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Lecture 2

Psychology 2032A/B Lecture 2: Lecture Notes - Chapter 8, 9, 10, 11

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Psychology 2032A/B
John Campbell

Chapter 8 Presumptions in Canada’s Legal System • Elements that must be present for criminal guilt: o Actus reus: a wrongful deed o Mens rea: criminal intent • Must be found beyond a reasonable doubt for a guilty verdict to be reached Fitness to Stand Trial • “Fit” individuals charged with a crime are expected to understand that charges and proceedings, and help in preparing their defence • Unfit to stand trial: an inability to conduct a defence at any stage of the proceedings because of a mental disorder R. v. Prichard (1836) • Fitness Standard: o Whether the defendant is mute of malice (ex: intentionality) o Whether the defendant can plead to the indictment o Whether the defendant has sufficient cognitive capacity to understand proceedings Fitness Standard • Unfit to stand trial if unable to: o Understand nature or object of proceedings o Understand possible consequences of the proceedings o Communicate w/ counsel Fitness Standard Changes • R. v Taylor (1992) specified the “best interest rule” was too strict a criterion • Five-day limit for fitness evaluations w/ provisions, if necessary • Issue of fitness may be raised at various stages of the proceedings Fitness Instruments • Fitness Interview Test Revised (FIT-R; Roesch et al., 1998) • Competency screening test (CST) • Competency to stand trial assessment instrument (CAI) • Interdisciplinary fitness interview (IFI) • MacArthur competence assessment tool-criminal adjudication (MacCAT-CA) Unfit Defendants • Unemployed and living alone • Never married • Older females belonging to a minority group w/ fewer marital resources • 4 times more likely to meet criteria for a psychotic disorder • less likely to have substance abuse problems Unfit to Stand Trial • proceedings halted until fit o reassessed w/in 45 days • attempt to restore defendant to fitness o most common method is medication • if unlikely to become fit, court can stay proceedings according to Bill C-10 Bill C-10 • Stay proceedings if: o Accused is unlikely to ever become fit o Accused does not pose a significant threat to safety of public o It is in the interests of the proper administration of justice Mental State at Time of Offence • Insanity: not being of sound mind, and being mentally deranged and irrational • Legally, insanity removes the responsibility of performing an act b/c of uncontrollable impulses or delusions Influential Cases of the Insanity Standard • R. v. McNaughton (1843) – three critical elements emerged from the verdict: o Defendant must be suffering from a defect of reason/disease of the mind o Must not know the nature and quality of act they are performing o Must not know that what he/she is doing is wrong Legislative Changes • Bill C-30, enacted in 1992, the following changes were made to the insanity legislation: o Insanity term changed to “not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder” (NCRMD) o Wording of the standard was altered o Review boards were created Further Change • Winko v. British Columbia (1999) o Supreme court stated that a defendant who is NCRMD should only be detained if they pose a threat to society o If no threat to society then they should receive an absolute discharge Raising the Issue of Insanity • Few defendants use the insanity defence o Approx. 25% succeed • In Canada, only two situations in which the Crown may raise insanity: o Following a guilty verdict o If the defence states the defendant has a mental illness Assessing Insanity • Insanity defence requires a psychiatric assessment • Rogers Criminal Responsibility Assessment Scales (R-CRAS; Rogers, 1984) o First and only standardized assessment scale for criminal responsibility Defendants found NCRMD • Three dispositions can be made: o Absolute discharge o Conditional discharge o Psychiatric facility • In Canada, dispositions are made by the court or a review board o Court dispositions are reviewed by a board w/in 90 days Bill C-54 Changes to NCRMD • Introduced in 2013 by the Prime Minister’s office: o Directed to those who have committed a serious offence and have a high likelihood of reoffending o Or if the act was so heinous that the public could be at risk • If Bill C-54 passes as is, these “high risk” offenders would not be granted a conditional or absolute discharge o Only a court could lift this “high risk” designation Information for Review Boards • Charge information • Trial transcript • Criminal history • Risk assessment • Clinical history • Psychological testing • Hospital’s recommendation Factors Affecting Dispositions • Four main criteria considered when deciding a disposition: o Public safety o Mental state of the defendant o Reintegration of defendant into society o Other needs of the defendant N.C.R – Documentary Automatism • Automatism: unconscious, involuntary behavior; the person committing the act is not aware of what they are doing • Canadian Criminal Code does not address automatism as a defence • Kenneth Parks (R. v. Parks, 1992) o o R. V. Stone (1999) • Supreme Court stated that there are two forms of automatism: o Non-insane o Insane • To address defences of automatism: o Judges decides whether evidence exists that behavior was involuntary o Judge decides if condition is a mental disorder (insane) or sane automatism • Bert Stone stabbed his wife 46 times • Didn’t dispute that but claims he was in an automatism state • After he stabbed her, he got rid of the body, cleaned up, left a note for his stepdaughter, then checked into a hotel • Later he sold his car and flew to Mexico • While there he woke up one morning to the feeling of having his throat cut • While trying to remember his bad dream, he recalled stabbing his wife twice • Charged with murder • Found guilty and sentenced to 7 years in prison Dorothy and Earl Joudrie • Teen sweethearts • Married in 1957 • Had $25 at the time but eventually became very wealthy • In 1989 the couple separated • In 1994, Early petitioned for a divorce but Dorothy contested the petition • January 1 , 1995 Dorothy took a handgun and shot Early 6 times • The motive for the shooting? Unclear • Dorothy had no memory of the shooting • Psychiatrists say she was in a dissociative state at the time of the shooting • Automatism? Which type? • NCRMD and Dorothy spent 5 months in a psychiatric facility then absolute discharge • Eventually got divorced Defences of Non-Insane Automatism • A physical blow (ex: blow to the head) • Physical ailments (ex: stroke) • Hypoglycemia (ex: low blood sugar) • Carbon monoxide poisoning • Sleepwalking • Involuntary intoxication • Psychological blow from extraordinary external event NCRMD vs. Automatism • Verdict outcome differs: o NCRMD verdict may result in defendant being sent to mental health facility o Non-insane automatism results in a non-guilty verdict o Insane automatism results in an NCRMD verdict Guy Turcotte Case • The original verdict infuriated the Quebec public • The Crown successfully appealed in 2013 and the Supreme Court of Canada subsequently declined to hear the defence’s appeal of that decision • The court ruled that legal errors were committed in Turcotte’s original trial – including by the Superior Court justice who presided over it • Guy Turcotte has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years Psychiatric Prison • Oak Ridge • • Intoxication as a Defence? • R. v. Daviault (1994) • In 1995, Bill C-72 was passed o Intoxication is not recognized as a defence for violent crimes Defendants w/ Mental Disorders • Mental health issues may occur in defendants who do not receive an unfit finding or NCRMD verdict Explaining High Rates of Mental Illness • Individuals w/ a mental illness are likely arrested more often • Individuals w/ a mental illness are more likely to get caught • Individuals w/ a mental illness are more likely to plead guilty Dealing w/ Mentally Ill Offenders • Police have two options: o Mental health system o Criminal justice system • Biases may exist in the conditional release of mentally ill offenders o Likely to be conditionally released as a result of mandatory supervision and to have their release suspended Treatment • Goals include: o Symptom reduction o Decreased length of stay in the facility o No need for re-admittance to hospital • Overarching goal is reintegration Treatment Options • Facilities for treatment include: o Psychiatric institutions o hospitals o assisted housing units • two key treatment options for psychotic symptoms: o antipsychotic drugs o behavior therapy Objectives of Mental Health Courts • divert accused charged w/ minor to moderately serious criminal offences • facilitate a defendant’s fitness to stand trial evaluation • ensure treatment for a defendant’s mental disorders • decrease likelihood of repeat offences Perceptions of Mental Health Courts • Results of a Canadian survey in 2012: o Approximately 80% of general public and 70% of the professional group survey reported supporting government funding for a mental health court in their community o Positive attitudes towards mental health courts were predicted by: ▪ Being older ▪ Having exposure to mental health coursework ▪ Psychological openness ▪ Positive attitudes towards help-seeking and mental health Chapter 9 Hierarchy of Canadian Courts • Courts in Canada are divided into provincial, federal, and military courts • Courts are also organized into a hierarchy w/ courts lower in the hierarchy abiding by the decisions of courts at higher levels • The Supreme Court of Canada is the final court of appeal Aboriginal Courts • Aboriginal courts also exist w/in the court structure • Established so that special consideration could be given to the adverse background conditions of Aboriginal offenders • One of the goals of these courts is to reduce Aboriginal overrepresentation in the criminal justice system Aboriginal Overrepresentation • Refers to the disproportionate number of Aboriginals involved in the criminal justice system o Aboriginals make up approx. 3% of Canadian population, but account for 17% of adults admitted into remand • The problem is more severe in the Prairie provinces Explanations for Aboriginal Overrepresentation • There are several possible explanations: o A higher aboriginal crime rate o The commission by Aboriginal people of more serious crimes o Criminal justice practices that penalize Aboriginal people (ex: fine defaults) o Overt or systemic racism Special Courts Aboriginal Offenders • Developed w/ expertise to specialize in cases with Aboriginal offenders: o Judges here have access to resources that will allow them to apply more appropriate sentences o Mitigating circumstances in the offender’s background may serve to reduce to culpability of the offender o May lead to restorative justice which aims to heal those affected by criminal acts rather than punitive justice Sentencing in Canada • Sentencing: judicial determination of a legal sanction upon a person convicted of an offence (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 1997) Goals of the System • Canadians believe that the main purpose of the criminal justice system is to protect and serve society. Implicit in this perception is the assumption that the system is in place to protect the innocent. Mentioned less frequently, but still important, is the belief that the system should act as a deterrent to criminals and that it should function to punish offenders. • The focus group study also found that some believe the system exists to ensure the rights of individuals prevent chaos by keeping peace and setting societal standards. Purposes of Sentencing • Specific deterrence • General deterrence • Denunciation • Incapacitation • Reparation • Rehabilitation Principles of Sentencing • Fundamental principle of sentencing: a sentence must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the degree of responsibility of the offender • Judges must also: o Consider aggravating and mitigating factors o Use comparable sentences for similar offenders committing similar crimes o Use alternatives to incarceration if at all possible Sentencing Options in Canada • Absolute or conditional discharge • Probation • Restitution • Fines and community service • Conditional sentence • Imprisonment Dangerous Offenders • A dangerous offender application can be made for any offender convicted of a serious personal injury offence who constitutes a danger to others o Requires a determination of dangerousness o Can result in a term of indefinite imprisonment Sentencing Disparity • Sentencing disparity: variations in sentences handed down by different judges (or the same judge on different occasions) for similar offenders committing similar offences Unwarranted Sentencing Disparity • Unwarranted sentencing disparity: results from a reliance on extra-legal (ex: legally irrelevant) factors o Systematic factors: ex: how lenient judges believe sentences should be o Unsystematic factors: ex: the mood of the judge on any particular day Reducing Sentencing Disparity • One way of reducing disparity is to use sentencing guidelines • However, sentencing guidelines in Canada are very broad and may not significantly reduce sentencing disparity Are the Goals of Sentencing Achieved? • Ongoing debate about deterrence and rehabilitation • Many researchers do not believe that get-tough strategies reduce crime • However, certain rehabilitative efforts do appear to reduce re-offending What Works in Offender Treatment? • Canadian researchers have led the way in establishing principles of effective correctional intervention • Correctional interventions that incorporate these principles have been shown to reduce recidivism rates Recidivism Rates • Recidivism: return to correctional supervision on a new conviction w/in two years of completing: o Probation, parole or conditional sentence; or o A provincial jail sentence of six months or more • Canada’s recidivism rates o Males: approx. 35% o Females: approx. 20% Principles of Effective Correctional Intervention • Need principle: effective intervention targets criminogenic needs • Risk principle: effective intervention targets high-risk offenders • Responsivity principle: effective intervention matches the general learning styles and characteristics of offenders Criminogenic Needs • Characteristics, traits, problems, or issues of an individual that directly relate to the individual’s likelihood to re-offend and commit another crime • These break down into two categories: o Static: needs or characteristics that cannot be changed through any type of therapy or intervention ▪ Ex: age at the time of first arrest, being raised in a single-parent home, criminal history o Dynamic: needs or characteristics that could be changed w/ intervention ▪ Ex: lack of respect for authority, lack of education or job skills, anti-social behavior Responsivity Principle • There are two parts to the responsivity principle: o General responsivity: calls for the use of cognitive social learning methods to influence behavior ▪ Cognitive social learning strategies: most effective regardless of type of offender (ex: female offender, Aboriginal offender, sex offender). Core correctional practices such as prosocial modeling, the appropriate use of reinforcement and disapproval, and problem solving spell out the specific skills represented in a cognitive social learning approach o Specific responsivity: “fine tuning” of the cognitive behavioral interventions; takes into account strengths, learning style personality, motivation, and bio- social (ex: gender, race) characteristics of the individual Different Approaches to Prison • US • Norway • Norway-Anders Behring Breivik Canadian Prisons Solitary Confinement • Disciplinary segregation: punishment that can be imposed for conviction of a disciplinary offence – this can be anything from being disrespectful or disobeying an order to dealing drugs inside • Administrative segregation: supposed to be used for three reasons: o The inmate’s own safety o To maintain the safety of the institution o To ensure that there is no interference w/ an ongoing investigation Adam Capay – Solitary • Adam Capay sat in segregation in the Thunder Bay jail, 23 hours a day, for over four years • Under the glaring lights in a Plexiglas cell, Capay can no longer tell night from day and is covered in scars from self-harm • Capay’s plight only became clear after Ontario Human Rights Commissioner Renu Mandhane toured the jail in October and a corrections officer led her to the basement cell that housed the discarded 23 year-old Indigenous man The Death Penalty • December 11 , 1962, Toronto – Arthur Lucas and Robert Turpin were the last people to be executed in Canada • Death by hanging • Death penalty formally abolished in 1976 • Survey from 2013 show that 63% of Canadians surveyed are in favor of the reinstatement of capital punishment o #1 reason given is “will act as a deterrent” but studies show this isn’t the case Parole in Canada • conditional release into community • rehabilitation • high degree of supervision • return to prison if conditions are breached Myths Concerning Parole • Parole reduces sentence time • Parole is automatically granted when inmates become eligible • Parole is granted if remorse is shown • Offenders released on parole frequently re-offend • Victims do not play a role in parole decisions Parole Decision Making • Decisions are made by members of Canada’s National Parole Board (NPB) • Offenders become eligible for parole after serving the first third, or the first seven years, of their sentence • A formal hearing takes place b/w the offender and the NPB and a formal risk assessment is conducted Risk Assessment • Criminal history • Mental status • Performance on earlier releases • Information from victims • Institutional behavior • Feasibility of release plans, etc. Types of Parole • Temporary absence o A temporary absence is generally the first type of release an offender will be granted o Offenders may be granted unescorted or escorted temporary absences (unescorted absences would typically follow successful escorted absences) so that they can take part in activities such as substance-abuse programs, family violence counselling, and technical training courses • Day parole o Allows offenders to participate in activities within the community (ex: work) o Must typically return to their institutions or halfway house at end of the day o Performance on day parole is considered to when the Parole Board of Canada reviews an offender’s application for full parole • Full parole o Allows offenders to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community o Before an offender is granted full parole, a thorough assessment is done to predict the likelihood of reoffending o Consideration is also given to what conditions should be implemented to address the chance of risk o To be granted full parole, offenders must usually have been granted unescorted temporary absences and day parole o Offender is closely supervised while on full parole • Statutory release o Most federal inmates must be released w/ supervision, by law, after serving two- thirds of their sentence o Offenders serving life are NOT eligible o An assessment is carried out to predict the likelihood of reoffending and consideration is given as to what conditions should be implemented Conditions of Parole • Various conditions of parole must be met or the offender may go back to prison • Ex: o Abstain from drugs and alcohol o Remain in Canada o Obey the law and keep the peace o Do not own or possess any weapons The Effectiveness of Parole • The NPB (2009) indicates that offenders let out on parole are less likely to breach conditions or commit new offences compared to offenders let out on statutory release • Even offenders let out on statutory release are unlikely to commit further crimes Public Attitudes Towards the Criminal Justice System • There are three methods that are commonly used to study public attitudes towards the criminal justice system: o Simulation studies o Focus groups o Public opinion polls (most common) Common Attitudes • Results of public opinion polls indicate that: o Canadians view the criminal justice system in a relatively positive light (especially the police) o Canadians believe that offenders are treated too leniently o Canadians support alternatives to sentencing under certain conditions Factors that Influence Public Attitudes • Discrepancy b/w attitudes and reality (ex: with respect to lenient treatment) due to an inadequate understanding of the criminal justice system • According to one group, this discrepancy is largely the result of biased media portrayals of the criminal justice system Chapter 10 – Risk Assessment What is risk assessment? • Risk is viewed as a range o Probabilities change across time o Interaction among offender characteristics and situation • Risk assessment has 2 components: o Prediction o Management Risk Assessments: Criminal Settings • Risk assessments conducted at major decision points: o Pretrial o Sentencing o Release • Public safety outweighs solicitor-client privilege Types of Prediction Outcomes • True positive, false positive, true negative, false negative • Two types of errors are dependent on each other • Each outcome has different consequences for offender or society Predictions: Decisions vs. Outcomes Outcome Decision Reoffends Does not reoffend Predicted to reoffend True positive (correct) False positive (incorrect) Predicted to not reoffend False negative (incorrect) True negative (correct) History of Risk Assessment • 1960s: Civil rights cases involving accuracy of mental health professionals in predicting risk o Baxstrom v. Herald (1966) ▪ US Supreme court rules that Baxstrom detained beyond his sentence and order him release ▪ As a result more than 300 mentally offenders were released ▪ 98 too dangerous to be released were tracked ▪ only 20 were arrested over a 4-year period ▪ only 7 committed a violent offence o Dixon v. Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1971) ▪ Out of 400 patients released, only 60 committed a violent
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