Criminology is a popular course, particularly for undergraduate students. Criminology tends to spark the interest of so many people because of it’s content. Here are five concepts taught in Criminology 1700 at uOttawa!

1. Death penalty

The death penalty has and always will be an important and sensitive subject. This concept is very important during a criminology course. We explore the development of before, during the process, and after. Before the death penalty, people went through extreme measures of torture.  People committing small crimes, such as stealing, were beheaded, tortured badly or burned alive. As time flew by, we came up with the death penalty. Basically, if the severity of your crime was high, you were either sentences to multiple years in prison or sentenced to death. Normally in the electric chair. Nowadays, the death penalty is pretty much eliminated and changed to life in prison, due to the reason of the gruesomeness of causing the death of someone, even if they committed something atrocious.

2. What is considered a crime

It’s essential to understand what we consider a crime here in Canada. Many things can be considered criminal but are dealt with differently and by different people. An example would be say someone refused to pay this months rent, and someone murdered an innocent old lady. The severity between both acts are very different, therefore different measures will be taken for the type of punishment acquired.

3. Privilege


This class teaches us that many people have privilege when it comes to the justice system.  Particularly the people with money have a hold on the system. Big companies tend to get leniency when it comes to criminal activity as well. For instance, a company knows their product comes with horrible side effects but releases it to the public anyways because they figure they can fix the problem later with the money made.  Their product does in fact take lives, but is the people of the company sentences to 20 years as prison just like a murderer would be?

4. Situations

Unfortunately, in this course, we learn that race does in fact play a role in the punishment based on the crime committed. If a black person kills a white person, the consequences tend to be worse than a black man who kills a white man. Situations like that tend to be treated unfairly and inadequately.

5. Negotiation

Another concept presented is negotiation. We learn how some sentencing can be negotiated depending on the crime committed and the situation. For example, if a woman is constantly being beaten by her husband, and finally one night she kills him in his sleep. Will she be sentenced to first degree murder, second degree murder or will she be found not guilty? Time sentencing can be reduced based on the severity of the crime or say if you’re a first-time crime offender and such.

To conclude, criminology class has so much knowledge to share. Not only is it an insightful class, but it’s also super interesting. As the classes go on, each one gets better and better!


Chelsea Mallory

Studying psychology at the university of Ottawa! Engaging and love meeting new poeple

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