Gambling and problem gambling within forensic populations: A review of the literature

  • Williams R
  • Royston J
  • Hagen B
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A review of problem gambling in forensic populations suggests that one third of criminal offenders meet criteria for problem or pathological gambling. This is the highest rate yet found in any population. Approximately 50% of crime by incarcerated problem and pathological gamblers is reportedly committed to support gambling. The prevalence of gambling within correctional facilities (40%) appears lower than in the general population. However, inmates who do gamble tend to do so regularly, and problem and pathological gamblers are disproportionately represented among this group. Inmate screening for problem gambling and provision of specialized treatment are currently lacking in most correctional facilities. In addition to more screening and treatment, there needs to be greater vigilance in detecting gambling and enforcing its prohibition. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to review what literature is available on the issue of gambling within forensic populations. Specifically, this article will review the rates of problem and pathological gambling among criminal offenders, the rates of gambling-related crime reported by offenders, the nature and prevalence of gambling within correctional facilities, and the relevant treatment and policy implications for clinicians and administrators working with this unique population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Forensic
  • Gambling
  • Prisons
  • Problem gambling

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  • Robert J. Williams

  • Jennifer Royston

  • Brad F. Hagen

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