Threats, Bribes and the Power of Persuasion

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Threats, Bribes and the Power of Persuasion. Fergus McNeill Professor of Criminology & Social Work University of Glasgow Who do people comply? (Bottoms, 2001). Compliance Models. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Threats, Bribes and the Power of Persuasion

  • *Threats, Bribes and the Power of PersuasionFergus McNeillProfessor of Criminology & Social WorkUniversity of

  • Who do people comply?(Bottoms, 2001)

  • Compliance ModelsAllows for interactions between mechanisms and individual differences between people, as well as changes over timeSuggests the importance of interactions with regulator, supervisor, agency (cf. Braithwaite, 2003)

    Legal versus psychological legitimacy (cf. Tom Tylers work on procedural justice and police legitimacy)

  • Motivational postures of tax-payers (Braithwaite 2003)

  • Desistance from crimeWhy does it matter?Not what works?, but how and why people stop (in other words, how they come to comply)Less about teaching methods than learning and developmental processes in their social contextPrimary and secondary desistance

  • Desistance ResearchWhen does it matter (in practice)?Purposes of CJS: Punish, help, (long-term) change or (short-term) control?Desistance is principally about long-term change (developing normative and habitual compliance); critical to tertiary crime reduction (i.e. reducing reoffending)Long term change> substantive compliance> secondary desistance and cost-effectiveness

  • From Bottoms and Shapland (2011: 70)

  • Key aspects of desistance journeysZig-zag processes, not events; fluctuating motivationFor people with entrenched criminalised identities, they usually involve re-biography; changing identities (narratives); more than learning new cognitive skills Prompted by life events, depending on the meaning of those events for the desister; inherently subjective, hence individualised, sensitive to difference/diversity

  • Key aspects of desistance journeysHope is powerful and can be solicited or sustained by someone believing inthe persons potential (or prevented by someone giving up?)Agency is discovered; people learn to direct their own lives Social capital is required (opportunities, networks, reciprocities) as well as human capital (capacities/skills)Recognition matters:redemption, restoration (de-labelling); finding purpose in generative activities [constructive reparation ]

  • Journeys and destinationWhat is the positive goal or end state that criminal justice seeks to bring about? Not just minimised harmsRestored reciprocal relationships of inter-dependencyA better life for better citizens in a better community, governed by a better state?In the process of getting there together, we should model the virtues and promote the goods we want to secure

  • Supporting desistance

  • What part for IOM?No single definitionA series of different constituted multi-agency initiatives which have in common the aim of tackling (usually) high volume property offenders from high crime areas who may or may not be subject to statutory supervision (often focused on short sentence ex-prisoners)Make them an irresistible offer: big carrot, big stickThree aspects (appealing to different implicit mechanisms of compliance)Prevent and deter (instrumental-disincentive) Catch and convict (instrumental-disincentive)Rehabilitate and resettle (instrumental-incentive; normative)

  • Lessons from half a century of rehabilitation efforts....First, helping people to turn their backs on a life of crime is a slow and uncertain process. It is frequently a case of two steps forward, one step back, because of the complexity of offenders lives... But second, and encouragingly, most people who become heavily involved in offending also eventually desist from crime completely or largely at some stage in their lives... Third, the most thorough research evaluations of treatment initiatives, when they show positive results, tend to report fairly small effects... The main implication of these studies is that programmes of work with offenders can accelerate the desistance process, but viewed in the round, they tend to have only a modest impact...

  • This is probably because the work of police, prison and probation officers are only one of many influences on offenders lives. Hence, there are several useful tools in the rehabilitation armoury but no silver bullets. Fourth, rehabilitation programmes can easily become derailed, especially when they involve complex partnerships between several different agencies; the successful implementation of fresh and apparently promising approaches is a real challenge. (Academic Reference Groups Foreword to An evaluation of the Diamond Initiative: year two findings, emphases added)Lessons from half a century of rehabilitation efforts....

  • Outcomes, outcomes, outcomes....Reoffending in experimental group similar to control group. Why? Implementation problems (undue haste)?Deployment of resources; Working tensions between partnersTimescales for measuring impact too short?Entrenched behaviours take time to shift (cf. smoking cessation)Methodological flaws?Problems with control group match?; Project had an impact on rates of reconviction in experimental group?Positive findingsA voluntary service to prolific offenders (mean = 11 convictions), but 60% take up, and higher take-up by those most in need/at risk

  • Practical implicationsPerhaps the most important is that helping people to desist from crime involves a long-term commitment; if the police, probation service and their partners - or indeed the government - expect a return on their investment in the space of a year or less, they will very likely be disappointed. Second, the study has certainly demonstrated the feasibility of involving police officers in rehabilitative work with offenders; and we would expect the long term effects of joint working to be beneficial both for the police and for their partners in the probation service and elsewhere. Third, there is an obvious value in information-sharing across custody and community settings, yet also some serious challenges in making this happen as smoothly as it should. (Academic Reference Groups Foreword to An evaluation of the Diamond Initiative: year two findings, emphases added)

  • Some big questionsTo what extent should the Police be involved in working to rehabilitate & resettle (and to what extent should probation and third sector be involved in C&C, P&D)?What are the implicit models of compliance that underpin IOM work, and what evidence exists to support them?Does IOM build legitimacy (with offenders and with the public) or threaten it?How does IOM fit with the wider project of rehabilitation?

  • Judicial Rehabilitation (Formal recognition of rehabilitation/desistance?)Social Rehabilitation(Re-insertion, reintegration, de-labelling... Informal recognition? Trading Up?)Moral Rehabilitation(Provision of evidence of developing good character Making Good/Paying Back?)Psychological Rehabilitation(the development of personality/capacity?)

  • Four strands, woven togetherJudicial Moral Social Personal

  • ConclusionsDesistance as a personal projectDesistance as a social processDesistance as a political process

  • For more information, the Desistance Knowledge Exchange blog:

    **In the only substantive theoretical work on compliance with community penalties to date, Bottoms (2001) presents a fourfold explanatory framework for understanding compliant behaviour. Offenders, Bottoms argues, may comply with community penalties for 4 main reasons. through a calculation of self-interest based on incentives and disincentives (instrumental compliance); (ii) for reasons of situational constraint (constraint-based compliance); (iii) because of habit (habitual/ routinised compliance); or (iv) because of a sense of moral commitment, attachment or belief in the legitimacy of the regulatory authority (normative compliance). These mechanisms, he argues, may work alone or in concert. This framework is useful in that it draws attention not only to potential variations between offenders in terms of the mechanisms underlying compliant behaviour, but also to the possibility that for the same offender, compliance mechanisms may change over time. It also goes some way toward explaining why tough enforcement strategies (which seek to exploit instrumental compliance) are unlikely on their own to be effective in securing compliance. Bottoms notion of normative compliance is, we think, a particularly interesting one in the context of 1-1 supervision, in that it draws attention to the potential importance of offenders perceptions of and interactions with supervisors and the supervisory agency in shaping compliance behaviour. We also think that of the 4 compliance mechanisms Bottoms outlines, normative mechanisms are most likely to underpin substantive as opposed to formal compliance. The second set of theoretical resources we have identified as being promising for compliance research comes from a rather different context and concerns not offenders but tax payers. Working with the Australian Tax Office, Valerie Braithwaite and her colleagues have taken a grounded theory approach to the study of individuals compliance with tax regimes.*Using survey methodology, Braithwaite found evidence of five motivational postures that characterise the ways in which tax-payers position themselves in relation to regulators in this instance the tax office. By motivational postures she means interconnected, consciously held sets of beliefs and attitudes. These postures divide essentially into postures of deference (commitment and capitulation) and postures of defiance (resistance, game-playing and disengagement). Braithwaite argues that these postures represent different degrees of social distance between regulatees and regulatory authorities. The greater the socia