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Chapter 10

PSYC39 Textbook - Chapter 10.docx

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David Nussbaum

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The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour - PSYC39: Psychology and Law Chapter 10: Mentally Disordered Offenders  Psychopaths commit a disproportionate amount of violence in the community and institution o More likely to reoffend and are resistant to treatment strategies Mental Disorder in the DSM  Primary tool to diagnose mental disorder is Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-MD)  Criticism about the DSM o Construct validity o Reliability of the diagnostic categories and symptoms (symptomatological bias – promotes an atheoretical stance that de-emphasizes etiological or causative information about a disorder) o Lacks a strong empirical basis o Undue emphasis on the existence of symptoms => leads to proliferation of disorders o Reductionist bias – unjustified distinction between abnormal and normal  280% increase in the number of disorders (DSM I – DSM IV)  Clinicians believe that the DSM should use a dimensional approach Mentally Disordered Offenders  “War on Drugs” => resulted in more offenders with mental disorders related to substance abuse being jailed  Dorothy Speed estimated the prevalence of mental disorders within prison populations to be “10% mad, 15% bad, and 75% sad” o Many suffered anxiety or depressive disorders  Prisoners had substantially higher rates of prevalence for all disorders examined  Motiuk and Porporino estimated the prevalence of mental disorders in Canadian offenders o Organic brain syndrome (0.1%) o Psychotic – schizophrenia, manic (7.7%) o Depressive – major depression, dysthymic, bipolar (21%) o Anxiety – phobia, generalized anxiety, panic (44%) o Alcohol abuse/dependence (47%) o Antisocial personality disorder (57%) o Drug use/dependence (41%) Prevalence of Personality Disorder Personality disorders: maladaptive patterns of relating, perceiving, and thinking that are relatively inflexible and serious enough to cause distress or impaired functioning Note: play an important role in how many individuals end up in the criminal justice system  10 specific personality disorders listed in the DSM-IV grouped in 3 clusters 1. Cluster A – odd or bizarre behaviour (paranoid, schizoid and schizotypal) 2. Cluster B – dramatic or erratic behaviour (antisocial, histrionic, narcissistic and borderline) The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour - PSYC39: Psychology and Law 3. Cluster C – anxious or inhibited behaviour (depending, avoidant and obsessive- compulsive)  Most common personality disorder found in male prison populations are antisocial and paranoid personality disorders  Most common personality disorder found in female prison populations are antisocial and borderline personality disorders  Histrionic disorder is the least common  Prisoners with personality disorder were more likely to report childhood conduct problems, adverse childhood experiences, and victimizations than those with no personality disorders  Warren et al. found that the most common personality disorders in female offenders are antisocial, paranoid, and borderline o Least common are schizoid, schizotypal, and dependent disorders Role of Mental Illness in the Courts Unfit to Stand Trial  Section 2 of the Canadian Criminal Code, an accused is unfit to stand trial (UST) if he or she is “unable on account of a mental disorder to conduce a defence at any stage of the proceedings before a verdict is rendered or to instruct counsel to do so, and in particular on account of mental disorder to: o Understand the nature or object of the proceedings’ o Understand the possible consequences of the proceedings o Communicate with counsel  Court finds an accused UST => review board must give the accused a conditional release or detention order within 45 days (no absolute discharge)  Must have 3 members – a judge or lawyer, psychiatrist and a third person  The Ontario Review Board appoints 5 members, when deciding what type of disposition, they must consider: o The protection of the public o The accused’s mental state o The reintegration of the accused into society o The accused’s other needs  Until a person is found UST, they remain under the authority of the board until they are deemed fit to stand trial or the charges are stayed or withdrawn  Board review case yearly, courts review it every 2 weeks to determine if there is sufficient evidence, then the court should acquit the accused  In the case of R. v. Demers o The accused was found UST because of mental retardation meaning he was unable to ever stand trial o Bill C-10 (2006) gave courts the authority to order a stay of proceedings for an accused found UST if the accused is unlikely to become FT and does not post a significant threat to public safety The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour - PSYC39: Psychology and Law Mental State of the Time of an Offence  In order to find someone guilty of a crime – must have mens rea or criminal intent must be established  Assumption that you know what you are doing and chose to do it = culpable of the crime  Daniel M’Naughton claimed that the voice of God told him to assassinate the prime minister o Led to the development of M’Naughton rules/standards  NGRI – during the commission of the offence, he was not in the right state of mind  Assumes that mental disorders can affect both cognitive and volitional  According to section 16 of the criminal code, a person should be found not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder (NCRMD) o No person is criminally responsible for an act committed or an omission made while suffering from a mental disorder that rendered the person incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of the act or omission or of knowing that it was wrong  Mental disorder must be a direct cause of the person’s inability to appreciate that their behaviour is wrong  Three issues must be considered in order to find a person NCRMD 1. Must suffer from a mental disorder 2. Defendant must fail to appreciate the nature or quality of their act (ex: cutting your arm thinking they were cutting a carrot) 3. Person may understand what they are doing but might not believe it is wrong (ex: believing the other person was out to harm them so they were entitled to some form of lethal response)  In Ontario, the review board is chaired by a judge or lawyer and 4 other member  The goals of the board are to give a disposition to the individual that protects the public and to safeguard the rights and freedoms of mentally disordered persons  The board or court can give an absolute discharge, a conditional discharge, or order detention in a hospital  Disposition must be the least onerous and least restrictive for the accused  If given conditional discharge, the most common conditions imposed include: o Abstain from illegal drugs or alcohol o Reside in a particular place o Submit to urinalysis testing for prohibited substances o Abide by a specified treatment plan o Report to a designated person o Refrain from possessing weapons The Public’s Belief in the Insanity Defence  Common misconception about the insanity defence is that individuals who use the defence as a way to obtain release into the community much sooner o The public believes that NCRMD defendants are at a higher risk to reoffend than other offenders  Misconceptions include: The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour - PSYC39: Psychology and Law o NCRMD/NGRI defence is commonly used o NCRMD/NGRI defences are successful o NCRMD/NGRI acquittees commit murder o NCRMD/NGRI is a loophole o NCRMD/NGRI defendants are not confined very long o NCRMD/NGRI defendants are dangerous Parasomnias: undesirable behavioural events that occur during sleep such as sleep walking Sexsomnia: engaging in sexual acts while asleep Characteristics of People found NCRMD and UST  Accused found NCRMD usually charged with assault  Accused found UST usually charged with sexual offence  Most common diagnosis was schizophrenia followed by affective disorders  NCRMD accused more likely to be diagnosed with an affective disorder and personality disorders  UST accused more likely diagnosed with mental retardation or organic brain disorders  Individuals diagnosed with delusional disorder or substance abuse disorder more likely to be charged with violent offence  Affective disorder were charged with a non-violent offence  Absolute discharge (13%), conditional discharge (35%) and detention (52%)  Accused with non-violent offences more likely to get absolute discharge  Accused with violent offences receive detention Link between Mental Illness and Crime and Violence  Majority of people with serious mental disorder do not engage in violence  People with serious mental disorder is more likely to commit violence than those who no mental disorder  Serious mental disordered people are more likely to be a victim of violence than those with no mental disorder  People with co-occurring mental disorder and substance abuse are at an elevated risk for violence  No causal mechanism responsible between mental disorder and violence; believe the factors associated with mental illness are their state of financial security (ex: poverty, homeless…) Risk Assessment of Mentally Disordered Offenders  Psychopaths (offenders with substance abuse problems, and people with specific types of psychotic disorders) are at a higher risk  People with schizophrenia are at an elevated risk to violence  Prisoners with a bipolar mental disorder were 3.3 times more likely to have four or more incarcerations over a six-year period than non-mentally disordered offenders  When doing a risk assessment with a mentally disorder offender, Conroy and Murrie suggested that the following 5 questions be considered The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour - PSYC39: Psychology and Law o How does the mental disorder relate to the violent behaviour? o What is the pattern of mental illness in the person? o What are the contextual factors relating to when problematic behaviour happens? o Has the mentally disorder offender responded to treatment? o What is the mentally disordered offender’s pattern of violent behaviour? Police Attitudes toward the Mentally Ill  Those who were housed in a institution for mental illness contact police officers o These police officers have been labelled as “street corner psychiatrists” or “amateur social workers”  Police officers deal with mentally ill people by informally resolving the problem, arrest the person, or take the person to a hospital for evaluation o 72% handled informally o 12% sent to the hospital o 16% arrested  Community Attitudes Toward Mental Illness scale: used to assess attitudes across 4 scales o Authoritarianism – belief that the mentally ill should be institutionalized or controlled o Social restrictiveness – belief in the dangerousness of the mentally ill o Social benevolence – feelings of responsibility for the mentally ill o Orientation – beliefs supportive of community integration of the mentally ill  Low scores on authoritarianism and social restrictiveness  They felt that society should be more tolerant and should not isolate the mentally ill  Police believe that (from most to least agreed) o Police offers need to have specialized training to deal with the mentally ill o Dealing with the mentally ill should be an integral part of community policing o Mentally ill take up more than their fair share of police time o If mental health services were adequate, police would not have to deal with the mentally ill  Criticisms:  Officers with negative attitude did not participate  Police officers from small to moderately sized cities  Attitudes do not necessarily predict actual behaviour (self-reports)  Successful completion of the mental health court program was associated with reduced recidivism and violence Mental Illness and Stigma Stigma: a combination of stereotypes (cognitive labels to describe a person), prejudices (negative emotions toward individuals) and discrimination (curtailing the rights and opportunities of individuals) toward a specific group  Primary source of stigmatization comes from the mass media The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour - PSYC39: Psychology and Law The Link between Mental Disorder and Violence Elbogen and Johnson  Rates of violence for people with serious mental illness were relatively low  Individuals with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance dependence had the highest rate of violence  People with serious and co-occurring mental illness did not commit any violence  Severe mental illness alone is not a major risk factor for violence Swanson and Colleagues  Minor violence was related to co-occurring substance abuse and acute psychotic symptoms  Serious violence related to acute positive psychotic symptoms, depressive symptoms, childhood conduct problems and being victimized (while having negative psychotic symptoms)  Found evidence for 2 pathways to the commission of violence in subgroups of schizophrenics o One group had evidence of 2+ childhood conduct problems o Other group had 1 or fewer o Schizophrenics with history of childhood conduct problems engaged in more violence compared to those without history  4 risk factors associated with greater violence in both groups: o Younger age o Lack of substantial vocational activity o Living with family or relatives o Recent contact with police  Schizophrenics without
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