesetters
A description and comparison 177
1 Introduction 177
2 Representativeness of the populations 178
3 Differences between populations 180
3.1 Differences between PBC, PF and FRIS data 180
3.2 Differences between PBC and PF data 181
4 Discussion of findings 184
4.1 Sociodemographics 185
4.2 Intelligence and pathological characteristics 185
4.3 Judicial characteristics 186
4.4 Event-related characteristics 186
5 Conclusion 187

Chapter 9
Subgroups of firesetters
The next step towards individualization 189
1 Introduction 189
2 Subtypes of convicted firesetters 190
2.1 Making a distinction (police file data) 190
2.2 Description of the subtypes 191
3 Subtypes of forensic mental health assessed firesetters (PBC data) 193
3.1 Sample characteristics 193
3.2 Cluster solution 193
3.3 Differences in offender and offence characteristics between clusters 196
3.4 Empirical validation of five subtypes 200
4 A psychotic type of firesetters within the disordered subtype 201
4.1 A distinct psychotic type of firesetters 201
4.2 Psychotic versus non-psychotic firesetters 202
4.3 Psychotic versus vandalism firesetters 203
5 Conclusion 203

Chapter 10
From offence to offender
Identification of firesetters based on relevant characteristics 207
1 Introduction 207
2 Differences on relevant characteristics between offenders 208
3 Linking relevant characteristics to possible offenders 209
4 Case descriptions of individual firesetters 211
4.1 The Vandal: Patrick 211
4.2 The Disordered Firesetter: William 212
4.3 The Disturbed Relationship Firesetter: Peter 214
4.4 The Opportunist: Susan and Bert 214
4.5 The Desiring Firesetter: Mitchell 215
5 Discussion of findings 216
6 Conclusion 218

Chapter 11
A model of differentiated treatment 219
1 Introduction 219
2 Risk factors and associated treatment needs 220
3 Treatment needs in subgroups of firesetters 222
4 Combining effective treatment and firesetters: making it work 224
5 Conclusion 226

Chapter 12
Integration 229
1 Recapitulation and discussion of findings 229
1.1 Contextualisation: historical developments and theory on firesetters 229
1.2 Individualizing firesetters 232
1.3 Identifying firesetters 233
1.4 Tailoring treatment to individual firesetters 234
2 Methodological considerations 236
3 Implications 239
3.1 Prevention by law enforcement 239
3.2 Prevention in clinical practice 240
3.3 General prevention 241
4 Theoretical considerations and future directions 242

Appendices 245
1 Relevant court decisions in Dutch arson cases in 2012-2013 246
2.1 Checklist for analysis of PBC reports 250
2.2 Additional checklist for assessment of police files 253
2.3 Interview questions 255
3.1 Crimineel Wetboek voor het Koningrijk Holland 1809 257
3.2 Code Pénal de 1810 261
3.3 Wetboek van Strafrecht 1886 263
7 Results of search for literature on treatment of firesetters 264
9.1 Creating subgroups of firesetters based on PF data 274
9.2 Comparing subgroups of firesetters on characteristics related to the offender and the offence 276
9.3 Relevant characteristics described in the second tier of the M-TTAF 287
9.4 Comparing psychotic and non-psychotic firesetters 289
9.5 Predictive value of characteristics (logistic regression analysis) 292
10 Comparing subgroups of firesetters regarding relevant offender and offence characteristics 294

Samenvatting 301
References 309
Index 339
Previous publications 347
Curriculum Vitae 351

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