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SOCI 3395 Quiz: Module 1 SOCI

12 Pages
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Fall 2016

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCI 3395
Professor
anthony M I C C U C C I
Study Guide
Quiz

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Sociology 3395
Module 1: Theorizing and Researching Criminal Justice
Key Terms:
myths
moral entrepreneurs
law of opposites
criminal justice funnel
crime control model
due process model
McJustice
Disneyization
substantive criminal law
procedural criminal law
gendered criminal justice
actuarial justice
Major Criminal Justice Theoretical Orientations
The article by Kraska (2006), found on the required reading list (see table 1 in this article), summarizes
eight theoretical orientations to the criminal justice system (CJS). However, we further simplify these
according to only six perspectives. These include criminal justice as: 1) a system; 2) crime control vs due
process; 3) social constructed reality (SCR); 4) a growth industry; 5) oppression; and 6) late modernity. Each of
these ways of thinking about criminal justice is also informed, to varying degrees, by a particular sociological perspective
(e.g., functionalist, interactionist, conflict, post-modernist). The first two ways of thinking of criminal justice (systems and
crime control vs. due process) represent more conventional explanations whereas the last four are more critical. Also
note the connections between criminal justice as SCR and some other theoretical orientations (e.g., criminal justice as a
growth industry). Having a more critical bent, each of the last four theoretical orientations is characterized by the
following:
is more skeptical of government power and control, punitive crime control activities, and “official”
versions of truth, calls for a further expansion of the CJS, or the erosion of human freedoms in the name
of security and safety;
focuses on the role of power differentials, whether rooted in economic disparities, political access, or
gender and race, as a major driving force in the character and functioning of criminal justice; and
emphasizes the big picture (i.e., macro-structural forces driving the entire CJS) even when their analysis
emphasizes the micro-processes of reality construction or power differentials.
While all six models of criminal justice are useful, the idea of criminal justice as social constructed reality
(SCR) is emphasized the most in this course. Special attention is directed towards identifying, explaining, and
critically evaluating (i.e., de-mystifying) a number of major criminal justice myths. The same framework has
been commonly used by sociologists with a special interest in studying the nexus of class, gender, and criminal
justice.
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Criminal Justice as a System
The following major ideas about the systems viewpoint of criminal justice are briefly summarized below
(Kraska, 2004; Griffiths, 2011; Schmalleger, 2013; Antonacci, 2013; Goff, 2014).
Criminal justice has been described as a system consisting of the three main component agencies of police,
courts, and corrections. Each of these components can, in turn, be described in terms of its functions and
structure. The systems perspective is characterized mainly by its assumption that the various parts of the justice
system work together to achieve a common goal and that the movement of cases and people through the system
is smooth due to cooperation between the various components of the system. The common goal of criminal
justice can be summarized here as follows: the need to preserve public order through the administration of
justice. Therefore, the systems model encompasses a point of view called the consensus model, which in turn is
closely related to functionalist sociology. According to the systems approach, the size and power of the criminal
justice system are determined by the amount of crime. Further, solutions to crime are closely connected
to enhancing criminal justice system coordination, efficiency, rational decision-making, and technology
(e.g., more criminal laws, increasing the number of police and using better law enforcement technologies). The
systems model presents a conservative framework for making sense of criminal justice, as both the legitimacy
of the law and its just application are not questioned.
The structure and functions of the three criminal justice sectors include the following.
Police
The structure of public policing in Canada basically includes the federal police (e.g., RCMP), three provincial
police forces (e.g., OPP, QPP, RNC), and municipal police agencies (e.g., Metropolitan Toronto
Police). The major police functions are classified as: 1) crime control through such activities as law
enforcement, criminal investigation, and general patrols intended to detect and deter offences; 2) order
maintenance or peace keeping; and 3) general service. Policing can be either reactive or proactive.
Courts
A dual structure exists which includes provincial and federal courts. The bulk of the workload is assumed by the
lower or provincial courts while the remaining cases are brought forward to the federal or superior courts. The
Supreme Court of Canada has overriding responsibility for correcting certain errors made in the other court
systems. The most important court roles are prosecution, defence, and judge, and jury. In theory, the courts use
an adversary model. However, prosecutors, defence lawyers, and judges often practice a form of criminal
justiceplea bargain justicethat is at odds with the ideal image of adversarial justice. Courts perform two
major functions: 1) they decide whether the accused is guilty or innocent through an adversary process; and 2) if
the accused is found guilty, the courts impose a sentence.
Corrections
Primary segments are prisons and traditional community corrections probation and parole. More recent
alternatives to prison include electronic monitoring, boot camps, and community service orders. Most prisoners
are housed in provincial rather than federal prisons. The vast majority of all convicted offenders are under some
type of community supervision. The major functions of corrections are: 1) to punish and control convicted
offenders; and 2) to deliver rehabilitative programs so that offenders can later return to society in law-abiding
roles.
Environment: Public and Private Components
The criminal justice system can be thought of as having an environment composed of public and private
components.
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find more resources at oneclass.com
Police are publicly funded by federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Courts and correctional
institutions are the responsibility of the federal and provincial governments.
Private or quasi-private organizations, such as universities and shopping malls, now rely on contract or in-house
private security officers to meet many of their policing needs. (e.g., Brinks, Memorial University Campus
Enforcement and Patrol). Privatization in the courts is demonstrated by the rent a judge service delivery method.
In corrections, several private agencies have for some time offered services (e.g., John Howard Society,
Elizabeth Frye, Salvation Army).
Public Roles
There are many ways that the public is involved with the criminal justice system.
The major public roles are reporting (reactive policing), serving as witnesses, volunteers, and voting. Justice is
political. Governments are sensitive to citizen responses to programs (e.g., parole), location of facilities (e.g.,
new prison), and changes in laws (e.g., drunk driving). Sound justice policies are supposed to depend on
informed public opinion, but many people lack accurate information about the extent of the crime problem
and the effectiveness of criminal justice.
Government Roles
The government creates laws, controls budgets, and develops and implement policy.
Law -- Crime basically refers to the intentional violation of criminal law without defence or excuse. Criminal
law has substantive and procedural sections. Substantive law defines the acts against people (e.g., murder,
robbery), property (e.g., theft, fraud), and the state (e.g., treason, perjury) that are illegal and subject to
punishment by government. Criminal law differentiates between serious crimes (indictable offences) and less
serious ones (summary offences). Indictable offences (e.g., murder) may allow for jury trial and stiffer penalties
(a maximum sentence of not less than two years in a federal prison). Summary offences (e.g., creating a
disturbance) are heard by a judge alone and provide for maximum sentences of up to six months in prison.
Procedural law outlines the rights of accused persons and stipulates the rules governing the action taken by
criminal justice workers for such things as police searches and the use of force. Its aim is to protect individuals
against the use of abusive actions by government officials, such as police. The exclusionary rule is closely tied
to procedural law. It refers to the general rule that evidence illegally obtained must not be used in a prosecution
(e.g., an unreasonable search and seizure by police ordinarily must be excluded from a trial).
Criminal law frequently undergoes both substantive and procedural law reform to ensure that it accurately
reflects public opinion, social change, technological advances, and other key social issues. Organized crime,
gang activity, and terrorism represent some of the most notable areas of criminal law reform implemented
recently by the federal government.
Budgets -- Government controls the assignment of criminal justice resources. Criminal justice costs are very
expensive for Canadians, totalling $20 billion in 2012. Police services continue to represent the biggest
expenditure (roughly 65%). That said, government expenditures for criminal justice services are relatively
meager (under 5%) compared with the provision of other social services (e.g., education, health). The limiting
of criminal justice resources by government can have negative consequences (e.g., overcrowding in prison and
removal of prisoner rehabilitative programs).
Policy -- Government sets and often clarifies criminal justice policy. Some examples include the recent move
towards the adoption of a more punitive as opposed to rehabilitative approach in prisons, the shifting of
rehabilitation in corrections to community settings, and the development of restorative justice
programs intended to make criminal justice more responsive to the needs of victims of crime.
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find more resources at oneclass.com Sociology 3395 Module 1: Theorizing and Researching Criminal Justice Key Terms:  myths  moral entrepreneurs  law of opposites  criminal justice funnel  crime control model  due process model  McJustice  Disneyization  substantive criminal law  procedural criminal law  gendered criminal justice  actuarial justice Major Criminal Justice Theoretical Orientations The article by Kraska (2006), found on the required reading list (see table 1 in this article), summarizes eight theoretical orientations to the criminal justice system (CJS). However, we further simplify these according to only six perspectives. These include criminal justice as: 1) a system; 2) crime control vs due process; 3) social constructed reality (SCR); 4) a growth industry; 5) oppression; and 6) late modernity. Each of these ways of thinking about criminal justice is also informed, to varying degrees, by a particular sociological perspective (e.g., functionalist, interactionist, conflict, post-modernist). The first two ways of thinking of criminal justice (systems and crime control vs. due process) represent more conventional explanations whereas the last four are more critical. Also note the connections between criminal justice as SCR and some other theoretical orientations (e.g., criminal justice as a growth industry). Having a more critical bent, each of the last four theoretical orientations is characterized by the following:  is more skeptical of government power and control, punitive crime control activities, and “official” versions of truth, calls for a further expansion of the CJS, or the erosion of human freedoms in the name of security and safety;  focuses on the role of power differentials, whether rooted in economic disparities, political access, or gender and race, as a major driving force in the character and functioning of criminal justice; and  emphasizes the big picture (i.e., macro-structural forces driving the entire CJS) even when their analysis emphasizes the micro-processes of reality construction or power differentials. While all six models of criminal justice are useful, the idea of criminal justice as social constructed reality (SCR) is emphasized the most in this course. Special attention is directed towards identifying, explaining, and critically evaluating (i.e., de-mystifying) a number of major criminal justice myths. The same framework has been commonly used by sociologists with a special interest in studying the nexus of class, gender, and criminal justice. find more resources at oneclass.com find more resources at oneclass.com Criminal Justice as a System The following major ideas about the systems viewpoint of criminal justice are briefly summarized below (Kraska, 2004; Griffiths, 2011; Schmalleger, 2013; Antonacci, 2013; Goff, 2014). Criminal justice has been described as a system consisting of the three main component agencies of police, courts, and corrections. Each of these components can, in turn, be described in terms of its functions and structure. The systems perspective is characterized mainly by its assumption that the various parts of the justice system work together to achieve a common goal and that the movement of cases and people through the system is smooth due to cooperation between the various components of the system. The common goal of criminal justice can be summarized here as follows: the need to preserve public order through the administration of justice. Therefore, the systems model encompasses a point of view called the consensus model, which in turn is closely related to functionalist sociology. According to the systems approach, the size and power of the criminal justice system are determined by the amount of crime. Further, solutions to crime are closely connected to enhancing criminal justice system coordination, efficiency, rational decision-making, and technology (e.g., more criminal laws, increasing the number of police and using better law enforcement technologies). The systems model presents a conservative framework for making sense of criminal justice, as both the legitimacy of the law and its just application are not questioned. The structure and functions of the three criminal justice sectors include the following. Police The structure of public policing in Canada basically includes the federal police (e.g., RCMP), three provincial police forces (e.g., OPP, QPP, RNC), and municipal police agencies (e.g., Metropolitan Toronto Police). The major police functions are classified as: 1) crime control through such activities as law enforcement, criminal investigation, and general patrols intended to detect and deter offences; 2) order maintenance or peace keeping; and 3) general service. Policing can be either reactive or proactive. Courts A dual structure exists which includes provincial and federal courts. The bulk of the workload is assumed by the lower or provincial courts while the remaining cases are brought forward to the federal or superior courts. The Supreme Court of Canada has overriding responsibility for correcting certain errors made in the other court systems. The most important court roles are prosecution, defence, and judge, and jury. In theory, the courts use an adversary model. However, prosecutors, defence lawyers, and judges often practice a form of criminal justice—plea bargain justice—that is at odds with the ideal image of adversarial justice. Courts perform two major functions: 1) they decide whether the accused is guilty or innocent through an adversary process; and 2) if the accused is found guilty, the courts impose a sentence. Corrections Primary segments are prisons and traditional community corrections – probation and parole. More recent alternatives to prison include electronic monitoring, boot camps, and community service orders. Most prisoners are housed in provincial rather than federal prisons. The vast majority of all convicted offenders are under some type of community supervision. The major functions of corrections are: 1) to punish and control convicted offenders; and 2) to deliver rehabilitative programs so that offenders can later return to society in law-abiding roles. Environment: Public and Private Components The criminal justice system can be thought of as having an environment composed of public and private components. find more resources at oneclass.com find more resources at oneclass.com Police are publicly funded by federal, provincial, and municipal governments. Courts and correctional institutions are the responsibility of the federal and provincial governments. Private or quasi-private organizations, such as universities and shopping malls, now rely on contract or in-house private security officers to meet many of their policing needs. (e.g., Brinks, Memorial University Campus Enforcement and Patrol). Privatization in the courts is demonstrated by the rent a judge service delivery method. In corrections, several private agencies have for some time offered services (e.g., John Howard Society, Elizabeth Frye, Salvation Army). Public Roles There are many ways that the public is involved with the criminal justice system. The major public roles are reporting (reactive policing), serving as witnesses, volunteers, and voting. Justice is political. Governments are sensitive to citizen responses to programs (e.g., parole), location of facilities (e.g., new prison), and changes in laws (e.g., drunk driving). Sound justice policies are supposed to depend on informed public opinion, but many people lack accurate information about the extent of the crime problem and the effectiveness of criminal justice. Government Roles The government creates laws, controls budgets, and develops and implement policy. Law -- Crime basically refers to the intentional violation of criminal law without defence or excuse. Criminal law has substantive and procedural sections. Substantive law defines the acts against people (e.g., murder, robbery), property (e.g., theft, fraud), and the state (e.g., treason, perjury) that are illegal and subject to punishment by government. Criminal law differentiates between serious crimes (indictable offences) and less serious ones (summary offences). Indictable offences (e.g., murder) may allow for jury trial and stiffer penalties (a maximum sentence of not less than two years in a federal prison). Summary offences (e.g., creating a disturbance) are heard by a judge alone and provide for maximum sentences of up to six months in prison. Procedural law outlines the rights of accused persons and stipulates the rules governing the action taken by criminal justice workers for such things as police searches and the use of force. Its aim is to protect individuals against the use of abusive actions by government officials, such as police. The exclusionary rule is closely tied to procedural law. It refers to the general rule that evidence illegally obtained must not be used in a prosecution (e.g., an unreasonable search and seizure by police ordinarily must be excluded from a trial). Criminal law frequently undergoes both substantive and procedural law reform to ensure that it accurately reflects public opinion, social change, technological advances, and other key social issues. Organized crime, gang activity, and terrorism represent some of the most notable areas of criminal law reform implemented recently by the federal government. Budgets -- Government controls the assignment of criminal justice resources. Criminal justice costs are very expensive for Canadians, totalling $20 billion in 2012. Police services continue to represent the biggest expenditure (roughly 65%). That said, government expenditures for criminal justice services are relatively meager (under 5%) compared with the provision of other social services (e.g., education, health). The limiting of criminal justice resources by government can have negative consequences (e.g., overcrowding in prison and removal of prisoner rehabilitative programs). Policy -- Government sets and often clarifies criminal justice policy. Some examples include the recent move towards the adoption of a more punitive as opposed to rehabilitative approach in prisons, the shifting of rehabilitation in corrections to community settings, and the development of restorative justice programs intended to make criminal justice more responsive to the needs of victims of crime. find more resources at oneclass.com find more resources at oneclass.com Criminal Justice as a Nonsystem Some say that the systems model of criminal justice does not reflect reality. It has been criticized for suggesting a greater level of organization and cooperation among the various agencies of justice than actually exists. Although there is a certain amount of rationality in the operation of the criminal justice system, a lot of the functioning of criminal justice agencies is unplanned, poorly coordinated, and unregulated. The conflict model in sociology, alternatively, points out that the interests of criminal justice agencies often conflict, and pressures for success, promotion, pay increases, and general accountability fragment the efforts of the system as a whole, leading to a criminal justice nonsystem. Conflicts among and within agencies are rife: individual actors within the system often do not share current goals; and the system may move in different directions depending on political climate, informal measures, and personal discretion. For example, the police have an interest in seeing offenders put behind bars. On the other hand, prison officials are often working with extremely overcrowded facilities. They may favour early release programs for certain types of offenders, such as those judged to be low risk and non-violent. Who wins out in the long run may be a matter of internal politics and quasi-official wrangling. The factors that prevent criminal justice agencies and personnel from operating as a system include the following: 1) multiple mandates (e.g., police often feel judges are too lenient in their sentencing decisions and that this increases the likelihood that offenders will re-offend later); 2) obstacles to information sharing (e.g., potential re-victimization resulting from a failure to notify crime victims that offenders are being released into the community); and 3) the diversity and complexity of the system (e.g., police must keep abreast of current developments that relate to their own positions and responsibilities, in addition to those of other parts of the system). The criminal justice funnel is often used as a metaphor to describe the way in which crimes are processed by the criminal justice system. Just as a funnel is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, so too are crimes as they move through the criminal justice system. Only a small proportion of crimes come to the attention of the police, and only a small fraction of these are heard in the courts or lead to a conviction and sentence. Influenced by conflict sociology, the idea of the criminal justice funnel also considers what processes influence decisions at various levels in the system concerning whether to proceed with a case and how. Decision makers move people, through a process from suspect to defendant to offender to ex-offender. Both formal (criminal procedures) and especially informal influences (discretion) combine to filter or funnel the number of cases as they move through the criminal justice system. Informal influences include extra legal factors (e.g., suspect’s sex, age, and race). The main types of decisions include: 1) the process of defining crime, in that criminal law defines the persons and behaviours that fall within the scope of criminal justice; 2) public reporting practices, as people often decide not to report crimes to the police; 3) police discretion, which produces a further loss of cases through police decisions not to arrest; 4) prosecutorial discretion, which results in some suspects not being charged with crimes; 5) the courts and plea bargains eliminate even more cases to produce the convicted offenders who become the subject of correctional supervision, and 6) correctional supervision requires further sorting, such as the decision to place the greatest number of convicted persons under community supervision. Criminal Justice as Crime Control vs. Due Process The following important ideas about the crime control and due process objectives of criminal justice are briefly summarized below (Kraska, 2004; Griffiths, 2011; Schmalleger, 2013; Antonacci, 2013; Goff, 2014). Two different types of values influence criminal justice policy development and action. Crime control and due process represent two opposing views of how criminal law should operate. Crime control involves the repression of criminal conduct, while due process involves the protection of individual freedoms. Both values operate simultaneously and the priorities assigned to each of these value systems change over time. In order to determine which model gets prioritized, we must consider the specific time period and the socio-political find more resources at oneclass.com find more resources at oneclass.com climate of the times. Pendulum swings in the direction of crime control have produced such outcomes as tougher punishments, greater efficiency in criminal justice processing, and fewer constitutional constraints on police power. For example, some feel criminal justice in Canada has shifted more towards the crime control pendulum because of recent terrorist attacks. Crime Control Model It ensures the safety of life and property. Since freedom is important to all citizens, this model argues that every effort must be made to control crime. It also emphasizes the determination of guilt and efficiency in terms of the capacity to apprehend, try, convict, and dispose of a high volume of cases. Suspects are assumed to be guilty of a crime when apprehended and arrested by police. Speed and finality are stressed in the crime control model because of the large number of crimes (about 2.5 million criminal code incidents annually on the books) and the limited resources available to the police. All of these elements call for informality, uniformity, and the minimization of cases where challenges can be made by defence attorneys or defendants. Rather than stressing the combative aspects of the courtroom, this model stresses the bargaining between the state and the accused at several points. The end result is that nearly all cases are disposed of through negotiation of the charges, with defendants normally entering guilty pleas. Packer’s characterization of crime control in criminal justice appears as an assembly-line process involving quick, steady, efficient decisions by system actors who produce the intended product in the form of guilty pleas and closed cases. Due Process Model It places an emphasis on the rights of accused persons protected by procedural law (e.g., right to bail, safeguards against illegal police searches). Its most important principle is that, because freedom is so important, every effort needs to be made to ensure that criminal justice decisions are based on reliable information. This model emphasizes the adversarial process, the rights of defendants, and formal decision-making procedures. According to Packer, the due process model’s assumption that persons are innocent until proven guilty means that the state must prove in a procedurally sound manner that the person is guilty of the crime as charged. Wrongful convictions, are, then, to be avoided at all cost. In an effort to reduce wrongful convictions (errors), obstacles must be designed to force the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of a crime. As a result, the process must include the opportunity to discredit the evidence presented against the accused, and an impartial judge and jury must determine the outcome. The due process model acknowledges the fact that some guilty persons are likely to go free because the evidence against them is not highly conclusive. This assumption is in direct contradiction with the crime control model which values efficient case processing and the imposition of punishment over the possibility that innocent persons may be swept up in the process. Unlike the crime control model, Packer’s due process model looks more like an obstacle course. The article on “McJustice” by Bohm, found on the required reading list, indicates how criminal justice is designed to operate as an efficient system. Criminal Justice as Social Constructed Reality (SCR) The following important ideas about the social constructed reality viewpoint of criminal justice are briefly summarized below (Kraska, 2004; Kappeler and Potter, 2005; Bohm and Walker, 2006; Surette, 2007; Reiman, 2007; Antonacci, 2013). Influenced by symbolic interactionism, this framework starts with the idea that reality is socially constructed: the result of a complex process of learning and constructing language, symbols, meanings, and definitions of situations through interacting with other people and through our individual and collective experiences. Applied to the study of criminal justice, crimes are social problems that are constructed through a complex process involving the media, government officials, the public, politicians, and other interested parties (i.e., moral entrepreneurs). Moral entrepreneurs are people who are engaged in the process of defining new rules and laws find more resources at oneclass.com find more resources at oneclass.com or who advocate stricter enforcement of existing laws. It is common for moral entrepreneurs to have some financial or organizational interest in particular definitions or applications of law. Being critical of mainstream thinking of criminal justice, the SCR model encourages us to investigate the myths associated with crime control thinking, study the formation of and maintenance of occupational subcultures within the CJS bureaucracy, critically evaluate how certain behaviours come to be reacted to as “crime”, and unravel the way in which crime control tactics are produced. This model argues that the rapid expansion criminal justice activity in the last few decades is not the result of a worsening crime problem. Rather, it stems from moral panics, media and government distortions, and the political manipulation and exploitation of these distortions. A sociology-oriented study of criminal justice challenges the popular, media-based belief that the criminal justice system can reduce the amount of crime (e.g., more police and prisons mean significant reductions in crime). Drawing on this particular approach, we do the following: 1) describe some major current myths about criminal justice; 2) debunk these myths by providing evidence; 3) describe how the interests of specific individuals or groups are promoted by the creation and perpetuation of certain myths; and 4) outline some practical and often undesirable consequences of some criminal justice myths (i.e., policy implications). Myths are simply “exaggerations of reality”. Some examples of criminal justice myths include the following:  crime, especially violent crime, is on the rise;  the role of the police is to fight crime;  longer prison terms result in better crime deterrence; and  prisons are like “country clubs”. Measuring Crime The police-reported crime rate measures the overall volume of crime in Canada. Data come from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey, which is a census of crime collected by police forces across Canada. The police must determine, through a preliminary investigation, that a crime has taken place (i.e., founded crime) in order for it to be recorded as such. Most crime is cleared as a result of the police arresting a suspect. The three main classifications of crime are violent, property, and other. The crime rate must be interpreted with caution. It fluctuates from year to year due to many social and economic factors. The age composition of the population is perhaps the most important explanation of the overall crime rate. Crime remains a young man’s game. The crime rate has been falling steadily over the past 20 years and has coincided with a drop in the proportion of persons aged 15 to 24 in the population during this period. People in this age group represent a relatively small number within the general population, but this same age cohort is responsible for a significant amount of crime compared to other age-identified cohorts. When this younger age cohort is reduced in number, the crime rate is expected to be reduced as well. The current situation contrasts to the one in the 1970s when baby-boomers had reached the crime-prone age, producing an increase in the overall crime rate. Additional factors that can influence the overall crime rate include the following:  perceived severity of the act (e.g., when people choose not to report a minor theft);  public attitudes toward police (e.g., when people fail to report a break and enter because they do not think that a suspect would be apprehended by police);  nature of the relationship between offender and victim (e.g., when a sexual assault victim fears reprisals from her perpetrator and decides against reporting the attack to the police);  changes to criminal law (e.g., when new offences have been created by government); find more resources at oneclass.com find more resources at oneclass.com  special enforcement policies (e.g., when police decide to invest more time and resour
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