Forensic psychology

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What is top down offender profiling

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What is top down offender profiling

American approach Starts with already established typology/categories, assigns individuals to these types based on witness accounts and evidence. "Behaviour reflects personality" Organised/disorganised.

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Ressler et al (1988) - 6 stages of TD profiling

  1. Profiling input - data collected

  2. Decision models - data organised into meaningful patterns

  3. Crime assessment - crime + criminal organised or disorganised

  4. Criminal profile - offender profile created, strategy for investigation made

  5. Crime assessment - report given to agency, they search for a match

  6. Apprehension - suspect found and apprehended

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Process of profiling by the FBI

Data assimilation - info gathered from crime scene and reports Crime scene classification - organised or disorganised Crime reconstruction - hypotheses generated about what actually happened Profile generation - rough sketch of criminal is made eg social groups and appearance.

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Traits of organised offender

Leaves few/no clues Socially competent Sexually competent Tries to conceal evidence Body transported from scene

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Traits of disorganised offender

No attempt to conceal evidence Socially incompetent Likely to be known to victim Unskilled/unemployed Sexual problems/abuse Unplanned

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  • Evaluating TD OP: only appropriate for certain crimes

Eg works well for serial murderers, cult killings and arson where personality may be apparent from the crime scene, but its unlikely to be useful for something like a burglary or a single murder where the personality is unlikely to be obvious.

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-Evaluating TD OP: Alison et al 2002

Typology classification system is based on assumption that offenders have patterns of behaviour that remain consistent. Alison et al suggested this is nice and formed by old fashioned models of personality that see behaviour driven by stable dispositional traits rather than external factors that may be constantly changing.

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  • Evaluating TD OP: Canter et al 2004 - organised, not disorganised

Used smallest space analysis. Analysed data from 100 murders in the USA. Details examined with reference to 39 characteristics typical or organised/disorganised killers. Findings suggested evidence of a distinct organised type but this wasn't the case for disorganised. This undermined the classification system as a whole.

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  • Evaluating TD OP: organised/disorganised not mutually exclusive

A variety of combinations could occur in any given murder scene, eg Godwin (2002) asks how police investigators would classify a killer of high intelligence and sexual competence who commits a spontaneous murder and leaves the body. This promoted other more detailed typological models eg Holmes (1989) suggests there are 4 types of serial killer (visionary, mission, hedonistic and power). Keppel and Walter (1999) focus on different motivations killers might have rather than determining types.

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  • Evaluating TD OP: developed using a small sample

Interviews with 36 killers in the US - too small a sample, unrepresentative to base a typology system that may influence police investigation. Not sensible to rely on self report either.

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  • Evaluating TD OP: Barnum effect

Believability of TD profiles may be due to the Barnum effect - ambiguous descriptions can be made to fit any situation, eg horoscopes. In a list of 20 statements, 10 will be correct or nearly correct. Explains why profiles often appear to be "right".

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  • Evaluating TD OP: Jackson and Bekerian 1997

Jackson + Bekerian (1997) suggested smart offenders can read about how profiled are constructed and deliberately mislead profilers by providing misleading clues. Should techniques used by the police be generally available?

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  • Evaluating TD OP: police who have used FBI methods think they are useful

Copson 1995 questioned 184 police officers, of which 82% said it was operationally useful and over 90% said they'd use it again. Scherer and Jarvis (2014) - may prevent wrongful conviction.

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What is bottom up offender profiling?

Start by looking at minor details of a crime scene and develop a likely hypothesis about the characteristics of the offender. Used in the UK.

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What is investigative psychology (BU OP) and what are the key parts of it?

To establish patterns of behaviour likely to occur or coexist across crime scenes. Develops a statistical database which acts as a baseline for comparison. This can reveal details about the offender. Also determines whether is the same offender. Interpersonal coherence - the way an offender acts at the scene may reflect their behaviour in everyday situations. Time and place - gives clues as to where the offender may live or work. Forensic awareness - may reveal details of the offender, eg if they know to cover their tracks they'll probably have committed a crime before and been through the criminal justice system.

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What is geographical profiling?

Form of BU OP using information to do with the location of linked crime scenes to make inferences about the home/base of an offender - known as crime mapping. Understanding spatial patterns of behaviour provides investigators with a centre of gravity which is likely to include the offenders base (often in the middle)

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What is Canter's circle theory?

Proposed two models of offender behaviour The marauder: who operates in a close proximity to their home base The commuter: who is likely to have travelled to commit the crime but its still likely to be somewhere familiar to them.

Pattern of offending likely to form a circle round their usual residence, becomes more apparent the more offences there are.

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Canters findings on the railway rapist

Analysed geographical info from the crime scenes and drew up a profile which was surprisingly accurate, eg Marriage problems - separated Small - 5ft4 Need to dominate women - violent and attacked his wife

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What is smallest space analysis?

a statistical technique that identifies correlations across different patterns of behaviour once data has been collected

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  • bottom up offender profiling: Canter & Heritage 1990 smallest space analysis

Conducted a content analysis of 66 sexual assault cases. Data examined using smallest space analysis, several characteristics were identified as common in most cases, eg lack of reaction to victim. The characteristics occur in different patterns in different individuals. This can lead to an understanding of how an offenders behaviour may change over a series of offences, or in establishing whether 2 or more offences were committed by the same person. This supports the usefulness of investigative psychology because it shows how statistical techniques can be applied.

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  • bottom up offender profiling: Lundrigan & Canter 2001 smallest space analysis

Collated info from 120 murder cases, smallest space analysis revealed spatial consistency from the behaviour of the killers - the location of each body disposal site was a different direction from the previous ones, creating a centre of gravity - the offenders base was located in the centre of the pattern. Was more noticeable for marauders.

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  • bottom up offender profiling: Canter argues BUOP is more objective and scientific than TDOP

... as it is more grounded in evidence and psychological theory and less driven by speculation and hunches. With the aid of artificial intelligence, investigators can manipulate geographical, biological and psychological data to produce insights and results that assist in the investigation. Investigative psych has also expanded to include suspect interviewing and examination of court material which supports its utility in all aspects of the judicial process

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  • bottom up offender profiling: can be applied to a wide range of offences

Techniques like smallest space analysis and the principle of spatial consistency can be used in the investigation of crimes such as burglary and theft as well as more serious offences like murder and rape.

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  • bottom up offender profiling: Kocsis et al 2002 chemistry students

Found that chemistry students produced a more accurate offender profile on a solved murder case than experienced senior detectives, shows bottom up offended profiling cant be that effective.

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+/- bottom up offender profiling: Copson 1995

Surveyed 48 UK police forces using investigative profiling, found that over 75% of the police officers said profilers advice had been useful. HOWEVER: only 3% said the advice helped identify the actual offender. But most said they'd till use a profiler again - this suggests the method may not be that useful in actually catching offenders, but the slight benefit makes it worthwhile.

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  • bottom up offender profiling: the case of Rachel Nickell

1992 - stabbed 47 times, sexually assaulted and the only witness was her 2yo son. They targeted a man who walked his dog in the area as he fitted the offender profile, and a policewoman pursued him and tried to get him to confess. The judge threw it out as there was no link between him and Rachel's death. In 2008 - the offender was convicted. He'd been ruled out previously as he was several inches taller than the profile. Shows we cant base our entire idea of an offender on the profile and sometimes they can be misleading.

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  • bottom up offender profiling: Rossmo dismissal

He worked for many years for the Vancouver police dept, introduced geographical profiling to the department. In 2001 he was dismissed, and the dept stopped using his methods as they didn't feel it enhanced policing outcomes.

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Psychological explanations: Eysenck's Personality Theory

Behaviour can be represented along 2 dimensions- Introversion/Extroversion, and Neuroticism/Stability. The two dimensions combine too form a variety of personality traits.

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What is the biological aspect of Eysenck's theory?

Our personality traits are biological in origin and come about through the type of nervous system we inherit. Thus, all personality types have an innate bio basis. Extroverts have an under active NS so they constantly seek stimulation. Neurotic individuals are nervous and jumpy, over anxious and their behaviour is difficult to predict.

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The Reticular Activating System in Eysenck's theory

The RAS is overactive in extroverts and they dont have much arousal from external stimuli. In neurotics the limbic system is over a roused, activated during emotion inducing situations. Extroverts have a stronger dopamine-rewards system, so may respond more positively to things like sex/money.

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Socialisation in Eysenck's theory

Personality is linked to criminal behaviour via the socialisation process. Socialisation is when children are taught to become more able to delay gratification and become more socially oriented. Eysenck believed people with high E and N scores had nervous systems that made this difficult, as a result they dont learn to respond to antisocial impulses with anxiety.

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Eysenck's Criminal Personality

The criminal personality type is neurotic-extravert. He suggested the typical offender will also score highly on measures of psychoticism. He developed the EPI (Eysenck Personality Inventory), a form of psychological test which determines personality type.

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  • Eysenck evaluation: supporting evidence from Eysenck+Eysenck

1977 2070 male prisoners scores on the EPI with 2422 male controls. Groups were put in ages. On measures of psychoticism, extroversion and neuroticism, across all age groups, prisoners recorded higher score than controls.

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  • Eysenck evaluation: self report

It's a questionnaire and a form of self report data so people may be subject to social desirability bias and lie to make themselves appear better

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  • Eysenck evaluation: Farrington et al 1982, doubt about biological aspect + conflicting ev

Reviewed several studies, reported that offenders tended to score high on P measures, but not E or N. Little evidence of consistent differences in EEG measures between introverts and extroverts, which casts doubt on the biological basis of his theory.

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  • Eysenck evaluation: Moffitt 1993 + Digman 1990, out of step with modern theory

Moffitt proposed different types of male offender based on timing of first offence and how long offending persists. Digmans 5 factor model of personality suggests that alongside E and N there are additional dimensions of openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. High E and N score does not mean offending is inevitable.

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  • Eysenck evaluation: Bartol & Holanchock 1979, cultural differences

Studied Hispanic and AA offenders in a max security prison in NY and divided them into 6 groups. All 6 groups were found to be less extroverted than a non criminal control group. Bartol suggested this was because their sample was a very different cultural group than investigated by Eysenck.

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  • Eysenck evaluation: personality type not reducible to a score

Whole theory based on the premise that it is possible to measure personality through a test, but it may not be reducible to a score. We may argue there is no such thing as personality in the sense of a stable entity, the way Eysenck was talking. Our personality may change daily. There may be no fixed and unchangeable "true self"

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+/- Eysenck evaluation: may have genetic basis

May have a genetic basis and thus fits well with other biological explanations. There is some overlap with APD and the suggestion that offenders are cold/incapable of empathy. However because of its biological basis, Eysenck's theory suffers from the same limitations as genetic and neural explanations (bio red, bio det., twin study probs etc)

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Psychological explanations: Cognitive explanations of offending: Kohlberg's levels of moral reasoning

He proposed that peoples decisions and judgments on issues of r/w can be summarised in stages of development, the higher the stage the more sophisticated the reasoning.

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Kohlberg's levels of moral reasoning

1- Pre conventional level

  • stage 1: obedience and punishment: based on avoiding punishment, focus on consequences rather than intention, deference to authority.

  • stage 2: individualism and exchange: acts in self interest 2- Conventional level

  • stage 3: interpersonal relationships: good boy/good girl attitude, seeks validation.

  • stage 4: authority and social order: sees obedience as a must for a functioning society 3- post conventional level

  • stage 5: social contract: begins to learn others have different values and realises law is contingent on culture.

  • stage 6: universal principles; develops own internal moral principles, obeys these above the law

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Kohlberg 1973 findings

Studies suggest criminals tend to show a lower level of moral reasoning. Kohlberg, using his moral dilemma technique (eg Heinz case) found that a group of violent youths were significantly lower in their moral development than non-violent youths, even after controlling social background.

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Chandler 1973

Offenders are more egocentric and display poorer social perspective taking skills than non offenders. Individuals who reason at higher levels tend to sympathise more with the rights of others and exhibit more conventional behaviours like honesty, generosity and non-violence.

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Cognitive explanations: cognitive distortions

Faulty/biased/irrational ways of thinking that make people perceive themselves or others in a inaccurate way. Often in a more negative way. Some people believe that criminals may make assumptions about their victims that justify their behaviour, or may make faulty assumptions about their actions that justify their crimes.

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Cognitive distortions: hostile attribution bias

The tendency to judge ambiguous situations of the actions of others as aggressive and/or threatening when in reality they may not be.

Schonenberg & Justye 2014, presented 55 violent offenders with images oof emotionally ambiguous facial expressions. When compared with non-violent control group, offenders were more likely to perceive images as angry/hostile.

May lie in childhood, Dodge & Frame showed children a video of an "ambiguous provocation" and children identified as aggressive interpreted it as more hostile and vice versa.

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Cognitive distortions: minimalisation

A type of deception that involves downplaying the significance of an event or emotion. A common strategy when dealing with guilt.

Burglars may describe themselves as "doing a job" or "supporting my family"

Barbaree found among 26 incarcerated rapists, 54% denied they'd committed an offence at all, 40% minimised the harm they had caused to the victim.

Pollock & Hashmall - 35% of a sample of child molesters argued the crime was non sexual ("just being affectionate") and 36% stated the victim had consented (but they couldn't have - they're a child).

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  • Cognitive explanations evaluation: support for Kohlberg - Palmer & Holin 1998

Compared moral reasoning between 210 female non offender, 122 male non offenders and 126 convicted offenders using a moral dilemma test. The delinquent groups showed less mature moral reasoning than he non-delinquent group which is consistent with Kohlberg's predictions.

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  • Cognitive explanations evaluation: Gibbs revised version of Kohlberg's theory, 1979

Comprised of 2 levels of reasoning: mature and immature. In the first level moral decisions re guided by avoidance of punishment and personal gain, in the second level by empathy, social justice and ones own conscience. Gibbs argued that Kohlberg's post conventional level should be abandoned because it was culturally biased and didn't represent a "natural" maturational stage of cognitive development. Supported Piaget's theory which suggested criminal reasoning is self-centred and egocentric.

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  • Cognitive explanations evaluation: beneficial in treatment of criminal behaviour

Dominant approach in the rehabilitation of sex offenders is CBT which encourages offenders to establish a less distorted view of their actions. Studies suggested that reduced incidence of denial and minimalisation in therapy is highly correlated with reduced risk of reoffending and this is a key feature in anger management.

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Cognitive explanations evaluation: kind of support for Kohlberg, Thornton & Reid 1982

Found that individuals who committed crimes for financial gain were more likely to show preconventional moral reasoning than those convicted of impulsive crimes like assault where reasoning of any kind tended not to be evident. Pre conventional moral reasoning tends to be associated with crimes in which offenders believe they have a good chance of evading punishment

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  • Cognitive explanations evaluation: intelligence a better factor, Langdon et al 2010

Suggested intelligence is a better predictor of criminality than moral reasoning. This would explain the finding that groups of people with very low intelligence are actually less likely to commit crime (despite the fact they show lower levels of moral reasoning).

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Psychological explanations: Differential Association Theory (Sutherland)

Individuals learn deviant behaviour through association and interaction with different/deviant people. Crime as learned behaviour: people have learned attitudes towards crime through the social transmission of values, motivations and rationalisations for committing crime. People also ave learned specific criminal acts through the development of the techniques required to commit the crime eg the delicate touch of a pickpocket, or learning how to carry out crime like how to break in through a window. Pro criminal attitudes: people develop pro criminal attitudes when exposed to a group with those values. Differential association suggests it should be possible to mathematically predict how likey it is that the individual will commit crime if we have knowledge of the frequency/intensity/duration of which they have been exposed to deviant and non-deviant Norms/values.

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Differential association theory evidence: Farmington et al 2006

The Cambridge study in Delinquent Development Longitudinal survey of the development of offensive/antisocial behaviour in 411 men. Began at 8 and all in w/c south London, goes up to 50. 41% convicted of at least 1 offence between 10-50, most important childhood risk factors were family criminality, poor parenting, poverty and low school attainment.

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+DAT A03:explanatory power/focus shifting

Accounts for crime in all areas of society, some types of crime are clustered within inner city w/c communities whereas others are in affluent areas ("white collar crime") Sutherland was successful in moving emphasis away from biological account of crime an those that explained offending as being the product of individual weakness/immorality. Draws attention to the fact hat social circumstance may be more to blame for criminality than dysfunctional people. More realistic and doesnt lead to unjust punishment or eugenics.

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-DAT A03: difficult to test

Hard to see how the number of pro criminal attitudes someone has been exposed too can be measured. Theory built on assumption that offending behaviour will occur when pro criminal values outnumber anti criminal ones. Without being able to measure these, it is difficult to know when the urge to offend is realised and the criminal career is triggered. It undermines its scientific credibility.

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-DAT A03: Individual differences

Not everyone exposed to criminal influences goes on to commit crime. There is danger within the throes of stereotyping individuals who come from impoverished, crime-ridden backgrounds as "unavoidably criminal". Ignores the fact that people may choose to offend despite influences.

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-DAT A03: alternative explanations

Sutherland: response of family is crucial to determine whether the individual reoffends

  • Farrington et al: intergenerational crime was a key reoffending feature

  • Mednick et al: boys with criminal adoptive parents and non criminal bio parents were more likely to reoffend than boys whos adoptive and biological parents were non criminal (14.7-13.5)

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Psychological explanations: Psychodynamic explanations of offending - inadequate superego Freud

Blackburn: If the superego is efficient/inadequate then criminal behaviour is inevitable bc the id has free reign and isnt properly controlled. Weak superego: if the same sex parent is absent during the phallic stage, the child cannot fully internalise their morals and cant fully form their superego as there is no opportunity for identification. This would make immoral/criminal behaviour more likely Deviant superego: if the superego that the child internalises has immoral/deviant values this would lead to offending behaviour. For instance a boy raised by a criminal father is not likely to associate guilt with wrongdoing. Over harsh superego: a healthy superego is like a kind but firm internal parent, it is forgiving. An overly harsh superego is where the individual is cripples by guilt and anxiety, this may drive the individual to commit crime in order to satisfy the superegos overwhelming need for punishment (unconsciously). Defence mechanisms may also come into play, eg displacement (being angry at something else and committing a violent crime to make self feel better - displacing the anger), denial repression and regression helping to justify and minimise the crime.

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Psychodynamic explanations of offending - Bowlbys MDT

Argued that the ability to form meaningful relationships in adulthood was dependent upon the child forming a warm and continuous relationship with a mother figure. The maternal bond was seen by Bowlby as superior and unique, and vital to development. Failure means the child will have damaging and irreversible consequences in later life, such as affectionless psychopathy - lack of guilt/empathy, more likely to commit crime, selfish. He supported this with his 44 thieves study

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Bowlby's 44 thieves study (support for his claims)

Investigated 44 juvenile thieves, found thru INTERVIEWS W THIEVES AND THEIR FAMILIES (SDB) that 14 of the sample showed affectionless psychopathy symptoms. Of this 14, 12 had experienced prolonged separation from their mothers during infancy. In a non-criminal group, only 2 experienced similar early separation. Bowlby concluded that the effects of MD had caused affectionless and delinquent behaviour among the juvenile thieves.

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  • Psychodynamic explanations - Freud A03: gender bias

According to Freud, Girls develop a weaker superego than boys, which means they're more likely to commit crime (however statistically its men). This also means girls are more likely to have a same sex parent missing in order to develop this weak superego, however 90% of absent parent families it is the man leaving.

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  • psychodynamic explanations - Freud A03: limited evidence

There is little evidence to suggest that children raised without a same se parent are less law abiding. Nor that children with deviant parent go on to offend. If it is the case, it could be down to genetics.

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  • psychodynamic explaantions - Freud A03: pseudoscience

It cant be falsified. It is not scientific

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  • psychodynamic explanations - Freud A03: Mergargee

11y/o boy stabbed brother 34 times, he was described as being polite, softly spoken and had no history of aggression. It is suggested that cases like this represent a group of offenders who cannot express their anger normally, and eventually "explode" and release it all in one go, often in response to a trivial situation. This supports repression - defence mechanisms.

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Biological explanations - Lombroso's Atavistic form A01

Suggested criminals were genetic throwbacks, a primitive sub species biologically different to non criminals. They lacked evolutionary development, and were savage and untamed, inevitably turning to crime. He argued the form could be identified with physiological markers, these include:

  • strong jaw, high cheekbones, dark skin, curly hair, facial asymmetry. He categorised particular types of criminal in terms of feature, eg murderers had curly hair and long ears, and sexual deviants had swollen fleshy lips and glinting eyes. Ectomorphs (skinny) - cerebrotonic personality, introverted and sensitive Endomorphs (fat) - viscerotonic personality, relaxed and extroverted Mesomorphs (muscular) - somotonic personality, assertive and aggressive - most likely to be criminals.

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Lombroso's Atavistic form research A01

Examined the facial and cranial features of hundreds of Italian convicts living and dead, 383 dead skulls and 3893 living. Concluded 40% of criminal acts could be accounted for by atavistic characteristics.

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  • Lombroso atavistic form A03: "father of modern criminology" Hollin 1989

Created a shift in crime research away from moralistic discourse and towards a more scientific and credible realm. This was also the beginning of criminal profiling.

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  • Lombroso atavistic form A03: scientific racism, an argument for eugenics

Eugenics (genetically unfit people should be prevented from breeding). Dark skin as a characteristic of criminality is racist, has serious implications for society. DeLisi (2012) said it has racial undertones and much of Lombroso's identified characteristics like curly hair and dark kin are found amongst people of African descent. Lombroso argued people with those characteristics are primitive, uncivilised and savage.

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  • Lombroso Atavistic form A03: contradictory evidence

Goring 1913: did a comparison between 3000 criminals and 3000 non criminals, found no evidence that offenders are a distinct group with unusual facial and cranial characteristics.

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  • Lombroso atavistic form A03: methodological issues

He had no non-criminal control group, and failed to account for any other variables like many participants suffering a history of psychological disorders. We also cannot establish causality - just having atavistic features doesn't mean this is the cause of offending. These could be influenced by other factors like poverty, poor diet or institutionalisation.

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Biological explanations: genetic explanations - twin studies

Lange 1930: investigated 13 identical and 17 non identical twins where one twin in each pair had served time in prison. He found that 10 of the identical twins but only 2 of the non identical twins had a co twin who was also in prison. This shows that genetic factors must play a dominant part in offending behaviour.

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Biological explanations: genetic explanations - adoption studies

Crowe 1972: found that adopted children who had a biological parent with a criminal record had a 50% risk of having a criminal record by 18, whereas adopted children whos parent didn't have a criminal record only had a 5% risk.

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Biological explanations: genetic explanations - candidate genes

A genetic analysis of almost 900offenders by Tiihonen et al revealed abnormalities on 2 genes that may be associated with violent crime. The MAOA gene (controls dopamine and serotonin in the brain and has been linked to aggressive behaviour). And CDH13 (linked to substance abuse and adhd). Individuals with this high risk sample were 13x more likely to have a history of violent behaviour.

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Biological explanations: neural explanations - Raine et al 1997

Conducted many studies of the APD brain reporting that there are several dozen brain imaging studies demonstrating that individuals with APD have reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex part of the brain which regulates emotional behaviour. He also found a 11% reduction in the volume of grey matter in the prefrontal cortex of people with APD compared to controls.

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Biological explanations: neural explanations - mirror neurons

Recent research suggests that criminals with APD can experience empathy but they do so more sporadically than the rest of us. Keysers et al 2011 found that only when criminals were asked to empathise with a person experiencing pain on film, the empathy reaction controlled by mirror neurons in the brain activated. This suggests APD individuals are not totally without empathy, but may have a neural switch that can be turned on and off, unlike the normal brain which has the switch permanently on

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  • Genetic and neural explanation A03: problems with twin studies

Early twin studies of criminality such as Lange's research was poorly controlled and zygosity was based on appearance as opposed too DNA. Twin studies also involve small sample sizes and may not represent the rest of the population. There is also the issue of how much of it is due to nature, and how much is due to nurture as the twins were presumably raised in the same environment.

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  • genetic and neural explanation A03: problems with adoption studies

We cant control extraneous variables which may affect the data collected, for example when they were adopted

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  • genetic and neural explanation A03: biological reductionism

Reduces all behaviour down to genes and neurones in the brain when there may be other explanations eg social factors. It may be a learnt behaviour

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  • genetic and neural explanation A03: biological determinism

Assumes all behaviour is caused by biology, goes against the criminal justice system and using this people can use biological explanations as an excuse for their behaviour. Doesn't allow for things like free will or morality.

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Custodial sentencing

A convicted offender spending time in a prison or another closed institution such as a young offenders institute or a psychiatric hospital

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Custodial sentencing - aims

Deterrence - stopping people from committing crime Incapacitation - prevents future crime by removing individuals from society, eg incarceration,m house arrest or death penalty Retribution - punishment inflicted as vengeance for criminal act Rehabilitation - to change behaviour from being an offender to being a non offender

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Psychological effects of custodial sentencing

Stress and depression - suicide rates are higher in prison than the general pop, as well as self harm. The stress increases risk of psychological disturbance following release. Institutionalisation: having adapted to the norms of prison life, inmates may become so accustomed to these that they are no longer able to function on the outside. Prisonisation: the ways prisoners are socialised into adopting an "inmate code". Behaviour may be unacceptable in the outside world but encouraged and rewarde inside prison. Brutalisation: prison is a school for crime, criminal lifestyle and criminal norms affect recividism rates. Labelling: reduces employability, loss of social contacts, affects recidivism rates

  • positive psychological effects: result from opportunities, treatment/rehab/remorse eg in norway.

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Recidivism statistic

Ministry of Justice in 2013 - 57% of UK offenders will reoffend within a year of release, in 2007 14 prisons in England and Wales recorded reoffending rates of over 70%.

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  • Custodial sentencing A03: Bartol (+ for psych effects, supporting evidence)

Suggested that imprisonment can be "brutal, demeaning and generally devastating". In the last 20 years, suicide rates among offenders have tended to be around 15x higher than those in the general population. Most at risk are young single men during the first 24h of confinement.

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  • custodial sentencing A03: prison reform trust (+ for psych effects, supporting evidence)

2014, 25% of women and 15% of men in prison reported symptoms indicative of psychosis. It would seem that the oppressive prison regime may trigger psychological disorders in those that are vulnerable.

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  • custodial sentencing A03: cant establish c+e between prison and psych effects (- for psych effects)

It cannot be assumed that all offenders will react the same way in prison. Different prisons have different regimes, so there are likely to be wide variations in experience. In addition, the length of sentence and reason for incarceration and prev. Experience of prison may be mitigating factors. Many of those convicted may have had pre-existing psychological and emotional difficulties at the time they were convicted.

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+/- custodial sentencing A03: prison programmes

The rehabilitation model is based on the argument that offenders may become better people during their time in prison, and their improved character means they are able to lead a crime free life when back in society. Many prisoners have education and training whilst in prison increasing the possibility they will find employment upon release. Treatment programmed like anger management schemes and social skills training may give offenders insight into their behaviour, reducing likelihood of recidivism. However: many prisons lack the resources to provide such programmes and even when they can, evidence to support long term benefits of such schemes isn't conclusive.

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  • custodial sentencing A03: schools of crime

Prison may act as a university of crime where incarceration with hardened criminals may give younger inmates in particular the opportunity to learn the "tricks of the trade" from more experienced offenders

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  • custodial sentencing A03: Davies and Raymond alternatives

In a review of custodial sentencing they concluded that ministers often exaggerate prison benefits in order to appear tough on crime. The review suggested that prison actually does little to deter others or rehabilitate offenders. Alternatives like community service and restorative justice have been proposed which means that family contacts and potentially employment can be maintained.

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  • custodial sentencing A03: general usefulness

Provides justice, limits danger to the public by removing the criminal, may reform them, and provides them with skills and training. Also acts as a deterrent.

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Behaviour modification in custody (token economy programmes)

Reinforcing desirable behaviour with a token that can be exchanged for some kind of reward. Desirable behaviour within prison likely to include: avoiding conflict, following rules, keeping cell orderly etc. Prisoners are given a token each time they perform said behaviour. Tokens are secondary reinforcers as they derive value from association with reward, and primary reinforcers are the actua reward eg cigarettes, food, extra phone time, time outside. It is made clear that non compliance may result in punishment or tokens and associated privileges being removed, usually TEPs are compulsory. Desirable behaviour is identified, broken down into small steps, and a baseline measure is established. Everyone follows the same regime. The whole thing can be overseen by prison officials who can manage its effectiveness.

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Example of a token economy programme

Desired behaviour: obedience, friendliness, following guards orders, not rising to conflict etc Token: similar to a house point system some sort of online system the guards can log into Tokens allocated: when guard notices good behaviour, it is logged in the system Rewards: food/phone time/outside time/cigarettes. Prisoners can choose Different rewards cost different amount of tokens eg food=5, phone time=15. There will be gradual changing of tokens to shape behaviour: switch up rewards every so often so they dont get bored, tokens given less often to make sure behaviour maintained but becomes normal, rewards become more expensive Reward gradually removed once behaviour becomes normal and every time a reward is claimed the behaviour goes back to 0

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  • behaviour modification: Hobbs & Holt 1976 description and findings

TEP designed to modify the behaviour of 125 adolescent males in a correctional institution, focusing on social behaviour, rule following and task completion. Program served to 3 cottages, 4th was a control. Data collected for 14 months. All men, 12-15. Charges ranging from truancy to homicide. Boys tokens were listed on a chart and they were rated on each target behaviour by two staff members to check for reliability. There was a token economy store where they could renew their tokens where they could buy things like a 4 day pass home. TEP resulted in an increase in the mean % of target behaviours for each cottage w no noticeable improvement in the comparison cottage, eg in cottage A behaviour increased from a baseline mean of 66% to 91.6%.

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  • Hobbs & Holt: sample

Androcentric All 12-15 All committed different crimes (truancy v homicide)

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  • Hobbs & Holt: data collection

Collected by different staff who may interpret the data differently and it is subjective so this may affect the reliability of the findings

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  • Hobbs & Holt: correlation doesnt = causation

We cant be sure the improvement in the boys behaviour was directly a result of the token economy programme, for example it could've just been improvement due to the amount of time the boys had spent in the institution.

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  • Hobbs & Holt: unethical

Cigarettes as a reward Time at home is positive and important for wellbeing, it shouldn't be used as a reward.

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  • behaviour modification A03: not everyone gets noticed

If you have more severe mental troubles, it is harder to get the tokens as it is harder for you to complete the behaviours. People who are consistently badly behaved will be noticed for good behaviour more easily, and people who are consistently good will more often go unnoticed.

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+/- behaviour modification A03: Cohen & Filipczak 1971

Demonstrated how a TE group showed more desirable behaviour than a control group within an adult prison. The offenders who took part in the programme were less likely to have reoffended two years later However- after 3 years recidivism rates went back to reflecting national statistics. TEP not a long term working plan.

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  • behaviour modification A03: implementation (Basset & Blanchard 1977)

Found benefits were lost after they applied the techniques inconsistently due to factors like lack of appropriate training of staff or high staff turnover.

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