Textbook Notes (368,070)
Canada (161,617)
Psychology (860)
PSY 300 (10)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9 Psychology in the Law

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PSY 300
Tara M Burke

Chapter 9: Sentencing and Parole Structure of Canadian Court System ­ Made up of different types of courts separated by jurisdictionand levels of legal superiority ­ Can be split into provincial/territorial and federal ­ 4 tier hierarchy of legal superiority o Bottom layer: administrative tribunals responsibe for resolving disputes over admin issues o Next layer: actual court hierarchy “Inferior courts”. Cases can include criminal offences and civil issues o Next layer: “superior courts”. Most serious criminal/ civil cases. These courts specialize in certain areas o Above all: “Federal Court of Appeal” Reviews decisions made by the superior level o Very top: “Supreme Court of Canada” consists of 8 judges plus the chief justice who are all appointed by the federal government. Lower courts are bound by its rulings (because it is the highest up). Provides guidance =to federal government on law-related matters Aboriginal Courts ­ Aborignial overrepresentation: Discrepancy between relatively low proportion of aboriginal people in the general Canadian population and high proportion of aboriginals involved in the criminal justice system ­ Factors contributing to the overrepresentation problem: 1. Data suggests that more (and more serious) crimes are committed by aboriginals 2. Aboriginals are treated differently by the criminal justice system 3. They’re more economically disadvantaged on average (more likely to be sent to jail for not paying taxes) ­ Bill C-41: Introduced “conditional” sentence. All available options other than imprisonment should be considered for all offenders- attempting to eliminate overrepresentation ­ Gladue court: Takes special considerations to background/ cultural conditions ­ Restorative Justice: Approach for dealing with the crime problem that emphasizes repairing harm caused by crime. Based on the philosophy that when victims, offenders and community members meet voluntarily to decide how to achieve this, transformation can result Sentencing in Canada ­ Specific deterrence: Sentencing to reduce the probability that an offender will reoffend in the future ­ General deterrence: Sentencing to reduce the probability that members of the general public will offend in the future ­ Sentencing interests psychologists because they study understanding human behaviour and how it can be changed ­ Other reasons judges may sentence offenders: o Condemn unlawful conduct o Separate offenders from society o Assist in rehabilitation o Provide reparations: Sentence where the offender has to make a monetary payment to the victim/ community ­ Judges consider multiple goals when sentencing ­ The goals may be incompatible with each other ­ Different judges hand out different sentences for different reasons ­ Fundamental Principle of Sentencing: Belief that sentences should be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and degree of responsibility to the offender. Thus sentences should consider the seriousness of the offence ­ When Handing out a sentence, must take this into consideration: o Sentences should be similar for similar offenders committing similar crimes o Defenders must not be deprived of liberty o Should take into account any abusing authority etc o Should consider all sanctions before imprisonment Sentencing Options in Canada ­ Restitution: offender has to make a payment to the victim/ community ­ Fine: Offender must pay the courts ­ Community Service: offender performs a duty in the community ­ Imprisonment: sentence to prison ­ Determination of the dangerousness of an offender must meet one of these: o Unrestrained behaviour o Aggressive behaviour o Behaviour of brutal nature that ordinary restraints can’t control o Failure to control sexual impulses ­ Determina
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