STUDIES – RESEARCH – POLICY
Among the responsibilities of the Criminological Research Unit is the promotion of scientific research projects. During 2004 -2005, two research projects had been carried out:
· Research for Juvenile Delinquency in Cyprus
This research project was designed and implemented by the Research and Development Center – Intercollege and was funded by the Ministry of Justice and Public Order.
The research had three objectives:
1. The first objective was the measurement of the prevalence of delinquent behavior in the age groups of 14 – 21 in Cyprus («Cyprus» refers to the areas that are controlled by the Republic of Cyprus).
The measurement was focused on a variety of deviant behaviors, including traffic violations, school violations, use of threat, property damage, thefts, burglaries, consuming pornographic material, sexual involvement with and without payment, cigarettes smoking, alcohol consumption to the degree of getting drunk, use of cannabis, cocaine, LSD etc and participation in para-religious organizations or activities.
For this purpose, two surveys with structured self – report questionnaires were used to gather data. The first survey was done with a sample of about 1000 students attending the third grade of Gymnasium and the first, second and third grades of Lyceum throughout Cyprus. The second survey was done with a sample of about 400 recent high school graduates who graduated in 2001, 2002, and 2003. The administration was done individually at the residences of the selected participants.
For more information please contact (stylianou.s@ιintercollege.ac.cy). Available only in greek.
2. The second objective was the identification of correlates of delinquency
The questionnaires used in the two surveys included a large number of relevant variables, which spring from mainstream theories of deviant behavior. The operational items included questions about attitudes and perceptions of participants regarding school, family and society in general, life satisfaction, experience with the police and welfare services, religiosity, perceptions of control exercised on the participants, negative reactions of other people towards participants, deviant attitudes of friends and parents, communication with parents etc.
Additionally, a number of qualitative inquires were performed, to achieve a deeper understanding of the casual mechanics involved in these relationships. These included interviews with prisoners, school counselors, high school teachers and agents of the welfare department. Field observations in combinations with field interviews were also used to study two delinquent groups, one that operates predominately within a school and one that operates a rural community.
3. The third objective was to state general conclusions and to make suggestions for interventions based on the findings.
It should be noted that the findings and suggestions of this research project were taken into account for the design of the National Crime Prevention and Treatment of Offenders Strategy.
· Study of Recidivism in Prisons
The purpose of this study was:
· To analyze the phenomenon of recidivism in prisons
· To reach into conclusions and make suggestions regarding the reduction of the phenomenon
In order to conduct this research project, data and research material was collected from the personal files of the detainees and was coded, by using the method of structured questionnaires formed by 80 questions. Additionally, a sample of 15 detainees and 9 personnel was interviewed anonymously and with their consent.
The first part of the study provides general information on imprisonment and the nature of recidivism, based on international studies and statistics. It, specifically, explores the disadvantages of imprisonment and reports certain characteristics of the detainees who relapse.
The second part of the study discusses the methodology, which was followed in order to measure recidivism and presents the findings which resulted from the quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data.
The third part contains the conclusions of the research and includes suggestions for the reduction of recidivism in prisons.