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PSYC39-Book Notes.doc

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David N

PSYC39 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour Psychology of Criminal Behavior Chapter 1- Crime in Canada INTRODUCTION The Influence of the Media James Wallace's 2008 story Even inmates eat better than seniors in nursing homes increased the meal per diem to $5.46 in senior long-term facilities prisoners receive meals worth more than $10 per day Crime and justice issues receive considerable media scrutiny, sensational crimes receive front- page billing and the public is inundated with facts, figures, and opinions about what to do about crime and how to increase public safety 44% of Canadians believe more money should be spent on the criminal justice system FIGURE 1.1- Information Sources Rated as Highly Important Current Context Psychology is interested in intra-individual differences and inter-individual differences Intra-Individual Differences: variations in criminal conduct within an individual across time and situations (personality influences) Inter-Individual Differences: variations in criminal conduct between individuals psychology focuses on individuals; sociology focuses more on groups social context is an insufficnet way to look at individual differences o ex: all poor people dont commit crime and all rich people dont avoid crime Forensic Psychology: refers to any application of psychology to the legal system In U.K psychological study of criminal behavior is referred to as criminological psychology In U.S and Canada, the area would be described as correctional psychology Criminal Behavior: Intentional behavior that, when detected, is sanctioned by the courts as a breach of society's established rules younger males are more likely to be involved in criminal behavior, and crime decreases with increased age Crime Desistance: The ending of criminal behavior, most often described as process of change rather than an instantaneous event. Psychology attempts to refine our understanding of criminal behavior by considering individual variation in order to account from heterogeneity and provide differentiated assessment and intervention. Apsychological understanding is derived from recognizing the variability of criminal behavior between individuals as well as within an individual over time and across situations Aprominent psychological picture of the interplay among factors influencing criminality, sometimes referred to as a general personality and social psychology of criminal conduct, is the Personal, Interpersonal and Community-Reinforcement model. This model posits that criminal behavior reflects the immediate situation Cognitive Social Learning Theory of Crime:Alearning theory of crime that attends to both social and cognitive factors as well as behavior. DEFINITION OF CRIME individual's motivation, opportunity, politics, social convention and context have been used to define crime types of definitions typically include legal, moral, social and psychological explanations: PSYC39 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour legal refers to acts prohibited by the state that are punishable under the law moral refers to the violation of norms of religion and morality that are punishable by supreme beings social refers to the violation of certain norms and customs that are punishable by the community psychological refers to act that are rewarding to the perpetrator but harmful to others Criminal Behavior: refers to intentional behavior that violates a criminal code; intentional in that it did not occur accidentally or without justification of excuse. any definition of crime must concede that there are inter-cultural variations regarding normative and acceptable behavior and acceptable norms can change over time within a culture(eg.Abortion in Canada) DETERMINANTS OF CRIME determinants of crime have often been described as distal (I.e historical) and proximal (I.e immediate, situational) from psychology's perspective, it is of interest to identify those factors that are most strongly associated with criminality in order that the assessments are developed to reflect these domains and that interventions are derived to address them and reduce future re-offending meta-analytic reviews are less biased in that they provide a quantitative estimate of the importance of the results rather than a narrative interpretation by the author. BOX 1.1- Statistical Information For Understanding Research Effect Sizes and Meta-Analysis meta-analysis is one way to synthesize information which uses statistics to aggregate the results of individual studies and develop one averaged effect size for all the studies combined meta-analysis give some studies more weight than others effect sizes provide information about the magnitude of the difference studies involving two dichotomous variables typically use effect sizes such as a phi correlation or an odd ratio for studies looking at a continuous variable and a dichotomous variable, effect sizes are typically reported as the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (Area Under the Curve [AUC] for Receiver Operating Characteristic [ROC]), a Cohen's d correlation, or the B1 coefficient from logistic regression. Meta-analysis is useful because the aggregated effect size provides a quantitative summary of a large body of research In meta-analysis, formulae can be used to convert information from one effect size measure into another the conclusions of the meta-analysis are only as strong as the quality of the individual studies that were aggregated Measuring PredictiveAccuracy Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis is a technique for measuring the accuracy of risk assessments by examining false positive and true positives across decision thresholds. First and Second Order Correlates of Criminal Conduct Central Eight: the eight most strongly identified risk factors, as identified through meta-analysis Big Four: The four most strongly correlated risk factors, as identified through meta-analysis Minor Risk Factors: Risk factors with very weak association with criminal behavior Moderate Risk Factors: Risk factors with moderate association with criminal ; less strong PSYC39 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour than the Big Four Static Risk Factors: Risk factors with a demonstrated correlation with criminal behavior. Dynamic Risk Factors: Risk factors that can change, unlike static factors, with such change related to reduced criminal behavior. Criminogenic needs/factors: Changeable risk factors that, when reduced, result in reduced criminal behavior. Sometimes referred to as dynamic risk factors. Impact of Risk and Need Model of Criminal Conduct adult assessments in provincial corrections also reflect the Level of Science Inventory-Revised or variations Provincial Corrections: Jail an probation services for youth and adults, the latter who receive sentences of less than two years. The federal correctional system, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), uses an Offender Intake Assessment based on the Wisconsin model. Correctional Service of Canada (CSC): Integrated prison and community correctional system responsible for supervising offenders who receive sentences of two years or greater. Role of Substance Use substance abuse is described as a moderate risk factor, based on a Pearson correlation with criminal conduct. An inordinate number of offenders report substance abuse as an important precursor to their commission of crimes number somewhat vary; for federal offenders 52.1% report regular drug use and 62.7% report regular alcohol use same research noted that 50% of federal offenders report using drugs and/or alcohol prior to or during the commission of their crimes in the 2006 study, Kunic and Grant state that 68% of federal officiers have substance abuse problems warranting intervention substance abuse has also been uniquely implicated for sexual offenders, where rapists and child molesters report higher levels of alcohol consumption than non-sexually violent offenders. LINKING THE RESEARCH TO CASE STUDIES a clearer understanding of typical criminal behavior comes from a review of primary or first-order risk factors. Most individuals involved in criminal behavior are ordinary individuals with ordinary problems(ex. poor self-regulation, substance abuse, lack of employment, or poor choice in friends) whose decision to engage in criminal conduct reflects disinhibition, a failure to consider short and long-term consequences, support from peers, and attitudes about such behavior Federal and Provincial Correction Federal Corrections: The term used to describe correctional agencies for offenders serving two or more years. Includes prisons and parole offices in every region of the country. correctional services are operated by both federal and provincial governments offenders who receive sentences of less than two years or who receive community sentences such as fines,
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