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PSYC 331
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FORENSIC PSYCH NOTES FINALREAD CASESRisk AssessmentRisk is viewed as a range with probabilities that change across time and includes interaction among offender characteristics and situationRisk assessment has two componentsoPredictionoManagementCanadian psychological associations code of ethics for psychologists includes a guide to help psychologists decide the most ethical action for any potential dilemmaoLacks empirical supportoClosely connected to ethical theoryCivil SettingsoCivil commitmentRequires an individual to be hospitalized involuntarily if he or she has a mental illness and poses a danger to himself or herself or othersProbability of violence associated with different disordersIdentify circumstances associated with patients that affect the likelihood of harm on self or othersoChild protectionLaws in place to protect children from abuseRisk of sexual and physical abuse as well as neglectChildrens Aid Society may choose to remove a child or terminate parental rightsoImmigration lawsProhibit the admission of individuals into Canada if there are reasonable grounds to believe they will engage in acts of violenceoSchool and labour regulationsProvide provisions to prevent any kind of act that would endanger othersoDuty to warn and limits of confidentialityCriminal SettingsoRisk assessments conducted at major decision making pointsPretrialSentencingReleaseoPublic safety outweighs solicitorclient privilegeIn cases where there is clear serious and imminent dangeroA person can be denied bail if there is a substantial chance of reoffenceoJudges may decide to apply adult criminal sanctions on adolescent offendersoCritical component of many legislations1947habitual criminal legislationoffenders could be sentenced to for an indefinite period of time1977 dangerous offender legislationrequiresmental health professionals to provide an assessment of risk for violenceoRequired for decisions concerning release from institutions such as parolePrediction outcomesoTrue positivecorrect prediction a person is predicted to engage in a violent act and does sooTrue negativecorrect prediction a person is predicted not to engage in a violent act and does notoFalse positiveincorrect prediction a person is predicted to engage in a violent act and does notoFalse negativeincorrect prediction a person is predicted not to engage in a violent act and does soBase raterepresents the percentage of people within a given population who engage in a specific behaviour or have a mental disorderoAccurate predictions are difficult when base rates are too high or too lowoFalse positives tend to occur with low base ratesSchool shootings occur with a very small base rate but if one were to try and predict the shootings many youths would be wrongly classifiedoIts easier to predict frequent events rather than infrequent eventsMethodological issuesoAssumptions of risk assessmentand measurementIdeal evaluation vs realityoThree weaknesses of researchLimited number of risk factorsNeed to focus on more of the reasons why people engage in violenceHow criterion variable is definedResearchers could expand the criteria to include the severity type target motivation and location of violenceHow criterion variable is measuredCriminal records are often used to measure the criterion variable but many crimes go unrecordedoNumber of recorded violent crimes of sexual offenders is a better estimate of the number of sexual crimes theyve committed
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