Thursday, March 16, 2017
Law and Social Control
our laws are used as a method of social control. behaviours can be controlled in our
- criminal law: do something wrong get punished
- Civil law: you get punished by having to compensate someone.
- most common notion is being incarcerated
- its separating an individual from society
- not necessarily useful for eliminating recidivism rate but it does help by taking
dangerous offenders out of society.
- theoretically society is safer when people are incarcerated but it is more of a
short term solution
- general deterrence: punish an offender to deter others from offending it.
speciﬁc deterrence: punishment is for the offender to prevent them from
- tort law deters people with market deterrence
- individuals weigh the pros and cons, they max their gains and minimize their pain
- punishment may deter some wrongs and some offenders but not all.
- instrumental offences— take planning, plan on how to mac the beneﬁts
- expressive offences— heat of the moment, emotional based, crimes of passion,
murder is an example but only if not planned (2nd degree)
- high commitment offenders—committed to being a criminal and the criminal life
so they learned to live with threat of punishment so deterrence doesn't affect
- low commitment offenders— fear of punishment can deter them- minor offences
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- medicalization refers to the process of deﬁning behaviour as a medical problem
or illness and mandating the medical profession to provide treatment for it
- they can be controlled through our regulations and stuff so with substance abuse
they have programs that they have to complete
- can be institutionalized
- “if you follow this treatment program youll get a lesser sentence”
- Crimes of the privilege
- they get better lawyers and have money to represent themselves
- they often go undetected and they are highly respected citizens and so no one really
looks for it and when they ﬁnd it, the white collar offenders get off easy.
- a lot of victims don't even realize that they are a victim
- Sutherland (1949)
- “crime committed by a person of respectability and high status in the course of
his [sic] occupation”
Law & Morality
- law also used to control morality, and continues to ban behaviour that is deemed
immoral. big example is prostitution
- Criminal Code of Canada (these were illegal until 2013)
• Section 210: prohibition on keeping or being in a ‘bawdy house’ for the
purposes of prostitution;
• Section 212(1)(j): prohibition on living on the avails of prostitution;
• Section 213(1)(c): prohibition on communicating in public for the purposes of
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- Charter of Rights and Freedoms
• section 7 prohibits the rights to life, liberty, and security of the person and the
right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of
- The SCC shot down these laws because they were unconstitutional for the
reason listed above. — will look more into prostitution next week.
Discord over Death Penalty
- 2012: U.S., India, Japan retain capital punishment— only democracies left.
- Canada vs USA
- the USA, capital punishment was declared unconstitutional by US supreme court
in 1972, so they struck down and overturned a mans constitution and it is a cruel
and unusual punishment and went against their rights,