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Lecture

CRM 101 - The Politics of Imprisonment


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRM 101
Professor
Gurpreet Johal

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CRM 101: The Politics of Imprisonment
FORMS OF PUNISHMENT
Incarceration
Parole
Community Supervision
Fines
Canada has higher levels of property crimes than other countries, and far lower
levels of violent crime
In 1995 only 11% of crimes reported to police involved violence
Non-violent offenders constitute a signifigant proportion of the Canadian provin
cial and federal inmate population
Generally, they pose a minimal risk to the public, yet they are incaracerated at
great public and human expense
PUBLIC SAFETY AND INCARCERATION
Public safety and corrections are not connected
-Only a small minority of crimes are reported, and of those, relatively
few result in the imposition of a sentence
As sentences become longer and as we increase the overall incarceration rate, th
ere has been no impact on the overall victimization rate, but there is a signifi
gant impact on our use of resources
INCARCERATION AND SOCIAL CONTROL
Incarceration rates are more a reflection of our social and economic policies th
an a simple reflection of crime rates
Role of imprisonment as part of hegemony
Judicial condemnation of the poor
Deflects attention away from shattered communities
Function of incarceration
Ostracize and stigmatize offender
Inflicting pain and vengence
UNITED STATES AND PRISON GROWTH
Penal system has shifted from reformist to retributive in past 20 years
Incapacitation and risk-monitoring have become key priorities
"GET TOUGH/NO FRILLS"
Increased incarceration
-US prison population increased by 500%
Longer prison terms
-Mandatory minimum sentencing (3 strikes legislation)
Increasingly militaristic and punitive
-Double setencing - maxi-max prisons
-Isolation units, Caning, fiscal responsibility
-Chain gangs, uniforms
-Removal of privileges (no education, programming, benefits)
GETTING TOUGH IN CANADA
As crime rate has declined, number of prisons has increased
New crime bill has increased sentences for variety of violent offences including
mandatory minimum sentencing
NO FRILLS IN ONTARIO
Emphasis on safety, security and efficiency
-Minimal staff, maximum surveillance
-Public-Private Partnership (p3's) in supervision construction
Adult Infrastructural Renewal Project (AIRP)
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