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Chapter 1

Chapter 1.docx

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David Naussbaum

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Chapter 1 – Crime in Canada INTRODUCTION Current Context Intra-individual: variations in criminal conduct within an individual across time and situations Inter-individual differences: between individuals  Broader social context is an insufficient viewpoint to understand individual differences Forensic psychology: application of psychology to the legal system; some say it’s the practice of clinical psychology within the legal system, this more reflects risk assessment and expert testimony, intended to guide legal decision making rather than to understand criminal behavior  In the UK, it’s called criminological psychology; US and Canad correctional psychology  Correctional psychologists conduct crisis management and individual and group psychotherapy with general population inmates  The focus of the text is to focus on assessment and management of individuals who engage in criminal behavior  Preferred model by textbook is “correctional psychology”  Macro level  crime as a large-scale social phenomenon reflecting strain theory  Differential association theory  the perspective narrows and importance of socialization and the influence of community, family and peer groups become important  An even narrower focus looks at patterns of individual behaviour, first over time and situation and then psychological influences like thoughts, feelings,  Offenders comprise a particularly heterogeneous group  70% of offenders follow some approximation of the age-crime curve  Phenomenon of decreased criminal activity  crime desistance; must be informed by individual difference explanations  Psychology understands criminal behaviour by considering individual variation to account for heterogeneity and provide differentiated assessment and intervention  A psychological understanding is derived from recognizing that variability of criminal behaviour between individuals as well as within an individual over time and across situations  PIC-R (personal, interpersonal and community-reinforcement) model  immediate situation factors (temptations, inhibitors, stressors) combine to influence a decision to do criminal behavior  The decision is influenced by attitudes, history, a balance of the costs and rewards, and presence of social supports for crime  PIC-R highlights Community, interpersonal, consequences (whether criminal behavior rewarded)  It is an integrative and situational model that recognizes the influence of historical and immediate factors  It reflects a learning theory of crime that attends to social and cognitive factors  cognitive social learning theory  The model is similar to contemporary criminological viewpoints  Farrington’s theory  long-term risk factors (bio, individual, family, peer, school, community, society) interact with short-term ones (energizing and inhibiting factors, opportunity, antisocial tendency, and cognitive processes) to influence antisocial behavior DEFINITON OF CRIM E  Muncie has 11 separate definitions of crime – legal, moral, social, psychological  Legal  acts prohibited by the state that can be punished under the law  Moral  violating norms of religion punishable by supreme beings  Social  violating norms punishable by the community  Psychological  rewarding to the perpetrator but harmful to others  Newman has showed there is consistency across countries regarding what is viewed as criminal  High degree of agreement in respondents’ perceptions of what is considered a crime; robbery, theft and incest all viewed criminal  Our working definition of criminal behavior comes from Bartol and Bartol (2008): intentional behavior that violates a criminal code; intentional in that it did not occur accidentally or without justification of excuse  Definition of crime is critical in that the specific description will influence prevalence (a conservative or restrictive defn will decr the rate of crime)  Defn of crime must concede there are inter-cultural variations regarding normative and acceptable behavior, and that acceptable norms can change over time within a culture  Treatment is often provided by correctional agencies to address the underlying reasons for criminality, sensitivity to both legal and cultural issues must be reflected in psychological responses DETERMINANTS OF CRIME  Determinants of crime can be distal (historical); proximal (immediate, situational)  A more useful way of empirically identifying the determinants of crime is through meta- analyses  They are less biased and provide a quantitative estimate rather than a narrative interpretation  You review the studies by aggregating the findings in terms of effect sizes  Effect sizes are the strength of the association between independent variables like substance abuse and a dependent variable like criminal behavior  MA and effect sizes are now the standard for reviewing literature ***pp. 8-10  Meta-analysis FIRST AND SECOND ORDER CORRELATES OF CRIMINAL CONDUCT  Andrews ranks variables purported to be related to criminality and identifies the Central Eight risk/need factors that are most important in understanding criminal behaviour  In this central 8, are the Big Four  the major causal variable in analyzing criminal behaviour  Minor risk factors are considered first order correlates of crime; a series of meta- analyses confirm that certain variables previously important correlates of crime in sociological theory have proved to be relatively unimportant  Moderate risk factors are part of the Central 8 but are not major correlates  some risk factors (antisocial history, seriousness of current offence) are static, meaning they can’t change; others (antisocial cognition, substance use) can change so they’re called dynamic risk factors  372 studies yielded more than 1770 Pearson correlation coefficients, which reflect correlations b/w purported risk factors and some measure of criminal behavior  The Central Eight as reflected in the PIC-R, yielded more robust correlations  The more robust co-variation with criminal behavior is from variables embedded within a cognitive social learning theory of crime  assessment and treatment must attend to those factors that are most highly correlated with criminal conduct  Antisocial attitudes and associates more important than factors like social class or mental health symptoms Table 1.3 1. The eight independent meta-analyses yielded consistent findings regarding the relatives importance of risk factors 2. The CI for the minor risk factors includes 0.00 which indicates that on average there is no relationship between these predictor variables and criminal behavior  That is, these minor risk factors can’t explain criminal conduct  The major risk factors are termed criminogenic in that they are empirically related to criminal conduct and when reduced, lead to reductions in future re-offending  Criminogenic needs typically inform treatment referrals Impact of Risk and Need Model of Criminal Conduct s  Survey by Hannah-Moffat and Maurutto (2003) for young offender services confirmed all provinces except Quebec utilize some form of a risk and need assessment modeled after the major risk factors  Most use the Wisconsin model or the Level of Service Inventory (LSI)  Adult assessments in provincial corrections reflect LSI-R or variations; these data are difficult to ascertain b/c there is no centralized survey like in the case of youth services  The federal correctional system, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), use Offender Intake Assessment based on the Wisconsin model; recent renamed as a Dynamic Factor Identification Analysis;  LSI-R used in the US  These assessments are used to find levels of criminal risk for decision purposes (security placement, release), treatment targets (criminogenic needs) and treatment planning Role of Substance Use  Moderate risk factor  In addition to targeting first-order risk factors, meta-analyses show modest effect sizes through intervention  Substance abuse an important precursor to commission of crimes; About 50% federal offenders report using drugs and/or alcohol prior to or during  68% had substance abuse problems warranting intervention  Alcohol related to interpersonal conflict (assaults, homicide) and drugs for acquisitive violence (robbery)  McMuran (2003) says despite the clear link b/w alcohol and crime, the nature of its influence is unclear  McMurran and Gilchrist (2008) challenge the field to reconsider the role of substance abuse in domestic violence when determining intervention models LINKING THE RESEARCH TO CASE STUDIES 
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