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Looking for a needle in the haystack: arsonists with intellectual disability in Australia

Curtis, Ashlee, McVilly, Keith and Day, Andrew 2015, Looking for a needle in the haystack: arsonists with intellectual disability in Australia, Psychiatry, psychology and law, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 444-452, doi: 10.1080/13218719.2014.960031.

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Title Looking for a needle in the haystack: arsonists with intellectual disability in Australia
Author(s) Curtis, AshleeORCID iD for Curtis, Ashlee orcid.org/0000-0001-9182-2840
McVilly, Keith
Day, Andrew
Journal name Psychiatry, psychology and law
Volume number 22
Issue number 3
Start page 444
End page 452
Total pages 9
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1321-8719
1934-1687
Summary Arson attracts substantial penalties in Australia, reflecting the serious consequences of the crime. It is often asserted that people with intellectual disability are particularly likely to commit arson offences, and yet it is difficult to establish the prevalence in this population. This study sought to describe the characteristics of those people appearing in Australian Courts who have an intellectual disability and have been charged with arson. A search of the AustLII, LexisNexisAU and WestLawAU databases over the 10-year period from 2003 to 2013 identified 50 arson convictions reported in case law. Of these, six involved an offender with an identified intellectual disability. These offenders were likely to have committed other crimes at the time, or to have prior offences and were likely to receive longer sentences of imprisonment than their non-intellectually disabled counterparts. These findings are discussed in terms of the barriers that exist to understanding more about this under-researched population.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2014.960031
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Routledge
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30070269

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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