Skip to main content
School of Law

QMUL Criminal Justice Cente and Centre international de criminologie comparée and École de criminologie, Université de Montréal host joint seminar


Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) will host the Joint Seminar QMUL Criminal Justice Centre and Centre international de criminologie comparée and École de criminologie, Université de Montréal.

Date and time: 15 December 2017, 10-12pm

Location: Room 313, School of Law, Queen Mary Univeristy of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS


All seminar presenters are from the Centre international de criminologie comparée and École de criminologie, Université de Montréal

Priority questions in risk assessment and intervention with high-risk violent offenders

by Tamsin Higgs (Postdoctoral researcher) and Franca Cortoni (Professor)

Discussant: Professor Rudi Fortson (QMUL)

Abstract: There are concerning shortcomings in the empirical basis underpinning forensic intervention with high-risk violent offenders, including a lack of well-designed program evaluations. What are the recidivism outcomes for high-risk violent offenders completing multifactorial intervention programs, when compared to appropriate control groups? Does psychometrically assessed treatment change really tell us anything about risk of reoffending? What does it even mean to describe a violent offender as high-risk? We will present findings from an evaluation of the Violence Prevention Program (VPP), an intensive cognitive-behavioural reintegration program run in Canadian federal penitentiaries. A sample of 345 VPP participants and a comparison group of 338 matched controls were followed-up after 6.5 years, allowing us to begin to address what are in our view, priority questions in violence risk assessment and intervention.        

Tamsin is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the International Centre of Comparative Criminology, University of Montreal. Tamsin has a doctorate in Forensic Psychology from The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Her main research interests are in the risk factors and criminal trajectories associated with violent and sexual offending.

Franca Cortoni received her Ph.D. in clinical and forensic psychology from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Since 1989, she has worked with and conducted research on male and female offenders in a variety of Canadian and Australian penitentiaries and community settings. She is now an Associate Professor at the School of Criminology and a Research Fellow with the International Centre for Comparative Criminology, Université de Montréal. Her research interests include factors associated with the development of sexual offending behavior, risk assessment and treatment of both male and female sexual offenders.

Profiles of Sexual Murderers: A Systematic Review

by Jonathan James (Doctoral candidate) and Jean Proulx (Professor)

Discussant: Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas (QMUL)

Abstract: The goal of this current systematic review is to identify the main characteristics of sexual murderers and the areas in which further research is warranted. It analyzes detailed data on 1836 sexual murderers (serial sexual murderers = 176; nonserial sexual murderers = 1660) taken from 45 empirical descriptive studies carried out between 1985 and 2013. In order to better characterize serial sexual murderers (SSMs) and nonserial sexual murderers (NSMs) five categories of variables were established: developmental variables; adult life and criminal career variables; psychopathological variables; modus operandi variables; and victimology variables. Characteristics of different types of sexual murderers were identified. Sexuality and sadism are key features of SSMs. They are socially isolated, rejected, and humiliated, and take refuge in compulsive masturbation and in paraphilias, which compensate for the poverty of their emotional, relational, and sexual lives. SSMs’ modus operandi reflects sadistic sexual fantasies, sexual sadism and organization. NSMs are polymorphic criminals who are easily angered when their immediate needs are not met. They adopt a victim stance, and sexual murder is a way to exacting vengeance and an outlet for their anger. These sexual murderers are impulsive, disorganized, and extremely violent, and use sexual murder to diminish their internal tension.

Jonathan James is a clinical psychologist specialized in the analysis of violent behaviour. He is affiliated with the Behavioural Sciences Unit of the Gendarmerie Nationale (France). He established a database on French sexual murderers and is further participating in the construction of an international database on sexual homicides.

Jean Proulx is Professor and Director of the School of Criminology, Université de Montréal and Researcher at the Centre international de criminologie comparée. His main research interests are the pathways to the offending process, personality profiles, sexual preferences, treatment issues, and recidivism risk factors among sexual murderers, rapists, child molesters, incest offenders, and marital rapists. Over the last 30 years, he has published seven books and more than 150 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles in French and in English. Since 1987, he has been active both as researcher and clinical psychologist in treatment programs for sex offenders at the Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, a maximum-security psychiatric institution.

Tracking Collusion in the Construction Industry

by Carlo Morselli (Professor)

Discussant: Dr Saskia Hufnagel (QMUL)

Abstract: How collusive partnerships and cartels structure their bidding patterns to increase their market profits, while preserving an illusion of competition, is the focus of this research program. The point of departure is the construction sector in the province of Quebec, Canada, which has found itself at the center of a corruption scandal over the past seven years. The research program aims to develop economic and network indicators of bid-rigging that may be used as gauges for determining deviant patterns of competition at the firm, construction sector, or municipal level. Past and ongoing studies in this program have focused on single case studies (one city), city comparisons, sector analysis, and cross-sectional analysis of multiple cities. This presentation provides a summary of the underlying theoretical and methodological features guiding the research, while also outlining the monitoring system and measures that are emerging from the general set of analyses.

Carlo Morselli is Director of the Centre international de criminologie comparée and Professor at the École de criminologie, Université de Montréal. His work is primarily in the areas of crime networks, illegal markets, organized crime, and the sociology of crime. 



Back to top