A systematic review examining the use of media as an offence-related behaviour in recidivism of offenders

Ian S. Hamilton, Dominic A. S. Pearson

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Background: Risk of harm to others is largely assessed by official behaviours and what an offender conveys to professionals. Recording offence-related behaviour (OB) may assist in high-risk offender management. The extant research on links between media use and violence often involves the general population where real-world offending behaviours are not outcome measures. This systematic review aimed to examine, systematically and critically, research relating to media OB of offenders.

Method: Eleven databases were queried to identify relevant literature. To ensure no past and ongoing studies were excluded, key papers' reference lists were closely examined for further relevant studies and experts in the field were contacted. Studies included were assessed for quality across prognostic factors.

Results: Three studies were identified as investigating media OB for people who have recidivated. Data synthesis highlighted that different forms of media are used in the process and act of re-offending. Risk level of offenders and media type were factors in recidivism.

Conclusion: Amongst some offenders media OB may be a pathway to re-offending. The recording, monitoring, and open discussion of media OB may inform risk management strategies for offenders. Further prospective research is required which examines media OB and recidivism utilising both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101517
Number of pages11
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Early online date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2021


  • offence-related behaviour
  • media use
  • offender
  • risk assessment
  • recidivism


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