SOC209H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Crown Attorney, Indictable Offence, Summary Offence

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Lecture 2: thinking critically about law & crime. Justice is a democratic value that underpins our criminal and legal justice systems. Who defines it: the courts define whether what the police did were legal or not, contingent on particular circumstances and shift depending on cultural norms and societal values. Marx: legal and justice systems are forms of control strategies (economic and politically marginalized neighbourhoods and groups) Assumption that the component parts of the criminal justice system strive towards a common goal. When and how do police get their agenda promoted to legislation: all these different systems, not working as a whole but competing yet we still have a functioning justice system. We use prison more today than we ever did in the past; mandatory prison sentences; increase of zero tolerance strategies. New trend towards harsher penalties (it"s a global trend); move towards longer sentences and more people gong to jail.

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