TERM PAPER :
1. Decision to charge someone, Decision to bail someone (was it info about
crime rate that influences your decision to bail someone)
2. Think about what should be considered at each stage.
a. Police- whether to charge someone and who to charge, which offence
to charge someone with. Do they have sociological evidence and how
that weights into the decision making process
b. Pretrial detention
c. Justice of peace- how they decide to release in bail
d. Judge- in deciding the sentence- what factors guide the decision
making factors. Factors about an offence that make it worse or not
that worse (aggravating factors) what is the objective, to capacitate,
or rehabilitate. Sentences should be proportional to offence. Should
sentence in the least restrictive way possible to achieve your goal.
e. Correctional authority- how someone should be released according to
how they were in custody
f. Parole- what are the factors in denying someone parole vs. granting
Use criminological evidence to guide your decisions that you make at
3. Reference as criminal code of Canada- when using appendix for the
assignment. Do not copy and paste sections of criminal code, rewrite it in
your own words after indicating the section.
• Reference lecture with last name of prof,and the lecture
• Reference textbook, refer to the particular author of each chapter, and
that’s how you reference in bibliography as well. (Don’t just reference
the textbook author) SOC219:Lecture 2
• Don’t use contractions; USE “is not” and NOT ISN’t
• avoid your opinions in the paper.
• Use in text citations
• Title page is not page 1, the first page with writing should be page 1***
• Print on both sides, and a title page is not necessary, so just put name,
and student number in the header
• Can use headings such as arrest, bail, sentence, and parole for 4 sections
• When making firm statements, always provide support so it doesn’t look
like it’s your own opinions.
• Don’t summarize the case, integrate the course material
• -What it is people are being told about sentence severity, when they are
evaluating it what are they comparing it to? (Maybe an average sentence
to compare a particular sentence to, in order to decide whether it is too
lenient or not)
• i.e: a robber was sentenced for 4 years is this too lenient? How would
- By comparing it to an average sentence, to see whether this
particular sentence for this case was lenient or not.
• The publics over estimates recidivism rates or re –offending rates SOC219:Lecture 2
• When people are told to evaluate the criminal justice system, they think
about the worst case scenarios and evaluate on that.
• People dramatically overestimate how often offenders re-offend
• Do people believe that a harsher sentence decreases/deter crime?
• What information do people get about crime cases?
o The news that comes first page on the news, crime articles are
very short so little information is given about the crime so not able
to arrive at a good evaluation. The news that comes on first page is
the most serious and interesting cases, not the regular shoplifting
case, which may give the public the impression that there are
serious crime occurring in general.
• We need to ask people if they are aware of the cost of keeping people in
prisons- more money towards punishing plp means less money is going to
i.e. 1 year in provincial institution= 172$ a day so 61,000 per
person in provincial custody
i.e.1 year in federal institution= 362$ a day , 130,000 a year
IS THIS AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO SPEND MONEY?
• In order to evaluate this is effective, we need to see what impact it has.
If it actually reduces crime, then the money is worth spending but not, is
it still worth spending this much money?
STUDY: Consists of those who had information about a case
from the news media and those who had in depth context
information about the case SOC219:Lecture 2
• Those who look at newspaper to evaluate whether a sentence is severe,
63 % said it was too lenient, but only 19% who read the court document
said it was too lenient. So with more information and context, and
about how much it costs, people stop thinking that sentence is
• When we remind people that almost every person going to custody is
going to be released at some time, it changes how they evaluate the
• Politicians often suggest that sentences are too lenient, and people are
getting away with things.
• When asked Canadians what’s the best way to prevent crime- they
preferred social approaches rather than more severe sanctions.
• PROBLEM: people want things done right away. Social approaches take a
long time to see the impact (this happens with young kids, with social
welfare, education, helping and treating plp with addiction or mental
disorder assistance that provides treatment and assistance, having a
nurse come in and check up on a new mother and provide help with
nursing= having this level of involvement increased the child’s
psychological growth) These processes are expensive and takes time.
• People don't believe community based sanctions such as fines, or
community work: they don't believe that sentencing to serve to the
community is not watched out and so people don’t comply with them
This makes sending someone to prison more attractive.
CASE STUDY: SOC219:Lecture 2
o Ask people to sentence a particular case: robbery with min violence,
rape, multiple stabbing, and theft of a million dollar by an employee.
The sentence appears to be lenient from JUST THE TITLE of the
offence. BUT once the context was given, 75% of the time people
gave a more lenient sentence than what the judge gave.
o With more knowledge and context, they are more likely to think that
the sentence is right or reasonable. With High knowledge they are
more likely to think that CJS treats plp more fairly, respects the
accused, and that CJS is more