Motivation and emotion/Book/2019/Criminal recidivism prevention motivation
What motivational tools can be used to prevent criminal recidivism?
Overview[edit | edit source]
Human motivation explained in humanistic terms put forward by Abraham Maslow's, to seek pleasure and avoid pain (Winston, 2016). Maslow's Hierarchy of needs proposed that humans strive to achieve basic needs and only become motivated for other needs once basic survival needs are sustained, thus if reaching for relationships and love and belonging, yet needs such as safety or shelter are compromised, preoccupation occurs . If needs such as love and belonging are met as well as basic needs then a person is able to reach for higher meaning and eventually become 'self-actualised' (Winston, 2016).
Incarceration is complex and the harms and disruptions for families is far reaching (Desmond, 2019) recidivism, defined as crime conviction or breach of bail within a five year follow up from a prior conviction (Benda, 2005). For people that have been incarcerated, also need motivation to change, which is multifaceted, as people commit crime for varying reasons and need environmental changes as well as internal cognitive changes to occur before they ultimately can change. This chapter deliberates ways to unwind specific factors that lead to societal dilemmas of incarcerated populations, by attempting to link theories to the heart of motivation. Opening up risk factors to be important variants that should be disrupted by tools aiming at reducing incarceration occurrences. Through exploring current and previous under-workings of crime, recidivism and the tools to reduce it, appropriate recommendations can be made, promoting an environment where people glued to a cycle of crime can become dispelled, veering their motivation toward pursuits that promote change in beliefs resulting in changes in actions.
Free will and determinism[edit | edit source]
Free will or determinism?[edit | edit source]
Being free to choose and act is a defining feature of free will as described by Dubrovsky (2019), whereas Determinism enlists people have steps made before them, having no decision in paving their own way, rather it is already chosen. 'Choosing' to participate in crime appears more complicated than an ordinary choice, as many aspects could predetermine one to incarceration, by focusing on how to promote an environment where these factors are reduced should decrease imprisonment.
Are humans moral?[edit | edit source]
Starting from three months of age people can distinguish and show a preference for pro-social behaviour (Gazzillo, 2019), understanding in helping someone over hindering or hurting them (Bloom, 2013). Gazzillo (2019) further explains that signs of empathy for others can be seen in infants as young as one year and activate helping behaviours without needing incentives and at three years of age a collective morality is developed as people start to see themselves as part of a group, they start to learn social norms and recognise behaviour standards accepted by others (Gazzillo, 2019).
Furthermore, Gazzillo (2019) defines moral emotions under two categories: The 'self-conscious', involving shame, embarrassment and guilt and the second 'condemning', involving anger, contempt and disgust. These feelings incite guilt and actions towards pro-social behaviours, occurring around the age of eight, although can be seen as early as two years of age in behaviours such as confessing.
When thinking about crime a certain moral dimension appeals as part of the motivation towards committing offences. For example, it is morally wrong to steal or to hurt others. People learn to do the right thing to live in a just society, yet the world is not so clear cut and humans do come into contact with the criminal justice through a range of possible explanations. This begs the question: How is it that by being incarcerated increases the likelihood of recidivism (Aebi, 2014)? With innate capacities for learning pro-social behaviour, it becomes clear that reducing crime should focus on environmental shaping factors involved in shaping a person, and create options that motivate people away from crime.
Cost of crime[edit | edit source]
What do you think?[edit | edit source]
- Incarceration -According to the Australian Institute of Public Affairs 2014, criminal justice cost comparison report and SBS documentary 
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Offence type[edit | edit source]
What are the types of crime committed?[edit | edit source]
In order to understand motivation and solutions to reducing crime occurrences knowing it is first important to know what type of crime is most common to least, the risks known to increase reoffence and knowing how to address these in the community. In a study on youth within the justice system (Vitopoulos, 2012) 60% offended in the violent but not sexual category, such as breach of bail/court order, theft, drug-related, break and enter and 62% of these young people were diagnosed with at least one psychiatric disorder, with the most common being Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and mood or anxiety disorders. Other less common crime are sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, invitation of touching, violent but not sexual such as aggravated robbery, threatening and murder (Vitopoulos, 2012).
What increases the risk of re-offence?[edit | edit source]
Research indicates (Van, 2018) that family and parenting can impact the development of either a short-term mindset (immediate gratification) fostering an individual not inclined to contemplate consequences for actions and prone to delinquent behaviour, or a long-term mindset (future focused) which is less impulsive. current school or employment dysfunctioning is also an early indicator of possible criminal activity later in life (Aebi, 2014). This is exacerbated by peer affiliation (Scott, 2018), drug and alcohol use, leisure and recreational activities( Aebi, 2014), antisocial attitudes (Vitopoulos, 2012), as well as personality and some mental illnesses lead to a continuous cycle of recidivism if untreated.
Moreover Aebi (2014) indicates that being poverty stricken or having low-socioeconomic-status, having an avoidant coping, a perceived parental rejection, number of family stressors can add to the chance of recidivism. Additionally, minors aged 10-17 years convicted of crime are five times more likely to re-offend as adults (Aebi, 2014), pointing to the high need for alternative options for youth involved in crime. Another study (Maschi, 2019) shows that people above the age of 55 years are less likely to re-offend, and that objective and subjective trauma can increase recidivism, suggesting interventions and tools applied around this age could drastically improve the chance of rehabilitation.
Oyserman (1993) suggests than an imbalance in possible selves and delinquent behaviour was related to not attempting to attain alternative self-concept. Additionally, a lack of social competence was related to delinquency which is amplified by impulsivity, truancy (Oyserman, 1993).
Sexual Offences[edit | edit source]
Pathway types and treatment options[edit | edit source]
What are avoidant pathways?[edit | edit source]
Research conducted by Polaschek (2003) describes avoidant pathways as the offendersacknowledgement of wrongdoing, although committing an offence, guilt is followed, assisting in abstaining from the unwanted behaviour (Polaschek, 2003), avoidant-passive patterns often lack agency in own behaviour and re-offence is often due to under-regulation, tools to address this are challenging the offenders control over behaviours and self-monitoring to prevent relapse. Also, avoidant-active patterns consists of the offender attempting to avoid offending, yet in taking active steps actually increasing the likelihood of re-offending, for example drinking alcohol (Polaschek, 2003).
Are approach pathways effective?[edit | edit source]
According to Polaschek (2003) relapse prevention strategies generally are not successful with approach patterns offender as they typically do not want to stop offending. Approach-automatic pattern type typically need to be challenged about their control and agency in offending and generally believe that the system is bias towards them. Tools that reduce recidivism are cognitive skills training which aim at mitigating the coping deficits (Polaschek, 2003). Approach explicit patterns are the most difficult to treat as the offender actively wants to commit their actions, with no regret afterwards, perhaps due to childhood victimisation leaving a feeling of legitimacy towards child adult sexual acts, or the belief systems that another has no right to refuse advances, treatment would be to alter core beliefs and changing the hostile worldview (Polaschek, 2003).
What are some treatment options?[edit | edit source]
Treatment for sexual offence in research (Barnett, 2018) suggests community or in a hospital setting more effective than a prison and Psychodynamic therapy has been shown to have little to no impact for sexual re-offences (Barnett,2018).
Mental illness[edit | edit source]
What impact does mental health have on recidivism?[edit | edit source]
People incarcerated with a mental illness are twice as likely to recidivism than the average population and according to a US study (Hirschtritt, 2017) approximately 25% of prison populations have been diagnosed with serious mental illness such as bipolar, schizophrenia and major depressive disorder which is estimated to be 3-6 times higher than the general population, calling for measures that divert away from prison. The suggestion of mental health court hearings instead of regular court houses for these individuals being more successful at reducing recidivism with a focus on community based treatment, as opposed to prison settings where staff are unqualified for the care needed to support an appropriate care plan (Hirschtritt, 2017). By supporting community care plans and treating mental illness separate from crime to prevent recidivism and protect the most vulnerable people and keep the community safe.
Effective pathways[edit | edit source]
What has been tried and tested?[edit | edit source]
Contrary to regular belief Barnett and colleagues (2018) found that boot camps that focus on physical and emotionally demanding activity have no effect or may even increase re-offence, driver interlock to prevent drunk driving ineffective once removed, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for conduct disorders ineffective in two out of three studies on recidivism and for low risk offenders custodial care is less effective than electronic monitoring paired with rehabilitation supervision (Barnett, 2018). Drug program treatments not adhering to Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) are considered ineffective when aiming at reducing crime (Vitopoulos, 2012), as are mandatory programs compared to voluntary therapy for domestic violence crime in reducing recidivism and driver interlock for drunk driving offences typically make no difference to recidivism once removed from the vehicle (Barnett, 2018).
What are some solutions?[edit | edit source]
Support can be tailored around the individual, the local community and prevention applied in multifaceted ways. For example, truancy can be detected from schools and the family or child can be supported early to increase schooling hours and decreasing the risk of crime. Pro-social behaviour can be learnt when children attend school, especially important for children who do not have parents who can offer pro-social behaviour and learning how to be socially competent (Henry, 2007).
Early intervention could incorporate social competence training, address avoidant coping behaviour, and increasing family support services that aim at reducing risks for crime. In addressing families, it should also be noted that intergenerational transmission refers to the past criminal conviction of a parent impacting (Auty, 2017), indicating the importance of early intervention. For example, research suggests (Falk, 2014), 68% of persistent offenders had at least one parent involved in criminal activity.
Moreover, Aboriginal families make up just 3% of Australia's population, yet according to Desmond (2019) account for a quarter of people incarcerated, caused by a myriad of intergenerational trauma, racism, historical and social dilemmas and cumulative disadvantage. In order to address the inequality Justice reinvestment is a recommended tool that is built from grassroot empowerment in communities specifically living in areas deemed a significant incarceration risk, such as remote Aboriginal communities. The Justice Reinvestment framework identifies high crime communities, what types of crimes are trending, as well as where offenders will be released, information is linked to social data sets enabling targeted needs. Recognising community consultation as a critical step and a grassroots lead of sharing concerns or solutions to crime, Aided by an evaluation process to assess the effectiveness of the services (Desmond, 2019). In gaining community involvement, addressing the larger picture can aid in reducing recidivism, for example with a cohort of non-violent drug offenders released, having access to food stamps and welfare services for 1 year after release significantly (Yang, 2017).
What is restorative justice?[edit | edit source]
Restorative Justice aims as repairing and healing trauma, through a dialog between the victim, offender and community to invoke restorative agreements, encouraging accountability and promoting healing from stress and trauma, allowing the offender the opportunity to tell their story and make a plan for the future to prevent further crime while being accountable for their actions. Restorative Justice seems like a logical step away from traditional lock up methods of crime reduction for non-violent offenders, as it begins to treat the causes and aim at individual aspects of what has led a person to turn to crime and some studies suggest reducing recidivism rates and driving down the cost of incarceration, gaining community involvement and addressing the larger picture.
Gender difference[edit | edit source]
How does gender differ in crime?[edit | edit source]
In a studiescomparing female and male crime (Scott, 2018, Benda, 2005 ). Female and male recidivism are vastly different, with chronic alcohol use and family substance abuse predicting recidivism for females more strongly than males, requiring a gender specific lens when implementing strategies to reduce recidivism. Suggesting that education and employment strategies correlated with success in males while pro-social values predicted higher success in females. Also, females are more susceptible to improving their measure of self-control than males, while low self-control measures among men are higher predictors of recidivism than low self-control among women (Benda,2005).
Further research indicates (Falk, 2014) violent crimes, in 90% of cases is a male perpetrator with an average age of 22 years.
[edit | edit source]
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a good way to envision what humans may be in pursuit of and therefore if unavailable how important it is to gain by means of breaking the law. According to Abraham Maslow in Winston (2016) humans are motivated and driven towards ensuring their needs are met, starting with basic food, water, shelter, safety and once basic needs are sustained psychological needs such as belonging and love are sought after, followed by esteem and finally self-actualisation (Winston, 2016).
How can Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs held in reducing recidivism?[edit | edit source]
In prevention measures, the hierarchy can provide guidance to challenge what a person already has, whether that be love and belonging, basic needs such as food and shelter, or to deliberate alternatives to gaining these items without breaking laws and re-offending. By broadening the scope of the issue around crime and paying attention to what may need support, such as social interaction, education, employment, mental health, community belonging, safety including shelter, food and water. By assessing criminal behaviour, the spectrum of needs should be taken into account when providing treatment, for example, if a community relationships and communication is fractured , a trickle down effect to other areas such as family harmony, job loss and unemployment may also be exposed to puncture wounds, increasing the risks of crime.
Do relationships matter?[edit | edit source]
What is Attachment Theory and how can it be applied to crime reduction?[edit | edit source]
Developed by Diana Baumrind, Attachment theory postulates that the relationship between the caregiver and the child dictates styles of behaviour, the two overarching types of parenting styles are demandingness and responsiveness and based on these themes the three specific parenting styles: Authoritative, Authoritarian and Permissive. Maccoby and Martin added a neglectful style to this (Zeinali, 2011).
- Authoritarian parents are deemed high in demandingness and low in responsiveness
- Authoritative are high in demanding and high in responsiveness
- Permissive are high in responsiveness and low in demandingness
- Neglectful parents are characterised as low in both responsive and demandingness
Research by Rothbaum (2002) connects parent style with child behaviour, for example, a parent that is preoccupied (overly involved mothers), can interfere with a child's autonomy and are more likely to have an ambivalent attachment style with their child. The research is criticised for having a primarily Western perspective and culture should be taken into account when working with families, however impact to family functioning may rest in parental change (Rothbaum, 2002) . Programs aiming at fostering secure attachments in mothers and their infants can be used as a tool to decrease recidivism (Cicchetti, 2006).
Rothbaum (2002) states Authoritative parenting with being aligned with better adjusted children, as these children show higher self regulation, better school performance, and less risk prone behaviour. Permissive parenting styles increase the risk of adolescent alcohol intake, while authoritarian parents children present with higher rebellion behaviours. Neglectful parenting on the other hand is a risk for violently behaved children who are susceptible to drug addiction (Rothbaum, 2002).
Furthermore Bowlby added the importance of secure attachments in a child's development, for example, children with responsive parents will learn that they are worthy and people are dependable, on the flip side, those with neglectful parents will form negative under-workings and beliefs about the world resulting in distrust and feelings of unworthiness. Children with parents providing responsive and demanding parenting are inclined to self-regulate and delay gratification an attribute that could serve as a protective barrier to breaking the law and acting impulsively (Rothbaum, 2002).
Parental style[edit | edit source]
Ray (2017) present a study linking Parental Style high in warmth and high in monitoring as a protective factor to teenage offending, parental warmth associated with the autonomous development of guilt and moral conscience, fostering positive relationships and harmonious social competencies. Whereas high levels of parental warmth without monitoring is linked to an increase in Callous-Unemotional traits and peer delinquency associations (Ray, 2017). Further research by Gazzillo (2019) indicates Power Assertive parental styles can take away reflections of personal causation to situations and manifest a superficial conformity to conduct, undermining the development of adaptive guilt (Gazzillo, 2019).
How can recidivism be reduced?[edit | edit source]
The importance of showing warmth and supervising children by parents may affect the likelihood of coming into contact with the justice system, the information around parenting impacts on children may be helpful to parents of children re-offending living between home and a correctional facility, tools to prevent recidivism should aim at supporting parents in as many ways as possible and by identifying areas where warmth or monitoring can be improved, a path to achieve these could be support.
While parenting styles may be passed down by our own parents it is important to inform new parents of aspects involved that will foster trust and disclosure from the child to the parent, as well as developing a sound moral compass as a foundation for strong social competencies, which will in turn reduce the risk of delinquency behaviours or associating with peers that present as delinquent (Oyserman, 1993).
Personality and offending:[edit | edit source]
How is personality applied to recidivism?[edit | edit source]
(OCEAN)[edit | edit source]
The big five personality traits known as OCEAN is a conglomeration of types of personality that remain consistent over time, these are Openness to new experience, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. In targeting reducing recidivism treatment tools could incorporate the information around criminal behaviour. For example,Edwards (2017) deliberated Openness to new experience indicated as a significant factor correlating with criminal activity, treatment options could incorporate this information that elements that will appeal to this type of personality (Edwards, 2017).
Specifically in a study of female delinquency and personality conducted by Jan (2003), conscientiousness correlated negatively with fighting, causing damage and cheating, as did openness, sensation-seeking aspects of extroversion correlated with crimes associated with status such as truancy, as did neuroticism significantly correlated with causing damage (Jan, 2003). This knowledge applied to tools at reducing recidivism is once again helpful.
How can recidivism be reduced?[edit | edit source]
Gaining information around popular personality factors associated with crime can assist in developing motivation to change, knowing what people are likely to engage with may be the difference in people paying attention to programs and services, or losing interest. For example, having celebrity endorsements may appeal to status driven people, or offering programs to address truancy aiming at replacing sensation seeking urges with adrenaline pumping legal activities such as learning how to rock climb, or mountain bike ride down a steep cliff.
According to research on typology of crime (Stewart, 2014) and the effectiveness of risk-needs-responsivity-based on family violence, a significant reduction in recidivism was measure compared to a control group. The research suggest that in matters of family violence, building specific skills required for relationships such as understanding another perspective, greatly enhances the ability of the offender to improve their outcome.
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
Reducing recidivism begins by viewing crime as a predetermined course of actions that has bountiful causes, requiring pressure to change from all angles including those that act as preventative. By taking theories linked to delinquent behaviour, such as theories of attachment (Zeinali, 2011 & Rothbaum, 2002), the innate biology of an infant (Bloom, 2013) and parenting styles (Cicchetti, 2006), it becomes apparent that support for families in high risk areas should be a priority (Desmond, 2019) through such tools as self-control improvements (Piquero, 2016) and strengthening pro-social bonds through mentoring for teenagers (Morris, 2019), improving decision making power (Bouffard, 2011).
These resources are especially important and needed to address the improvement of the Aboriginal community who is currently incarcerated at staggeringly high numbers compared to white Australian populations (Falk, 2014 & Desmond, 2019). Breaking the intergeneration and intragenerational transmission of crime (Auty, 2017) is also another important step in reducing crime as a whole on a larger scale. One option is the Justice Reinvestment model combining community risk, crime types, and using social data sets to create targeted services to targeted areas, reducing recidivism (Desmond, 2019).
By taking into account Maslow's Hierarchy of needs (Winston, 2016), aspects of crime such as theft can be addressed, through steps such as ensuring the bottom tier needs are met when released from prison and vulnerable to re-offence (Yang, 2017). Similarly, mental illness is a massive concern if unsupported, increasing awareness and programs surrounding mental illness should decriminalised behaviours and start to treat illness under the appropriate avenues such as mental health court options (Hirschtritt, 2017), reducing recidivism through the correct treatment.
Tools that aim at reducing criminal re-offence should also know what will be ineffective (Barnett, 2018), use Risk-Need-Responsivity (Vitopoulos, 2012) frameworks to first assess a personsneeds and required services in order to best support people once released from custody. For juvenile offenders additional support in the form of community and family effort is necessary as the risk for re-offence and adult prison is significantly likely (Aebi, 2014), by addressing social competence and impulse control early on (Oyserman,1993), creating a positive attitudes with the law (Vitopoulos, 2012) and treating offenders with community or hospital based orders (Barnett, 2018) recidivism rates are predicted to decline.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Death penalty motivation (Book chapter, 2019)
- False confession motivation (Book chapter, 2019)
- Female killer motivation (Book chapter, 2019)
- Hate crime motivation (Book chapter, 2019)
- Pathological lying motivation (Book chapter, 2019)
- Alcohol, dopamine, and emotion (Book chapter, 2019)
- Anger evolution (Book chapter, 2019)
- Criminal record stigma and emotion (Book chapter, 2019)
References[edit | edit source]
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