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Psychology of Criminal Behavior

by: Glen Hackett

Psychology of Criminal Behavior PSY 4120

Glen Hackett
GPA 3.8


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Class Notes
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This 32 page Class Notes was uploaded by Glen Hackett on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSY 4120 at Middle Tennessee State University taught by Hatcher-Demith in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see /class/213060/psy-4120-middle-tennessee-state-university in Psychology (PSYC) at Middle Tennessee State University.

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Date Created: 09/23/15
Chapter 8 Crime and Mental Disorder Things to Consider Does Violence that is dif cult to explain imply mental illness Are persons who commit sick crimes mentally ill Should mental illness be an excuse for criminal behavior What is normal behavior Mental Illness a disorder of the mind that is judged by experts to interfere substantially with a person s ability to cope With life on a daily basis Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV I The guidebook compiled by the American Psychiatric Association used by psychiatrists psychologists and other mental health professionals to define and diagnose specific mental disorders The DSMIVTR is the most recent version and was originally published in 2000 Two basic principles that de ne a mental disorder the disorder must have negative consequences for the person and the dysfunction is related to some internal process Within the person that has malfunctioned Schizophrenia Most associated with crazy behavior Generally begins in early adulthood I Must have two of the following to be diagnosed delusions hallucinations disorganized speech grossly disorganized behavior inappropriate affect The Five types Disorganized type disorganized speech behavior and a at or inappropriate affect Catatonic type motor immobility odd motor activity negativism echolalia echopraxia Paranoid type paranoid preoccupations Undifferentiated type doesn t fit a category Residual type ongoing evidence of disturbance Delusional Disorder The presence of one or more nonbizarre delusions that persist for at least a month These delusions are usually not completely far fetched and are reasonably believable The decision on What is bizarre and non bizarre is left to the professional Depressive Disorders 1 Symptoms include an extremely depressed state that last for at least two weeks and is accompanied by mental and physical lethargy feelings of helplessness and hopelessness weight gain or loss sleep disturbances anhedonia and sometimes thoughts of suicide Depression may contribute to crime in that depressed people don t care what happens to them or in situations such as suicide by cop Antisocial Personality Disorder Fail to conform to social normslaws Repeated physical assaults and fights Irresponsibility Lack of remorse andor guilt Impulsive Frequent lying cheating stealing conning Disregard for the safety of others Mental Disorders and Violence Persons with mental illnesses are much more prevalent in recent years due to the closing of many of the long term facilities that once warehoused these persons Many of today s mentally ill end up in prison or jail When looking at violence and its relation to the mentally ill several things must be taken into consideration First mentally disordered patients are no more likely to be involved in crimes against others than the general population Also male patients who are currently in a psychotic state or have a history of violence are much more likely to be aggressive Research and Considerations A large percentage over 90 of the currently mentally ill are not Violent The mental disorderViolence link holds for the seriously mentally ill psychotics Those patients with prior histories of Violence are more dangerous than average mental patients Mental Disorders and Crime Rabkin s ndings Arrest rate for discharged mental patients was higher than the rate for the general population Mental patients are returning to the community much sooner than in years past Most of the criminal charges were committed by persons diagnosed with alcohol dependence substance abuse andor personality disorders When the above three categories were omitted Rabkin found the arrest rates of mental patients to be similar to those of the general population Mental Disorders and Crime more ndings Studies have shown that police of cers arrest more people exhibiting signs of mental illness than individuals who are showing no signs The Violence of psychotics tends to be directed at those close to them or to themselves rather than towards others Only a small percentage of mental patients are Violent including paranoid schizophrenics Be aware of extended suicide Mentally Disordered and Incarcerated Various studies suggest that mental illness runs rampant through our nation s correctional system 95 in the Cook County jail when compared to 44 in the general population Eight percent severe and 16 significant in the NY correctional system The dif culty is determining Who had the disorder prior to incarceration and who developed it While there Also consider malingering as a potential error variable Criminal Responsibility The Insanity Defense Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity a legal term not a psychological or psychiatric one Insanity refers to a person s state of mind at the time an offense was committed The law assumes that a mental disorder can rob an individual of free will or the ability to make appropriate choices The Insanity Defense is only used in court an estimated one percent of the time The Insanity Defense Successful NGRI defendants tend to be older female better educated and single They often 1 have a history of prior mental health treatment and are considered extremely disturbed Research shows that persons found NGRI on average spend at least as much time in mental institutions as they would have spent in prison if convicted Insanity Standards have two criteria irrationality and compulsion was the person thinking rationally or being driven by compulsion The M Naghten Rule States that a person is not responsible for a criminal act if at the time of committing the act the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason from a disease of the mind as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing or if if he did know it he did not know he was doing what was wrong M Naghten Rule Often called the right and wrong test Emphasizes the cognitive elements of being aware and knowing what one was doing at the time of the offense or knowing or realizing right from wrong in the moral sense The Brawner and ALI Rule The Brawner and ALI rule states a person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of suchi conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law Unlike M Naughten this recognizes partial responsibility for criminal conduct as well as the possibility of an irresistible impulse This rule also excludes any repeated criminal behavior or otherwise antisocial conduct as to allow for those who would claim personality disorders or psychopathy as a defense the caveat paragraph The Durham Rule Durham assumes that one cannot be held responsible if an unlawful action is the product of mental illness or defect Originally this was quite popular as a defense but it later lost favor due to its ambiguous definition of What entails mental illness and subsequent misuse and abuse The Insanity Defense Reform Act In response to the attack on President Reagan by J ohry Hinckley and the following trial Congress made it 7 more difficult for persons using the insanity defense in federal courts to be acquitted Basically they moved the courts from using the BrawnerALI Rule to the M Naghten Rule They abolished the irresistible impulse test tightened requirements to a total lack of ability to appreciate what they did as wrong and the mental disease or defect must now be severe to rule out personality and behavioral disorders Guilty but Mentally Ill The major intention of this court option was to reduce the number of insanity acquittals hold the defendant blameworthy but still recognize the presence of a mental disorder Research does not show that this has been very effective in accomplishing those goals Incompetent to Stand Trial Defendants found Incompetent to Stand Trial are considered so intellectually andor psychologically impaired that they are unable to understand the charges or the judicial process or unable to cooperate rationally with their attorneys in their own defense Evaluations for competency to stand trial represent the most common referral for criminally related forensic assessments The IST recidivism rate appears to be signi cantly higher than that of comparable normal offenders Ineompetency vs Insanity Don t confuse incompetency with insanity they relate to different periods of time Incompetency refers to the present time of being able to stand trial and understand what is happening and aid in their defense Insanity refers to the mental state of the offender at the time of the crime Mentally Disordered Sex Offender Sexually Violent Predator Act SVPA allows for a possible lifetime commitment for sexual predators with a mental or personality disorder Statutes define a sexual predator as a mentally disordered individual who is particularly dangerous to children women or both Based on false assumption of a connection between sexual offenses and mental illness Transfers When an inmate is exhibiting severely disturbed behavior while incarcerated he she may be transferred to a secure mental hospital According to Steadman et al about 96 of transfers are male May reduce chances of parole Mental Disorders as Defenses These unique defenses include multiple identity disorder DID post traumatic stress disorder PTSD amnesia and pathological gambler s syndrome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms include ashbacks recurrent dreams or nightmares and possibly painful and intrusive memories of the traumatic event These individuals tend to be moody depressed and difficult to work with or be around May experience feelings of alienation or detachment sleeping problems and trouble concentrating Difficult to diagnose objectively reliant on self report When the PTSD defense has been used successfully it usually results in diminished responsibility rather than the complete absolution of responsibility Pathological Gambler s Syndrome Described as the inability to resist impulses to 1 gamble despite the dire consequences to family interpersonal relationships and daily living These gamblers are often overconfldent very energetic easily bored but often exhibit signs of stress anxiety and depression during losing streaks Defendants using this defense are generally not successful because they cannot demonstrate how the syndrome causes them to commit crime Multiple Personality Disorder Now called Dissociative Identity Disorder Described as the existence Within the person of two or more distinct personalities or personality states that recurrently take control of their behavior The change from one personality to the other is often very sudden and is triggered by stress Example Bianchi The Hillside Strangler Success in court Don t even try it Amnesia According to the DSM Individuals with an amnestic disorder are impaired in their ability to learn new information or are unable to recall previously learned information or past events Courts have not been very receptive to amnesia as a defense or sympathetic to defendants who rely on excuses based on alcohol or drug intoxication Insanity is the incapacity to discriminate between right and wrong while amnesia is simply the inability to remember Dangerousness All states and all courts recognize that behavior 1 that is likely to result in physical harm is dangerous They begin to differ when behaviors that lead to property damage or psychological injury are involved Currently most jurisdictions agree that a substantial probability of risk of serious bodily harm to self or others constitutes dangerousness and that risks to property and emotions are not Courts rely on mental health professionals to predict who can or will be dangerous Things to Know Generally mental health professionals over predict Violence creating false positives Know the Tarasoff case and its implications Know the Baxtrom case and its implications Predicting dangerousness tests VRAG and HCR20


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