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Lecture 10

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PSYC 3402
Julie Blais

Lecture 10 Prevalence of female offending - Women and girls commit less crime (regardless of methodology) • 2005 – 20% of people accused of crime - Women represent a small proportion of total federal admissions (6.1% in 2010-11; Public Safety Canada) - Homicide – 90% male offenders • Women: Victim is an intimate partner (motivation is domestic violence) • Men: Motivation when they kill an intimate partner is jealousy (more likely to kill stranger than women are) Prevalence of female offending - Men commit more of ALL types of non-violent crime with the exception of prostitution - Men commit more of ALL types of violent crime - Adolescent limited male to female ratio (1.5 to 1) - Life course persistent male to female ratio (10 to 1) (Moffitt et al., 2001) Federal admissions profile: women major offence (%) Comparison with male offenders - Women offenders: • Have a partner with criminal history • Physically/sexually abused • Offend against someone they know • Less likely to have previous criminal record • Granted conditional release • Less likely reoffend upon release Gender differences in profiles - Women tend to have ~ 1 month or less for their sentences as compared to males Federal institutional profile: women mental health (%) - Women tend to have mental illnesses more than men Women offender facts - Mental health issues seem more important for female offenders Gender differences in profiles - More money per day to keep a female incarcerated than men • Hygiene • More mental health issues • Women being pregnant, having children, and trying to raise them The prison for women (P4W) - Opened in 1934 - Recommended closure within 4 years of opening - 1938-1990: over 15 government reports highlighted problems with P4W • Overly restrictive environment • Inadequate programming • Cultural insensitivity (Aboriginal and Francophone women) • Geographical dispersion and isolation from women’s communities Creating choices - Task Force Report released in 1990 - Revolutionized philosophy of federal women offender corrections - Holistic approach to corrections – 5 principles - Women-centred programs • Survivors of abuse therapy, mother-child programming - Effective community strategy Changes - 1995-present: 5 regional facilities and 1Aboriginal healing lodge - Last woman transferred out of P4W in May, 2000, and P4W officially closed July 6, 2000 Theories: feminist pathways - Aversive family environments - Leave home - Further victimization occurs - Poor coping strategies (prostitution, drug use) - Leads to other criminalized survival strategies (robbery, fraud, drug trafficking) - In essence, a “criminalized survivor” pathway • Emotional/sexual abuse- forced out of home, onto street, leads to them stealing and selling their bodies due to being victimized - Criticisms: • Only qualitative • Not disaggregated by age (developmental issues?) • Most research has not included male control groups • Assumes a unidimensional pathway • Ignores female heterogeneity  Doesn’t explain most of female offending. It is more geared towards prostitution Theories: PIC-R - Multidisciplinary perspective - Considers the role of biological, personal, interpersonal, familial, structural/cultural, individual, and situational variables in criminal conduct • Central 8(within person) + situation + community + interpersonal relationships are what influences your likelihood of crime for everyone - General theory of crime (should apply to women as it does for men) - CONCEPTS: Central Eight risk/need factors + RNR Central eight risk/need factors - Evidence from the research (e.g., van der Knaap et al., 2012): - Men score consistently HIGHER on the Central Eight compared to women Men score because they generally have higher risk - However, all Central Eight risk/need factors predict both general and violent recidivism for both men and women • If you target women's criminal attitudes it will reduce reoffending • Criminal associates are actually more important for women (more relationships, intimate partner) • Women have less criminal history than men ( takes more crime- they need a longer criminal history before it becomes a problem) • Personality traits less common in women but they do predict - Central 8 predicts recidivism for women, just not as well as men (was created for men, but applies to women as well) • They predict but there is a threshold difference (ie. women need less or more for it to predict) Female specific risk factors? - PIC-R is a gender neutral theory but it was never really treated on women - Emotional well-being: not predictive for men, but important for women and predicts their reoffending - Mixed evidence, more research needed Risk assessment - Support for gender-neutral risk assessment (Lowenkamp et al., 2009; Schwalbe, 2008) • YLS/CMI and LS/CMI both predict for men and women • Missing relevant risk factors? - Gender-informed risk scales • Lack of evidence to date that they work in predicting recidivism • Security Reclassification Scale for Women  Well validated. Not for recidivism. Brings down the sentencing bar for women RNR (Dowden andAndrews, 1999) - RISK • Appropriate? YES! • Yes, targeting higher risk women in treatment does better than not taking anything into consideration at all - NEED • Female specific needs? • You can target the female specific risk factors but you must first prove its related to recidivism - RESPONSIVITY • Important for women, not men • 5 Principles from the Creating Choices report - Meta-analysis demonstrated that RNR was valid in female offenders (more research on larger samples is needed) Responsivity principles - Empowerment (e.g., self-esteem) - Meaningful and responsible choices - Respect and dignity - Supportive environment - Shared responsibility (e.g., all levels of government as support systems) Men vs. women - Women have higher rates of internalizing problems (e.g., depression, anxiety). - Men have higher rates of externalizing problems (e.g., aggression). - Prevalence of psychopathy among male offenders = 15 to 30%. - Lower rates of psychopathy present in female offenders = 9 to 23%. Female manifestations of psychopathy - Borderline/histrionic are more common in women - Something good happens it’s like the best thing that ever happened, but something bad happens and it’s like the end of the world - Histrionic Sexual, will think the relationship, overly sexually promiscuous and assuming their relationships are much closer than they actually are - Self-confidence wrapped in relationship • Good happens: really high • Bad happens: low of the low to the point of suicide Predictive validity of PCL-R - Factor 2 predicts violence and recidivism in male offenders but not in female offenders • F2 (externalizing/behaviour- predicts really high on men but not that much for females) - Factor 1 predicts violence and recidivism in female offenders and male offenders - Higher rates of false positives with female offenders • Predicted that psychopathic females would recidivate and they actually did not • Perhaps need more borderline/histrionic factors as opposed to the current aggressive ones in factor 2 - PCL-R is based on men, and does not apply to women very well, hard to predict Aboriginal over-representation in the CJS - Aboriginal people are over-represented in the CJS - The proportion ofAboriginal people involved in the CJS (18-20%) is out of line with the proportion ofAboriginal people living in Canada (3% of the general population) - More serious in the Prairies (really overrepresented) Reasons for over-representation - Higher Aboriginal offending rates (ü) - Commission byAboriginal people of the type of offences that are more likely to result in prison sentences (ü) - Criminal justice policies that have a differential impact onAboriginal offenders due to their socio-economic conditions (ü) - Differential CJS processing as a result of racial discrimination (ü/û) 1. Aboriginal offending rates - Aboriginal people exhibit a higher overall crime rate and have more extensive contact with the CJS compared to non-Aboriginal people • They commit more crime than other people - Statistics Canada (2006): rates of violent crimes are higher on reserves than rates in the rest of Canada • Rates of violent crime on reserves is 5-10x more than off reserve - Trevethan et al. (2002): • 64% of incarcerated Aboriginal offenders have youth court history compared to 45% of non-Aboriginal offenders  Have a longer criminal history (starting younger) • 90% of incarcerated Aboriginal offenders have adult court history compared to 84% of non-Aboriginal offenders  They start offending younger and committing more crime in adulthood • 45% of incarcerated Aboriginal offenders have 15 or more prior adult court appearances compared to 31% of non-Aboriginal offenders 2. Aboriginal offences - Aboriginal offenders are more likely than non-Aboriginal offenders to commit Schedule I (versus Schedule II) offences - Schedule I offences include sexual offences and other violent offences - Schedule II offences include drug offences, or conspiracy to commit serious drug offences - Schedule 1: violent crime (commit more) - Schedule 2: less likely to commit lesser crimes 3. Differential impact of CJS policies - Primary issue that has been examined in this area relates to fine defaults (an offender is required to pay a fine, which they cannot pay, and they end up serving time in prison as a result) • Across all provinces, proportionately moreAboriginal offenders than non-Aboriginal offenders are serving time for fine defaults • Thought to relate to the fact thatAboriginal offenders are more economically marginalized compared to non-Aboriginal offenders 4. Racial discrimination - In contrast to what would be expected if the CJS were processingAboriginal offenders in a discriminatory fashion, the sentences handed down toAboriginal offenders are consistently shorter than those handed down to non-Aboriginal offenders • Giving aboriginal longer sentences (when looking at length they tend to be shorter) so there is no overt discrimination - This is the case for male and femaleAboriginal offenders and these differences hold across crime type - However, there are also signs of systemic discrimination (i.e., not overt): • Over-policing • Access to lawyers (tend to get less decent counsel) • Length of time in pre-trial holding (longer time in pretrial) Root causes of over-representation - Culture clash • Differences between Western andAboriginal views of justice - Colonialism • An attempt to wipe out theAboriginal culture (e.g., residential schooling) Recidivism - It is now generally accepted thatAboriginal offenders recidivate at a higher rate than non- Aboriginal offenders (at least at the federal level) - Sioui and Thibault (2002): • Examined the recidivism rates (technical violations and new offences) of 30, 041 male offenders released o
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