WDW101Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Special Investigations Unit, Devaluation, Subculture

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Published on 6 Dec 2012
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WDW205 Lecture 13 12/03/2012
Racial Bias in the Canadian Criminal Justice System
Example of Possible Bias
- Racial Profiling (police stop and search activities).
- Arrest Decisions.
o Diversion of white youths over minority groups
- Police use of force.
o Are police officers more likely to use physical force against minority groups
over others?
- Pre-trial decision-making.
o Are minority more likely to get denial bail
- Plea bargaining.
o Minorities are less likely to accept a plea
o Minorities are not going to plea because they are truly innocent
o White offenders charged with a crime are more serious crime, and they know
that they are guilty
o They can do time easily
- Conviction rates and Sentencing.
o Minorities charged with violent crime receive less serious sentences than the
white counterparts (sentenced more leniently)
o As long as you kill minority victims, lighter sentences will occur, because the
community devalues minorities
- Criminal Deportation.
o Landed immigrant without citizenship, you can be deported back to your
country of origin (usually those that lived in Canada since they were a kid)
- Correctional treatment.
- Prison discipline.
- Parole decisions.
Without proper race crime stats it is hard to explore the correctional treatment, prison
discipline and parole decisions
Questions
- To what extent does the general public perceive racial bias in policing?
- What research has been conducted to investigate allegations of racial profiling?
- What are the consequences of profiling?
- Can racial profiling be eliminated?
- How can perceptions of bias be reduced?
- How can we explain racial differences in police use of force.
Perceptions of bias
- Perceptions of racial bias is a problem if the majority of individuals believes that the
police, courts and prison sentencing is based on racial bias
Percent of Respondents Who Believe that the Police Treat Black People Worse than White
People
- Perceptions of discriminations were not isolated
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Percent of Respondents Who Believe that a Black Person Would Receive a Harsher
Sentence Than a White Person Convicted of the Same Crime
- More bias in policing than in courts
- Evaluating the police more higher over the court
Percent of Respondents from the 2007 Survey Who Agree or Strongly Agree that
Discrimination Makes it Difficult for People From Their Racial Group to Get a Good
Education
- 16% whites, 23 Chinese, 59 whites
Percent of Respondents from the 2007 Survey Who Agree or Strongly Agree that
Discrimination Makes it Difficult for People From Their Racial Group to Get a Good Job
- 24% whites, 56 Chinese, 76 black
Percent of Respondents from the 2007 Survey Who Agree or Strongly Agree that
Discrimination Makes it Difficult for People From Their Racial Group to Get Good Housing
- 17%whites, 17& Chinese, 75% black
Percent of Respondents from the 2007 Survey Who Agree or Strongly Agree that Racism is
a Bigger Problem in the U.S. than in Canada
- 72% whites, 66% Chinese, 48% black
Percent of Toronto High School Students Who Perceive that the Police Treat Members of
Their Racial Group Worse than Others (2000 Survey)
- 13% whites, 27% Asian, 31% South Asian, 74% Black
Why the Perception of Bias?
- Exposure to the American Media?
- Experiences in country of Origin?
o Recent immigrants are less likely to received bias, and value highly on the
courts
o The longer you stay in a country the more likely you are to perceive the
police lower over time
- Parental/peer socialization?
o Racial minorities are taught to hate the police
- Experiences of Racial Discrimination?
o Bias actually exist, through personal experience and hearing them indirectly
from friends and family members
o Positive encounters with the police does not reinforce this relationship, but
one or two negative encounters will stick with you highly
Racial Profiling: A Definition
- Racial Profiling exists when the members of a particular racial or ethnic group
become subject to greater criminal justice or institutional surveillance than others.
- Profiling exists when racial characteristics -- rather than behavior contribute to
surveillance decisions.
- Hard profiling: this profiling can exist only when race was the factor
- Criminal Profiling: race + another characteristic(s)
- Most police stops individuals because of race + furtiveness
Examples of Racial Profiling
- Police stop and search activities
o Qualitative Interviews, focus groups, etc.
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