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SOCI 2150
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Forensic Psychology 2400A: Chapter 2: Police Psychology Police selection: • Police work is a complex and demanding job • Not everyone can handle the responsibilities that come with police work • This is why there is a set of procedures that allow police agencies to screen applicants • Police officers have considerable power • Abuse of power leads to lack of trust and confidence Types of police deviance: High level corruption • Violent crime • Denying civil rights • Criminal enterprise • Property crimes • Major bribes Low level corruption: • Tampering evidence • Being above inconvenient laws • Minor bribes • Playing favorites • Gratuities Police selection procedures: a set of procedures used by the police to either screen out undesirable candidates or select in desirable candidates. These include: • Features • Physical fitness • Cognitive abilities • Personality • And performance on various job-related tasks History of police selection: Police selection process: • Some of the most common police selection procedures are semi-structured interviews, psychological tests, and the use of assessment centres • Screen in- applicants with good qualities • Screen out- applicants with undesirable qualities Job analysis: a procedure for identifying the knowledge skills and abilities that make a good police officer. Stage 1: Job analysis: the KSAanalysis What is agreed upon? Across the ranks the following skills are important • Honesty • Reliability • Sensitivity to others • Good communication skills • High motivation • Problem-solving skills • Team player Stage 2: Validation and Police selection The goals in stage 2 of the process is to develop a selection instrument for measuring the extent to which police applicant possess relevant KSAs (construction) and to ensure that this instrument relates to measures of police performance (validation). • It measures success • No agreed upon set of measures • The most important type of validity for assessing a police selection measure is called ______ validity Stage 2: The validity of police selection instruments Selection interview: Selection interview- in recruiting police officers, an interview used by the police to determine the extent to which an applicant possesses the knowledge skills and abilities deemed important for the job • Very commonly used • Semi-structured • Mixed support • Poor inter-rater reliability Psychological tests: cognitive abilities Cognitive ability tests: procedure for measuring verbal mathematical memory and reasoning abilities. • Generally tests: • Verbal • Mathematical • Memory • Reasoning • Use generally supported • More predictive of training success than actual performance Personality tests: Minnestoa multiphasic personality inventory: an assessment instrument for identifying people with psychopathological problems. • Designed to identify psychopathological issues • Moderate but significant prediction Inwald personality inventory- an assessment instrument used to identify police work by measuring their personality attributes and behaviour patterns. • Developed for law enforcement • Measure personality and behaviour patterns to asses suitability for police work • Researcher suggests IPI more predictive of police officer performance than MMPI although still preliminary • Designed specifically for police selection • 310 true/false questions • 25 scales – acting out- drugs alcohol, driving violations • Attitudes • Internalized conflict- anxiety loner • Interpersonal conflict- family conflicts, sexual concerns Is the IPi a good meaure? • Performance • Absenteeism • Disciplinary • Supervisor evaluations What is used by the RCMP? • PoliceAptitude Battery – Includes personality questionnaire • Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation • Regular Member Selection Interview • Polygraph • Security Clearance • Health Assessment • Training Program RCMP aptitude test: 1. Composition 2. Comprehension 3. Logic 4. Memory 5. Judgment 6. Computation 7. Observation Assessment centre- a facility in which the behaviour of police applicants can be observed in a number of situations by multiple observers. Situational test - a simulation of a real-world policing task. • Tasks- domestic disturbances • Homeowner complaint • Witness probing Police Discretion: Police discretion: a policing task that involves discriminating between circumstances that require absolute adherence to the law and circumstances where a degree of latitude is justified. Apolicing task that involves discriminating between: - Circumstances that require absolute adherence to the law - Circumstances where a degree is latitude is justified - Cannot possibly make laws to encompass all possible situations an officer will encounter Important areas for discretion: 1. Youth crime - Taking responsibility - Fair and proportionate response that encourage rehabilitation and reintegration - Specialized court system for youth community involvement Resolution conference: involves an offender and his or her family coming together with the victim and that police in an attempt to solve problem. 2. Offenders with mental illness - Deinstitutionalization  increase in police encounters - Options: psychiatric institution correctional institution, informal resolution - Study in London, Ontario on police and people with mental illness (PMI) (Hartford, Heslop, Stitt & Hoch, 2005): - PMI were >3x as likely to interact with police than members of the general population - ~2x as many PMI were charged and/or arrested during the study period as compared to the general population - 40% of offences for which PMI were charged were for minor, nuisance type offences - Once charged, PMI were 37% more likely to spend time in c
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