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CRIM 131 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Youth Criminal Justice Act, Community Policing, Victim Impact Statement

Course Code
CRIM 131
Sheri Fabian
Study Guide

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Ch1 The Criminal Justice System Introduction
Criminal act enters CJS when victim/witness perceives it as a crime and contacts the police
o Police determines whether it is ‘unfounded’ or ‘founded’ investigate.
o If identify an accused person is identified lay charge or deal with informally (alternative measures)
If formally lay charge enters court system
o At court plea be negotiated to avoid formal court OR proceed to trial be found guilty or not guilty by judge/jury
Incarceration/conditional sentence/probation/fine
o If incarceration under 2 years provincial institution, 2years+ federal institution
Before sentence end can apply for conditional release and reintegrate into society
Diversion and Alternative Measures
opportunity for offenders to avoid conviction/record
Usually for 1st time/young offender
eg police warnings, referrals, crown cautions, apologies, community service, financial compensation
o Problem: people are put into alternative measures, but their crime so minor wouldn’t have be charged anyways, some argue
this is brining more people into the system
Crime Funnel
Not every breach of law gets a response.
Crime Funnel: actual level detected reported recorded arrests convictions noncustodial punishment incarceration.
o Significant case attrition: cases drop out of the criminal justice system
o Only some are reported, within some are deemed founded, of these only some gets a charge, and of these some are dropped
or stayed, and many do not end in conviction
Most cases are resolved with a guilty plea and few cases go to trial
Adversarial System
Premise: Truth emerges in materials presented by opposing sides (Crown & defence)
o Presumption of innocence: a defendant is deemed innocent until convicted or acquitted
o The Crown bears the burden of proof: crown needs to prove guilt, not responsibility of accused to prove his/her innocence
o Doli incapax (“too young for evil”): child under 12 cannot be held criminally responsible for criminal acts
o Insanity: cannot be criminally responsible if one is incapable of knowing the act was wrong due to mental disorder
o Attempts are crimes: those who attempt to commit an offence (beyond planning) are generally subjected to half the penalty
o Process encourages parties to present a disortorted version of events
o Concern with the quality of legal representation for defendants
o System is reactive rather than problem-solving approaches
Foundations of Canadian Legal System
Common Law
Precedent a rule that guide judges in making subsequent decision in similar cases
o Judge must follow the decision in previous case, if facts and law are similar in both cases.
o Exist in past decision of judges, rather than being embodied in legal codes or legislation
Stare decisis higher courts set precedents that lower courts must follow
o This is to make sure all cases are treated alike.
o Courts are organized in ac hierarchy, Supreme Court of Canada at the top, so when they make a rule, all courts below are bound
to apply that ruling in subsequent cases.
Rule of Law (Magna Carta UK 1215)
1. All citizens must obey law, expect punishment if break law, and look only to legal system to respond if crime was committed against them
2. Law must be fair and impartial
3. Laws are created by elected officials
4. Must be clearly written
5. Must be apply equally to all
6. Penalties must be specified

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Government Role & Responsibilities
Constitution Act, 1867 = Separates federal and provincial divisions of responsibilities
o Federal government define what is a crime (criminal law)
o Provincial enforcing the law, administer courts and corrections
o Municipal policing, bylaw enforcement
Federal Government
Absolute power to create, amend and repeal criminal law for the entire country
Sets procedures for prosecuting and punishing crimes
Responsible for:
o Federal Police eg RCMP, police college, military police
o Appoints judges and manages courts
o Prosecutes some federal offences (eg narcotics)
o Correctional Service of Canada - Operate federal correctional institution ( 2years+ )
Federal Statutes
Criminal Code: Federal legislation that sets out criminal laws (list of criminal behaviour), Also set out procedures for arrest and
prosecution and penalties that may be imposed
Other Federal Statues: Anti-Terrorism Act 2001, Youth Criminal Justice Act 2002, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: (Part of Consitution Act, 1982) guarantee fundamental freedoms, legal rights, equality
rights for any persons in Canada (citizens or non-citizens), including those accused of crimes.
o Provides protection for individuals and ensures fairness during legal proceedings
o All components of CJS have to operate in such a way not to violate the rights guaranteed in the Charter
Provincial/Territorial Governments
Responsible for administration of justice within own province
Can pass quasi-criminal legislation (eg underage drinking, speeding, text and drive)
o Police services
o Prosecute offences
o Manage courthouses
o Employ judges
o Run programs for offenders
o Operate provincial correctional facilities
Municipal Governments
Enact city bylaws
o Valid only within city limits - Eg smoking prohibitions
o Minor penalties, mostly fines
May not intrude on provincial or federal government jurisdiction
May control police budgets, hire police chief
General Categories of Law
Pubic Law: matters that affect society as a whole (Criminal law, Constitutional law, Administrative law, Taxation law
Private Law: regulates relationships between individual, resolve disputes between private citizens (tort laws, property laws)
Criminal vs Civil Law
Criminal Law: crime
Government prosecutes offender
Court determine guilt/innocence of offender
Court impose sanction, may include prison or fines
Prosecutor has to prove defendant guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”
Civil Law: disputes between individuals (Eg divorce, disputes over inheritance, breaches of contract)
All statute law but criminal law
Wronged person brings suit in civil court (the victim)
Wronged party seeks financial damages from wrongdoer
Proof on reasonable probability or belief

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Criminal Law
The body of law that deals with prohibit damaging behaviour to society as a whole, and is prosecuted and punished by the government.
o Defines which act/omissions are against the law
o Specifies penalties
o General principles re:criminal responsibilities
o Defences to criminal charge
o Establishes rules that police/courts/corrections must follow
Proposes of Criminal Law
Mechanism of social control
Maintains order
Defines acceptable behaviour
Reduces personal retaliation (vigilantism, people taking the law into their own hands)
General and specific deterrence
Punishes wrong-doing
Criminalizes behaviour
Protects interest groups
Prevents crime/deters crime
What Is A Crime?
Definition: an act or omission that is prohibited by criminal law - with no legal defenses/justification
Components: Actus reus ( the act ) & Mens rea ( the intent )
Mala in se the act is wrong in itself is inherently wrong eg murder
Mala prohibita only criminal because they violate a law
Origins and Application of Criminal Law
Consensus model assumes:
o Law reflecting society’s ‘core’ values shared by majority
o Law serves everyone equally
Conflict model assumes:
o Society as different groups in conflict
o Those in power has greater influence in defining criminal behaviour
Law is seen as a tool to maintain power
o Highlights inequity in society
Classification of Offences
Summary conviction offences
o Less serious offences, max penalty = 6 months in jail, 2000$ fine
o Eg impersonating police officer, waterskiing in the dark, injuring animals
Indictable offences
o Serious criminal offences, prison 14+years to life, eg murder, robbery, coutnterfeit money, hostage, etc
Hybrid (elective offences)
o Offences that can be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment
o Crown makes the decision of which to charge
o Eg driving while disqualified, uttering death threats
Models of CJ Administration
Ever-shifting balance between individual rights vs public safety
o 1) giving power to CJS, that apprehend offenders and
o 2) protecting citizens from potential abuse of that power.
Crime Control Model (Eg police mostly identified with CCM)
o Paramount (primary purpose): Protects community and apprehend offenders
o Focus on rights of victims rather than protect rights of accused
o Strong assumption of guilt
o Conservative values
o Favor giving police more power to gather evidence, question, interrogate suspect
Due Process model (Eg courts mostly operating within DPM)
o Paramount: Protect rights of citizens
o Emphasizes procedural fairness
o Presumption of innocence
o Liberal values
o Provides innocent with defence against a false accusation
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