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Introduction to Psychology and Law

Introduction to Psychology and Law: Canadian Perspectives

Regina A. Schuller
James R.P. Ogloff
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 512
  • Book Info
    Introduction to Psychology and Law
    Book Description:

    Leading Canadian scholars cover a wide range of topics spanning the applications of psychology in both criminal and civil areas of law. An authoritative introduction to law and psychology for a Canadian audience.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8839-1
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Regina Schuller and James Ogloff
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  5. PART ONE Introduction to Psychology and Law

    • 1. An Introduction to Psychology and Law
      (pp. 3-28)
      Regina A. Schuller and James R.P. Ogloff

      The law touches virtually every aspect of our daily lives. Although we don’t typically think about it, much of our behaviour and daily interactions are governed and regulated by laws. For example, consider some of the things you may have done today. You may have purchased this book, for instance, which is copyrighted. You paid the GST and you may have charged the book – all of these transactions are regulated by law. You may have driven your car, presumably following the traffic laws and with a valid driver’s licence. Or, you may have arrived at your destination by way...

    • 2. An Introduction to Law and the Canadian Legal System
      (pp. 29-56)
      V. Gordon Rose

      Trying to “explain the law” in a couple of dozen pages is like trying to “explain psychology” in the same space – it cannot be done, and attempts to do so will vary only in the degree to which they fail. The biggest problem in trying to summarize the law is that the correct answer to a legal question is always “It depends.” This is because, in a very important sense, the law is all about classification and subclassification – classification of things, behaviours, people, and so on. As well, these classifications have evolved historically, over hundreds of years, in...

  6. PART TWO Psychological Applications to Criminal Procedure

    • 3. Police Investigations
      (pp. 59-94)
      A. Daniel Yarmey

      In 1991, in Martensville, Saskatchewan, in what has been called a modern-day witchhunt, a total of 173 charges were made against nine people, including five police officers, for allegedly operating a child sex-abuse ring. Children between the ages of 2 and 9 years of age testified that they had been physically and sexually abused, including penetration with axe handles and vibrators. No independent forensic or eyewitness evidence that could confirm the testimony of the complainants, however, was ever presented to the court. Although the children initially denied being abused, their stories changed following repeated police interviews. Two of the nine...

    • 4. Memory in Legal Contexts: Remembering Events, Circumstances, and People
      (pp. 95-125)
      J. Don Read, Deborah Connolly and John W. Turtle

      Resolution of theMcGuiness et and others like it hinge primarily upon eyewitness testimony; that is, a recollection of the actions, circumstances, and the people involved by witnesses and/or victims of a crime. Unfortunately, in crimes involving a single witness or victim (the focus of this chapter) additional material or circumstantial corroborating evidence is often not available. As a result, during the investigation, pretrial inquiries, and the subsequent trial, considerable emphasis and reliance will be placed upon the recollections given by a victim or witness. Normally, the triers of fact (judge or jury) would be expected to weigh...

    • 5. The Jury: Selecting Twelve Impartial Peers
      (pp. 126-156)
      Neil Vidmar and Regina A. Schuller

      As we will see in this chapter, the Holmolka-Bernardo trials were unusual in many respects. Many of the procedures involved – the publication ban surrounding Homolka’s sentencing hearing; the relocation of the trial from St Catharines to Toronto; the length and intensity of the selection process; the questioning of the jurors – were exceptions to the rule rather than the norm of Canadian jury practice and procedure. Compare this exceptional trial with a trial in the United States that occurred at approximately the same time: the trial of football and television star O.J. Simpson, who was charged with the gruesome...

    • 6. The Jury: Deciding Guilt and Innocence
      (pp. 157-187)
      Regina A. Schuller and Meagan Yarmey

      Once jurors are selected, their official adjudicative task begins. We can think of the trial as a forum for presenting contested versions of some “reality” or set of events that has occurred in the past. It is the jury’s task to determine that reality. What events and psychological states account for Ms Lavallee’s behaviour? What events might have precipitated her actions? Do these actions constitute murder or a self-defensive response? The necessity of expert testimony in the case described above clearly illustrates the profound impact that psychological research can play at the trial level. In addition to the direct participation...

    • 7. Sentencing, Parole, and Psychology
      (pp. 188-214)
      Julian V. Roberts

      Psychologists have actively contributed to knowledge in the area of sentencing for many years now. Areas of research in Canada include evaluations of rehabilitation programs (e.g., Gendreau & Ross, 1987); the factors predicting recidivism (Gendreau, Little, & Goggin, 1996); the effects of imprisonment (Zamble & Porporino, 1988); predictions of dangerousness (Webster, Dickens, & Addario, 1985); sentencing disparity (Doob & Beaulieu, 1992; Palys & Divorski, 1986); judicial decision making (Andrews, Robblee, & Saunders, 1984); sentencing options (Tremblay, Gravel, & Cusson, 1987); sentencing information systems (Doob & Park, 1987); attitudes towards sentencing and parole (Doob & Roberts, 1984; Cumberland & Zamble, 1992; Douglas & Ogloff, 1997; Roberts & Stalans, 2000; Zamble & Kalm, 1990); sentencing policy...

  7. PART THREE Introduction to Forensic Clinical Psychology

    • 8. The Assessment and Treatment of Offenders and Inmates: General Considerations
      (pp. 217-247)
      James F. Hemphill and Stephen D. Hart

      The assessment and treatment of inmates and offenders are considered in both this chapter and the next. We explore a diverse set of topics associated with the involvement of psychologists in the criminal justice system. In particular, we examine reasons for that involvement, the progression of individuals through the criminal justice system and the psychological services they receive, the characteristics of formally processed inmates and offenders, and general principles for assessing and treating inmates and offenders. More detailed information about the assessment and treatment of specific offender populations – adolescent offenders, spousal assaulters, sexual offenders, mentally disordered offenders, and female...

    • 9. The Assessment and Treatment of Offenders and Inmates: Specific Populations
      (pp. 248-282)
      Tonia L. Nicholls, James F. Hemphill, Douglas P. Boer, P. Randall Kropp and Patricia A. Zapf

      The previous chapter considered features common to the assessment and treatment of all inmates and offenders. In this chapter we consider features unique to the assessment and treatment needs of five specific offender populations: adolescent offenders, spousal assaulters, sexual offenders, mentally disordered offenders, and female offenders. Each section begins with an overview of the characteristics of the offender group, followed by a review of the legislation pertinent to that group and a discussion of the assessment and treatment factors unique to it. Particular attention is paid to the research contributions made by Canadian scholars.

      Most adolescents engage in some antisocial...

    • 10. Fitness to Stand Trial and Criminal Responsibility in Canada
      (pp. 283-313)
      James R.P. Ogloff and Karen E. Whittemore

      Several years ago, during the first lecture in a seminar on mental health law and insanity, the first author asked his students why they decided to take the class. One young man, dressed radically with colour-streaked hair, answered, “so I can learn to use the insanity defence.” On the last day of the class the same student stayed behind to talk to the professor. He told him that after having taken the class he was embarrassed about the remark he had made on the first day, and said that he realized just how serious the consequences were of being found...

    • 11. Violence and Risk Assessment
      (pp. 314-350)
      David R. Lyon, Stephen D. Hart and Christopher D. Webster

      As you read the case of Valerie Fabrikant it may have brought a number of questions to mind. For instance, were there warning signs that could have alerted the administration at Concordia University that Fabrikant was an individual who posed a high risk for violence? If they had known of the situation, could mental health or law enforcement professionals have predicted accurately that Fabrikant would commit the acts he did? If Fabrikant was identified as potentially violent, could anything have been done to reduce the likelihood that he would act violently? All of these questions relate to the concept of...

  8. PART FOUR Introduction to Forensic Civil Psychology

    • 12. Civil Commitment and Civil Competence: Psychological Issues
      (pp. 353-374)
      Kevin S. Douglas and William J. Koch

      The case ofFleming v. Reid(1991) illustrates and introduces a number of key concepts that will be covered in this chapter on civil commitment and civil competence. For instance, on what legal basis can people be involuntarily detained in a psychiatric institution? Similarly, once a person has been hospitalized, does that person have a right to refuse treatment? How is a person’s competence or ability to consent to treatment determined? Competence is important in other areas of life as well. For instance, people can be declared incompetent to manage their own estate, or even to make decisions about their...

    • 13. Psychology’s Intersection with Family Law
      (pp. 375-406)
      William J. Koch and Kevin S. Douglas

      As the case described above suggests, Canadian society espouses a strong interest in protecting children. During the twentieth century, child protection and child and family relations legislation has evolved extensively in an attempt to better protect children but, as we will see in this chapter, the statutory protection of children is easier said than done. Identifying children who are at risk is still very much of a “hit or miss” proposition. Those parental risk factors that have been identified as predictors of child abuse, while widely researched, are confusing and not often easily applicable to individual cases. Moreover, when children...

    • 14. Psychological Injuries and Tort Litigation: Sexual Victimization and Motor Vehicle Accidents
      (pp. 407-426)
      Kevin S. Douglas and William J. Koch

      The preceding case illustrates numerous issues that will be discussed in the present chapter on psychological issues involved in personal injury litigation. What emotional or psychological “injuries” are likely to stem from victimization? How are these assessed? What legal issues are relevant to emotional injury following victimization? It is considered unjust in our society for one person to be wrongly injured by another without appropriate compensation for losses. Injuries often are financial as well as physical, resulting in medical costs and lost earnings due to work-related disability as well as physical pain and suffering. Psychological injuries (sometimes called mental or...

  9. PART FIVE Conclusion

    • 15. Psychology and Law: Looking towards the Future
      (pp. 429-446)
      James R.P. Ogloff and Regina A. Schuller

      After reading about the myriad applications of psychology to law described throughout this text, we hope that we have imparted upon you some appreciation for what psychology has to offer the law. The breadth of the law is boundless, as is the extent to which it affects our behaviour. In fact, to the extent that every law is enacted to control human behaviour, each law must make some assumptions concerning human behaviour. As a result, the field of law and psychology is equally broad in scope.

      Many potential areas of research and practice, however, have yet to be explored. Indeed...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 447-450)
  11. References
    (pp. 451-532)
  12. Subject Index
    (pp. 533-543)
  13. Case Index
    (pp. 544-546)
  14. Author Index
    (pp. 547-565)