Devon L L Polaschek

Devon L L Polaschek
The University of Waikato · Psychology/Crime Science

PhD PostGraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology

About

188
Publications
152,045
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Introduction
I am a Professor of Psychology at Te Whare Wananga o Waikato The University of Waikato, in Hamilton, New Zealand, and Director of Te Puna Haumaru The New Zealand Institute of Security and Crime Science. My research interests are mainly in correctional psychology, and perpetration of violence; especially psychopathy, family violence and psychological treatment and community re-entry for high risk violent and sexual offenders.
Additional affiliations
January 1994 - present
Victoria University of Wellington
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (188)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the relationships between individual offenders’ crime locations and their prior activity locations is important to enable individual level predictions to support crime prevention and investigation strategies. This study examined a wider range of crimes and activity locations than included in previous studies, to determine whether offe...
Article
In most countries, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees, including those who work in hazardous occupations. Policing can be a hazardous occupation and officers can face physical threats to life. Yet in the police service, there appears to be a dichotomy between treating officers involved in critical...
Article
Eliciting informative prior distributions for Bayesian inference can often be complex and challenging. Although popular methods rely on asking experts probability-based questions to quantify uncertainty, these methods are not without their drawbacks, and many alternative elicitation methods exist. This paper explores methods for eliciting informati...
Article
Full-text available
This study developed and tested a new geographic profiling method for automating suspect prioritisation in crime investigations. The Geographic Profiling Suspect Mapping And Ranking Technique (GP‐SMART) maps suspects' activity locations available in police records—such as home addresses, family members' home addresses, prior offence locations, loca...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eliciting informative prior distributions for Bayesian inference can often be complex and challenging. While popular methods rely on asking experts probability based questions to quantify uncertainty, these methods are not without their drawbacks and many alternative elicitation methods exist. This paper explores methods for eliciting informative p...
Article
This study aimed to explore, describe, and interpret New Zealand probation officers’ insights into supervisees’ non-compliance with community sentences. Seventeen probation officers participated in two focus groups. Probation officers viewed problems with cognitive skills as a key barrier to sentence compliance. They reported that these problems un...
Article
The Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM) is a self-report scale based on the Triarchic Model that has been little used in research in the criminal justice system. We sought to examine associations between pre-release TriPM components, probation officer relationships, and parolee quality of life, both measured after 2 months in the community, and r...
Article
Background Traumatic brain injury is overrepresented in incarcerated samples and has been linked to a number of poor correctional outcomes. Despite this, no research has explored the impact of a recent TBI on compliance outcomes for individuals serving community-based. Method We screened for a history of TBI in 106 adults on community sentences an...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the responses to intimate partner violence of two Australasian countries, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. While these countries have close links to one another, the chapter highlights some key differences in how information about violence is collected, the history of service delivery in each country, and the policy contex...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The burgeoning field of individual level crime location choice research has required increasingly large datasets to model complex relationships between the attributes of potential crime locations and offenders’ choices. This study tests methods of sampling aiming to overcome computational challenges involved in the use of such large data...
Poster
Full-text available
It is becoming increasingly recognized that controlling behaviours are a widespread form of harm experienced by victims of intimate partner violence; and in some countries ‘coercive control’ – the repetitive and systematic use of controlling behaviours over time – has become a criminal offence. However, the extent to which controlling behaviours ar...
Article
Lloyd et al. (2020) proposed and tested a novel three-step framework for examining the extent to which reassessment of dynamic risk and protective factors enhances the prediction of imminent criminal recidivism. We conducted a conceptual replication of Lloyd et al.’s study. We used the same dynamic risk assessment measure in the same jurisdiction b...
Article
Full-text available
It is well established that offenders' routine activity locations (nodes) shape their crime locations, but research examining the geography of offenders' routine activity spaces has to date largely been limited to a few core nodes such as homes and prior offense locations, and to small study areas. This paper explores the utility of police data to...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid access to accurate risk assessment information is essential for effective police responses to family violence (FV) calls for service. This study describes the predictive validity of the Dynamic Risk Assessment for family violence (DYRA) and Static Assessment of Family Violence Recidivism (SAFVR), currently in use by the New Zealand Police. We...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We examined the predictive validity of the Dynamic Risk Assessment for Family Violence and the Static Assessment of Family Violence Recidivism: the risk assessment instruments for family violence currently used by the New Zealand police. We evaluated how well the risk categories from the two instruments predicted family violence recurrence within 3...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We examined the relationship characteristics, intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences and support needs of 165 high-risk IPV victims who were referred to the Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilot, and investigated whether these factors predicted repeat IPV victimisation within 12 months.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We examined whether evidence of coercive controlling behaviours in 1,158 police reports for intimate partner violence could be used to predict the recurrence of intimate partner violence within 6 months, over and above the SAFVR, a risk assessment instrument based largely on the criminal history of the aggressor.
Article
This study is part of a larger research project that developed the event process model of family violence (FVEPM). The FVEPM was developed by applying grounded theory methods to the event narratives of 14 men and 13 women completing community-based family violence (FV) perpetrator treatment programs. The current study extends this work with the ori...
Article
Full-text available
This paper extends Crime Pattern Theory, proposing a theoretical framework which aims to explain how offenders' previous routine activity locations influence their future offence locations. The framework draws on studies of individual level crime location choice and location choice in non-criminal contexts, to identify attributes of prior activitie...
Article
Full-text available
Background People returning to the community after prison face many challenges, including finding suitable accommodation and employment, and accessing good social support. The prospects are particularly poor for high‐risk offenders with up to a third of those released in New Zealand returning to prison within 100 days. Aims/hypotheses We developed...
Article
Full-text available
The event process model of family violence (FVEPM) presents a descriptive theory of a family violence (FV) event from the perpetrator’s perspective. Developed in a community setting, the FVEPM is comprised of four interrelated sections and describes three pathways to FV perpetration (Pathway 1: Conflict escalation, Pathway 2: Automated violence, an...
Article
In a context in which there is only limited evidence to suggest that contemporary violent offender treatment results in meaningful reductions in re-conviction rates, it is important to understand the heterogeneity that exists within violent offender populations. Although a number of different typologies of interpersonally violent behavior and of th...
Article
Full-text available
The tertiary prevention of human violence through psychologically‐informed interventions is an important component of any overall societal commitment to reducing the harm to mental and physical health that violence causes. This chapter examines 'what works' to reduce violence through psychological treatment programmes in custodial settings with hig...
Article
Although men and women share risk factors for offending, some scholars suggest these factors operate differently across gender and that women-specific risk factors are neglected in existing “gender-neutral” risk assessment tools. This article explored the predictive validity of one gender-neutral risk assessment tool—the Dynamic Risk Assessment for...
Article
Despite a growing number of studies exploring perpetrator's motives for intimate partner violence (IPV), methodological and conceptual issues evident in current research continue to limit our understanding of such motives. In an effort to address these issues, Flynn and Graham (2010) developed a conceptual model of perceived reasons for IPV; howeve...
Article
This study investigated the effects of residential relocation in a sample of 282 high-risk male offenders paroled from New Zealand prisons. Initially we compared those returning to their old neighborhoods ( devil you know) and those released to a new location ( fresh start). This second category was then further divided: those released to a new loc...
Article
Full-text available
Offense process models are descriptive theories that provide a temporal outline of an offense—including its cognitive, behavioral, contextual, and motivational components—from a perpetrator’s perspective. Offense process models have been developed for a wide range of criminal offending (e.g., alcohol-impaired driving, child sexual offending, rape,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Theory and research on the treatment of sex offenders is one of the most well-developed domains in offender treatment, although many important and interesting questions remain. Much of this development has occurred with some degree of separation from the more general body of knowledge on the rehabilitation of offenders, for at least two reasons. Fi...
Book
Text edited by Polaschek, Day and Hollin giving, across 48 chapters, a comprehensive review of psychology in correctional settings (institutions and community).
Article
Full-text available
Offender rehabilitation is typically thought to have been successful if a higher proportion of a sample of treatment completers avoids being reconvicted for an offence than a comparison sample. Yet, this type of evaluation design tells us little about what brings about these outcomes. In this study, we test whether change in dynamic risk factors du...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter reviews the current state of literature on the dynamic risk factors (DRFs) that may be relatively proximal triggers of criminal behavior and discusses how such factors might be integrated into community supervision practice. DRFs represent important intervention targets for parole officers (POs), since reductions in these risk factors...
Article
This chapter introduces some of the practice issues that are relevant for those who work directly with Indigenous and Aboriginal offenders. Perhaps the most tragic feature, common to all Indigenous peoples in the developed world, is their conspicuous over‐representation in their respective criminal justice systems. The impact of an individual's cul...
Article
This chapter provides a brief overview of treatment outcomes for sexual and non‐sexual violent offenders. In a systematic review of violent offender treatment conducted for the Ministry of Justice (UK), D. Jolliffe and D. P. Farrington were able to identify only 11 outcome studies that met the required methodological criteria. They cautiously concl...
Article
Several small bodies of research suggest community supervision can reduce recidivism, through both the way the community corrections officer (CCO) behaves toward their client, and the way they use the time they have together. Two principles are considered important for professionals to effectively influence behavior, whether as a therapist, family...
Article
This chapter describes some of the most widely used approaches to treatment and articulate some of the challenges that arise in trying to treat intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) perpetrators in a correctional setting. The focus is on violence that is perpetrated by men on women. The insight model reflects an individual psychodynamic approa...
Article
Delivering offending behavior programs with integrity and quality is crucial for effectiveness. This chapter aims to revisit important key ideas around program integrity and reknit these in the context of a more recent perspective on program delivery. It proposes an integration and development of Hollin and Gendreau's contributions. The chapter com...
Article
This chapter reviews some of the main theoretical perspectives on criminal behavior. Dynamic in approach, developmental and life‐course (DLC) theories are concerned with three main issues: the development of offending and antisocial behavior; risk and protective factors at different ages; and the effects of life events on the course of development....
Article
This chapter reviews secure and community forensic intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) services, and considers the essential treatment requirements for such services. Secure services for people with IDD in the United Kingdom tend to be multidisciplinary inpatient services with three levels of security: high, medium, and low, according t...
Article
This chapter provides understanding and guidance about how to manage difficult and disruptive prisoners. It addresses the broadly non‐compliant and hostile or aggressive behavior by prisoners that is typical of those held in higher security custodial settings. The chapter focuses on individual prisoner characteristics, especially personality, and h...
Article
This chapter aims to review prominent theories of behavior change and to explore how these can assist the development of more effective interventions to address offending behavior. The Theoretical Domains Framework categorizes behavior change theories in relation to three key theoretical domains: motivation, action, and organizational. Change theor...
Article
Psychology has produced few theories specifically for criminal violence. One of the most flexible frameworks for accommodating research on causes of violence is the general aggression model (GAM). Correctional psychology has often viewed violent behavior as a distinct domain of criminal behavior, much in the same way as it has viewed sexual offendi...
Article
This chapter reviews a range of effects on inmate functioning, including prison overcrowding, inmate relationships with correctional officers and staff, length of incarceration, and victimization. It also reviews the iatrogenic effects of incarceration as it pertains to post‐release functioning, including known criminal risk variables such as vocat...
Article
Psychological assessment is the initial stage of a systematic process of collecting and integrating relevant information about an individual's presenting problems. In the correctional setting, an individual's problems are often understood first and foremost in relation to the offenses that he or she has been convicted of (or charged with). Psycholo...
Chapter
This chapter provides a brief overview of sexual offenses and those who commit them and the reasons for the sexual offenses. It is important to note that pedophilia and other paraphilias have distinct clinical definitions and criteria for diagnosis. Most of the theories that have been developed to explain sexual offending focus on factors that rela...
Article
Suicide and self‐harmful behavior present an enormous challenge to those who manage correctional services for men, women, and young people internationally. This chapter focuses on the nature of the problems faced by correctional services because of their experience of a complex interplay between large numbers of detained vulnerable people and limit...
Article
This chapter focuses on the nature of foundational skills needed for community corrections officers (CCOs). The main objectives in using motivational interviewing (MI) in forensic practice are to promote engagement in the supervision process, and to elicit and explore the client's own motivations regarding change goals related to relevant criminal...
Article
Girls and women in conflict with the law are slowly garnering serious attention from mainstream correctional scholars. Contemporary mainstream correctional scholars started conducting female‐centered research in the 1990s. Collectively, mainstream and gender‐responsive scholars have made significant strides in understanding, preventing, and treatin...
Article
One widely used approach to constructing a case formulation is to assess and integrate information relating to a range of domains, including biological, psychological, familial, social, and cultural. The validity of the forensic case formulation will depend upon the quality of the evidence upon which it is based. Some important considerations inclu...
Article
Drafters of codes recognize at least three principles, but they often subdivide them into more principles and use different nomenclature to describe them. This chapter structures the author's overview of the principles by distinguishing between eight overlapping principles; namely, responsibility, respect for humanity, respect for autonomy, justice...
Article
The psychologist‐as‐organizational‐consultant ordinarily promotes appropriate staff selection and development, a safe and humane correctional environment, and a positive organizational culture. This chapter focuses on fidelity and responsibility, particularly in avoiding a conflict of interest. It provides a case example of where the American Psych...
Article
Prison visitations are one way of ameliorating the effects of parental incarceration. This chapter looks at the impact incarceration can have on children, caregivers, and the incarcerated parent. It explores factors influencing whether prison visits occur (barriers) and the potential risks and benefits associated with visits. Practical implications...
Article
This chapter provides an overview of actuarial and clinical information in the context of risk assessments. The area of clinical information is categorized into active and passive types of information. The chapter highlights perceived risk and self‐prediction within the active type of information. It discusses how clinical information can be includ...
Article
Structured professional judgment (SPJ) is one of two main options for evaluating the risk of violence posed by offenders, forensic psychiatric patients, and civil psychiatric patients. This chapter explains the historical context in which both the actuarial and SPJ approaches to violence risk assessment were developed. The presence of risk factors...
Article
The keystone of forensic practice is violence prevention. This chapter focuses on violence prevention and describes attempts to evaluate the environment of prisons and forensic psychiatric hospitals: in particular, attempts to identify the situational risk factors that serve to heighten the likelihood of violence. The focus is on how complex instit...
Article
In the context of this chapter, risk denotes assessments of recidivism probability and/or severity to inform service intensity, while need denotes identifying areas for intervention which, if successful, will reduce risk. Risk and need assessments are conducted in a number of different forensic contexts at all stages of criminal justice proceedings...
Article
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is concerned with the interactions between an individual and their (mainly social) environment. The “thinking” aspect of social functioning may be divided into social perception and social cognition. As CBT typically uses a range of techniques, sometimes addressed at several different targets for change, multimoda...
Article
Full-text available
The Consortium for Therapeutic Communities (TCTC), the organization which unites those working in all aspects of health and social care which use the therapeutic community (TC) model, lists members throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Australasia, and the United States. There are two main types of TC: the democratic TC (DTC), in which the hierarchy is f...
Article
Full-text available
Personality disorders are typified by relatively enduring, inflexible, and pervasive disturbances in how individuals experience and interpret themselves, others, and the world around them. The field of personality disorders is currently in a state of flux, with the recent transition from the fourth to the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric A...
Article
This chapter describes the theory and practice of schema therapy (ST) in forensic settings, drawing primarily on work conducted with forensic mental health patients. Clinical studies and meta‐analyses indicate that personality disorders (PDs) are highly prevalent in correctional settings. ST utilizes a number of techniques to change early maladapti...
Article
The severe mental illnesses, or psychoses, include schizophrenia, schizo‐affective disorder, bipolar disorder, and other psychoses. Robust evidence shows that individuals with schizophrenia are more likely than those without this disorder to be convicted, or found not guilty because of a mental disorder, of crimes, especially violent crimes. A sign...
Article
Community treatment programming is decentralized, and many of the features of the program are not within the control of the corrections agency. This chapter reviews three different conceptual frameworks for classifying programs related to correctional programming. It also reviews findings on target behaviors in programming described in meta‐analyse...
Article
Several individual characteristics and life experiences inevitably have a profound impact on the mental health of young people. This chapter identifies these as critical to any adequate understanding of the serious and violent juvenile offender (SVO) risk profile and to the development of effective interventions. For minor young offenders, communit...
Article
This chapter reflects on some more forward‐facing issues and challenges for psychology in correctional settings. Risk assessment nonetheless poses substantial ethical challenges that can bring psychologists into conflict with their employers. The development of risk assessment tools has, over the past 20 years, formed a large part of correctional p...
Article
This chapter illustrates the relevance of criminal thinking to criminological theory and the applicability of lifestyle assessment and intervention to criminal justice practice. Criminal thinking encompasses what an offender thinks as well as how an offender thinks. The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS) is an 80‐item self‐...
Article
This chapter reviews definitions of desistance before examining the light shed by criminal career research on who desists and when. It moves on to theories and research on these social and psychological processes involved in desistance, and relationships between efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate offenders, which are arguably efforts to stimul...
Article
An important consideration for any psychologist who is interested in understanding the role that substance misuse plays in offending is the extent to which the association is a product of one or more shared variables, such as poor impulse control, a generally deviant lifestyle, or close association with criminal peers. Psycho‐educational programs a...
Article
This chapter focuses on community interventions, primarily those that are not directly administered by the justice system or reentry programming. Housing is a critical aspect to successful reentry. Stable housing attainment is one concern and challenge that many offenders face in returning to the community. Employment allows for offenders to be pro...
Article
This chapter describes strength‐based approach (SBA) that takes an integrated approach in which deficits are addressed, with emphasis on identifying and building the client's strengths. The responsivity principle is concerned with the way treatment is delivered. It has two components, general and specific responsivity. Positive psychology equips cl...
Article
Evaluating the effects of treatment programs is an essential part of evidence‐based practice. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) represent a small proportion of studies of intervention effects in correctional settings. They are most successfully used in medicine in circumstances where it is possible to define reasonably clearly what the treatment...
Article
This chapter mainly deals with the treatment of a violence‐prone segment of the correctional population, rather than more broadly about the treatment of violence itself. Recidivism outcome evaluations remain rare for treatment of adult violent offenders. McGuire conducted a detailed qualitative review of meta‐analyses of intervention effects that w...
Article
The idea of using correctional strategies informed by psychological theory and research to reduce crime has come relatively recently in the long history of crime and punishment. But then, psychology is a relatively young discipline, and throughout its development, its relevance to crime and corrections has been evident. This chapter provides a brie...
Article
The growth of an aging prison population is a major concern in nearly every region of the world as prison administrators face the challenges associated with accommodating inmates for whom most facilities were never designed. The poor health status of older inmates can be attributed to previous lifestyle and socioeconomic factors. The quality of pen...
Article
This chapter reviews two major “mental health models” for supervising offenders with mental illness: specialty mental health probation and mental health courts. It also reviews a third model of supervision, the correctional rehabilitation model, that has recently been proposed as an alternative or supplement to the mental health model. The correcti...
Article
Traditionally, many considered that intimate partner violence and abuse (IPVA) constituted only physical and sexual violence, although it is now understood that partner violence includes psychological/emotional abuse, and controlling behaviors (i.e., economic abuse, coercion as well as physical and sexual abuse), all of which have a severe impact o...