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Solutions to the Problem Gambling and Crime Connection. Henry R. Lesieur, Ph.D. Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital. Crime Rates Among Pathological Gamblers. GA & treatment Studies -- 50-67% Helpline Study of Problem Gamblers -- 20% admitted crime and 11.5% arrested

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solutions to the problem gambling and crime connection

Solutions to the Problem Gambling and Crime Connection

Henry R. Lesieur, Ph.D.

Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital

crime rates among pathological gamblers
Crime Rates Among Pathological Gamblers
  • GA & treatment Studies -- 50-67%
  • Helpline Study of Problem Gamblers -- 20% admitted crime and 11.5% arrested
  • NORC study -- general population -- 32% of PGs arrested for any crime
crime types among pathological gamblers
Crime Types Among Pathological Gamblers
  • Forgery, Fraud, Theft, Embezzlement
  • Tax violations (fraud & evasion)
  • Illegal Gambling operation
  • Less common: Burglary, Armed robbery, Drug Sales, Fencing Stolen Goods, Prostitution, Extortion
psychologist as expert witness
Psychologist as Expert Witness
  • Reviews Materials from Court
  • Interviews Offender and others
  • Evaluates Mental Status
  • Evaluates for Mental Disorders
  • Conducts Psychological Tests
  • Writes Report
psychologist as expert witness 2
Psychologist as Expert Witness - 2
  • Examines issues not covered by pre-sentence investigation
  • -- Emotional Issues
  • -- Family Dysfunction
  • -- Co-occurring Disorders
  • -- Coping Skills
psychologist as expert witness 3
Psychologist as Expert Witness - 3
  • Examines work history (positives as well as negatives)
  • Social supports
  • Gambling Progression
  • Cognitive Distortions
  • Personality Disorder (especially ASPD)
action escape phase
Action/Escape Phase
  • ACTION -- become involved; good at it; exciting; early success; bolster self-esteem by gambling; wins=internally produced; losses=externally produced
  • ESCAPE -- gambling to escape from problems, loneliness, depression, anxiety, trauma; gambling = time out, time away from problems
losing chasing phase
Losing/Chasing Phase
  • ACTION gambler finds losing intolerable; CHASE after bad beats & serious losses
  • ESCAPE gambler finds “time out” is expensive
  • BOTH use up options for obtaining money as their involvement increases
  • New Money = Big Win
cycles in the spiral of options and involvement
Cycles in the Spiral ofOptions and Involvement

1. Get Money

2. “Moving,” “Manipulating,”

or “Juggling” Money

3. Tightening of Resources

(Closure) and Need to

Make Moral Decision

desperation phase
Desperation Phase
  • Job & Family Disaster Areas
  • Illegal Activities (CG Spiral)
  • Obsession with Getting Out of Trouble Overtakes Excitement
  • Escapes into Gambling Yet No Relief
  • Serious bouts with Depression
  • Suicide Attempts
hopeless phase
Hopeless Phase
  • Getting Even Not

Possible

  • No Longer Care
  • Know They Will Lose
  • Continual State of Depression
  • Playing for Action is All That Matters
considerations before turning to crime
Considerations Before Turning To Crime

1. Opportunity

2. External Agents of Social Control

(Police, Family)

3. Beliefs & Justifications

4. Closing of Available Options

5. Threat (to self-esteem, financial threat,

Physical threat)

crime and stress
CRIME AND STRESS
  • Stress of Gambling
  • Stress of Financial Pressures
  • Stress of Impact on Family
  • Work-related Stress
  • Produce: Anxiety, Depression, and Cognitive Distortions that Impair Judgment and Decision-Making
social attachment meyer stadler
Social Attachment(Meyer & Stadler)
  • Change in Living Condition
  • Relationship to Parents
  • Parental Education Methods
  • Emotional & Social Attachment
  • Involvement in Conventional Activities
  • Belief in Social Rules
addiction pressures for crime meyer stadler
Addiction Pressures for Crime(Meyer & Stadler)
  • Severity of Pathological Gambling
  • Cravings to Gamble
  • Duration of Gambling
  • Debt & Income/Loss Ratio
  • Emotional & Family Problems
  • Type and Frequency of Gambling
personality and crime meyer stadler
Personality and Crime(Meyer & Stadler)
  • Aggressiveness
  • Extroversion
  • Impulsivity; Risk-Motivation
  • Antisocial Personality
  • Frankness; Emotionality
  • Global Mental Status
crime meyer stadler
Crime: Meyer & Stadler

Social Attachment

.04

.25

Addiction

Criminal Behavior

.48

.63

.52

Personality

.33

the five r s
The Five “R”s
  • Remorse – evidence of feelings
  • Repentance – evidence of lifestyle changes. What is different? Job situation, marriage, etc.
  • Restitution plan. Is it realistic?
  • Recovery – treatment plan for recovery. Give details and dates. Evidence of compliance
  • Rehabilitation – evidence of change in attitude. Volunteer work, community service, spiritual life style change
us courts pathological gambling
US Courts & Pathological Gambling
  • Insanity Defense Argued in 1980s (PG does not apply)
  • Federal Sentencing Guidelines
  • Diminished Capacity and Downward Departure
  • “Significantly Reduced Mental Capacity”
minnesota rule 82 pathological gambling
Minnesota Rule 82 Pathological Gambling
  • Offenders Convicted of Felony Theft, Embezzlement & Forgery
  • PO Screens using SOGS
  • 17% SOGS 5+
  • Sent for Gambling Assessment
conditions of probation for pathological gamblers
Conditions of Probation for Pathological Gamblers
  • Abstinence from Gambling
  • Attendance at GA
  • Community Service
  • Gambling Counseling
  • Restitution Orders
  • How about Exclusion?
gambling court
Gambling Court
  • Modeled after Drug Courts
  • Buffalo, New York
  • 26th Judicial Court in Louisiana
  • Proposed in Florida
gambling court 2
Gambling Court - 2
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Pathological Gamblers
  • First Offenders
  • Non-violent
  • No drug dealers
  • No sex offenders
gambling court 5
Gambling Court - 5
  • Recommendations possible depend on what treatment is available
  • Inpatient treatment (Louisiana only)
  • Intensive Outpatient day treatment
  • Halfway House
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Gamblers Anonymous
gambling court 8
Gambling Court - 8
  • No Evaluations of gambling courts conducted to date
  • Drug Courts show 45-50% graduation rates
  • Drug Courts show reduced recidivism in two-thirds of the courts evaluated
pathological gambling among prisoners
Pathological Gambling among Prisoners
  • Conducted a Meta-analysis of 10 Studies
  • 19.6% of prisoners level 3 gamblers (probable PGs)
  • Gamblers higher criminality
  • Higher rate of psychopathy
  • Higher rate of Depression
  • Higher Rate of SUD
gambling in prisons
Gambling in Prisons
  • Play Cards for Cigarettes
  • Bet on Horses with prison bookies
  • Sports Betting
  • -- Sell drugs to pay for gambling
  • -- Bet with $$ on outside
  • -- Get into Fights
  • -- Provide services to pay gambling
recommendations for cjs and pathological gambling
Recommendations for CJS and Pathological Gambling

1. Educate & train CJS personnel

2. Explore Gambling Courts

3. Evaluate and Assess Offenders

on Pre-trial basis

4. GA meetings in Prisons

5. PG Treatment with trained counselors

6. Community Service by ex-prisoners at prison GA meetings

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