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January 2016

Volume 58, No. 1 | Go to abstracts

Articles

Page 1

The Role of Gender in Mental Health Court Admission and Completion
Andrea R. Ennis, Peter McLeod, Margo C. Watt, Mary Ann Campbell, and Nicole Adams-Quackenbush.

Page 31

L’influence thérapeutique de la perception de justice informationnelle et interpersonnelle sur les symptômes de stress post-traumatique des victimes de crimes
Myriam Morissette et Jo-Anne Wemmers

Page 56

Experiences in the Canadian Criminal Justice System for Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Double Jeopardy?
Jacqueline Pei, Wing Sze Wence Leung, Fia Jampolsky, and Brooke Alsbury

Page 87

Measuring Activism and Restraint: An Alternative Perspective on the Supreme Court of Canada’s Exclusion of Evidence Decisions under Section 24(2) of the Charter
Troy Riddell

Page 112

Measuring Activism and Restraint or How to Conflate Doctrine with Activism: A Response to Professor Riddell’s Small-Scale Judicial Output Study
Richard Jochelson and Melanie Murchison

Page 117

Response to Jochelson and Murchison
Troy Riddell

Page 119

From Seeds to Orchards: Using Evidence-Based Policing to Address Canada’s Policing Research Needs
Laura Huey and Rose Ricciardelli

 

Abstracts

 

The Role of Gender in Mental Health Court Admission and Completion

Andrea R. Ennis, Peter McLeod, Margo C. Watt, Mary Ann Campbell, and Nicole Adams-Quackenbush.

Mental Health Courts (MHCs) have emerged across North America in an effort to address the criminalization of persons with mental illness. Despite a growing body of literature examining MHCs, research on the role of gender in MHCs remains scarce. For this study, secondary data were analysed to examine whether gender differences in mental illness and crime affected the likelihood of MHC admission and completion in referrals to the Nova Scotia MHC (507 men, 243 women). Consistent with predictions, MHC admission and completion rates were similar between men and women. Higher rates of psychotic and substance use disorders were observed among men, whereas women had higher rates of mood and personality disorders. Although cases with psychotic and mood disorders were more likely to be admitted to the MHC, and those with substance use and personality disorders were less likely to be admitted, these differences did not vary by gender. Contrary to prediction, men had higher rates of violent index offences than women; however, this difference was only present for those who were not admitted to the MHC. Findings are discussed in terms of contributions to the literature surrounding the role of gender in MHCs, as well as notable implications for MHC practices and research.

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L’influence thérapeutique de la perception de justice informationnelle et interpersonnelle sur les symptômes de stress post-traumatique des victimes de crimes

Myriam Morissette et Jo-Anne Wemmers

Following a crime, the need for information is important for victims. Police play an important role in the transmission of information to victims given that they are the first actors encountered by victims in the legal system and usually the ones with whom they have more interactions (Laxminarayan 2013). Also, how victims perceive the contacts they had with the police can have a significant impact on their psychological recovery (Herman 2003). This study aims to measure the therapeutic impact of victims’ interactions with police officers and the dissemination of information given to victims. The Modified PTSD Symptom Scale–Self Report (Falsetti et coll. 1993) was administered to 188 victims of crime in order to evaluate the presence of PTSD symptoms in terms of frequency and severity of the symptoms. The study shows that information is an important aspect of fair treatment, which in turn affects PTSD symptoms.

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Experiences in the Canadian Criminal Justice System for Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Double Jeopardy?

Jacqueline Pei, Wing Sze Wence Leung, Fia Jampolsky, and Brooke Alsbury

The study explored the experiences of individuals in the criminal justice system with a Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in order to identify possible ways to reduce the likelihood of re-entry into the criminal justice system. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to capture the voices of two participant groups: (1) individuals with an FASD, and (2) professionals who work with clients with an FASD. Qualitative research methods were used to analyse the data. Analysis of 20 interviews (n = 21) yielded three major themes: (1) primed to enter the system, (2) hindered within the system, and (3) strengthened to move beyond the system. Participants identified biological (e.g., poor decision-making abilities and inability to self-advocate), psychological (e.g., mental health issues and victimization), and social factors (e.g., limited social support) that increased risk of re-entry into the criminal justice system. Participants also identified strengths (e.g., hope, willingness to change, and resilience) that could assist with more positive outcomes. The study provides insight into the unique experiences of individuals in the criminal justice system with an FASD – with reference to both risk factors and relevant personal strengths. Implications for practice are discussed, including suggestions for increasing support, awareness, and a focus on strengths.

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Measuring Activism and Restraint: An Alternative Perspective on the Supreme Court of Canada’s Exclusion of Evidence Decisions under Section 24(2) of the Charter

Troy Riddell

In the January 2015 issue of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Melanie Janelle Murchison and Richard Jochelson maintain that the Supreme Court of Canada has become more restrained since 9/11 in its exclusion of evidence decisions under section 24(2) of the Charter of Rights. In making this assertion, the authors provide Likert scale scores that attempt to measure different dimensions of activism and restraint. I argue that these measures of activism and restraint are flawed, particularly if one is interested in whether the Supreme Court is giving police more latitude to investigate crime. Using measures of whether evidence was actually excluded or not to assess activism or restraint, I argue that the Supreme Court has become somewhat less prone to exclude evidence over time but that 9/11 is not a convincing explanatory factor either empirically or logically. A Charter maturation effect and sensitivity to critique from law professors would appear to be better explanations.

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From Seeds to Orchards: Using Evidence-Based Policing to Address Canada’s Policing Research Needs

Laura Huey and Rose Ricciardelli

Within the context of ongoing debates concerning the economics of policing in Canada, the authors address an issue which has repeatedly plagued policy makers: the lack of quality, actionable research on policing and community safety issues in Canada. Following our colleagues in the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, and elsewhere, we propose the adoption of evidence-based policing models and conclude by offering some suggestions as to how policy-makers can facilitate that adoption.

 

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