Treatment and Punishment of Crime

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Mark Scheme


·         Historical developments in punishment and treatment – Lombroso’s humane approach

·         Psychological aspects of punishment – Skinner

·         Psychological basis for treatment – CBT

·         Specific treatment


·         Criticism of the concept of punishment – Zimbardo

·         Critical research

·         Assumptions to the nature of criminality

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Cognitive Therapy

·         Based on CBT

·         Identifies cognitive deficits

·         Enhanced thinking skills – 20 2 hour sessions that include group work to acquire skills through role play

·         Reasoning and rehabilitation – group sessions teach sequential sub – skills, problem solving, negotiations and anger management

·         Should reduce recidivism as it changes thinking patterns

·         Hollin et al (2004) EST/ R&R groups are less likely to reoffend

·         Recidivism relies on completing the course, those who don’t are even more likely to reoffend – lack of motivation and unwillingness to change

·         Palmer et al (2008) showed therapy doesn’t work with low risk offenders as they do not have maladaptive thinking patterns

·         Cann et al (2003) Doesnt work for women as the courses are gender bias and they are typically low risk offenders 

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Zero-Tolerance Policy

·         Kelling and Wilson (1982) broken window theory

·         Breaks the downward spiral of crime

·         Success is often due to other factors, e.g. More police

·         Pollard (1998) zero tolerance is too harsh and creates alienation within a community

·         Ulmer et al (2000) reduces accidents in young people by 9% 

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Behavioural Therapy

  • Token economies based on Skinners operant conditioning – improves behaviour

  • Punishment reduces bad behaviour

  • Shaping used within token economy

  • Bassett and Blanchard (1977) requires immediacy and consistency to comply with the known principles of learning so good staff are needed

  • Jenkins et al (1974) 18 months post release token economy groups reoffended less

  • Garrido and Morales (2007) juvenile offenders convicted of serious crimes – reduced recidivism rates more than no intervention but less than CBT

  • Only treats the behaviour and not the causes

  • Must have motivated inmates

  • Ignores the internal prisoner reward system which is more beneficial

  • Ethical issues – child like

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