Psychology and The Law 4/22/2012
Chapter 4 -- Linking Theories to Practice
Changing Criminal Behavior:
1. Utilitarian model: suggests that people engage in criminal behavior because crime pays and to
reduce crime, its costs must increase.
•However, the refined model states: that criminality can be decreased when the rewards for
crime are reduced and the costs for crime are increased while the rewards for prosocial
behavior are increased and the costs for prosocial behavior are decreased.
•U.S – focuses on increasing individual costs to crime as a deterrent
•Canada – is beginning to focus on severe punishment despite the evidence that rehabilitative
approach is much more effective.
Punishment vs. Rehabilitative Programs:
- Hard and realistic
- Those who commit crimes are bad
- Criminals are unlikely to change
- Criminals need to be dealt with more strictly
- The costs and consequences of committing crimes need to be made as serious as possible.
- Soft and liberal
- Those who commit crimes are no different than others
- Criminals have the capacity to change and reform
- Offenders have grown up in adverse surroundings and need to be presented better
Purposes of Sentencing:
Section 718 of Canadian Criminal code – the fundamental purposes of sentencing are to ensure respect
for the law and maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society
- 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
Retribution asserts that society has the right, when harmed to harm the offender.
- This harm or punishment should correspond with severity of the crime.
***From an administration of justice perspective, retribution is not necessarily intended to address
issue at the individual level.
Incapacitation: the application of crime control by removing offenders’ ability to commit crimes by