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Solutions to the Problem Gambling and Crime Connection

Solutions to the Problem Gambling and Crime Connection

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Solutions to the Problem Gambling and Crime Connection

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  1. Solutions to the Problem Gambling and Crime Connection Henry R. Lesieur, Ph.D. Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital

  2. 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

  3. Prevalence of Offenses -- German Study -- Percent

  4. 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

  5. Psychologist as Expert Witness • Reviews Materials from Court • Interviews Offender and others • Evaluates Mental Status • Evaluates for Mental Disorders • Conducts Psychological Tests • Writes Report

  6. Psychologist as Expert Witness - 2 • Examines issues not covered by pre-sentence investigation • -- Emotional Issues • -- Family Dysfunction • -- Co-occurring Disorders • -- Coping Skills

  7. Psychologist as Expert Witness - 3 • Examines work history (positives as well as negatives) • Social supports • Gambling Progression • Cognitive Distortions • Personality Disorder (especially ASPD)

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Hopeless Phase • Getting Even Not Possible • No Longer Care • Know They Will Lose • Continual State of Depression • Playing for Action is All That Matters

  13. 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)

  14. 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

  15. Moral Justifications and Illegal Activity

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Personality and Crime(Meyer & Stadler) • Aggressiveness • Extroversion • Impulsivity; Risk-Motivation • Antisocial Personality • Frankness; Emotionality • Global Mental Status

  19. Crime: Meyer & Stadler Social Attachment .04 .25 Addiction Criminal Behavior .48 .63 .52 Personality .33

  20. 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

  21. 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”

  22. Minnesota Rule 82 Pathological Gambling • Offenders Convicted of Felony Theft, Embezzlement & Forgery • PO Screens using SOGS • 17% SOGS 5+ • Sent for Gambling Assessment

  23. Conditions of Probation for Pathological Gamblers • Abstinence from Gambling • Attendance at GA • Community Service • Gambling Counseling • Restitution Orders • How about Exclusion?

  24. Gambling Court • Modeled after Drug Courts • Buffalo, New York • 26th Judicial Court in Louisiana • Proposed in Florida

  25. Gambling Court - 2 • Eligibility Criteria • Pathological Gamblers • First Offenders • Non-violent • No drug dealers • No sex offenders

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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