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PSYC39 Text Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Nussbaum D

Chapter 1 11/7/2012 7:43:00 PM  Canadians believe more money should be spent on criminal justice system  Rated Tv news as most important information source  Media very important, more than academia  Psychology is interested in intra individual differences (variation in criminal conduct within an individual across time/situations) as well as inter individual differences (variations in criminal conduct between individuals)  Forensic Psychology – any application of psychology to the legal system  UK – criminicological psychology, US/Can – correctional psychology  FOCUS: understand assessment and management of individuals who engage in criminal behaviour, , to follow nature of the court  Macro level = understand crime as a large scale social phenomenon (strain theory)  Micro level = importance of socialization and influence of community, family, (differential association theory).. patterns of individual behaviour (over time/situation --> thoughts/feelings)  Age crime data conceals wide range of offenders, doesn’t mention that small percent of offenders maintain criminal activity into adulthood --> crime desistance ( decrease in criminal activity over time)  Psychology considers individual variation to account for heterogeneity  Personal Interpersonal and Community reinforcement Model(factors influencing criminality) o Criminal behaviour reflects immediate situations o Factors (inhibitors, stressors, temptations, facilitators) combine to influence a decision to engage in criminal behaviour o Further influenced by attitudes, history, cost and rewards for the crime, social supports o Contributions of community, interpersonal relations, personal relations and consequences o Integrative + situational model, recognizes historical and immediate factors o COGNITIVE SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY  Definition of Crime o Different across cultures o Diff behaviours viewed as criminal o Factors used to define it: individuals motivation, opportunity, politics, social convention and context o 11 definitions (legal, moral, social, psychological) o consistency across nations as what is criminal (esp robbery and incest) o Working definition by Bartol  Criminal behaviour refers to intentional behaviour that violates a criminal code; intentional in that it did not occur accidentally or without justification of excuse o Defining it is critical because it influences its prevalence  Determinants of Crime o Historical and immediate (distal and proximal) o Meta-analysis to find determinants (provides non biased quantitive estimates of importance of results)  Meta analysis synthesizes info using stats, and uses one average effect size for all studies combined, gives studies with larger sample sizes more weight  Effect sizes – give you magnitude of difference between groups  Provides quantitive summary of a large body of research, lets you convert info from one effect size measure to another  Drawbacks: publication bias, may lack quality because of poor quality studies included in analysis  First and Second Order correlates of Criminal conduct o Central 8 Risk Factors of Criminal Behaviour (Major Risk Factors)  Big 4  History of antisocial behaviour (early/continuing involvement in antisocial acts in variety of settings)  Antisocial personality pattern (adventurous pleasure seeking, weak self control, relentlessly aggressive)  Antisocial cognition (attitudes, values, beliefs supportive of crime, cog. Emotional states of anger, resentment and defiance)  Antisocial associates (close association with criminal others, isolation from non criminal others)  Moderate Risk factors  Family/Marital (low level of nurturance/supervision)  School/Work (low level of performance/satisfaction)  Leisure/Recreation (low level of involvement in noncriminal leisure)  Substance Abuse o Minor risk factors: series of meta analyses finding certain correlates of crime in sociological theory that were considered important in the past relatively unimportant now  Personal/emotional stress, mental disorder, physical health problems, low IQ, social class, physical conditioning  Cannot always explain criminal conduct o Static risk factors (unchanging – antisocial history), Dynamic risk factors (can change – substance abuse, antisocial cognition) o Goal is to understand and reduce criminal behaviour, assessment and treatment should attend to correlating factors o Major risk factors  criminogenic (empirically related to criminal conduct, when reduced it leads to reductions in future reoffending)  Impact of risk and need model o All provinces except quebec use risk and need assessment model after major risks  Wisconsin model  Level of service inventory o Correctional Services of Canada: federal correctional system, Offender Intake Assessment that is based on Wisconsin model, used internationally  Role of Substance Abuse o Alcohal – interpersonal conflict (homicide, assault) o Drugs - acquisitive violence(theft, robbery) o Nature of substance abuse is clear (is criminal behaviour due to cognitive impairment because of alchohal or is it the social cues that come with drinking?)  Linking research to Case studies o Most individuals involved in crime are ordinary people with ordinary problems, decision to be involved in criminal behaviour is due to disinhibition , failure to consider short term and long term consequences, support from peers  Federal and Provincial Corrections o Offenders with sentences less than 2 years/community sentences (fines, comm. Serv.)  provincial jurisdiction o Offenders with 2 and more years  federal jurisdiction o Young offenders  provincial o Federal offenders – most likely a more violent crime/history o Sex offenders that get less than 2 years still get parole under federal officers o Federal prisons = larger, more offenders +staff, o Social workers more common in provincial corrections o Psychologists work in both  Crime Trends o Data that shows crime rates may not be accurate because some crime is not reported to police o Violent crime is less frequent than property crimes o Admin of justice charges, impaired driving, and weapon charges more common in adults o Youth account for more criminal charges and more for males o 12% of all offences are violent  Crime Severity index o Measures police reported crime in Canada o Tracks changes in severity over time with change in volume and relative seriousness of crime to other instances o Gives attention to police whether crime is more serious or not o PRINCIPLE: to have serious crimes carry more weight than less serious ones  improves comparisons, gives greater impact on the index o Weight = incarcenation rate + average length of prison sentence  Crime victimization o Highest percent of victims of violent crime were 15-19 years o Very high costs of crime, victims  Public perceptions of criminal justice system o 57.8 Cdns believe crime rate has gone up o low levels of confidence in the system o parole the least confidence level o 74% believe system is too lenient  Variation in crime by source o Police reported crime is lower than victimization rates o Crime funnel (highest=offenders, lowest=warrant of committal)  Length of sentences o Over half of all custodial sentences are less than one month o Of all offenses resulting in custody, only 4.2% are federal jurisdiction o Shorter sentence  less time for comprehensive assessments and participation in prison based programming  Variations across provinces o Increased crime further west and north (northwest territories has 8x national avg)  International context o Canadas incarcenation – 108 per 100 000  Impact of criminal conduct on Canadians o 3 aspects of crime that impact cdns: prevalence, cost and likelihood o influences publics confidence in criminal justice system o 2.6 mil crimes reported annually, most property crimes o 20% of Cdns report being a victim every year o scope of negative influence of crime is large – almost 80% of Cdns affected Chapter 2: Theories of Crime 11/7/2012 7:43:00 PM  What makes a strong theory? o Explanation of a particular phenomenon o Strong theory  Parsimonious (economical)  clearly identifies causal mechanisms and corresponding mediators and moderators underlying the phenomenon of interest  testable and falsifiable through hypotheses and predictions  based on empirical data and modified in response to new date  interdisciplinary compatibility  respects gender, ethnicity and culture  Background/History o Franz Gall – father of phrenology (perspective that shape and size of head is related to ones personality, mental ability and behaviour)  Lombroso took Gals work further and compared criminals to normal segments of population  Distinctive features – twisted lips, sloping foreheads (avatisms)…a lot like neandrathals o Lombroso – father of criminology o Francis Galton – Eugenics (sterilization of individuals deemed unfit and used in Hitlers regime)  Biological Explanations of Crime o Brains neurotransmitter systems o Brain imaging o Studying antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder, psychopathy o Measures of aggression  Genetics and Crime o Twin Studies  To separate biological from environmental factors  Behavioural genetics (focus on remaining 1% varying DNA amongst humans)  Monozygotic twins share 100% DNA  Corcordance rate  heritability coefficient (stat representing proportion of phenotype variance)  Biometric/ Statistical modeling estimate two types of environmental factors  Shared  Non-shared  Criticism overestimates genetic contribution, heritibiilty estimates for MZ twins may be confounded by prenatal factors, small sample sizes, political influence o Adoption Studies  Two forms:  Parent offspring – correlations between adoptive parents and adoptees’ antisocial behaviour compared to correlations between biological parents and adoptees  Sibling offspring – correlations between adoptees siblings compared to biological siblings  Mednick et al study - biological and adoptive parents have no criminal record  13.5% adopted sons had criminal record, if adopted parent had record, biological parent did not  14.7% adopted sons had criminal record, biological parent has criminal record  20%, highest level of criminality when both sets of parents have criminal record  24.5%  Limitations of these studies: generalizability problems, environments of adopted kids are better, reduced shared environmental effects (restricted range) o Genetic and environment both contribute to variance in antisocial behaviour o Gene crime link a function of inherited characteristics that predispose individuals to antisocial behaviour o Interative effects – new research to see if genes and environment interact to produce effect  Molecular Genetics o Caspi – first groundbreaking study on interaction of a specific gene(monoamine oxidase) and risk f
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