effect of imprisonment

background operant conditioning?
Behaviourists propose that punishment extinguishes behaviour.
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background incarceration?
imprisonment, meant to serve as a punishment, and deter (put people off) crime.
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background parole?
Releasing a prisoner before serving their full sentence on the promise of good behaviour. Judge sets a minimum time they must serve in prison before being eligible for parole, at sentencing.
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background parole 2?
Parole board considers whether the release the criminal before serving their full sentence, reviewing the severity of their crime, hearing from psychologists (if appropriate) on the individual’s mental state
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other factors the parole board conciders?
the victims or their families about their feelings toward the release of the criminal, prison staff who’ve reviewed the individual’s behaviour whilst in prison.
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review of prison system in the US?
haney and zimbardo (1998)
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findings of haney and zimbaro 1?
In the 1980s, Reagan’s ‘War on drugs’ led to more people being imprisoned. Individuals were incarcerated (imprisoned) for crimes that would usually receive lesser sentences, as rehabilitation was seen as ineffective.
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findings of haney and zimbaro 2?
Rigid sentencing was introduced, with no possibility of parole.
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findings of haney and zimbaro 3?
This led to many new prisons being built: the USA imprisons more people than any other modern nation (in 2008, the prison population reached 2 million). This has practical issues of cost and overcrowding leading to difficulties protecting prisoners
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findings of haney and zimbaro 4?
Introduction of the ‘Supermax’ prison cell (narrow windows, concrete beds and stools, only 1hr exercise time in courtyard). This may lead to worsening of criminal behaviour, as isolation is detrimental to mental health.
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findings of haney and zimbaro 5?
Without the possibility of reducing their sentence for good behaviour, prisons become more dangerous environments, which could result in guards becoming more authoritarian (enforcing obedience to authority at the cost of individual’s rights/ freedoms
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what does finding 5 lead to?
resulting in an unethical punishment which fails to protect the individual.
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findings of haney and zimbaro 6?
Data also suggests a racial bias (ethnocentrism) in the prison population with 48% of inmates being African-Caribbean men even though they are a small minority of the general population. This means the punishment is unethical.
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findings of haney and zimbaro 7?
The emphasis on punishment rather than rehabilitation, and the introduction of the ‘supermax’ cell suggests that prisoners have a criminal personality which cannot be changed. This is deterministic and leads to a lack of reform.
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findings from imprisonment in the UK? 1
Dooley (1990) found the suicide rate in prisons was 4x as high as suicide rate in the general population. Prisoners still have the Right to be protected from Harm in a UK prison, which means the punishment may be unethical.
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findings from imprisonment in the UK? 2
The Independent revealed 1/4 criminals reoffended within 1 year (2010-2011), suggesting prison is ineffective at achieving its aim of deterring criminals from crime, or rehabilitating them. This may be due to a lack of employment options.
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findings from imprisonment in the UK? 3
Social exclusion unit (2002): offenders are 13 times more likely to have been in care, 10 times more likely to have been regularly truant, and more likely to have poor numeracy and literacy skills than non-offenders
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what does finding 3 suggest?
This either suggests the system is biased and discriminates against those from low socio-economic backgrounds or that criminals commit crime because of a disrupted upbringing/ poor role models, or a lack of options due to poor education.
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what does finding 3 address?
Punishment (imprisonment) will not address these factors, explaining the high reoffending rates.
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Gillis & Nafekh (2005)?
The impact of Community-based employment on offender reintegration.
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Gillis & Nafekh aim?
To investigate the effect on recidivism (reoffending) rates of a community-based employment scheme (prisoners who demonstrated good behaviour were placed on a programme which released them into the community for the day to work with an employer).
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Gillis & Nafekh method?
Quasi experiment with matched pairs design: matched on gender, family/marital relations (support system/ motivating factors to stay out of jail), substance abuse (a risk factor for committing crime).
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Gillis & Nafekh sample?
23,525 individuals released from prison in Canada, 1998-2005 (95% were male).
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Gillis & Nafekh procedure?
A content analysis (qualitative data coded to look for patterns) of data from Canada’s Offender Management System The conditions were those employed prior to release on a special programme for offenders and those that were unemployed.
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Gillis & Nafekh findings?
By the end of the study, 70% of the employed prior to release remained out of prison, compared to 55% of the unemployed. * Median return time (to jail) was also longer for the employed group (37 months, compared to 11 months).
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Gillis & Nafekh conclusion?
Employment programmes work and reduce the likelihood of re-offending.
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zimbardo (1973)?
Stanford Prison Experiment
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zimbardo aim?
To investigate the consequences of being assigned the role of prisoner or guard.
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explination of aim?
to investigate the dispositional hypothesis that tyranny (abuse of power) only occurs because of the negative personality traits of some people in power, like authoritarianism (the belief authority must be obeyed even at the expense of individuals’ r
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how would the hypothesis be wrong?
students, who were screened to control for these personality traits and other factors affecting aggression or obedience like drugs, adopted the roles they were assigned- acted in an aggressive + controlling way if a guard + obedient way as a prisoner
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whats the sample zimbardo?
24 male US/ Canadian student volunteers who were strangers reporting no psychopathic or criminal traits, or mental illness via questionnaire. Paid $15/day. All middle-class.
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equitment and materials zimbardo?
Prisoner uniform was a smock with no underwear and they were also assigned an identification number they were referred to by. Guard’s wore mirrored sunglasses, and had a baton.
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equipment and materials zimbardo 2?
Participants consented to minimally adequate diet, violation of privacy, and some harassment. Guards were not given training.
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what was the mock prison?
A mock prison was created in Stanford University Psych Dept. with 3 small cells and a solitary confinement cell which was extremely small and unlit. Participants were observed using cameras and conversations were monitored with recording devices.
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procedure zimbardo?
Guards met day before with superintendent and warden. They were told their job was to maintain order without using physical punishment.
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procedure 2 zimbardo?
Picked up by police, unexpectedly at their homes. Blindfolded on way to the university so they didn’t see the educational buildings, and thus it felt like a real prison.
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procedure 3 zimbardo?
. Booked into custody, fingerprinted, told Miranda Rights, then stripped naked and deloused by participants acting as the guards. Prisoners were removed from cells for counts regularly, during the night as well.
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findings 1?
The prison was internalised (participants believed in it).
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findings 2?
All but 2 prisoners at a mock parole hearing stated they would sacrifice their earnings from the study to be released, and returned to their cells voluntarily, when they could have just insisted on withdrawing.
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findings 3?
Even Zimbardo (acting as superintendent) became angry at the police for not cooperating with them in allowing the prisoners to be placed in real police holding cells when they suspected a released prisoner would attempt to break other prisoners out
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findings 4?
Despite showing no signs of being particularly sadistic, authoritarian, emotional, or passive, prior to the study, they conformed to the social roles they were randomly assigned to
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findings 5?
guards became more authoritarian, either inventing humiliations for the prisoners and removing their rights such as going to the toilet, or not speaking up when humiliations were carried out by other guards,
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findings 6?
when the humiliation became sexual in nature, like making prisoners simulate sex acts on each other, or potentially physically harmful, like not allowing prisoners to clean out their toilet buckets.
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what do findings 4, 5 and 6 show?
This shows the social role (a situational factor) determined their behaviour.
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findings 7?
However, 3 types of guards were observed (tough but fair, who followed the rules, the good guys, who gave out extra privileges, and the sadistic guards who invented humiliating punishments, and handed them out arbitrarily (without cause).
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what does finding 7 suggest?
. This suggest disposition or free will (some choice) may have been involved in their behaviour.
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findings 8?
not all prisoners responded in the same way to the situation. 5 had to be released before the study was prematurely ended after 6 days, rather than 2 weeks
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finding 9?
They experienced extreme emotional distress. I.e. Less than 36hrs into the study, one prisoner (8612) had to be released for emotional distress. He was interviewed first by a consultant (a former prisoner) he chided him for being weak + sent him back
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what did finding 9 result in?
This resulted in him telling the other prisoners they couldn’t quit and having a fit of uncontrollable rage.
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conclusions, 1?
Guards displayed the pathology of power: exercising power without negative consequences is rewarding, resulting in increasingly more inventive and arbitrary humiliations of the prisoners.
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conclusion 2?
There was no independent monitoring body that would set consequences for the abuse of power as Zimbardo acted as superintendent.
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conclusion 3?
Prisoners behaved passively, dependently and with dullened emotion because of learned helplessness
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conclusion 4?
Every action they initially tried: rebellion, following rules, appealing to the parole board did not work and they were still punished and trapped in their situation, so they stopped taking action. Zimbardo termed this pathological prisoner syndrome.
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conclusion 5?
This was exacerbated by the loss of personal identity through making them wear uniforms and refer to themselves by number
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conclusion 6?
It was also worsened by the emasculation through wearing a dress, which made prisoners feel powerless. They began to falsely believe that they were chosen as prisoners as they were smaller.
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application what to remember?
Remember you can draw from any Psychological knowledge to formulate an appropriate answer to the Application qu.
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cognative skills program?
Assume the cause of criminal behaviour are irrational or negative thoughts about an event.
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CALM (Controlling Anger and Learning to Manage it)?
Targeted at treating impulsive aggression (uncontrollable, unplanned aggression) * Not suitable for instrumental aggression (the deliberate use of intimidation to achieve something the perpetrator wants) Usually carried out in prison
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Group therapy conducted over 26 sessions, each 2hrs in length
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stage 1?
motivate the individual to want to change by setting achievable targets.
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stage 2?
teach how to recognise physical signs of anger and methods for calming anger when signs are noticed, i.e. breathing exercises, meditation…
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stage 3?
The individual has to explore the thoughts which precede their aggressive behaviour and discuss them to determine whether they’re rational interpretations of an activating event.
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stage 4?
Teach communication skills to help offenders communicate their grievances rather than resorting to physical aggression, and teach thought control techniques like thought-stopping (think the word STOP to distract from angry thoughts
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stage 5?
Practice in real situations outside of class
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stage 6?
identify high risk situations and ways of avoiding them or dealing with anger in those situations. Teach coping strategies for relapses so individuals don’t give up if they fail.
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supporting research for application?
ireland (2000)
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To assess whether CALM works on young male incarcerated offenders.
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Quasi experiment in the field. 87 prisoners were judged as suitable for the course: 50 elected to take it and 37 didn’t so acted as the control group.
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what were the three measures or anger taken before and after CALM?
a cognitive behavioural interview, the Wing Behavioural checklist completed by wardens on the prisoner’s wing where they rated how often prisoners committed a list of aggressive behaviours from 0-2, and a questionnaire on anger management
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The majority showed an improvement in aggression after CALM, on one of the measures. After treatment, the improvement in their aggression was greater than that of the control group, measured at the same points in time.
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second finding?
48% showed an improvement on both measures of aggression after CALM. however 8% got worse
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CALM improves aggression but this was only measured short-term.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


background incarceration?


imprisonment, meant to serve as a punishment, and deter (put people off) crime.

Card 3


background parole?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


background parole 2?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


other factors the parole board conciders?


Preview of the front of card 5
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