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Changing criminal behaviour ch 4.docx

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PSYC 3402
Connie Kristiansen

Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 1 1. Changing criminal behaviour  → A utilitarian model suggests that people engage in criminal behaviour because crime pays, and to reduce crime, its costs must increase, but others ( Andrews, Bonta,....) question if that model applies to all offenders • They refine the model by stating that : • Criminality can be decreased when the rewards for crime are reduced and the costs for crime are increased while the rewards for prosocial behaviour are increased and the costs for prosocial behaviour are decreased. → Table 4.1 Decreasing the chances of crime Behabiour Rewards Costs Criminal Reduce Add Prosocial Add Reduce → Notwithstanding the role of expert witnesses, the interplay between psychology and the courts is mainly academic, whereas psychology is much more influential in directly informing clinical practice in prisons and community corrections. 2. Purposes of sentencing  → According to section 718 of the Canadian Criminal Code, the fundamental purposes of sentencing are to ensure respect for the law and the maintenance of a just, peaceful, and safe society. Other purposes for sentencing: A. To denounce unlawful conduct B. To remove offenders from society C. To assist in rehabilitation of offenders ( the most important goal of sentencing)  Rehabilitation is done through specific deterrence and general deterrence Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 2  the expectation is that sanctions by the courts will reduce the criminal behaviour of both the specific individual and the general population, respectively.  Deterrence : • Is the application of punishment to influence behaviour. • McGuire mentions that deterrence is measured across 4 dimensions Certainty Celerity Severity Scope Likelihood of legal The amount of time that Magnitude of the The relationship between types punishment elapses between an offence punishment of crime in statutes and types of being committed and an official punishment sanction being imposed • More specifically, Gendreau (1996) and McGuire (2004) note that for punishment to be maximally effective: ð it must first be unavoidable ð Second, its application should immediately follow the target behaviour. ð Third, it should be very severe. ð Even when these conditions are met, it is necessary to ensure that individuals being punished cannot meet their goals through some alternative manner • Referring to Bill’s case, a central issue relates to distinguishing between the purpose Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 3 • McGuire (2004) and French and Gendreau evidence for the effectiveness of deterrence in criminal justice application I. Sentencing in terms of crime statistics II. The relationship between imprisonment and crime rates III. The effects of enhanced punishers IV. Meta-analytic reviews of outcome studies V. Self-report surveys; and 6) research on the death penalty. • Kershaw Lloyd, Mair, and Hough ð compares two-year reconviction data by type of sentence (imprisonment, community service orders, probation orders, and probation with additional requirements) ð Conclude that there was no difference between immediate custody and community penalties on reconviction rates. • These findings suggest that general deterrence does not reduce crime in that longer sentences and incarceration are not highly related to recidivism. Further, if specific deterrence is effective, there should be some association between the activity of the courts for targeted crimes and the amount of that crime. This does not appear to be the case. • Boe, Motiuk, and Nafekh study indicate that : more adult males are given Canadian federal sentences but these sentences have generally decreased in length over the past two decades • (Boe, Motiuk, and Muirhead study : the median provincial sentence has slightly increased • Another deterrence strategy has been described as punisher smarter. In this approach, enhanced punishers such as boot camps ( 29 studies found that it did not reduce criminal Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 4 behaviour), shock incarceration, electronic surveillance, curfews, and intensive supervision are applied ( doesn’t reduce criminal behaviour). • Check table 4.3 p.112 • Arrest of shoplifters ( teens) had little impact on their criminal behaviour • Moreover, findings from the Denver Youth Survey ð (Huizinga et al. 2003), a longitudinal study of youth at risk, indicated that the majority of offenders, whatever their level of seriousness, were not arrested. Even the more serious offenders were rarely arrested for their most serious offences ( issue of certainty!). • Perhaps the most ultimate deterrence is a death sentence ð Used among 71 countries ð capacity to save further innocent lives or reduce other capital crimes ð In Texas, arguably the state with the highest rate of capital punishment; higher execution rates did not yield a lower murder rate. It would seem that commission of crimes, including capital offences, is not influenced by punishment and deterrence. • Views: I. Those who commit crime are no different than others ( Bill’s lawyers assertion for this view : Those who commit crimes are bad ) These viewpoints influence the public’s perception of the courts Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 5 • Incapacitation : is the application of crime control by removing offenders’ ability to commit crimes by incarcerating them. – ð In terms of reducing future crimes incarceration has a limited impact since the majority of offenders return to their communities. • Retribution: ð Asserts that society has the right, when harmed, to harm the offender. This harm or punishment should correspond with the crime (an eye for an eye) ð From an administration of f justice perspective, retribution is not necessarily intended to address issues at the individual level. D. To provide reparation to victims E. To promote a sense of responsibility in offenders 3. The Canadian picture → Compared to other countries, Canada’s crime rate is relatively low, but there is still a push for tougher sentences. → the police-reported crime rate decreased from 1981 to 2007 → The overall rate of juveniles and adults charged decreased, although there were slight variations for certain groups (juvenile girls are more involved in crime) and types of crime (property crime is on the rise). → Boes’ study: table 4.4 p. 114 actual crimes per 100 000 of pop. Country Canada U.S England and Whles Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 6 National pop. 31 110 600 284 796 887 52 939 000 Homicide 1.8 5.6 1.4 Robbery 88 148 159 Aggravated assault 182 319 438 Break and 908 741 1,712 enter/bulglary Motor vehicle theft 547 431 640 4. Restorative justice ( RJ) → Def : crime is a wound, justice should be healing → Responds to a criminal act by putting the emphasis on the wrong done to a person as well as the wrong done to the community → It recognizes that crime is both a violation of relationships between specific people and an offence against everyone—the state → Emphasizes healing the wounds of victims, offenders, and communities caused or revealed by criminal behaviour, and is seen as a viable third alternative to the traditional rehabilitation versus retribution debate → it emphasizes accountability by the offender and recognition of the harm they have caused. → Key elements of restorative justice include: II. Identifying and taking steps to repair harm III. Involving all stakeholders IV. Transforming the traditional relationship between communities and their governments in responding to crime → Restorative justice requires wrongdoers to recognize the harm they have caused, to accept responsibility for their actions, and to be actively involved in improving the situation. Wrongdoers must make reparation to victims, themselves, and the community. Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 7 → Embedded within these elements are key values that underlie the various approaches of restorative justice. These values are: I. Encounter: ð Create opportunities for victims, offenders, and community members who want to do so to meet and discuss the crime and its aftermath. II. Amends ð Expect offenders to take steps to repair the harm they have caused. III. Reintegration: ð Seek to restore victims and offenders to whole, contributing members of society (the goal is not to return them to their pre-crime state) IV. Inclusion ð Provide opportunities for parties with a stake in a specific crime to participate in its resolution. Types of approaches include: I. Victim offender mediation: ð Mediation Implies parties who are on somewhat equal ground seeking a settlement. This is not the case with victims and offenders, where one party has usually wronged another II. Victim assistance ð Various criminal justice departments provide victim services. ð Admittedly, much of this work involves assisting victims to be aware of their ð legal rights regarding representation and notification, and assisting them, should they choose, to provide information to decision makers regarding their experiences III. Ex-offender assistance: Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 8 ð In some respects, victim assistance has overshadowed a long tradition of the National Volunteers Association and its community agencies, such as the Elizabeth Fry Society, and others providing support and assistance to offenders. This work often begins while the offender is incarcerated and continues, through an aftercare model, to include assistance with reintegration to the community. IV. Restitution ð This involves financial compensation to the victim by the offender for loss related to their victimization. Typically, the courts assign this amount; however in RJ models it involves discussion among all parties. The compensation can include direct or tangible (i.e., repairing a broken door) costs and indirect or intangible (i.e., suffering) costs. V. Community service ð Sometimes as an alternative to incarceration and perhaps as part of a probation order, the offender is required to complete some sort of community service (i.e., provide labour for community projects) to make amends. 5. Does Restorative Justice Work? → ” The gold standard of effectiveness is the reduction of future crime → There might be selection bias, since is voluntary ( RJ) → RJ is successful on I. Victim satisfaction II. Offender satisfaction III. Restitution compliance based on meta-analysis study it was only offered in half of the cases IV. Recidivism → There are two approaches to evaluating research in restorative justice ð One involves assessing a specific program (Bonta, Wallace-Capretta, and Rooney 1998; Rugge, Bonta, and Wallace-Capretta 2005) or a few Ch 4 Linking Theories to practice 9 distinct programs, as in a study from the United Kingdom (Shapland et al. 2008) - An united kingdom study:  compared indirect mediation (information is passed by a mediator  between victim and offender), direct mediation (a meeting between victim and offender with a mediator present), and conferencing (a meeting with critic/third party and offender present).  Based on a two-year follow-up, summed over all three restorative justice schemes, offenders who had participated in restorative justice projects committed statistically fewer offences compared to a control group. ð Another preferred strategy is to aggregate across all identified studies using meta-analysis EX: - is the most comprehensive on the topic of the effectiveness of RJ models. - See table 4.5 pg 119 - The findings are encouraging and suggest that in some cases, RJ approaches may be an effective alternative to incarceration. 6. Offender rehabilitation  → . However, it is important to realize that → Despite increased evidence regarding the effectiveness of these correctional programs (Aos, Miller, and Drake 2006; Smith, Gendreau, and Swartz 2009), social and political confidence in offender rehabilitation in Canada remain
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