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Child Homicide

NCJ Number
Ania Wilczynski Ph.D.
Date Published
282 pages
A comprehensive review of child killing is presented that highlights the importance of gender in the background circumstances of the offense and the legal system's punishment of offenders.
Drawing on research in England, Wales, and Australia, as well as a wide range of criminological, medical, sociological, and psychiatric literature, the author argues that many cases of child killing escape official detection and labeling. She outlines a classification of child killings, based on offender motivation for the crime, and comprehensively reviews risk factors. In addition, the author believes that when child killers come before the courts, they are treated differently, depending on sex and relationship to the child. Women are seen as "mad" and men are seen as "bad" and parental child killers are treated more leniently than non-familial killers. Key policy findings from research on child deaths are reviewed, such as the importance of interagency communication and risk assessment and management. References, footnotes, and tables