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SOCI 3395 Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Jury Trial, Memorial University Of Newfoundland, Victimisation

12 pages40 viewsFall 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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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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