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Lecture

SOC 1500 Nov 29 2011 Lecture Note (F11)

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1500
Professor
Alexander Shvarts
Semester
Fall

Description
Hackler: Community and Justice System Responses to Crime - Chapter 17, Criminogenic Con1itions – Chapter 20, Labeling theory – Chapter 9 Schmalleger and Volk: Chapter 11, Labeling theory - Chapter 9 SOC 1500 Tuesday, November 29, 2011 Lecture 10: Community and Justice Responses to Crime and Criminogenic Conditions – Implications for Crime Reduction Juvenile Justice Processing in France • France: French police do not lay charges; they refer case to procureur, a prosecutor, who can send it to juvenile court judge (juge des enfants). Complicated cases or serious crimes go to the juge d’instruction. About 90% of juvenile cases are handled informally in the judge’s office. If the case is serious or if the child continues to offend, the judge refers the case to trial in the formal courtroom. After trial, a juvenile can be sentenced to the juvenile wing of a prison, usually for a maximum of a few weeks. The judge can assign a correctional social worker (an educateur) to supervise the juvenile. Judges are well informed about cases and have background information. The judge frequently talks to the juvenile without the parents being present. > Judge does all possible to make sure case doesn’t go to court; judge cares about youth who is charged for committing a crime; judge decides what to do; work with social workers • North American judges: Our judges are ignorant of the case. In our concern for the rights of juveniles, we make it difficult for them to tell their story to someone who has the power to help. > Told not to listen to case before court hearing to avoid “bias” Solving Problems Rather Than Making Judicial Rulings: France Versus North America • Case in France: 14-yr old girl who ran away from home and stole food. The petty theft charge was immediately set aside, and arrangements were made by the judge for the girl to stay in the group home, and social workers were encouraging the girl to return home. • Canada: Formal decisions must be made in court, with legal representation from all sides. Canadian system does not simply provide temporary accommodations while families sort things out. Juvenile is processed by many professionals who have power over their life. • France: Judge who knows a lot about the youth listens to the juvenile and then has the power to provide a wide range of help. If that fails, punishment is available. Rediscovering Restorative Justice • Restorative justice (RJ): Focuses on restitution of losses, including material damage and mental suffering. It involves face-to-face confrontation between offenders, victims, relatives, respected members of the community, and others. Victims are usually angry when they come face-to-face with offenders, but often offenders are ashamed and become involved in a healing process. The shaming is designed to reintegrate the offender into the mainstream of society (Braithwaite 1989). > Ex. Family and rape victim meet with Hackler: Community and Justice System Responses to Crime - Chapter 17, Criminogenic Con2itions – Chapter 20, Labeling theory – Chapter 9 Schmalleger and Volk: Chapter 11, Labeling theory - Chapter 9 rapist – personalize experience, receive some sort of closure, ask WHY it happened > reintegrate offender back into mainstream • Heather Strang (2002): Found that RJ programs lessened anxiety, anger, and inclination towards violence to avenge the crime for victims. • Angel (2004) - study in London, England: Victims who went to RJ conferences reported less stress on their daily lives and had the ability to go to work. > Ability to lead normal life (go to work, school) Criminogenic Conditions: Implications for Crime Reduction (Hackler, Ch.20) – Changing the Conditions that Lead to Crime • “Wars on crime”, such as “war on drugs”: Ineffective • Canada: Influenced by the punitive approach in US – ineffective response to crime > Canada copies US, although a failure approach • United States: Many people in US see crime as a reflection of the decline in individual morality rather than as evidence of flaws in the nation’s basic economic and social structure. Reducing Crime by Changing the Behavior of the Elite • Link between crime and subculture of power abuse: In the United States, corporate executives abuse power more, which leads to more average citizens committing crimes, such as lying on their income taxes. Using Public Policy to Decrease Antisocial Behavior Among the Elite • Salaries and other benefits should be deductible as company expenses only up to a certain level. • In societies where the elites abuse power, crime is more common: Ex. In 2004-05, Justice Gomery’s sponsorship inquiry exposed a continuing pattern of political figures in the Liberal Party of Canada abusing their positions by giving funds to advertising firms inappropriately. Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm, advised Enron on how to defraud its clients. Plausible Denial: A Tool for Deceivers • Powerful people (particularly high-level politicians) use “plausible denial”: They create power structures and chains of command in preparation for future crimes and cover-ups, allowing them to avoid blame or detection – Ex. Former U.S. President Nixon attempted, and failed, to use it for crimes committed in connection with the Watergate Scandal; Reagan used it successfully to shield himself during the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s. Using Reintegrative Shaming to Counter a “Subculture of Power Abuse” • Reintegrative shaming: A method of reintegrative shaming could be the creation of a newsletter, published by the Toronto Stock Exchange, that comments critically on corporate leaders who gouge their corporations and the public. Shaming could change the unethical behavior of business elite in Canada. Business leaders who contribute to the community and strive to Hackler: Community and Justice System Responses to Crime - Chapter 17, Criminogenic Cond3tions – Chapter 20, Labeling theory – Chapter 9 Schmalleger and Volk: Chapter 11, Labeling theory - Chapter 9 make their corporations more socially responsible should be recognized. > Should be publicized/shamed through means of newsletters (for example) • Can Formal Punishment Change the Culture of Power Abuse: CEOs should meet higher standards and face punitive sanctions if they do not • Caring for the Weak and the Link to Crime: Societies that take better care of the weak have less crime Child Poverty and Crime Reduction • Child poverty leads to crime > 2 highest child poverty rate = Canada, #1 - US • Doing poorly in school is related to delinquency and future crime. • Hagan and McCarthy (1997): Homeless adolescents participated in more serious crimes after they left home. Street life offers an illegitimate opportunity structure. Youth in families that are functioning well do better in school and finding work. When youth turn to the street for food and shelter, they meet experienced offenders who coach them in criminal activities. Street life increases exposure to networks of seasoned offenders who offer “criminal capital”. > Learn how to commit crimes when living on street; learn from others living on street Child Poverty and Crime Reduction • Being poor and homeless creates potential for crime: Gap between rich and poor continues to widen. Opportunities for legitimate success would offer alternatives to crimes such as drug dealing. • Elliot Currie - Confronting Crime (1985): In order to attack roots of crime, we must build a society that is less unequal, less depriving, less insecure, and less disruptive of community ties. Policy-makers in the United States and Canada have encouraged social and economic forces that undermine social cohesion, which has led to increases in crime. The Bankruptcy of Prisons and of the “Get-Tough” Approach • United States: Several decades - unproductive “get-tough” approach to crime. From 1980 to 1995, California’s prison population grew by 600%. To pay for increase in corrections budget, California has sacrificed other services, such as education. Large numbers of inmates (many of them are African Americans and Hispanics) will soon complete their sentences and return to the community as alienated men. > Get tough approach = imprison a lot of people as crime rate increases; build bigger jails/more jails The Bankruptcy of Prisons and of the “Get-Tough” Approach • Japan: In 1990, Japan’s imprisonment rate was only 11% of United States’ rate and was declining. Criminals in Japan are expected to feel shame, confess, display repentance, ask forgiveness from the victim, and provide monetary payments for those hurt, so they are diverted from prisons. > Offenders in Japan – Restore damage, apologize, feel shame (RJ) • Malta: Also a highly integrated society with a strong sense of community and commitment to family life, and as a result, they have low levels of crime and incarceration. But they practice disintegrative shaming instead of Hackler: Community and Justice System Responses to Crime - Chapter 17, Criminogenic Co4ditions – Chapter 20, Labeling theory – Chapter 9 Schmalleger and Volk: Chapter 11, Labeling theory - Chapter 9 integrative shaming because they are intolerant of individual deviants, which may make reintegration difficult. > Small population; when you commit crime, you are shamed and everyone in population knows The Bankruptcy of Prisons and of the “Get-Tough” Approach • Participation in criminal subcultures, such as prison, may support continuance of criminal behavior: Even though there has been a large increase in prison sentences in the United States, it still has more violent crime than other stable democracies. Societies that use punishment extensively use up resources and fail to consider better alternatives, such as investment in education, which has many payoffs. Since 1980, spending on prisons in the United States has grown six times faster than spending on higher education. • Racial prejudice in criminal justice system in the United States and Canada: In US, one in nine (more recent: 1/4-African American males aged 20 to 29 is in prison. Despite this high risk of imprisonment, violence continues to decimate the black community. In Canada, First Nations people are overrepresented in prison. > Natives, African Americans, Hispanics • Get-tough approaches: Serve short-term needs – need to change society instead • Canada: Has been resisting U.S. pattern. The custodial population decreased 1% during decade prior to 2003. The decreasing crime rate in Canada may be leading to fewer incarcerations. Rose and Clear (1998) – Incarceration, Social Capital, and Crime: Implications for Social Disorganization Theory • High incarceration rates contribute to rates of criminal violence because they contribute to such social problems as inequality, family life deterioration, economic and political alienation, and social disorganization, which leads to a reduction in social cohesion and a lessening of communities’ capacity for self- regulation. • Incarcerating more offenders has not produced a decrease in crime rates. • Incarceration is leading to crime: The more society builds prisons, the more it cultivates the crime problem. Resource-poor communities suffer from the most crime partly because they lack enough social and human capital. High-crime neighborhoods are also high-incarceration neighborhoods. In these places, children are more likely to experience family disruption. An overreliance on external control agencies weakens capacity of communities to exert their own self-management. The prison can never be a substitute for absent adults, family members, and neighbors in making places safe. Imprisonment decreases the demand for self-regulation. Rose and Clear (1998) – Incarceration, Social Capital, and Crime: Implications for Social Disorganization Theory • Boston Police Commissioner: Attributed his city’s decline in violence to the combined strength of neighborhood involvement and aggressive policing. Hackler: Community and Justice System Responses to Crime - Chapter 17, Criminogenic C5nditions – Chapter 20, Labeling theory – Chapter 9 Schmalleger and Volk: Chapter 11, Labeling theory - Chapter 9 Strengthening and mobilizing communities enables residents to recognize and solve their own problems. • Vermont: All offenders are required to engage in some form of community labor. • Solutions to Crime: Violence, drug abuse, and other social problems can be prevented by identifying individual, family, school, peer group, and community risk factors for crime and seeking to enhance protective mechanisms to avoid them and strengthening the capacity for self-regulation within these communities. Robert Sampson (1987) – Social Control Theory - Urban Black Violence: The Effect of Male Joblessness and Family Disruption • Study examines rates of robbery and homicide by juveniles and adults in over 150 U.S. cities in 1980 • Main argument: Effect of
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