The origins of this book lie in a Network on the Primary Prevention of Adult Antisocial Behaviour that was established by the High Security Psychiatric Services Commissioning Board of the UK Department of Health. Dilys Jones was instrumental in creating this network, and we were chosen to chair it. In light of the relative paucity of information about this area, we decided to assemble a scholarly report summarising the current state of knowledge.
We invited international experts in the field, drawn from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Germany, to write chapters on particular topics and to present their conclusions at a large Network conference held in London. We also invited discussants to comment (both verbally and later in writing) on each chapter, and we are very grateful to Avshalom Caspi, Jonathan Hill, Israel Kolvin, Barbara Maughan, Gillian Mezey, Mark Perfect, Stephen Scott, Kathy Silva, Michael Wadsworth and Donald West for their helpful comments. All authors subsequently revised and updated their chapters in light of all comments from discussants and from ourselves as editors.
We are very grateful to the UK Department of Health for funding the Network activities that led to this book. Since there is no other volume exactly on this topic, we hope that this book will simultaneously summarise what has been learned and also stimulate more research, especially on the early prevention of adult antisocial personality and psychopathy.