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CRIM 101 (448)

SY Chen

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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

CRIMINOLOGY 101-TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT GENERAL GROUND RULES 1,100-1,200 words (4-5 typewritten pages, not including cover page and references cited page). Due in lecture in week 11. Worth 20 percent of your grade for the course. Two point per day penalty for late submissions. TOPICS ON SHEET TERM PAPER STRUCTURE Should have cover page with the name of the course, your name Should have a "references cited" page at the end PARAGRAPHS If the length of a paragraph is more than one typewritten page, it’s probably too long Aim for around 5-6 paragraphs (intro paragraph, concluding paragraph, and 3-4 body paragraphs) HOW MANY WORDS IS 1,100-1200 WORDS?  Try to adhere as closely as possible  We do not usually count pages or words  A page longer than required will not normally result in a penalty  Half a page shorter than required will not normally result in a penalty REFERENCES CITED PAGE Every paper must have a References Cited section at end, on a separate page References must be listed (A-Z) Titles of books and journals must be italicized or underlined – either is fine, but be consistent Do not italicize or underline titles of chapters or articles IN-TEXT REFERENCING According to Fishbein (2010, p. 40), the term "criminality" includes victimless acts. The age-old nature versus nurture debate has pitted hereditarians on one side against environmentalists on the other (Fishbein, 2010, p. 37). -------------------- Lecture 3. SEVERAL APPROACHES - Direct observation in natural settings (ethnographic research) - Experimental observations - Police reports - Victimization surveys - Self-report surveys DIRECT OBSERVATION (aka ethnographic research)  Not necessarily the most efficient manner to research crime  Criminal events occur with relative infrequency  Criminals spend a lot of their time doing same things as non-criminals THE SECRET LIVES OF CRIMINALS - Criminal behaviour tends to be secretive in nature - - Criminals go out of their way to avoid observation or detection - If done successfully, ethnographic researchers may learn in- depth info about criminal sub-cultures that aren’t usually amenable to healthy investigation EXPERIMENTING ON HUMANS  Issues of “informed consent” (if you tell subjects what you’re going to do, they may refuse, or alter behaviour)  If you encourage subjects to break the law, you may be breaking the law yourself EXPERIMENTS IN ELECTRICITY Milgram experiment – person A sends “electric jolt” to person B; person B tries to be hurt and plead THE UCR AND THE GSS Official crime rates usually based on the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Criminologists also look at the General Social Survey SOME PROBLEMS WITH THE UCR  Many incidents of crime go undetected, or unreported, and consequently do not make it into UCR  Some incidents that are reported may not show up in the UCR because police conclude they are unfounded THE DARK FIGURE OF RECORDING, ACT II, Scene 33 Wide variations in reporting practices across country Professionalism and degree of organization of particular police department may be a factor OTHER COMPLICATING FACTORS - The crime funnel - Central city phenomenon - Canada’s policy on collection of race-crime information THE CRIME FUNNEL Describes attrition rate as reported crimes make their way through criminal justice system For most crimes known to the police, nobody gets arrested Arrest usually does not lead to trial or guilty plead ACTUAL LEVEL OF CRIME DETECTED CRIME REPORTED CRIME ARRESTS Convictions Non-custodial Custodial THE CENTRAL CITY PHENOMENON Crime rates reported in city centres may not accurately reflect # of criminally-minded people who actually live there Census Metropolitan Areas or CMAs often have a number of suburbs that are contiguous (connected with) city itself People from suburbs travel to city centre in search of excitement, entertainment, or opportunity to commit crimes FEDERAL INCARCERATION RATES PER 100,000 Aboriginals – 185 Blacks – 146 Whites – 42 Asians - 16 ETHNICITY AND CRIME Canada does not collect statistics on the relationship (if any) between race and crime To the extent that we have reliable information, it’s usually collected by correctional institutions, rather than by the police or the courts THE GREAT DEBATE NO! (Julian Roberts): Difficult to classify people in a multi-racial society Police officers (the ones most likely to be making decisions about the race of a suspect) have no training/expertise in these matters Information might result in discrimination against ethnic groups that appear to be over-represented in the statistics YES! (Thomas Gabor) Why should academics, criminal justice personnel and political leaders determine what the public can and cannot know? We live in a free society, where censorship is unacceptable If some ethnic minorities are more involved in crime, shouldn’t the public have a right to know? THE GLADUE DECISION  1999 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada, referred to as R. v. Gladue  Section 718.2 of Criminal Code makes it mandatory for sentencing judges to take into consideration unique circumstances of Aboriginal offenders  Supreme Court confirmed this “is remedial in nature and is designed to ameliorate the serious problem of overrepresentation of Aboriginal peoples in prisons”  Decision encourages judges to take “a restorative approach” when sentencing Aboriginals  Court acknowledges that “the jail term for an Aboriginal offender may in some circumstances be less than the term imposed on a non-Aboriginal offender for the same offence” THE GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY Victimization survey that interviews people by phone (random-digit dialing) In 2009, sampled 19,500 individuals over the age of 15, in households across Canada Respondents asked about their victimization experien,es and their perceptions of crime and the criminal justice system THE DARK FIGURE OF CRIME  GSS instrumental in revealing the “dark figure of crime” (around 69% of all crimes)  In distinct contrast to the UCR, which only includes cases where people actually report crime to police, and/or police feel the complaint justifies writing up a report WHY CRIMES GO UNREPORTED Over 2/3s of all crimes are NOT reported to the police because 1. Didn’t think it was important eno
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