PSYC39H3 Lecture Notes - Ibm Officevision, Master Sergeant, Criminology

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7 Nov 2011
Lecture 05 Linking Theories to Practice
How to we change criminal behaviour $ 64 000 Qs in Criminal justice system
Look at :
1) cost & rewards of crime as key factor in behaviour this assume that people are rational
decision makers based on what is going to have the most positive outcomes
o But this not really how people behave this fundamental error in classical utilartarian
economics because rationalist believe that you could predict human economic
behaviour in terms of objective analysis of cost & reward of a purchase
2) punishment vs. rehabilitative approaches in western punishment is incarceration v
3) importance of empirical research to inform responses & programming the overview that
whatever approach is going to employ to limit criminal behaviour has to be empirically
evaluated to keep doing it or not
Purpose of Sentencing
Least from Canadian perspective section 718 of the criminal code says:
o 1) respect for law & maintenance of a just, peaceful, safe society
so if people were to commit crime & no consequence (in Greece o Canada
Vancouver) think why can’t I do whatever I like because there is no
consequence deamination or lack of respect for law & result in likelihood of
having peaceful society is diminished
o 2) Denunciation of unlawful conduct
Sentencing sent a clear message that unlawful conduct is not okay (so it’s
o 3) Removal of offenders from society
That will help maintain of safety of society & because this person has & maybe
will continue engage in criminal behaviour safer society
o 4) Rehabilitation of offenders
This is really important it marks the forward thinking of CSC becauwse CSC
for last 30 years put emphasis on this
Idea is that aside from people serving life sentence people will be back out
into society after completing their sentence Qs who do want to let out:
someone who is worse than came in because the prison environment
To do this must assess offenders risk comes from about this
o 4) Reparation to victims
To compensate to victims w/ all focus on offender & what about victims
here is more than strictly sentencing for e.g. fines or compensation
e.g. damaging someone’s house - part of sentence contain momentary
compensation for loss & hurt
o 5) Promotion of responsibility in offenders
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That not really all different from rehabilitation as people become more
responsible that aids in rehabilitation process
Means of Reducing Criminal Behaviour
Impose sanctions from death peanlaty , physical , incarceration , fines to community
sentencing have 2 foci:
o 1) focus on specific deterrence sanction is meant 1st meant to deter particular
offender from further crime
o 2) focus on General deterrence - want the learn from offenders (e.g. neibour who
assault someone) & what happens to them thus, this will deter criminal behaviour of
For public at large to use sanctions/ consequence in their cost benefit analysis
in determining whether to do the criminal behaviour at large to discourage
public from committing crime
All of this based on the thinking that commission of crimes is influenced by the punishments &
deterrence is it true or not?
Influence of Punishment & Deterrence on Commission of Crimes
Think about punishment vs. rehabilitation extremes
o extreme punishment is death sentence
o extreme rehabilitation where attempts have been made rehabilitate individuals who are
really hard to rehabilitate (for e.g. commit crime due to brain damage in parts of frontal
lobes that help them control behaviour)
o another instance rehabilitation of extreme if some try to rehabilitate an individual
who is very clear psychopaths w/ no conscience ( no empirical evidence that you could
do this successfully)
other people who believe in punishment w/ different sentencing objectives they primarily
focus on retribution ( if you done something bad you should be punished), incapacitation (lock
someone they don’t have capacity to inflict further harm on society, & deterrence ( you &
other will deter from committing further or future crime)
Punishment & vicarious inhibitions extend to which punishment of others or onto oneself is
effective relates to:
o Certainly how certain that evil act will be met w/ punishment e.g. live in state
where only 10% of criminals are caught punishment won’t be effective cause odds
that they will caught is low
o Celerity the soonest after crime where punishment is delivered --> slap on wrist right
away is easy to recognize the negative consequences experienced is direct result of
wrong decision you made
w/ late mind doesn’t really associate consequence w/ crime (esp. w/ death
penalty since it takes a while & maybe these people went through successful
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o Scope is how broad ranging it is so if sanction will disrupt more of someone’s life –
it will be more of deterrence than only if it disrupt small part of their life
o Severity
Effectiveness of Deterrence
Looking at empirical studies Kershaw (1999) & Lloyd et al. (1994) found that there were no
difference b/w custody (incarcerated in penitentiary) & community penalties w/ respect to
reconviction (recidivism) rates
o What wrong w/ these studies & many of the earlier studies they have not really taken
into account what the risk level for people who are in custodial or community stream
because it is very possible that the folks in custodial (higher risk so longer
sentence so they can be incapacitated) whether people in community channel (lower
Have to control for risk level for both stream if not have equilvent
reconviction rate for both stream is misleading
Study by Martin (1993) found that there no difference b/w people receiving short jail sentence
or fines in terms of whether they were convicted for drinking & driving in terms future decrease
in frequency of drinking & driving
MacKenzie, Wilson, Kider (2001) showed if you added punisher (in experimental studies)
application of enhance punisher (punish smarter) is no more effect than a non-enhanced
punisher on reducing criminal behaviour
Hood (2002) showed that for murders & capital crimes in the states that still have death penalty
there not really any effect on the frequency of capital crimes in those state to those state
don’t have death penalty severity of punishment is not really determine in respect to
o Intensity only one aspect of punishment there are other elements such as certainly,
celebrity etc.
The Canadian Picture
Have reduction police-recorder crime from 1981 to 2007 Qs you want to ask is whether we
just don’t have a police reports of crime because police are busy to keep good records (have to
something to how many crimes that police reports)
Also reported decrease in the overall rate of juveniles & adults charged
o In respect to adults there is interesting sociological phenomena that is working in the
background that is well known empirical finding about violent criminal behaviour is
highest among people of age 18-25 (under 30) for males
w/ the baby boomers aging & w/ next generation following there is been
translation of young (adults) they have moved into over 30 age range in last 10-
15 years we are left w/ smaller proportion of our population in the
dangerous age group than 15-25 years ago
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