Sociology Index -

MOTIVATED OFFENDERS

Situational Crime Prevention, Developmental Crime Prevention, Community Crime Prevention

To be motivated is to be ready to engage in a particular experience or action. You may have been motivated to attend college by your upbringing or by a particular role model.

Many people are motivated to offend perhaps because they have a drug dependency, are poor, lack self-control, or any number of other reasons. Such people are referred to as Motivated Offenders.

It is argued that something has to happen to turn this motivation into action. Perhaps you had to get a scholarship or the offender has to see a car with the keys in it to become a Motivated Offender.

In the March 1999 edition of Probation Journal, Richard Edwards argued that probation staff should be unequivocally committed to work with racially motivated offenders. Here, Liz Dixon, with assistance from Toyin Okitikpi, considers the complexity and problematic nature of such work, and reviews useful theoretical frameworks and practice materials. - Working With Racially Motivated Offenders - Practice Issues.

Direct Work with Racially Motivated Offenders - David Court, London Probation Area
The author discusses his experience of piloting intervention materials designed for work with racially motivated offenders. Despite the difficulties in prosecuting and assessing such offenders, he describes encouraging early results, showing that participants have been able to recognize the origins of their aggressive racial prejudices and identify the link with their offending behaviour.

Characteristics of a Bias Motivated Offender - Andres Molina, University of California
Abstract: Offense characteristics of 770 hate crimes reported to the Los Angeles Police Department were analyzed. Dimensions of instrumental (planning and goal directedness) and reactive offenses from the case file were analyzed on the Cornell Aggression Index by raters. Raters (Cornell index) examined the relationship of the three most common bias motivations in hate crimes (race/ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation) and severity of violence in relation to the bias motivations. Demographic data, including perpetrator gender, race, and age, as well as crime charge for each event was gathered. The data generated were used to compile a composite profile of a hate crime offender for each bias motivation.

Racially Motivated Offenders and the Probation Service (From Race and Probation, P 25-40, 2006, Sam Lewis, Peter Raynor, et al., eds. - David Smith 
Abstract: Research findings show that even since the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act, many racially motivated offenses are undetected; and if they are identified, probation officers are anxious and uncertain about how to deal with probationers whose attitudes and beliefs about race they find offensive. Among the findings of such research is that racism is rarely the only motivation of such offenders. Typically, racism is a symptom of feelings of dispossession, low self-esteem, and resentment/rage that stems from the sense of being a victim of abusive treatment. A second finding is that the portrayal of racist violence as a "hate crime" in which a victim who is unknown to the offender is targeted because of his/her race is not a useful profile of the offense. Most often racially motivated offenders know their victims, albeit not very well. A third finding is that few racially motivated offenders regard themselves as racists; and another finding is that moralizing about the evils of racism with such probationers is more likely to be met with defiance rather than a change in attitude. A fifth finding is that racist violence is usually the outcome of intense and complex emotions that can lead to violence under certain conditions.

Symbolic, relational, and ideological signifiers of bias-motivated offenders: toward a strategy of assessment. - Dunbar E, Department of Psychology/Center for the Study and Resolution of Interethnic/Interracial Conflict, University of California
Developmental, ideological, and behavioral characteristics of 58 convicted hate crime offenders were examined. Ratings on the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version, HCR-20, and Bias Motivation Profile (BMP) were made via record review. Offense characteristics were rated on the Cornell Aggression Index and Cormier-Lang Crime Index. Results indicated that offenders with higher BMP scores engaged in more instrumental (i.e., premeditated) aggression and targeted racial-ethnic minority victims. Significant within-group variation in the prominence of offender bias motivation on the BMP was observed.

Patterns of Crime: Theory and Investigation
Dan Birks, Shane D Johnson and Kate J Bowers
Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science, University College London
ABSTRACT: Crime occurs where there exist motivated offenders, suitable targets for crime and the absence of capable guardians. Thus, crime is the results of the complex interactions between multiple rational agents. However, theories of crime they have traditionally inspired research that employs a top-down rather than bottom-up methodology. Key findings demonstrate that a large amount of crime is concentrated in a small number of places, against a small number of victims, and committed by relatively few offenders (Pease, 1998). Current theories of offending suggest that offenders adopt foraging strategies (Johnson and Bowers, 2004), preferring to limit the time and effort devoted to searching out new opportunities, and selecting targets where the rewards outweigh the risks involved (Cornish and Clarke, 1986). A number of predictions emerge from these ideas, and affirmative findings include evidence which demonstrates that the risk of burglary and car crime is communicable in a similar way to a disease.