Social control and criminal justice – Panel III
Chair: Stephanie Wiley
Title: Punishing White-Collar Offenders. Special Sensitivity Hypothesis and Comparative Perspective.
The white-collar and street crimes as well as the perpetrators seem belonging to two different worlds. Their only common point could be the punishment – a consequence of the social harm and penalization of both. The presentation analyzes the structure of criminal sanctions towards convicted white-collar offenders in the American, German and Polish legal systems. The justification of punishing them in regard of the fundamental functions of criminal law is to be considered: Could we speak of the rehabilitation of white-collar inmates? Is criminal law proper and effective mean of preventing managers and entrepreneurs from offending? Or maybe the judicial prohibition of business activities or even only civil liability is more appropriate reaction? The other main topic of the presentation shall be the actual conditions of the punishment (mainly prison sentence) implementation in case of this very specific group of prisoners. The so-called Special Sensitivity Hypothesis implies that white-collar criminals suffer excessively in comparison with other inmates will be carefully discussed. Although it seems to be refuted on basis of some empirical studies that compare the situation of two groups inside the prison, the theory could by much more accurate after considering the drop of life quality in effect of the imprisonment which may be far less substantial for street offenders than for educated, high-income white-collar perpetrators.
Keywords: white-collar offenders, upper-middle class inmates, imprisonment effects, special sensitivity hypothesis
van Es Roosmarijn
, Jan de Keijser
, Maarten Kunst
Title: The Effects of Forensic Mental Health Expertise on Judicial Decision-Making: A Systematic Review
In the Netherlands a report by a psychiatrist or psychologist is requested in about 30% of more serious cases presented to the criminal court. These reports inform the judge whether a mental disorder was present at the time of the alleged crime and, if so, whether this could have contributed to committing that crime, if the defendant is indeed the perpetrator. These reports can be used at sentencing and advise the judge on the degree of criminal responsibility. Furthermore, while these reports are not to be used as evidence whether a suspect committed the alleged crime. However, empirical research in the Netherlands on the possible effects of this information on judicial decision-making is scarce. A first step in this process is to provide a systematic review of the international, empirical literature focusing on whether, and if so, in what manner information of a forensic mental health expert contributes to judicial decision-making. A systematic search was done in the databases Web of Science, EBSCOhost and ProQuest. Studies were considered relevant when they were i) empirical, ii) focused on the relation between forensic mental health expertise and judicial decision-making concerning iii) evidence or sentencing regarding iv) adult defendants. Relevant studies are currently being analysed. The results will be presented during the conference.
Keywords: mental health, criminal justice, fact-finding, sentencing, decision-making
Title: Visuals at Work in the Criminal Justice System: Incriminating Images
Visualizations of accidents, crime and injuries can be gruesome. Research has shown that gruesome and graphic visualizations evoke strong emotional reactions, result in more severe moral judgments, and increase conviction rates. Visuals are powerful; they can lead to several biases including confirmation bias, intentionality bias and may create false memories. The possible effects of incriminating, powerful visuals require a fair balance in the access and use of visualizations. The principle of equality of arms and the right to a fair trial might be at stake when parties do not have equal opportunities to be able to create, afford and use visuals.
Keywords: Criminal justice system, incriminating images, access to justice
, Lee Ann Slocum
, Finn-Aage Esbensen
Title: Variability in the Correlates and Consequences of Police Contact in and Out of Schools
Police-initiated encounters, such as being stopped and questioned or arrested, are a relatively common occurrence for many of today’s youth in the United States. While many of these interactions take place in the community, youth’s encounters with the police are increasingly occurring in schools. This is due in large part to the growing presence of police officers in schools and the criminalization of school discipline. Few studies, however, have examined how in-school versus out-of-school police encounters vary in terms of their characteristics and their consequences. Using data collected in St. Louis, Missouri, USA we examine how the nature of youth’s police-initiated encounters varies depending on where they occur. We also describe how the ramifications of being stopped or arrested differ across these two contexts. Results from this study provide a foundation for comparing the prevalence, correlates, and consequences of police contact that occurs in the community versus school settings.
Keywords: Police Contact, Arrest, Consequences, Correlates, Juveniles