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Forensic Psychology – Dealing with Offenders

1. Punitive Measures

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In this lecture, we think about the punitive aspects of dealing with offenders, focusing in particular on: (i) the definition of custodial sentencing as custody serving as punishment for a crime; (ii) the four custodial aims, which are deterrent, incapacitation, retribution, and rehabilitation; (iii) the psychological effects of custodial sentencing on those incarcerated, including stress, depression, institutionalisation, prisonisation and prisonerisation; (iv) the role of institutionalisation in making the prison system seem like a more positive environment, when compared to the potentially harsher and less predictable realities of the outside world; (v) the role that governments can play in enhancing the perceived effectiveness of imprisonment, in order that they appear to be ‘tough on crime’.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores how the judicial system deals with offenders, from both a punishment arm and a rehabilitation arm. In the first lecture, we think about dealing with offenders from a punitive perspective by exploring the four custodial aims: deterrent, incapacitation, retribution, and rehabilitation. In the second lecture, we think about behaviour modification as the first form of rehabilitation, understanding it as an application of operant conditioning. Next, we think about anger management as another form of rehabilitation, including the three stages of cognitive behavioural techniques application, and Ainsworth’s three stages of an anger management programme. In the fourth and final lecture, we think about restorative justice as the last form of rehabilitation, discussing its benefits for both the offender and the victim.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

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APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, March 29). Forensic Psychology – Dealing with Offenders - Punitive Measures [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Forensic Psychology – Dealing with Offenders – Punitive Measures." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Mar 2022,

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