Crim Class 2.doc

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22 Mar 2012
Criminal Justice System September 16, 2011
Lecture 2
General introduction to context, meanings & purposes of criminal law:
Mechanisms of control
Legal mechanisms of control
Criminal legal system
Definitions of crime/criminal law
Perceived failures of criminal justice system by general public
Weeding out of the victim- criminal justice system gradually pushes victim out
over few decades. Victim wants back in
Legal rights of the accused is the main focus and victim is there to give testimony
Trial doesn’t play a large part of resolution in criminal justice system
“What is important in the study of crime is everything that happened before
crime occurs. The question of what precedes crime is far more significant to
our understanding than the act of crime itself. Crime is the reflection of
something larger and deeper.”
60-70s- lots of crime after baby boom
Non-criminal law/social factors (risk)
Lower the crime rate-lower birth rate
Education as a risk factor
Pre-natal, post-natal health is important
If don’t catch risk factors by age 6, more likely for crime
Where does crime come from-legally, how is it enforced, how is it produced?
Production, constitutional and enforcement? Etc
Lots of activity, not criminalized
Crime rate- what’s reported to police; most goes unreported
Definition is important
Just under 2 ½ million criminal offences
Formal-creation of new law
Labelling- arrest certain people and people for certain crimes
Choices whether who enters the criminal justice system
Mechanisms of Control
Criminal law- very narrow, short-effect. More expensive to invest in longer term
Structural problems are there in terms of choices we have
Marginalizes and labels certain groups (prostitutes, abortions, drug addicts)
Want to punish people for doing things wrong, more difficult at an individual and
state level
To do- to control, intervene, response
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