Cardiff Metropolitan University researchers have demonstrated that a psychological intervention - COVAID (Control of Violence for Angry, Impulsive Drinkers) - can reduce violent crime.
The psychological intervention was delivered as part of a randomised control trial in two Welsh prisons, where prisoners were later revisited to monitor what difference there was in their convictions.
There were 13% fewer people convicted of violence in the COVAID group compared to those who did not attend. Furthermore, there were 20% fewer people convicted of any offence if they completed COVAID.
This study is the first to explore the impact that psychological interventions have on reconvictions using randomised trial methodology - something usually used in medicine to test the effect of drugs.
Mary McMurran, a Professor at the University of Nottingham and the author of COVAID, said: "In real terms this has social and economic benefits. If we can treat violence effectively, we can reduce violent crime and therefore reduce the number of victims of crime.
"There is also a significant economic cost associated with violent crime and this intervention may demonstrate savings of hundreds of thousands of pounds."
Nicola Bowes, a forensic psychologist at Cardiff Met, who led the research said: "Forensic Psychologists do help change behaviour and this behaviour is costly to society, victims and to those who perpetrate violent crime. Research helps demonstrate the positive effects forensic psychology can contribute in reducing violent crime, protecting the public and helping to change lives."
For further information, please see: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14789949.2014.895025