SOC307- Lec 1 01:47
Went over syllabus
• DEFINING “DELINQUENCY”
MUCH OF “DELINQUENCY” INVOLVES THE VIOLATION OF SOCIAL RULES OR
“MORALITY” (NOT JUST VIOLATIONS OF LEGAL RULES)
• YOUTH COURTS HAVE HISTORICALLY HAD JURISDICTION OVER
“DEPENDENT” AND “NEGLECTED” CHILDREN
• FIRST JUVENILE COURT ESTABLISHED IN NORTH AMERICA WAS IN 1894
“CHILDREN’S PROTECTION ACT” PASSED IN 1893 (INTENT TO REMOVE
CHILDREN ENTIRELY FROM THE ADULT COURTS)
• PROVINCES DO NOT HAVE JURISDICTION OVER CRIMINAL LAW
MATTERS; SEPARATE “DOMINION ACT” REQUIRED, AND IT WAS PASSED
• LEGISLATIVE INTENT OF 1893-1894 LAWS WAS TO (1) ESTABLISH A
PRIVATE COURT; (2) CREATE A SOCIAL WELFARE AGENCY; AND (3)
EXPAND LEGAL JURISDICTION OVER CHILD ABUSE CASES
• Violation of social rules or morality, not just violations of the CC
• Involves ambiguity in the legal definition
• Margret griffins – have a children’s court first established 1894 in Toronto
• Children’s court in Toronto was established as a branch of adult court
• Youth courts have historically had jurisdiction over dependent and neglect
• 1893 legislation had the intention to take children out of the adult court,
and have children’s protection act
• Ontario had to give a dominion act to have authority over children
• Dominion act: was only given to Ontario and stated that children would
be protected more and out of the adult court
• 1908 there were juvenile courts across the country • J.J Kelso: superintendent for dependent and neglected children. Create a
private court for children to be confidential
• Create a social welfare agency
• Parent or guardian had to be with the child when they were brought to
• THREE STAGES PRECEDED FORMAL LEGISLATION ON DELINQUENCY IN
(1) REFORMATORY STAGE – REPLACED IMPRISONMENT IN JAILS THAT ALSO
DETAINED ADULT OFFENDERS (1880’s)
(2) INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS, MORE “TREATMENT” FOCUSED (LATE 1880’s –
(3) (1890-1910) PROBATION DISPLACES INCARCERATION,ESPECIALLY
AMONG YOUNG OFFENDERS
1880’s reformatory stage, used for young offenders that were kept for
sentences of a longer period. Replacement institution for young people
Late 1880’s -1890’s. Focused on industrial/training schools to train them for
skills for work. Treatment
1890-1910. Probation was popular, replaced incarceration. Probation also
replaced for adults too but mainly young offenders.
• Function of social roles
• Social rules of society is a culture
• Culture makes us different from other animals, language, religion,
technology, social rules
• Pass our culture from one generation to the next
• Human beings are guided by rules and instincts
• Most social rules are unwritten, their expressed verbally
• How rules control and restrict actions
• Rules facilitate our actions and make our lives easier. Ex. Roles given in
society, family, school. • Rules tell the individual what their expected to do
• The existence of rules doesn’t mean our lives are planned out, not
everyone is happy with the rules.
• If we didn’t have rules there would be chaos and places of work wouldn’t
be able to operate
• LAWS ON DELINQUENCY
JURISDICTION OF FIRST JUVENILE COURTS WAS VERY BROAD AND
SWEEPING ( COVERED ALL CHILDREN 16 AND YOUNGER, FOR NEARLY ANY
KIND OF TROUBLESOME BEHAVIOR
• FOX ARGUED THAT FIRST LAWS ON JUVENILE DELINQUENCY WERE A BY-
PRODUCT OF A POLITICAL MOVEMENT TO INCREASE THE USE OF
• DAVID BAKAN DESCRIBES THE ADVENT OF THE JUVENILE COURT IN
BROADER TERMS: NEW COURT WAS ANOTHER EFFORT TO CREATE A
NEW SOCIAL CATEGORY OF “ADOLESCENCE”
• SOME JURISDICTIONS USED AN “OMNIBUS CLAUSE” IN EARLY JUVENILE
(FOR EXAMPLE: “GROWING UP IN IDLENESS OR CRIME,” OR “IN DANGER
OF LEADING AN IMMORAL LIFE”)
• DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN ADULT CRIMINAL AND “DELINQUENTS”:
2) LESS RESPONSIBLE
3) EMPHASIS ON YOUTH’S BACKGROUND, NOT THE OFFENCE
4) EMPHASIS ON TREATMENT VS. PUNISHMENT
5) LESS “DUE PROCESS” IN JUVENILE COURT
• JUVENILE DELINQUENTS ACT (1908) FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PASSED LAW IN 1908; INTENT TO ESTABLISH
JUVENILE COURT AS A SURROGATE PARENT
1908 ACT EMPHASIZED TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION OF YOUNG
OFFENDERS (NOT PUNISHMENT)
CRITICS OF THIS LAW ADVOCATED FOR MORE PROTECTION OF SOCIETY,
MORE ACCOUNTABILITY FROM YOUNG OFFENDERS
• YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT
YOA (PROCLAMATION 1984) REPRESENTS EFFORT TO MAKE YOUNG
OFFENDERS MORE ACCOUNTABLE, PROTECT SOCIETY
AGE OF RESPONSIBILITY CHANGED BY YOA; UNDER THE OLD JDA (1908),
CHILDREN OVER THE AGE OF 7 COULD BE CHARGED (UPPER AGE LIMIT
VARIED ACROSS PROVINCES (FROM 16 TO 18)
UNDER THE YOA, AGE JURISDICTION WAS CHANGED TO THOSE 12-18 (FOR
To provide more accountabilities
More emphasis to protect society
Children are not fully mature
Separate institution to deal with young offenders
More due process
Raised the minimum age from 7 to 12
Allows public and press to attend the hearing
Identity of young offender and people involved is not allowed to publish the
Right to council, must be informed of rights by police officer making the
Young offenders have to be kept separate from adult offenders
• CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS GUARANTEES CERTAIN LEGAL
RIGHTS (IN THEORY), INCLUDING RIGHT TO COUNSEL, BAIL • PARENTS ENCOURAGED BY YOA TO ATTEND ALL HEARINGS, INCLUDING
“REMAND” PROCEDURES UNDER JDA WERE NOT ALTERED BY YOA –
OFFENDERS 14+ CAN BE TRANSFERRED TO ADULT COURT
• YOA SPECIFIES CONDITIONS FOR REMANDS (1. CORRECTIONAL
RESOURCES AVAILABLE 2. PRIOR RECORD 3. SERIOUSNESS OF
JDA DENIED RIGHT TO APPEAL (YOA GRANTS THIS RIGHT)
REMAND DECISIONS MAY ALSO BE APPEALED
1) MAXIMUM SENTENCE RAISED TO FIVE YEARS (3 IN JAIL, 2 YEARS IN
2) JUDGES INSTRUCTED TO GIVE GREATER WEIGHT TO PROTECTION OF
SOCIETY (VS. NEEDS OF YOUNG OFFENDERS)
3) EARLIER PAROLE ELIGIBILITY FOR YOUNG OFFENDERS CONVICTED
4) JUDGES CAN SENTENCE TO EITHER A YOUTH FACILITY OR TO AN ADULT
5) YOUNG OFFENDERS REMANDED TO ADULT COURT CAN BE HELD IN
YOUTH JAILS (RATHER THAN ADULT JAILS) WHILE AWAITING TIRAL
• 1992 amendments
• 1) MAXIMUM SENTENCE RAISED TO FIVE YEARS (3 IN JAIL, 2 YEARS IN
• 2) JUDGES INSTRUCTED TO GIVE GREATER WEIGHT TO PROTECTION OF
SOCIETY (VS. NEEDS OF YOUNG OFFENDERS)
• 3) EARLIER PAROLE ELIGIBILITY FOR YOUNG OFFENDERS CONVICTED
• 4) JUDGES CAN SENTENCE TO EITHER A YOUTH FACILITY OR TO AN
• 5) YOUNG OFFENDERS REMANDED TO ADULT COURT CAN BE HELD IN
YOUTH JAILS (RATHER THAN ADULT JAILS) WHILE AWAITING TIRAL • 1995 amendments
MAXIMUM PENALTIES FOR 1 STAND 2 ND DEGREE MURDER ARE INCREASED IN
• FOR 1 DEGREE MURDER, A TEN YEAR “DISPOSITION” (6 YEARS
IN CUSTODY; 4 YEARS IN CONDITIONAL COMMUNITY
• VIOLENT RIMES COMMITTED BY YOUNG PEOPLE 16+ (SUCH AS
MURDER OR ARMED ROBBERY) ARE AUTOMATICALLY REMANDED
(UNLESS DEFENDANT CAN ESTABLISH COMPELLING REASONS NOT
• CORRADO (1998) FOUND THAT CRIME RATE INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY
AFTER PERIOD OF 1986-1992
• VIOLENT CRIMES MORE THAN DOUBLED (117%, FROM 1986-92)
• SILVERMAN FOUND THAT HOMICIDE RATES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE
NOT INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE THE 1970’S
Laws on Delinquency
We naturally obey the unwritten customs of society
Formal written laws about offences
Power of custom is declining because of formal written rules
Youth courts is an example of the dependency of written rules
Youth court was used when their were no other options as a last resort
Most offences by young people are minor
Punish your offenders instead of give them treatment?
No lawyers no prosecutors, juries for juvenile offenders/courts
Government institution was suppose to replace the parent for the children Treatment was favored by reformers
Lower class were the targets of probation
Baken: people created a new category of youth. Childhood was a social
invention. Adolescence is a social invention; it prolongs childhood that
served the interest of a modern industrial society.
Child labor laws restricted the employment of children and implemented
Distinctions Between Adult Criminals and Delinquents
Age is not an absolute distinction
Children are less responsible
Look at the background of the child, for adults they look at what was the
crime that happened. Young people school, family
Rehabilitation of young people. Judge plays the role of a parent
Less emphasis on due process.
Due process: designed efficiency to protect the rights of the individual.
Meant to be inefficient to protect the rights of the individual
Juvenile court focuses on crime control. Which seeks to deter the crime from
Search and seizures were permitted without a warrant, no right to legal
council, no juries SOC307- Lec 2 01:47
focused on crimes of primary assault and robbery.
Max penalty for 1 and 2 nddegree murder increased by a lot in youth court
For first degree murder, 10 year disposition and 4 years in conditional
community. First degree murder is murder that is intentional as well as
killing of a police office, homicide in combination with another offence. If a
person engages in robbery or murder, they know they would face
consequences and still did it intentionally
Second degree murder is not intentional. Penalty was increased 5-7 years (4
years in custody and 3 years in community supervision)
Violent crimes committed by young offenders (16+) such as murder or
armed robbery are automatically remanded (unless defendant can establish
reasons not to)
Frequency of these amendments is done when citizens aren’t happy with the
laws in place
Corrado (1008) found that crime rate increased after period of 1986-1992
Violent crimes more than doubled (117% 1986-92)
Silverman found that homicide rates for young people have not increased
significantly since the 1970.
This shows us the school regulations and no tolerance for violence. Rates of
homicide remained stable since 1970’s, for a long time since the young
offenders act, homicide hasn’t increased. Property crime rate increased a
little, but not a lot since the young offenders act.
Youth criminal justice Act (2003)
Focused on violent young offenders who were not seen to be dealt with
efficiently, so they added a new category high risk violent young offenders.
This is the group that was to get longer sentences, get more supervision in
custody, more counseling, engage in rehabilitation
This creased more flexibility for minor offences, focus was to put more
resources to offenders who were a risk to public safety. They wanted to keep
young offenders of petty crime out of jail with warning rather than arrest.
Tickets for property crime became popular. SOC307- Lec 2 01:47
More focused of restorative justice- the philosophy behind the legislation. To
return and repair property to its rightful owner, to restore the victim to the
position before the offence was commit.
Community service was used to help the environment. Personal service was
seen as a restorative act
Harsher penalties and more serious sentences ,are more likely to transfer
bad cases to adult court for serious violent as well as repeat offenders
crimes. They also changed the age, now 14-15 year olds could be
transferred to adult court for serious violence.
All young offenders that were found guilty and qualified for adult crime can
have their names published. People that were transferred to adult courts. If
a person was convicted of a violent crime and repeated convictions, those
young offenders could now have their names published.
Families required to pay for all legal counseling if they can afford it. Under
older legislation, provinces used to pay for all legal representation.
Youth similar justice act was inspired by other acts in UK, especially New
Zealand since 1089- one of the first countries to have an approach like the
youth justice act. More restitution and rights of the victims was emphasized
in new Zealand. From 1989-1991 the number of young people in custody
declined a lot in new Zealand by using the young offender legislation
(declined from 4000 to less than 1000 in just a few years)
Erikson reports that a few of the young offenders who went through adult
sentences went on to remain criminals.
Small scale programs were seen in BC (called Sparwood established in
1990s) base on the New Zealand approach. Youth were send to courts,
resolution conferences were arranged generally restitution was required from
the victim, formal-ology was made and service community work was to be
Only 2% of young offenders would repeat crime in New Zealand with the
new youth restorative legislation.
The success of restorative justice system (from new Zealand and BC) made
the program much more popular to make it accepted in other areas. That
accepted more of a restorative approach.
Critics of YCJA point to selection bias in studies of recidivism. Only low risk
offenders participate in the programs for recidivism. SOC307- Lec 2 01:47
Critics also point to political opposition to YCJA. Ontario regards the YCJA as
too lenient and not providing adequate punishment. Other provinces like
Québec say that UCJA is too harsh seeing 14-15 year olds being put through
Provinces also demanding more funding to administer this new youth justice
system. Provinces say provide money to administer the system since you
have made this policy, pay for it. SOC307- Lec 3 01:47
• Substantial majority of offences recorded in the UCR are committed by
young people (ages 15-19)
• Gottfredson states that the same age patterns is found in nearly all
countries and in nearly all official data
• “Index crimes” include the following eight offences: criminal homicide
(includes manslaughter cases) robbery, sexual assault, aggravated
assault (level 3, use of a weapon), burglary (B&E doesn’t only involve
theft), larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson
• Young offenders (under 18) account for more than 40% of the arrests for
index crimes (while people in this youth age bracket account for less than
20% of the total population
• Juveniles are less likely to be arrested for murder than adults
• Sexual assault 15-20% involve young offenders
• Young offenders account for a larger number of armed robberies
• More than half auto theft is committed by young offenders
• More than half of B&E is committed by young offenders
• Young offenders account for more than half of all burglary arrests
• Slightly less than half of all larceny arrests
• Should focus on non-index crimes as well (under age drinking, curfew
• Vandalism and arson are common amongst young offenders SOC307- Lec 3 01:47
• The kind of crimes young offenders commit don’t require a high level of
• Forgery, counterfeit, embezzlement, aren’t common amongst young
• Alcohol crimes are a common issue
• Arrest patterns for females is increasing
• Females under 18 comprise less than 10% of the total arrests for the
• Males under 18 account for over 1/3 (about 36% un 2005) of arrests for
• Although the most common offence among females is larceny, males still
have about 3 times as many arrests for larceny.
• More similarities between males and females for white collar crimes and
fraud SOC307- Lec 3 01:47
• More females are arrested for running away from home
• There’s more protection for female run aways provided by the CJS
• Women under the age of 18 tend to be arrested more than males for
running away from home
• Girl under he age o 18 make up 1/3 of total arrests
• Boys under 18 count for ¼ of arrests.
Every other offence, men are arrested more than women
• Total crime rates have declined since 1991 for adults
• Legalization and access to abortion led to lower violent crime rates-
lowers domestic abuse
Some sociologists say that the shall-issue law (gun laws) lead to lower
Change in age composition leads to reduction in violent crimes because
there is a reduction in the ages 16- 24 which was seen as the highest rates
for violence crimes in particular
Hagan- stabilization of drug markets in rec3ntyears. Less competition of
territory in North America. Hagan presents a good case study done in
Montreal. He saw that there were fights and issues over turf.
Hagan also notes some shift away from the use of cocaine to heroine.
Cocaine was seen as a stimulating drug that made people want to start a
fight, whereas heroine would just depress people. So he says the shift from
cocaine to heroine led to lower violent crime rates.
Hagan and Silverman both argue that range of factors help reduce overall
crime rates since the early 1990s
• Between 1960 and 1975, the arrest rates among adult (over 18)
increased by only 13%. Comparing doubling rates of arrests under young
• Between 1970 and 1990 arrests young offenders increased by about 43% SOC307- Lec 3 01:47
• Focusing on index crimes not al offences so it could include
underage drinking and running away rom home.
• Increases in young female offenders more.
• Differences were not so large in non-violent crimes.
• In recent years young female arrests make up for only ¼ of total
arrests reported by the police.
• These studies only show trends over years, doesn’t show individual
cases. It doesn’t show how many offenders are repeat offenders are
• Cohort studies focus on individual cases in crime rates, not only yearly
trends. We can see recidivists and repeat offenders through this.
• Marvin Wolfgang- constructed a cohort study in California
• Following individuals all their lives, from childhood who lives in
Philadelphia from 10-18 years old.
• They looked at official court and police records to see how much
delinquency was reported for boys between 10-18 about 1/3 of
boys had one reported contact with the police.
• The relationship between age and delinquency is very similar to
other studies- found very similar patterns. Very few police contact
of arrest at the age of 10, but it rises quickly to a peak at age 16.
Then they decline a lot after age 16. Large number of status
crimes, petty theft seem to decline after age 17.
• John Loud says that the most important finding of the cohort
studies is the finding of repeat offenders. More than 3000 boys had
arrest records, and more than half of these Philadelphia boys were
o 1800 recidivists/ repeat offender with 2 or more arrests.
• Other cohort studies in Vancouver show that repeat offenses were
• Wolfgang also found that the more violent crimes were also
committed by recidivists.
• About 6% of repeat offenders make up about half of the most
serious offenses and more than half of the crimes committed.
• Crime is concentrated among young people SOC307- Lec 3 01:47
• Substantial increases in crime rates among young offenders
• Increase in violent crimes in 1960s and 1970s. the pattern shifted
• Crime and delinquency is still predominantly committed by males.
Crime is still concentrated among males.
• Silverman says these findings case some debate in society- people
want to nurture and support their kids, and they also worry about
the threat to their personal safety and property.
• Wolfgang ad Lau say some criticisms on cohort studies. We cant
just ignore first time offenders and only focus on repeat offenders.
Official data is only a small sample of the total number of crimes,
our sample may not be representative.
• Self report studies have become a popular and direct method allowing
sociologists to study how many law abiding violations are committed.
• Some people get anonymous interviews, others get direct
• Self reports of crime and delinquency
Several types of ‘validity studies’ have been conducted to test the accuracy
of self reports- why should be believe a thief.
• 1. Polygraph (or lie detector) checks on he accuracy of response.
o Clark finds approx. 85% valid responses among young
o Polygraphs are not accepted as valid evidence in criminal
trials. Yet they use it to make life/death decisions to detain
someone or let them go
o For a crown to not accept lye detector studies. They say was
about the synapse which is the gaps between cells- people
haven’t established the link between lying and synapse- why
should we think there is a link between heart beat and
sweating to lying.
o Hindelng and Clark know that lie detectors are more objective
and detect individual emotions.
2. ‘Revere record checks’ SOC307- Lec 3 01:47
Hindelang searched police records of subjects. Then conducted interviews to
see if respondents would admit having an arrest record. (abut 80% valid
They ask if the person was arrested not if they are guilty of the crime to see
if they would honestly tell the interviewer without telling them why they
Easier to recall high risk violent crimes, rather than small petty theft.
3. Informants hired by gold to check on accuracy of reporting of offenses
committed in the presence of other people.
Informants interviews simultaneously with subjects, gold reports nearly 90%
valid response rate.
Identified friends and peers of the offender to get information of the crime at
the same time as the offender, harder to make up a story that way
3. Serology (blood serum tests)
used by Taylor to assess the accuracy of self-reports of drug use (more than
75% validity for cocaine, marijuana and heroine use) SOC307- lec 4 01:47
get note from Sabrina SOC307-lec 5 01:47
• Went over test questions
Focus on chapter 5 & 9
· Chapter 5, define the concept correlation and causation (changing the
values in one factor will increase the change in another outcome. Does the
variable provide a reason)
· Chapter 5 review maturational reform (rate of crime declining as
people become older, think about long term goals and relationships), role
convergence (rate of crime are becoming similar for male and women. Labor
force participation for women increase then the rates of crime will be more
similar between men and women, gender roles women are being more
assertive and taking more risks)
· Chapter 5 distinguish the explanation of overrepresentations of
aboriginals in the justice system) what are the cultural
explanations/theories. Unemployment, education among aboriginals.
· Psychological theories à Cobert developed a theory of moral judgment
and is a good explanation for the involvement of crime. Pre-dimensional and
post-dimensional. Chapter 9
§ Social learning theory concepts, focus on modeling, differential
· Chapter 9 à anti social disorder describe the characteristics and of
• Victimization surveys
• Criminologists use these surveys to measure crime and delinquency
• Canadian urban victimization survey (CUVS) first conducted by
solicitor general with Statistics Canada in 1982
o Stats Canada is now running these surveys on a 5 year basis
(every 5 years)
o They do a sample of about 10 000 people across Canada
• Only 2 major cities included in survey (Toronto, Montreal,
• The first study found about 700 000 personal victimizations
reported (ie. Robbery, assault) and more than 900 000 ‘household
victimizations’ reported (ie. Break and enters, vandalism, theft)
o This showed much larger rates as compared to the crime
reports SOC307-lec 5 01:47
o The Canadian victimization survey was influenced by those
done by the Americans
o Back in 1965 president Johnson established a commissioner
on law enforcement to make a plan to decrease rising rates of
o In order for them to make plans, they needed better
information on the rates of crime. However police were not
satisfied with the amount of information available on crime
Concerns about official data, they said police statistics
were not effective. SOC307-lec 5 01:47
A decision was made to conduct a survey of about 10 000 households to ask
them of their experiences with crime, if they reported these crimes to the
police and they were asked how these experiences with crime effected their
The findings of the first victimization survey was very dramatic and
Burglary is about 3 times of that which is reported to the police.
Aggravated assault and larceny involving more than $50 is twice as likely to
occur as is recorded to the police.
Armed robbery was one and a half times more likely than what was reported
Very similar to the patterns in the self report studies.
• Why victims don’t report crimes to the police
• Skogan – Victims (60%) claim that they didn’t report the offence to the
police because the incident was not important.
• In contrast, that serious violent crimes- including armed robbery and
level 3 assaults are less likely to be reported to the police than many
• A very commonly stated reason (20%) for not reporting crime is
because they say the police is ineffective in responding to criminal
• Fear of retaliation or revenge is a factor for some victims being
unwilling to report an offence to the police (7%)
• About one in five (20%) of victims say they did not report an
offence because they believed that the police could not do anything
• About one in four (24%) say that their victimization was a personal
matter (with few admitting to shame or embarrassment or a stigma
was a key factor in not reporting a crime to the police)
• Victimization surveys also ask businesses for any involvement in being
victims of crimes
• Thefts created in businesses are usually by employees (pilferage)
and Holliger says that if pilferage is suspected then employees are
more reluctant to involve the police. SOC307-lec 5 01:47
o This may be because it creates a bad reputations for the
business. Having the police do investigations every other day,
it makes the company look bad
o A lot of people say that they don’t go wander the streets
because they’re afraid of crime. If a lot of law abiding people
don’t go on the streets and be deterrents to crime and
witnesses. This means all the criminals get to run the streets
without being seen. Because of people’s fear of crime, more
than one third of people don’t speak to stra