Predictors of offending among prisoners: the role of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and substance use
This research significantly furthers our understanding of the role of ADHD and substance use in the offending history of truly persistent offenders. Findings reveal that frequent use of heroin in the year prior to imprisonment was the single most powerful predictor of the extent of total offending, with ADHD symptoms also adding independently to the variance in offending. In contrast, for violent offending, ADHD symptoms were the strongest predictor followed by alcohol dependence. Effective treatment programs have been recently developed for ADHD and for heroin and crack cocaine addiction. The findings of this study support the view that serious attempts should be made to apply these programs to persistent offenders. The personal, social and financial costs of repeated offending and imprisonment are substantial.