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After a Guilty Verdict G543 Forensic Psychology (GMN)

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1 After a Guilty Verdict G543 Forensic Psychology (GMN)

2 After a guilty verdict This section considers what happens to a person once they have been found guilty and been sentenced. Sentences can be custodial (prison) or non-custodial (probation) Both have advantages and disadvantages You have 5 minutes to list as many as possible

3 After a guilty verdict Psychologists are interested in the effect on the individual of the punishment or treatment. This is different to the perspectives sociologists might take. They are interested in the effect it has on society and not the individual. Discuss what psychological affect prison would have Sean Mercer and also people in general.

4 Who is in prison? Describe the types of people in prison The number of people held in jails in England and Wales has reached a new high, the Prison Service has said (BBC, 17.02.04) The number of inmates had reached 74,543 This is up 2,167 since 2nd January

5 Who is in prison? In just one week last month (2004) the prison population increased by 597 - enough to fill a medium-sized jail Home Office figures showed that for every 100,000 people, some 139 are imprisoned - which is more than in Libya, Malaysia and Burma. Do you think prison is the right place to chance a person?

6 Judges blamed for prison boom The 71% rise in the prison population between 1991 and 2001 was due to a "misplaced emphasis on toughness rather than effectiveness" as courts sentence more people to prison and for longer terms, according to a report by the Prison Reform Trust.

7 Is prison an effective deterrent? Edward Garnier (April 06), the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, thinks that imprisoning criminals is 'hugely expensive and not working'. His view is shared by many, and the fact that 70 per cent of prisoners are convicted of another crime within two years of being released would seem to support that statement. Jamie Whyte, writing in The Times, says this fact tells us nothing about how much prison deters the rest of the population. He thinks it is good value and that we should do more of it. What do you think?

8 Is prison an effective deterrent? You have unlimited funding How would you stop the re-offending of: Drug dealers Car thieves ? Any other, you choose

9 Imprisonment Imprisoning people is though to be the most effective punishment for a crime and is frequently demanded by the public. But how does it work psychologically? Skinners work on operant conditioning can be used to explain how prison works as a deterent and as a punishment. Explain how?

10 Imprisonment Prison works (if at all) because it deprives a person of liberty and free will. These are replaced by restrictions (in space, movement and choice over actions and contacts). If this acts as a deterent to criminals then it can be seen as a negative reinforcer and should strengthen avoidance behaviour (staying on the right side of the law).

11 Imprisonment According to Skinner, if punishment is to be effective, it should weaken that undesirable behaviour, or, ideally, stop it altogether.

12 Imprisonment However, prison does not works as the theory predicts. Either as a punisher or negative enforcer Explain why this may be, what's happened to society? How would you change this and why? Recidivism is rife, is life better inside for some youths than on the outside?

13 Imprisonment So does it work? Research has shown (Prison Reform Trust 2007) that many prisoners have not reached the levels of literacy and numeracy expected of average 11 year old; 50% in reading, 66% in numeracy 80% in writing. 50% do not have the skills required by 96% of all jobs and 50% have been excluded from school. These statistics make prisoners, along with their criminal records, virtually unemployable without successful educational intervention within the prison system.

14 Imprisonment: An incentive to behave? Many people are critical of the parole system (the fact that prisoners are often released early and rarely serve their full sentence); What are the arguments for and against this? However, this is an important incentive, crucial to the smooth operation of the prison system. Applications for parole are allowed after a minimum term (set by the judge) has been served.

15 Imprisonment: An incentive to behave? Success will depend on the nature of the offence, the judge’s comments on sentencing and crucially the inmate’s behaviour in prison. This gives the prisoner an incentive to behave and comply with prison rules. Without this incentive many inmates would be unmanageable (Zimbardo/BBC Study)


17 The theory of planned behaviour applied to an offender’s likelihood of ‘going straight’ – Azjen (1988) Azjen Theory of Planned Behaviour can be applied to a prisoner leaving jail. A prisoner needs to have a positive intention to stay out of prison. This will be influenced by the prisoners beliefs about the value of their life (Attitude) on the outside and how much confidence they have that they can control what will happen to them (Perceived behavioural control).

18 The theory of planned behaviour applied to an offender’s likelihood of ‘going straight’ – Azjen (1988) The amount of control a prisoner may feel they have is dependent on many variables. Can you list some (3 minutes) Aggression, education, addiction Now describe the theory of planned behaviour by applying it to an actual criminal.

19 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration.

20 This study was conducted in Canada Focussed on inmates who were about to be released having completed their sentence In their prison it was possible to start an employment programme in the final months of their sentence

21 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration The success rates of those with a planned exit from prison are compared using a matched pairs design with prisoners with no planned employment Why is it important for a prisoner to get a job? Money, friends, meaning

22 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration Aim: - To investigate the effect on recidivism rates of a community-based employment scheme (more importantly employment status and outcomes)

23 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration Sample: - Federal offenders conditionally released between January 1998 and January 2005 23,525 individuals 95% Males and 5% Female

24 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration Procedure: - A content analysis (analysing statistics from the government) of data from Canada’s Offender Management System was completed on 23,525 individuals released between January 1998 and January 2005 (95% were male). A matched pairs design was used The two groups that were compared on outcomes were those employed (G1) prior to release on a special programme for offenders and those that were unemployed (G2).

25 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration Offenders were matched for: gender risk level release year sentence length family/marital relations substance abuse emotional orientation community functioning Attitudes (Azjen).

26 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration Results: Those on the employment programme were more likely to remain on conditional release (i.e. not sent back to prison) and less likely to return to custody with a new offence. The average time for the whole sample to get employment outside was 6 months for men and 10 months for women (why?) At the end of the study period 70% of the employed group (G1) remained out of prison, compared to just 55% of the unemployed group (G2).

27 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration Median return time (to jail) was also longer for the employed group (37 months, compared to 11 months). So even if they did end up in prison it still took them longer to get in. But why did some of them end up in prison even with the programme in place?

28 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration This study is an improvement to previous studies and has a strong sample and method. Its findings can therefore be generalised and are also more valid Employment-based programmes play an integral role in the last few moths of prison They develop skills that allow them to integrate into society

29 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration The programmes focus on job-search technique, individual psychometric assessments and on job placements The study suggests that planning the return to the community addresses some of the points raised in Azjens model and increases the likelihood of success.

30 Gillis & Nafekh (2005) – The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration 64.7% are reconvicted within 2 years Males aged 18-20 it is 75.3% What happens if the release of a prisoner is not planned?

31 Evaluaiton + Usefulness – the research is highly useful in preventing recidivism of offenders (employment-based programmes play an integral role in the last few months of prison allowing them to reintegrate better into society and giving them control over their future/TOPB) – Ethnocentrism – as the participants were all from Canada it is difficult to generalise the results to other populations. + Large Sample – as the sample is large, which will give an a more reliable and generalisable data set. + No experimenter bias – as the study was a content analysis using computer software, we can argue that there is a low chance of experimenter bias. – There is a lack of depth in this research, we do not know why the employed offenders are less likely to reoffend

32 Depression and suicide risk in prisons In 2007 there were 92 unnatural deaths in prison A further 100 were resuscitated This is based on information from the ‘Howard League for Penal Reform’ The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the UK. It was established in 1866 and is named after John Howard, one of the first prison reformers. The Howard League for Penal Reform is entirely independent of government and is funded by voluntary donations.

33 The Howard League for Penal Reform - Core Beliefs The Howard League for Penal Reform works for a safe society where fewer people are victims of crime The Howard League for Penal Reform believes that offenders must make amends for what they have done and change their lives The Howard League for Penal Reform believes that community sentences make a person take responsibility and live a law-abiding life in the community

34 In the news Suicide and prison closely linked (BBC Health Report) Two fifths of women prisoners and a fifth of male prisoners in England and Wales have attempted suicide, according to official statistics Most had attempted to take their lives before they were admitted to prison, but the number of suicides in jail is also rising (is this key?) Many came from a background of violence and abuse

35 In the news Prison campaigners say the figures, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), show the strong link between social deprivation, mental ill health and imprisonment and the need for a multi-agency approach to cutting crime and better prison screening of mental illness What is this suggesting?

36 Of those who had attempted suicide in the past year there were eight main risk factors The most common were being white and being young. Others included having a poor education and very little support from family and friends Suicide attempts were also strongly linked to mental disorders such as schizophrenia, heavy alcohol abuse and neurosis

37 Depression and suicide risk in prisons At any one time 1500 prisoners are on suicide watch Read page 56 (1.2) about life in prison. Would suicide pop into your mind at all? Is so why? If not why not?

38 Self-harm in prison What signs could you look for? (as stated on the HM Prison website): Your relative or friend might be unusually quiet, withdrawn or just not interested in things They might stop taking care of themselves They might seem lonely and isolated They may be finding it very difficult to come to terms with their situation They might feel despair and that things are out of their control They may feel many different emotions—anger, despair, hopelessness

39 Dooley, Unnatural deaths in prison Dooley looked at unnatural deaths from 1972 – 1987. Prisoner A is one of the examples in the text Death by consciously self-inflicted injury (CSI) He had been convicted of manslaughter in 1977 and received a 6-year sentence

40 Dooley, Unnatural deaths in prison Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable (evil) than murder. He had apparently been depressed fir a number of weeks prior to the offence Felt extremely guilty and when considered for parole this feeling of guilt increased

41 Dooley, Unnatural deaths in prison A month before his death he tried to hang himself Seen weekly by a psychiatrist Hanged himself from a coat hook in his cell Was classed as misadventure (accidental death) not suicide Dooley found the most common method of suicide was hanging

42 Dooley (1990) – Unnatural Deaths in Prisons Aims: - To investigate all unnatural deaths that occurred in prisons in England & Wales between 1972 and 1987

43 Dooley (1990) – Unnatural Deaths in Prisons Procedure: - A content analysis of Prison Department records. A checklist that included social, psychiatric and forensic history was used to analyse the data. The groups recorded as suicide were compared to those not recorded as suicide.

44 Dooley (1990) – Unnatural Deaths in Prisons Findings: - 442 unnatural deaths were recorded 300 were recorded as suicide The remaining 142 were recorded with a variety of verdicts (mainly misadventure) Including 52 from consciously self-inflicted injury (CSI) More of the suicide group were on remand (not yet sentenced) More of the CSI group were female. Most deaths occurred at night.

45 Dooley (1990) – Unnatural Deaths in Prisons Using page 57 (discussion) and your booklets discuss the conclusions of this study Why does overcrowding cause stress? Why are there more suicides among prisoners on remand? How would you attempt to stop this in prison?


47 The prison situation and roles Haney and Zimbardo; The past and future of prison policy in the USA This study considers what has happened in US prisons 25 years on from the original Stanford Prison Experiment The original goal was to demonstrate the power of institutional environments on people who pass through them (what perspective was identified in this study?)

48 The prison situation and roles Different to Milgram’s study as he looked at the effects on individuals complying with an authority figure’s increasingly severe demands (individual explanation) Haney et al was more interested in the situation that people were in

49 The prison situation and roles In the original Stanford study (1973) pathological behaviour was attribute to the prison situation and not by the nature of the individual (agree disagree?) This original study was set out to lead to improvements in the system In 1998 Haney and Zimbardo presented a paper in the American Psychologist in the changes that had taken place in the US prison system over 25 years. They presented 6 points as lessons to be learned.

50 The prison situation and roles There are two parts to the study, summarising the changes (P1) and suggesting changes (P2)

51 Part 1 Ronald Reagan’s Republican ‘War on Drugs’ (1980s) led to political pressure to put more criminals behind bars. The concept of rehabilitation was discredited – criminals deserved punishment. Rigid sentencing, with no possibility of parole. Many new prisons built, USA imprisons more people than any other modern nation (2008 prison population 2 million). Racial bias in prison population 48% African-Caribbean men although they only represent 6% of the general population. Many for drug offences. Hispanics also over represented. Introduction of the ‘Supermax’ prison cell.

52 A ‘Supermax’ prison cell

53 Part 1 Haney and Zimbardo argue that the USA is perpetuating (continuing) discrimination against black people and encouraging a dispositional (when its situational) explanation of criminal behaviour. The ‘supermax’ cell is another example of a dispositional explanation being used to categorise some prisoners as ‘problem prisoners’. Are they a problem (screening problems)?

54 Study 1 A Dispositional explanation sees the cause of criminal behaviour as being entirely due to an individual’s personality, rather than considering the environment which would be a situational explanation. Task: - What situations variables or factors might explain the over representation of Blacks in the American penal system?

55 Part 2 – suggested improvements (6 in total) Prisons should be used sparingly as they are psychologically damaging, alternatives should be sought. Prisons should take account of individual differences, in particular how a person is likely to react to confinement. Rehabilitation programmes are needed to teach prisoners the skills to cope once they are released. For example, anger management programmes, drug and alcohol detox etc

56 Part 2 – suggested improvements (6 in total) Prisoner assessments should include an assessment of situational factors, as well as psychological factors. Behaviour should be seen in the context of events or situation. Reform needs to come from people outside of the prison system who are empowered to act on it. (Those within the system are not impartial). Psychological knowledge should be used to improve the conditions within prisons.

57 What do you think to these ideas?

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