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LS327 Study Guide - Spring 2019, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - The Police, Canada, Subculture


Department
Legal Studies
Course Code
LS327
Professor
Fred Desroches
Study Guide
Midterm

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LS327

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LS 327 - Lecture 1 - Introduction to a Policing in a Democratic Society
Introduction
police powers limited, they are monitored and controlled through gov’t agencies, and vigilant of our
citizens if they see any police abuse
Recurring Themes in the Course
policing is one of many agencies of social control (kind of like family, church) to be law-abiding citizens
informal social controls tend to be more effective than formal social controls
police = agency of formal social controls, necessary when these other control have been ineffective
policing changed in terms of technology, communications, forensics = more efficient and
- basic mandate is still the same though: still have to write services to community, write
maintenance, law enforcement functioning\ criminals and getting convictions
due process model: legalistic model, emphasis civil rights and civil liberties of citizens, emphasis on the
means
- system finds a balance between these two models
- punishment without going against civil liberties and rights
lots of crimes and conflict as a result of poverty and unemployment, racism, dysfunctional families,
drug/alcohol addiction, etc. = but police can’t really change it
- which is why most police are reactive
- expectations on police need to be modest bc policing in harsh environment on law is only gonna
have a modest effect
- since basis of problems are systemic and structural
police and morality: controversial issue, divides public due to differing opinions
- ex; illicit drug usage or selling: some people see this is a lifestyle choice while some see that it
should be criminalized
- also in some activities where criminal and victim are same people
- police need to be proactive in this area where there isn’t a broad consensus on a certain issue
wiretaps, search warrants, etc. that police use = also great threat to civil liberties
police deviance and social control:
- involves overzealous police enforcement, corruption (uncommon in Canada, where they take
bribes, etc.)
community based policing: commitment to involving community in acting with the community with some
partner in provision of police services
Crime Control Model
traditional Canadian model, “peace, order, and good government”, harsh model, values deterrence,
supportive of victim rights and gets support of victim groups
biggest threat: crime and social disorder
maintaining social order and repressing crime = important function of criminal justice system
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society willingly gives up some of its liberty to gain protection from crime and those who disrupt social
order
- police seen as good guys and need resources in order to catch criminals
police tend to have more power in this model through laws
- laws enables police to do more investigations and discretion
- ex; War Measures Act: suspend civil liberties and gave police powers
less emphasis on the means
this model helps to explain police deviance (esp. overzealous acts)
emphasizes efficient police convictions, “assembly line justice”, gather evidence to prove guilt which
leads to narrow vision (tunnel vision)
“throw the book at them” = judge throws punishment at the criminal
Due Process Model
United States has developed through this model
emphasis on individual and their rights
greatest threat of freedom = power and authority by government (ex; genocide, misuse of their
authority, Nazis, etc.)
anti-authoritarian body system
epicates a balance, system that protects civil liberties and ind. rights often through a Charter, protection
of ind. rights = highest priority
- seen as a counterbalance to the great powers of the state
- helps protect them from misuse of authority power
police must operate under strict rules of law, limits their powers (must have warrant and in order to
obtain one, has sufficient evidence)
however: more guilty people might escape/found innocent
presumption of innocence
basic value of orientation: better a hundred guilty people go free rather than one innocent to be
convicted
greater good is protection of civil liberties
a formal, rule-oriented model, adversarial, requires impartial tribunal, stresses possibilities of errors and
mistakes, and focuses on gov’t abusers on minorities
- protect the weakest in society
less efficient, willing to accept more costly criminal justice system to prevent mistakes more focus on
quality-control, system is slower and more expensive
emphasis is on the means, lawyers practice on this model which is why lawyers and police often
conflict due to differing value systems
Critique of the Crime Control Model
advantages:
- give community a lot of protection it needs
- supportive of victim and victim rights
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- likely to be less crime, less fear of crime, more freedom of movement within society, lesser
problems of social disorder, better climate for business
- better climate for people to enjoy their freedom
- police morale: efficient and effective system, a lot less costly
- encourages and faith of trust in police and govt’.
disadvantages:
- abuse of power, overzealousness on part of the police, police brutality, police admitting
evidence that they know is tainted bc they believe person is guilty
- police deviance
- mistakes can be made, innocent people can be convicted
- lack of accountability of police
- fear of rights for citizens since police have lots of discretion/power
- may lead to discrimination or police officers who are racist, homophobic, etc. = can violate rights
of these minority groups
Critique of the Due Process Model
advantages:
- protect civil liberties and ind. rights, empowers citizens against the state
- an antidote to the state’s power, gives balance b/w state and citizens
- lots of emphasis on court’s system = become mechanisms for arbitrating b/w use of power by
govt’ and civil liberties by citizens
- protects citizens by abuse of power
- keeps police in line, ensures they are compliant with the law, makes sure police deviance is
prevented
- encourages police to be better, act professional, not take shortcuts
- innocent people less likely to be convicted, assist those unjustly victimized
- people in positions of power and authority now accountable for their actions, not able to get
away
- preventing tyranny of the majority, unfair laws can be challenged in laws
disadvantages:
- rights of inds. are given priority over rights of society
- obstructionist and expensive model (more appeals)
- more criminals go free
- only emphasizes civil rights, no counterbalance on responsibilities of citizens
- often protects non-citizens
- a lot less focus on victim’s rights, not get priority, they focus exclusively on offender’s rights
- judiciary/Supreme Court have high power, ability to remove or modify laws
- guilty people may go free, victims complain about their rights not being protected
** need a balance between two, place where police can do their job, but also are kept in check along with
impartial tribunal system (courts, judges, etc.)
** most younger people more liberal and tend to choose due process model, even police tend to approve this
model
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