Mental Health Problems in Parole Decisions: The Re-conceptualization of Mental Health Problems as Risk Factors

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Title: Mental Health Problems in Parole Decisions: The Re-conceptualization of Mental Health Problems as Risk Factors
Authors: Stewart, Shannon Marie
Date: 2016
Abstract: Deinstitutionalization has had an impact increasing the number of offenders with mental health problems within the correctional system. Furthermore, preliminary research claims that offenders with mental health problems are disproportionately denied when applying for parole. The reasons for this are not well understood. This exploratory qualitative research draws on 48 decisions from the Parole Board of Canada decision registry, four interviews with former parole board members, and observation data from 17 parole hearings to explore how mental health problems are constructed within the conditional release decision-making process. Against a risk logic back drop, this institutional ethnography analyzes the way parole board members understand and operationalize mental health within the decision-making process. Self-regulation, medication compliance, and the role of the expert were strong themes that emerged through a content analysis. By integrating symbolic interactionism and a governmentality framework, the current study explores how mental health in parole decision-making is influenced by individual, organizational, and macro-level risk rationalities that draw on neoliberal responsibilization strategies and "psy" expertise. The findings are presented within Hawkin’s (2002) legal decision-making framework. Policy and human rights implications are discussed.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34918
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6144
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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