Flashcards in 10 - Criminal Offenders Deck (17):
What is sentencing?
The imposition of a penalty upon a person convicted of a crime
Our beliefs about the causes of crime influence our sentencing rationale
What is the brief history of crime and sentencing?
Late 18th-early 19th C
- Emphasis on deterrence through rational punishment
- Severity became less important than quick, certain penalties
Early 20th C
- Focus on rehabilitation
Recently; emphasised need to limit offenders' potential for future harm
What are the five goals of sentencing?
Describe the retribution goal of sentencing
Act of taking revenge upon perpetuator
Then: deal and exile commonly for minor offences
Now: "just desserts;" criminals deserve punishment they receive, and should be appropriate
Describe the incapacitation goal of sentencing
The use of imprisonment or other means to reduce the likelihood than an offender who can commit future offences
Goal: protect innocent
Then: mutilation used to prevent repeating
Now: restraint, not punishment
Describe the deterrence goal of sentencing
A goal of criminal sentencing which seeks to prevent people from committing crimes similar to the one for which an offender is being sentenced
Goal: crime prevention
Two theories; specific deterrence (prevent particular offender from recidivism, based on operant learning) and general deterrence (prevent others committing similar crime)
Describe the rehabilitation goal of sentencing
The attempt to reform a criminal offender. Seeks to bring about fundamental changes in offenders
Goal: reduce future crime
Then: "nothing works"
Now: "what works", CBT (ABC technique, activating events lead to beliefs which leads to consequences)
Describe the restoration goal of sentencing
Attempts to make the victim "whole again"
What is risk in terms of criminal offenders?
Interaction between situation and a person
Risk of offending and dangerousness of crime
What are the types of risk assessments that can be conducted with criminal offenders?
1. Unstructured Clinical Judgement
2. Statistical or Actuarial Assessment
3. Structured Professional Judgement
Describe the unstructured clinical judgement approach to assessment
Decisions characterised by professional discretion and lack of guidelines (subjective, no specific risk factors)
Studies show it's poor
Describe the statistical or actuarial approach to assessment
Decisions based on risk factors that are selected and combined based on evidence.
Calculates risk by comparing individuals characteristics and those who we know have behaved in a certain way
Can be too statistical
Describe the structured professional judgement approach to assessment
Provision of guidelines to help structure clinical decision making
Decisions guided by pre-determined list of risk factors derived from literature.
Judgement based on professional judgement
What are the two types of risk factors?
Static (historical, cannot be changes)
Dynamic (fluctuate over time, can be changed, acute vs. stable)
Most predictable factors are static
What is a risk factor?
Measurable feature of an individual that predicts the behaviour of interest
What are the four important risk factors?
- demographics (age <14 and gender, male)
- personality characteristics (impulsivity, psychopathy)
- past anti-social behaviour
- age onset of anti-social behaviour
- childhood history of maltreatment (physically abused and neglect)
- past supervision failure, escape
- substance use (drug=15x)
- mental disorder
4. Contextual (Current environment)
- lack social support
- easy access to weapons/victims