Class Notes (807,944)
Canada (492,936)
Sociology (3,982)
SOC219H5 (123)

Lecture 1 Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

Introduction “Our Government is proud to be on the right side of this issue — the side of law-abiding citizens, the side of victims who want justice, and the side that understands the cost of a safe and secure society is an investment worth making,” - Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety in 2010  If you disagree,  You must be on the wrong side of the issue  You bust be against law abiding citizens  Must LOVE criminals  Don't believe victims get justice  Clearly have no understanding about how to secure the safety of our citizens  Multiple announcements (all 5 regions: 3 months)  “…investing” *$348 million construction only+  “… safe and secure…” *1376 new beds; $162 million/year to maintain beds+  “…expansion of federal prisons” (emphasis added)  More money spent to create more beds o Population increase (2016-17) o Shift from provincial institutions?  “…better provide for the protection, safety and security”  “…cost of a safe and secure society is an investment worth making…”  Other choices for investment? (construction costs and operating)  “…proud to be on the right side of this issue”  What is the “other side”?  Are there only two sides, and are they mutually exclusive?  “… helps ensure that criminals serve sentences that better reflect the severity of their crimes.”  Sentencing and correctional decisions  Sentence 2 years or more = Federal Institution  Sentence 2 years less a day = Provincial Institution  90-95% of all custodial sentences = Less than 6 months (short) Why Study Canada’s Criminal Justice System  Understanding the nature of the system  Great deal of power o Has ability to transcend the rights we have been told to have o Taken out of the hands of the citizens and put in the state of officials  What is the state appropriate and proper role of punishment o How much should we punish?  “Everyone knows” about crime and the criminal justice system  Everyone has: o Opinions o and a sense of how it operates o how it should be done better  Everyone's beliefs about crimes is often based on their own intuition o What you think is right o What you feel is right o What your parents told you was right o Doesn’t mean it is true  Why are certain groups over-represented in prisons in Canada?  If sentences for a particular offence were made more harsh, would the incidence of that crime decrease? o What may deter you, may not deter other people o Percentage of people caught and sent to jail incredibly small  Parts of the system (often) cannot be considered in isolation  Importance of ‘criminal justice policy’ politically What is the “Crime Agenda” all about? Parliamentary Activity 2006-2011   Crime vs. punishment?  Impact on crime?   Impact on (actual) punishment  Addressing fixable problems?   What are they meant to do?   How do you characterize the ‘crime agenda’?  Solution: Provide you with the data. th th  Five Parliamentary sessions across two Parliaments - 39 and 40  Definition of a ‘crime bill’ (inherently problematic) 
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