Integrating Environmental Considerations into Prisoner Risk Assessments

    by:
  • Lisa Tompson (University College London, Department of Security and Crime Science, 35 Tavistock Square, London. WC1H 9EZ. England. E-mail: l.tompson@ucl.ac.uk)
  • Spencer Chainey (UCL Department of Security and Crime Science, 35 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9EZ E-mail: s.chainey@ucl.ac.uk)

Reducing re-offending amongst ex-prisoners is of paramount importance for both penal and societal reasons. This paper advances an argument that the current prisoner risk assessment instruments used in the UK neglect to account for environmental determinants of re-offending. We frame this position within the growing literature on the ecology of recidivism, and use the principles of environmental criminology to stress the importance of the opportunities for crime that are present in an ex-prisoners’ neighbourhood. We conclude by considering the implications for policy and discuss how these might conflict with the practical realities of managing ex-prisoners.

Keywords: Environmental criminology, Ecology of Recidivism, Prisoner Resettlement, Desistance

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