10 - Criminal Offenders Flashcards Preview

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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?

1. Retribution
2. Incapacitation
3. Deterrence
4. Rehabilitation
5. Restoration


Describe the retribution goal of sentencing

Act of taking revenge upon perpetuator

Goal: satisfaction

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?

1. Dispositional
- demographics (age <14 and gender, male)
- personality characteristics (impulsivity, psychopathy)

2. Historical
- past anti-social behaviour
- age onset of anti-social behaviour
- childhood history of maltreatment (physically abused and neglect)
- past supervision failure, escape

3. Clinical
- substance use (drug=15x)
- mental disorder

4. Contextual (Current environment)
- lack social support
- easy access to weapons/victims


What are some protective factors to prevent recidivism?

Factors tat reduce or mitigate likelihood of violence

Children/youths: prosocial involvement, strong social support, positive social orientation, strong attachment

In adults: employment stability (for high risk), strong family connections (low-risk males)