PSYC39H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Master Sergeant, Therapeutic Community, Capital Punishment By Country

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7 Nov 2011
Chapter Four: Liking Theories to Practice
Bill (age 28) for armed robbery charge admitted to being high on drugs & needed $$ not
1st involvement w/ property theft
o Chaotic childhood, family situations, family & friends predominantly antisocial
o Dropped out of high school at Grad 10 & alcohol and drug abuse
Ideology typically polarize Canadians’ view on how to enhance public safety 2 side debate:
o Greater Rehabilitation vs. Greater Punishment
Rehabilitative program / Correctional Program - structured set of methods & activities
delivered by skilled staff to provide opportunities for offenders to gain new attitudes & skills in
order to reduce the likelihood of reoffending
Offender Rehabilitations - the delivery of correctional programming that targets criminogenic
needs for the purpose of reducing rates of reoffending by program completers
Custody classification is the method by which incarcerated offenders are assigned to security
o Canadian assessment method (usually) consider treatment issues & development of
correctional plan throughout the offender’s sentence
Offenders w/ different #s & severities of criminal risk factors may warrant assignment to
different security levels or custody placement & to different correctional programs to better
manage their risk of escape, institutional adjustment problems & reoffending
Risk Assessment the determination of risk or probability of reoffending through the
systematic review of static & dynamic factors
Risk Management the application of risk-assessment info to differentially allocate resources
such as programming & supervision in order to manage changes in risk over time
Changing Criminal Behaviour
Table 4.1 presents a simiplistic guidelines for what should be increased or decresed in order to
decrease crime
Over time there is shift from individual rehabilitation program to greater reliance on
punishment to reduce crime
Utilitarian approach people engage in crimineal beahvaioru because it pays thus to reduce
crime, its cost must increase
o Andrew & Bonta & others refined this to Table 4.1 to reduce rime
Over dedaced U.S. focus on increasing individual cost to crime as detterent
Though Canada championed before the rehabilitate approach it is losing ground here
regardless of the evidence that supports it
Hence, multiple efforts required to change offenders behaviour & to decrease crime
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Different elements of criminal justice system( e.g. court, prison) have different foci despite
agreed goal of crime reduction
Purposes of Sentencing
Canadian Criminal Code ,section 718 sentencing is to ensure respect for law & the
maintenance of just, peaceful and safe society
o Expectation is that this is achieved via imposition of sanctions
Other purpose include: to denounce unlawful conduct, to remove offenders from society, to
assist in rehabilitation of offenders, to provide reparation to victims, to promote a sense of
responsibility in offenders
Via Specific deterrence & general deterrence the expectation is that sanctions by court will
reduce criminal behaviours of both individuals & general population
Punishment extreme “hard” / world realistic underlying this approach are views that:
o 1) those who commit crimes are bad
o 2) criminals are unlikely to change unless compelled to do so
o 3) criminals need to be dealt w/ more strictly (to get their attention)
o 4) cost & consequences of committing crimes need to be made serious as possible
Rehabilitation extreme “soft”/world liberal underlying this are views that:
o 1) those who commit cries are no different than others
o 2) criminals have capacity to live decent live & reform
o 3) offenders have grown up in adverse surroundings & need to be presented w/ better
Both of these viewpoint influence public perception of the courts
Sentencing & sanctions reflect major themes of :
1) Retribution asserts that society has the right, when harmed ,to harm the offender
o This harm should correspond w/ the crime (“eye for eye”)
o From justice perspective wants social retribution than at individual level
2) Incapacitation application of crime control by removing offender ability to commit crimes
by incarcerating them
o Reality majority of offenders return alive to communities commission of this have
limited impact
o There is data consistent w/ that incapacitation is expensive method to reducing crime
3) Deterrence application of punishment to influence behaviour popular viewpoint
McGuire (2004) - measured deterrence across 4 Dimension & concluded that for punishment to be
effective should follow this sequence:
1) Certainty likelihood of legal punishment
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o 1st punishment to target behaviour should be unavoidable
2) Celerity - amount of time that elapses b/w offence being committed & an official sanction
being imposed
o 2nd application should be immediate following the target behaviour
3) Severity magnitude of punishment
o 3rd it should be severe
4) Scope the relationship b/w types of crime in states & types of punishment
o Lastly is to ensure that individuals being punished cannot meet their goals via
alternative manner
These dimension rarely applied in systematic manner possibly diminishing effectiveness of
punishment to change behaviour
o E.g. delay b/w arrest & conviction result in two-for-one rule (1 day on remand = 1 day of
sentence if found guilty)
Look at deterrence in crime justice applications coming from 6 areas: Sentencing (in term crime
statistics), Relationships b/w imprisonment & crime rates, Effects of enhanced punishers, Meta-analytic
reviews of outcome studies, Self-report surveys, Research on death penalty
United Kingdom research compare 2 year reconviction data by type of sentence while
controlling for risk level of the offender
o No difference b/w immediate custody & community penalties of reconviction rates
o Similar result in meta-analysis longer sentence had 2 & 3% increase in recidivism
o Suggest general deterrence does not reduce crime in that longer sentence &
incarceration not highly related to recidivism
If specific deterrence is effective should see association b/w activity of courts for target crimes
& amount of that crime don’s see this
o Compared fines vs. shorter jail sentence no effect on rates of drinking & driving
o No difference in crime rate in white collar crime (prison vs. no prison w/ 10 year follow
Suggest simply getting tougher on certain type of crimes may not diminish the rates of these
Another deterrence approach is enhanced punisher (punish smarter) -e.g. boot camp, shock
incarceration, electric surveillance, curfews, intensive supervision
o Meta analysis of 29 studies w/ boot camp in U.S. found not effect in reducing
criminal behaviour
o Study w/ intensive supervision does not reduce crime unless it includes rehabilitation
o Study w/ 135 outcome students mean effect size around 0 fines & reinstitution
reduce recidivism but only slightly
Effect of deterrence by self-report of offender
o Study of shoplifting teenagers experiencing an arrest had little impact on their
subsequent criminal behaviour
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