SOC219: Lecture 9
The house I live in – Movie that was played last week
• Consider in conjunction with the reading for last week – Benerick-
outlining regulation of drugs in Canada- historical perspective
reflect on what’s common and dissimilar in Canada and US’s
approach – should we consider adopting US’s approach or no?
• Think about the themes that we were talking about that was
depicted in the film. The similarity and dissimilarity in the film
and what we talked about in class
• Manslaughter- unintentional taking of somebody’s life
• After released from prison, how likely are they to go back and kill
• Looking over a 25-year period. 37 who were in custody for
murder went out and committed another murder. There was
more than 15,000 homicides in Canada, and 12, 000 plp were
released from jail at that same time. The rate at those who
committed another murder is 0.0038% and those who were
released were 0.0031.
o The likelihood of getting released and going
out and committing another murder is
• How should the policy be, about punishing those who murder? It
is attached to a severe type of sanction, involving a long period
of time in custody. How long should someone be kept in if it
turns out that it is not likely for them to go back and murder
• Murder is the result of passion, it is spontaneously, and
even those who planned it, even those are very unlikely
to do it again.
o 1/3 and 2/3 point- those who are released on full parole, 10
revoked for a violent offence, and 89 for a non-violence
offence, and 247 for breaching a condition of parole.
Almost 75% of those released on parole were completely
successful. But successful also depends on whether you SOC219: Lecture 9
• Statutory release- by law you have to get out these plp are
less successful, only 62 % of the time.
• Most plp released from parole or statutory releases are
successful. Of those who do get in trouble again, it is mostly
because of breaching a condition. If they are going to commit a
criminal offence, it is usually non –violent
• Those who are held in until the law says to release- are not a
• Is this because, we hold on to those that look unsuccessful long
OR is it because the longer we hold someone, it helps them be
• Breaching conditions is the most common reason for having your
• 99% of violence is committed by plp who are NOT ON PAROLE
Do we have to release everybody?
• Serious offences- maybe they may not be released at the 2/3
• 96% of the hearing, the offender was held. Correctional service
Canada if they suggest not to let them out, the national parole
board listens to them
• When plp are held till the end, there is no supervision, or
conditions, they are fully free to go. Some plp are going to be
released on parole, and they are going to commit another
offence. BUT WE ARE NOT GOOD AT PREDICTING WHOSE GOING
TO OFFEND AND WHOSE NOT GOING TO.
• RISK FACTORS- tools are not reliable- not good at guessing
whose going to be successful and whose going to fail if released
• Three groups: poor risk and fair-poor risk and fair to a good risk
• Followed for three yearsthose predicted to be a poor risk, who
we thought were going to fail, 62% succeeded. Those who we
thought were good and not going to commit another crime, 12%
Faint hope clause: SOC219: Lecture 9
• Have to spend 15 years in custody before they can apply for
parole. It was possible for these offenders to apply to court and
ask to reduce the time for eligibility period. Those convicted of
multiple murders were not allowed to apply. Even if the court
decided that an offender is eligible for early parole, juries were
needed so 12 plp had to make the decision in order to be eligible
for early parole = NOT A SIMPLE PROCESS. No longer after year
2011. It began in 1987.
• 800 offenders, 300 whom are eligible, 178 applied and 145
received a shorter eligibility.
• This program is because; the offender can have dramatically
changed over the long period of time they are in prison. So this is
some mechanism to go back and change the eligibility of parole.
Offenders may change from treatment and other programs while
in prison over years.
• More than 50% released on parole are kicked back into the
system IN US. It turns out, parole has become an enforcement
mechanism- job is to police those coming out of custody but
parole is more than enforcement, more than making sure that
someone doesn’t commit another crime. It is designed for
reintegrating purposes to help get housing, job, etc. If we only
focus on enforcement, we should not be surprised that many plp
• We are able to make parole more successful.
• Success on parole is related to: economic
disadvantage neighborhood, poverty, no social
services-if returning back to a bad neighborhood then
more likely to be re-arrested.
• Most plp returned back to the neighborhood back to their old
one. Those returned to new neighborhood were more successful
on parole than those who returned back to their old
Aboriginal People SOC219: Lecture 9
• Overrepresentation of them in custodial institution.
• Funding for education for aboriginal children- per child the
govern gives soo much money but if they live on reserve, they
get very little money. Argument is that whether or not your
aboriginal or living on reserve or not, they should get the same
• Idle nomore
• International body that overseas all country, looked at Canada
and said the way you treat aboriginal plp is a crisis. Jonathan who
is leader – says more aboriginal kids are in jail, or foster care
than in residential school.
• CJS-treats aboriginal more harshly if they reoffend then how it
treats other plp.
• 23% in federal custody are aboriginal. The aboriginal population
in the country is only 3%.
• Aboriginal plp in canada 1 in 4 in custody is metis innuit or
• 40% increase in rate at which we incarcerate aboriginal plp from
2001. Aboriginal plp are sentenced to longer terms in custody,
more segregation in custody, housed to max security, less likely
to be granted parole, and more likely to have their parole
revoked for minor offences.
• No unified position… all indigenous plp- they were in Canada
first, it is their land and country- referred to status and non-
status Indians, metis, and Inuit plp.
• Aboriginal plp were described an intelligent and peaceful plp, any
overt expression of anger is characteristically inhibited so they
will not express anger outside. If there was an argument, you
simply split apart and go your own way, instead of fighting. This
description disappeared with the intrusion of white dominant
Assimilation SOC219: Lecture 9
• Creation of residential school system- taken away from parents,
not allowed to speak own language, own clothes, practice own
culture have to be practiced as white- characterized by sexual,
o Complete destruction of aboriginal culture, and end the
traditional way of life.
o Entire generation robbed of what it means to have parents-
so these children separated from parents do not know how
to parent their own children. Their parent was the school
that sexually abused them.
• Artificial communities- given a portion of the place, it doesn’t
matter if they once owned the whole country
o Reserves are up in isolated communities. Some locations
are only accessible by air, not by road.
o Urban pop of aboriginal who do not live on reserves.
o Poor and substantial housing
o No plumping, electricity, running water
o Aboriginal have poor health – consequence of low socio
economic status, lack of clean healthy water, lack of food.
o They have high rates of substance abuse.
o Low levels of formal education
o Little employment- 80% unemployment rates- no jobs, no
o High concerns around suicides among teenage pop.
• Conservative party of 1968 of federal election half of
aboriginal learned less than $1000 a year, 40% on welfare or
govern assistance, hospitalized more than the regular
population, life expectstcy is short, and high infant mortality
(infants dying in the 1 year of their life).
• VERY LITTLE HAS CHANGED. CURRENT SITUATION IS STILL
NOT ANY BETTER
• Difficulty- solutions to these problems- huge systematic
problems so not going to be short term or quick fix.
• Problem- we are not good at thinking about long term solutions.
The election is every 4 years so it takes a lot of resources, and
takes those with power giving up some of what they have and
• If we are really serious about changing aboriginals’ case in the
CJS, have to face our racisms, and accept our responsibility for
what we have done. Everyone is going to have to make
sacrificeuncomfortable questions for us.
• Race is not predictive of crime, but poverty is. One’s race does SOC219: Lecture 9
not make you more or less likely to commit a crime but poverty
has an impact.
• When talking about black or aboriginal plp in CJS- it is