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PSYC 2400E - Lecture 21 - March 28, 2013.docx

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PSYC 2400
Julie Dempsey

Thursday, March 28, 2013 PSYC 2400 - Winter 2013 Lecture 21 Reducing Sentencing Disparity • Sentencing guidelines • In Canada, very broad and may not significantly reduce sentencing disparity Simulation Study (Palys & Divorski, 1986) • 206 provincial court judges • Five cases – Assault CBH, Impaired Driving, Armed Robbery, B & E, Theft > $200 • Judges asked to – impose a sentence • What sentence would you impose? • Cases were the ones from the last Bonus Assignment Parole in Canada • Parole involves: – Conditional release into community • conditions and restrictions on behaviour – Rehabilitation – A high degree of supervision – Return to prison if conditions are breached Types of Release • Temporary absences (anytime) • Day parole (serve 1/6 sentence) • Full parole (serve 1/3 sentence) – Parole must be earned • Statutory release (must be released after 2/3 sentence) – Doesn’t apply for life or indeterminates – Automatic unless CSC (correction service Canada) recommends otherwise Parole Decision-Making • Decisions are made by members of Parole Board of Canada (PBC) • A formal hearing takes place between the offender and the PBC – a formal risk assessment is conducted • List of things to consider, but little guidance on how What Does a Hearing Look Like? • Most are held in institutions • People involved: – Offender – 2 board members conduct hearings  Community members – Offender’s assistant – Offender’s parole officer from CSC – Hearing offender from the PBC – Elder (if it is an Elder-assisted hearing) – Victim making a presentation Conditions of Parole • All types of parole are supervised by CSC – Parole officers – Assistance from community groups • Various conditions of parole must be met or the offender may go back to prison Myths Concerning Parole  Parole reduces sentence time  Parole is automatically granted when inmates become eligible  Parole is granted if remorse is shown  Offenders released on parole frequently recidivate  Victims do not play a role in parole decisions Public Perceptions of Parole • Why are public perceptions important? – System relies on victim cooperation – Judges are sensitive to public perceptions – Government is sensitive to public perceptions Factors That Influence Perceptions • Discrepancy between attitudes and reality – Lack of understanding of the criminal justice system – Effect of media Public Attitudes Toward the CJS • There are three methods that are commonly used to study public attitudes towards the criminal justice system: – Simulation studies – Focus groups – Public opinion polls (most common) Common Attitudes • Results of public opinion polls indicate that Canadians: – view the criminal justice system in a relatively positive light (especially the police) – believe that offenders are treated too leniently (sentencing) – support alternatives to sentencing under certain conditions Treatment Brief Historical Background • Extensive debate over “what works” in offender rehabilitation • Early literature reviews in the 1960s – 1970s did not present favourable conclusions • Martinson (1974) presented the “nothing works” conclusion – Evaluated 231 research studies What Works in Offender Treatment? • Since Martinson’s time it has become clear that some things do work in offender treatment – These findings have typically emerged from meta-analytic studies Why Meta-Analysis? • A meta-analysis is the statistical aggregation of the results derived from many independent studies in order to integrate the findings • Primary unit of analysis is the effect size – reflects the degree to which a comparison and treatment group differ on a particular measure (e.g., recidivism) Interpreting Effect Sizes (NEED TO KNOW** -- be able identify) • Effect sizes can vary in terms of: – Magnitude (0.00-1.00) – Sign (+ or -) • The magnitude of the effect size tells you how much of an effect there is – A large effect size indicates that the intervention had a large effect (closer to 1) – A small effect size indicates that the intervention had a small effect (closer to 0) • The sign of the effect size tells you what type of effect the intervent
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