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Lecture 4

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCI 2450
Professor
Darryl Davies
Semester
Winter

Description
Criminology 2450- Policy-Makers • There are 3 entities (3P) that play a role in creating the criminal policies in Canada: • Politicians: elected officials who have the ultimate authority over policies in Canada. • Professionals: anyone that’s involved in the operation and evaluation of the justice system and law enforcement. There are two types: • People with Operational Responsibilities such as ministerial officials, police chiefs, crown attorneys, judges, defence counsel, correctional authorities, and probation officers. • People involved in Planning and Research, such as members of policy and research units in the government, as well as scholars and researchers outside the government. • Public: general public and the media, as well as public opinion polls. There are interest groups as well, such as NGOs. Standards of Evidence-Based Policies • There are 3 standards of evidence-based policies that help make them effective (ERR): • Evidence: empirical evidence is required to determine the effectiveness of a policy. • RandomAssignment: experimental or quasi-experimental research designs must be randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. • Replication: others must be able to replicate the study. • But there are obstacles. Many policies are never evaluated and some policies have harmful effects. • Examples of Ineffective Policies • These are 4 key principles of the “Get Tough on Crime” policy: • Swift, certain, severe punishments will deter crime. • By getting tough with criminals, we can reduce serious crime. • Police officers with more power and resources will reduce crime. • Research is torn on whether more police increases or reduces crime (displacement effect – we want to be careful we’re not moving crime around). • Longer prison terms will reduce crime. • Scared Straight programs introduce children to offenders in prison to scare them into a life of obedience. Research suggested that they are ineffective (and most said that the program made children worse). • The DARE program is ineffective and costs $2 million/year. • When the Cambridge
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