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Lecture 7

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PSYC 3402
Julie Blais

Lecture 7 Age-crime curve - There is a spike in delinquent antisocial behavior in delinquency, but its normal for adolescents to go through this phase - Most of the antisocial behavior youth engage in is minor (consuming alcohol/drugs/theft) - Spike between 15-20 and then a general decline Police investigating brother death of 7 Y.O. Edmonton boy - Most siblings disagree, argue and fight. - During the holiday season, two young brothers, one 7-years old and one 5-years-old fought over a toy. - Allegedly, the 5-year-old stabbed his older brother, who died shortly after. - Edmonton police declared the stabbing a “non-culpable homicide”, deeming the child too young to be responsible for his actions. - Police worked with the family to provide counseling and services to ensure adequate parenting, supervision and support for both the child and family. - Age of criminal responsibility is 12 - Developmentally, 12-18 is different than adults because most of our brain isn’t fully developed until into our 20s Juvenile delinquency - Youth Criminal JusticeAct (2003) • PREVENT youth crime • PROVIDE meaningful consequences • ENCOURAGE responsibility • IMPROVE rehabilitation and reintegration of youth into the community How to deal with juvenile offenders - Take no further action - Warning (more appropriate for low risk) • Verbal • Police caution • Written warning from Crown • All these are very common and police are encouraged to do this (warning as contact with criminal justice system is better for low risk youth, than going through the whole system) - Referral - Sanctions • Youth-centered • E.g., Conference - Youth can go through the entire process and get off with a warning at the end (by judge discretion) - Police are encouraged to use extra judicial powers (avoid sanctioning the youth in any way) Youth-adult sentences - Youth are no longer transferred to adult court – but those 14+ can be given an adult sentence • If youth gets an adult sentence (ex: murder gets 25 years), they would spend the first few years in a juvenile facility until 18, and then serve the rest in an adult institution - Youth sentencing principles: • Not more severe than an adult sentence  Severity of punishment needs to match the severity of the crime • Consistency • Proportionality - Max sentence 10 years for murder - Can’t impose a higher sentence than one for an adult Custody and reintegration - Unlikely to be detained pre-trial • Youth would rarely be detained until trial, rather they will be released to the custody of their parents - Custodial sentences are last resort - Cannot be committed to custody unless: • Committed a violent offence • Failed to comply with non-custodial sentence • Repeat (and serious) offender - Custody sentences are to be followed by a period of supervision and support during transition back into the community - Youth get more focus on transition back into community than adults (very valuable) Youth accused of crime 2000-2010 - Enactment of VCJA - Believe the stability is due to VCJA(minor offenses are decreasing because they are less likely to be charged) - Violent crime hasn’t changed because youth are still likely to get charged the same as before - Crossover effect happen when policing practices changed due to YCJA(ex: crime isn’t really less, but getting charged less) - 2003: policing system came into effect, not exactly a decrease - Crime rates are stable, property rates have decreased, but could be related to less being reported, because of police discretion Gangs in Canada - Gangs are not that large of an issue for Canada, but still need to be addressed - Gang: a group of individuals who identify themselves as a group, and whom others identify them as a group, and they engage in delinquent antisocial behavior together Gangs in Canada - Vast majority are male (94%) - Almost half of all gang members are under the age of 18 (48%) - Largest proportion of youth gang members areAfrican Canadian (25%), followed by First Nations (21%), and Caucasian (18%) • Aboriginal girls are getting more involved in gangs - 16% of alleged young offenders who were classified as chronic offenders were responsible for 58% of all alleged criminal incidents (“gang effect”) – HIGH RISK • Gangs target at risk youth • Gangs are more likely to take on high risk offenders rather than low risk • Huge number of crimes are responsible for more than half the reported crime (gang effect) - Once in a gang, very difficult to leave, and not necessarily want to leave because they feel a sense of belonging - 65% of violent/delinquent youth will continue offending into adulthood (FALSE) Developmental trajectories **ON THE EXAM!!** - Child onset, life-course persistent • Mild crimes that are not really seen by the justice system for their entire life - Adolescent onset, adolescent limited • They start good, peek at 15 with delinquent, and decrease at around 20 years - 2 trajectories to delinquency • 1. Start young and persist (start high and start young, very stable) • 2. Start in adolescence and stop (normal curve, start low, peaks, drops) • 3. Low level sporadic (low level crimes throughout their whole life but never come into contact because so minor) Child onset, life-course persistent - Not as common (3-5% of general population) (rare) - Behavioral problems start very early in childhood (sometimes daycare and preschool) • Very rare. Starts in daycare- children who are aggressive, bites, hits, steals toys, difficult to soothe • As a tween: in school, they are disruptive, and teacher doesn’t know how to deal, diagnosed with ADHD, gets into a different class, child again doesn’t like this, so becomes more delinquent - As babies, difficult to soothe, problematic temperaments, aggressive • As a baby: mother finds it difficult to deal with child and then starts to ignore baby, which leads to baby being more delinquent - Other challenges, including ADHD, learning disabilities, academic difficulties • Impulsive, aggressive,ADHD, cycle. Child continues to get worse - Show more persistent antisocial behavior later in life Development of child onset - < 2 years • Physical aggression (overt)  Hitting, kicking, pushing, biting  Ineffective parenting  Consistent punishment and reinforcement would create change rather quickly, but bad parenting increases behavior - 2 – 12 years • Arrested overt aggression (“quiescent interval”) • Rejection by normal peers • Academic difficulties - Early adolescence • Major growth in covert antisocial behaviour  Covert- learn more covert ways to be delinquent and commit crimes • Early arrest (before age 14) • Violent in adolescence which will continue into adulthood • More likely to be violent and violence persists into adulthood - Age of onset is a good predictor as a risk assessment, taps into criminal history, started younger, you have a larger criminal history Adolescent onset, adolescent limited - Approximately 70% of the general population - Begin to show behavioral problems in teen years - Acts include truancy, theft, vandalism - Acts are few and limited • Not a big density offenders, get caught once and then they desist - Generally desist from crime in early adulthood, although a few persist - Normal for adolescence to rebel Biological theories - Anumber of genetic and biological differences exist between offenders and non- offenders - Children who have an antisocial biological father are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior even when raised apart from the father • Juvenile children are more likely to have a delinquent father (even if they didn’t live with him) - Antisocial youth have slower heart rate (perhaps higher threshold for excitability and emotionality) • Higher sensation seeking - Antisocial youth may have less frontal lobe inhibition (impulsivity is increased) • Frontal lobe (decision making processes) delinquent youth frontal lobe is not activated as much, so they are more impulsive Cognitive theories - Cognitive deficits and distortions occurring in social interactions may explain antisocial behavior - Limited problem solving in conduct disordered children produce fewer solutions to problems and the solutions are more likely to be aggressive • Show cognitive deficit. Not good at picking up on social cues, thus they have hostile attribution bias (more likely to interpret things as hostile) - Much of what happens to youth happens in a social context, what social features are you going to pay attention to? - If you are high on emotional intelligence, you will be able to read others’emotional cues • Delinquent youths cannot pick up on this- cognitive deficit, they are not good at making the right decision, identify and interpreting cues  People who score high on emotional intelligence are more likely to pick up on cues and read other people’s emotions, BUT delinquent youths are missing this. They can’t pick up on the cues • Reactive: deficits in the early processing (picking up and interpreting cues), identification, more likely to think something is hostile, and will become aggressive • Proactive: aggression is planned, deliberate, and they have a goal. Shows a deficit in trying to make the right choice (pick the antisocial response)  Ex: you might mistake someone’s sad face as an angry face and become aggressive Social theories - Bandura’s (1965) social learning theory suggests that children learn antisocial behavior from observing others, especially when they see the behavior being positively reinforced • If they see someone they respect get rewarded for their behavior (goes unpunished) they are more likely to engage in this behavior • Ex: see parent engaging in delinquency, so you are more likely to engage in it as well - Studies support this, in particular when modeling is combined with a lack of parental supervision and inconsistent discipline - Recent studies also show the important role of violence in the media • Small correlation with witnessing violent media and delinquency HOW WOULD PIC-R EXPLAIN JUVENILE DELINQUENCY? - Criminal history- History of acting up would detect future delinquency - Antisocial personality- Personal factors: how they think - Antisocial peers - Setting/situation factors: opportunity, have you been punished before? - Central 8 + punishment vs. reinforcement - Whether you engage in delinquency depends on central 8, and the situation (whether you were reinforced or punished) if punished = less likely to continue behavior Risk factors - RISK FACTORS – variables that, if present, increase the likelihood that a teen will offend (INCREASE CHANGE OF DELINQUENCY) - They usually have to be present in combination to represent a problem - Risk factors come from multiple domains: individual, familial, school, peer, and community - Protective factors are also known to exist - THESEARE CENTRAL EIGHT RISK FACTORS - PIC-R Risk factors- individual - Prenatal and delivery complications - Mother’s use of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes - Child’s temperament (difficult to soothe, hyperactive, attention problems, impulsive, risk taking) – Antisocial Personality Pattern - Substance abuse, especially from an early age –Substance abuse - Low verbal intelligence and delayed language development - Aggressive behaviour before 13 years – Criminal History Risk factors- familial - Poor parental supervision - Low parental involvement • Have no idea who the children are hanging out with, meaning they are less likely to stop their children when they are getting involved with the wrong groups - Parental conflict and aggression - Child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment - Parental loss and divorce - Drug and alcohol use - Parent income - (Family Issues) Risk factors- school - Poor academic performance, particularly in elementary school - Low commitment to school - Low educational aspirations - Truancy - (School) - MOST IMPORTANT Risk factors- peer - Perhaps the most important during the adolescent years - Associating with delinquent peers - Engaging in delinquent behavior - Peer approval of delinquent behavior - Gang membership - (Procriminal Companions/ Cognitions/Attitudes) - (Leisure/recreation) - SECOND MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR!!! • Most important because it taps into different aspects • Ex: see others get involved with crime without punishment, you will change your views (cognitive) • Ex: if you are getting involved with criminal behavior, you are not doing homework (leisure) Risk factors- community - Living in low socioeconomic neighborhood - Witnessing violence - Access to weapons - (Context that contributes to the contingencies for crime (PERSON in the SITUATION) ) - These things are not related to delinquent behavior, but they make the situation more viable for delinquent behavior Protective factors - Exposure to protective factors = Resiliency • Protective factors may protect you from the risk that your risk factors pose • Anything related to less crime/negative relationship with delinquency - They can work by: • Reducing negative outcomes by changing level of exposure to risk factors • Changing the negative chain reaction following exposure to risk • Helping develop and maintain self-esteem and self-efficacy • Avail opportunities to children that they would not otherwise have - Builds a wall around a person, making them less likely to be delinquent. Ex: anything with a negative relationship to delinquency is a protective factor - Protective factor can change the chain of events, an
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