Arson treatment programmes for offenders with disability : a systematic review of the literature
Curtis, Ashlee, McVilly, Keith and Day, Andrew 2012, Arson treatment programmes for offenders with disability : a systematic review of the literature, Journal of learning disabilities and offending behaviour, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 186-205.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify and evaluate treatment for adult fire setters with an intellectual disability, given the specific risks they present, the complexities of criminal proceedings associated with their behaviour, and subsequent rehabilitation. However, the review also took into account programmes for fire setters in the wider population, including those for children and adolescents, given that such research might also inform the development of programmes for offenders with an intellectual disability.
Design/methodology/approach – A systematic review of the literature was undertaken.
Findings – Only four studies which evaluated treatment programmes specifically for arsonists with an intellectual disability were identified. Although each of these studies reported a reduction in fire-setting behaviour following programme completion, all employed relatively weak research designs. An additional 12 studies investigating programmes for arsonists without intellectual disability were also identified. It is concluded that there is a lack of evidence regarding treatment programme outcomes for arsonists with an intellectual disability. The extent to which such programmes can be adapted to suit adult offenders with an intellectual disability is discussed, with recommendations made for the design and evaluation of arson treatment programmes for offenders with intellectual disabilities.
Originality/value – Currently, minimal treatments programs exist for fire setting in offenders with intellectual disability. This review highlights the importance of further research into treatment programs for this specialised population.
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