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Morality and Crime:Moral reasoning Moral reasoning: the rationalization, not the action Based on: –Level of intellectual development –Level of social maturity.

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Presentation on theme: "Morality and Crime:Moral reasoning Moral reasoning: the rationalization, not the action Based on: –Level of intellectual development –Level of social maturity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Morality and Crime:Moral reasoning Moral reasoning: the rationalization, not the action Based on: –Level of intellectual development –Level of social maturity –Socialization

2 Morality and Crime: Intellectual development Piaget –Sensorimotor 0-2 –Pre-operational 2-7 –Concrete Operations 7-14 –Formal operations 14 Stages are potential and require learning. High levels of moral reasoning (eg. conscience) requires formal operations. Many repeat offenders are stuck in concrete operations or lower due to poor development or socialization.

3 Morality and Crime: Social maturity Erikson’s 8 stages: Weltanschauung –Trust v. mistrust 0-1 Bowlby: attachment: »Secure attachment »Anxious attachment »Attachment disorder –Autonomy v. doubt 2-3 –Initiative v. guilt 3-6 –Industry v. Inferiority 7-12 –Identity v. identitity diffusion –Intimacy v. isolation –Generativity v. stagnation –Integrity v. dispair 60

4 Morality and Crime: Social maturity (2) Moral thinking requires developed concepts of social value (self-worth or identity), and empathy (compassion and altruism or intimacy) Male delinquents have high self-worth (identity) but low empathy (intimacy) Female deliquents have high empathy (intimacy) but low self-worth (identity) Therefore the crimes each commit have different motivations and correction may require different approaches

5 Morality and Crime:Male reasoning Kohlberg (moral dilemma test on males): –Preconventional: reasoning based on own needs and perceptions Stage 1: punishment and obedience Stage 2: instrumental stage –Conventional: reasoning based on the need for social order and social conformity Stage 3: good boy/girl Stage 4: law and order –Postconventional: reasoning based on personal principles that transcend social rules and norms Stage 5: social contract Stage 6: universal ethical principles

6 Morality and Crime:Male reasoning (2) Movement through stages requires appropriate intellectual and social maturity which are achieved through maturation and socialization. Exposure to peers is essential. Most repeat offenders stuck in stages 1-3. Many gang members may be stuck in stage 4 or 5 and socialized to the rules of the gang which acts as a cult. Most non-delinquent males stuck in 4 and 5 and socialized to obey society’s laws Most males socialized to believe that transgression of the social rules requires punishment (retribution perspective of justice)

7 Morality and Crime:Female reasoning Gilligan (moral dilemma test on females): –Preconventional: caring is survival Stage 1: caring for self as means for survival Stage 2: feeling that self caring is selfish –Conventional: caring is altruism Stage 3: caring for others and self-sacrifice Stage 4: search for equilibrium and fairness –Conventional: caring is prevention and restoration Stage 5: minimize interpersonal friction Stage 6: interdependency and restoration of social equilibrium

8 Morality and Crime:Female reasoning (2) Movement through stages requires appropriate intellectual and social maturity which are achieved through maturation and socialization. Exposure to peers is essential. Most repeat offenders stuck in stages 1. Many gang members may be stuck in stage 4 or 5 and socialized to the rules of the gang which acts as a cult. Most non-delinquent females in 4, 5 and 6 and socialized to be society’s peacemakers Most females socialized to believe that transgression of the social rules requires restoration of social equilibrium (restorative perspective of justice)

9 Morality and Crime: Perspectives and the Law Retribution model goals –The focus is on the perpetrator: perpetrator of a crime must be punished Reduce probability of repeat offence Act as deterrent to others Once punishment is enacted, justice is served and matter closed Restorative model goals –The focus is on reintegrating all victims and the perpetrator to the social equilibrium that had existed before Encounter Allocution and amends Reintegration Inclusion

10 Morality and Crime: Perspectives and the Law (2) Correctional approaches: –Retribution model: Prisons Boot camps Labour camps Capital punishment –Restorative model: Victim impact statement Victim offender mediation Conferencing Healing circles Community service Victim and offender assistance programs

11 ALTERED STATES: Diminished capacity and competence 1.Insanity: Judgment is not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) Uses American Law Institute Standard: “A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of the action, as a result of mental disease or defect, he/she lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the wrongfulness of the criminal acts or to conform his or her conduct to the requirements of the law”. The presence of an actual DISEASE or DEFECT must be proven (eg: schizophrenia, mental retardation, tumour, etc. Rarely used dince it requires abandoning the presumption of innocence with no guarantee that a jury or judge will accept the insanity plea. Does not include psychological or behavioural disorders as reasons for a NGRI judgment It is an affirmative defense; a NGRI judgment means the person is considered innocent and has no criminal record 2.Guilty but Mentally Ill (GBMI): is used for persons who have psychological or behavioural disorders but no mental “disease” or “defect” It is a mitigating defense; person is guilty but liable to a lesser penalty It also imposes on the state the responsibility to provide treatment for the disorder while the person is incarcerated

12 Psychological and behavioural disorders include three main categories: personal distress disabling behaviour tendencies poor reality contact: eg. Disorientation, perceptual problems such as hallucinations or delusions, syllogisms, and impairment resulting from substance abuse COMPETENCE The issues of mental disorder or altered mental states brings up the issue of competence. Three different issues or competence are important: 1.competence to stand trial: Ability to understand the charges Ability to understand the range of penalties Ability to assist the attorneys in one’s own defense 2. competence to plead guilty: Requires a higher standard of competence Involves all of the elements of competence to stand trial plus:

13 ability to understand that he/she is relinquishing his/her rights ability to understand the consequences of the plea has the appropriate motivation for entering the plea enters the plea without coercion is able to accurately allocute to the crime 3. Competence to manage one’s personal affairs: applied to non criminals who are: elderly, children and adolescents, people with psychological or behavioural disorders, People with mental disorders People with severe physical impairments

14 MALINGERING The issue of diminished capacity also brings up the issue of malingering: the faking of disorders. In the past psychologists and psychiatrists used their clinical judgment to determine whether a person actually had diminished capacity or was malingering. However, research has shown that they are notoriously poor in detecting malingering based on clinical judgment: Rosenhan (1973): he and 7 colleagues went to several psychologists and psychiatrists complaining that they heard a voice repeating the word “one”. Despite the fact that none had anything really wrong with them, all were admitted repeatedly to various mental institutions. Seven were diagnosed as schizophrenic and the 8 th as manic-depressive. None of the staff in the hospitals could detect they were faking (however, several of the patients in the hospital WERE able to detect the malingering). The problem of malingering faced by the legal system is similar to that faced by professors at CEGEPS and universities…how to detect it! For the legal system, research has been ongoing to develop objective tests that can detect malingering. One such attempt is the Fb scale on the MMPI-2. Further research is needed.


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