A population-based study of juvenile perpetrators of homicide in England and Wales

Cathryn Rodway, Victoria Norrington-Moore, David While, Isabelle M. Hunt, Sandra Flynn, Nicola Swinson, Alison Roscoe, Louis Appleby, Jenny Shaw

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    This study aimed to describe the social, behavioural and offence characteristics of all convicted perpetrators of homicide aged 17 and under; to examine their previous contact with mental health services, and to discuss strategies for homicide prevention. An eight-year (1996-2004) sample of 363 juvenile homicide perpetrators in England and Wales was examined. The majority of perpetrators were male, used a sharp instrument, and most victims were acquaintances or strangers. Over half had previously offended. A history of alcohol and/or drug misuse was common, as was the prevalence of family dysfunction, abuse, educational difficulties or discipline problems. Previous contact with mental health services was rare. Earlier intervention targeting social and psychological adversity and substance misuse could help to reduce the level of risk for future violence, and may reduce homicide rates among juveniles. Strengthening engagement with young offenders and increasing resources to prevent recidivism may also be beneficial. © 2010 The Association for Professionals in Services for Adolescents.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-28
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Adolescence
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • Homicide
    • Juveniles
    • Mental illness
    • Violence
    • Youth


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