Soc 2253 - Class notes for WHOLE semester 2013

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Western University
Sociology 2253A/B
Jennifer Silcox

Criminal Law and Criminal JusticeChapters 1 and 5 Why Should We Study CrimeCrime exists in all civilizations regardless of political leadership financial circumstances within a society geography where we live in the world our religious beliefs our cultural histories our demographics our language and our levels of industrialization It doesnt mean it impacts them it just means that crime exists regardless of themThis led french sociologists Durkheim to believe that crime is a necessary part of human societies and their development Different social context can influence the amount of crime that we have Criminology vs Criminal JusticeCriminology is the study of the how and why crime happens what psychological background or social structures that influence crime or do our laws and politics influence crime Criminology came out of sociologyCriminal justice is the study of what do we do about crime like once its already happened How can we fix situations that might be criminal fix people who have already broken the lawWhy is it important to understand the role of power and ideology when thinking about both criminology and criminal justice Think of how might that have been portrayed in the newspapers and would we actually know what happened in the past and see whos stories get to be told in newspapersHow do you think this might influence how we come to know about crime and crime controlWe have our own ideologies and we live in societies that are built on ideology foundations we have a conservative ideology in systems of beliefs for canada Ideology in power is that we have to be open minded and create counter arguments and prove the evidence to be able to study theory you want to be empathetic fair when studying crimeCrime Power and Social ControlWhat is social control Commonly used to refer tot he various types of the organized reaction to the behavior thats viewed as problematic Social control will use various measures of social control to limit problematic behaviors ex Homosexual in religions where theyre like outcasts Medicine like regulating them for ADHD for guys where were telling them to be active but then giving them medicine to calm them down There are different perspectives and definitions of crime Three differing definitions of crime are1Legal definition of crimeHolds that any behavior within the criminal code thats prohibited would be a crime Violations of the law More of an objective of the definition of criminality ex something more specific than that2Social definition of crimeAny behavior thats against our social norms would be a crime This and below are more fluid and subjective of a definition ex Thinking of the various ways of harm like emotional physical social norm that were not allowed to hurt somebody in our society reputation3Social Constructionist definition of crimeCrime is a behavior that is defined by those in powerKey Players in the Criminal Justice System CJSPolicing 1Investigation of criminal activityCourts2Enforcement of criminal lawCorrections3The correctional arm of the stateWhat is the purpose of our criminal justice system 3 purposes to control crime to prevent crime to maintain justiceAdversarial Justice SystemWhat is an adversarial justice system Have two different sides that are going to put forth their side of the story and then have an impartial judge or trial that will take into consideration of both sides and the come to a decision Would move right on to sentencingHow does it differ from an inquisitorial justice system The judges take more of an active role in seeking the truth of what happened one more piece of fact or information that theyll take into consideration to get to the idea of truth or justiceAlthough they both have the same overall goal their paths to justice are different The goal the truth What are some of the benefits of this type of system We have more of an adversarial justice system Clear division of labor between the various actors and agencies different people responsible for different things when theyre all seeking the justice for the truth They have the extensive look into evidence and the legitimacy of the justice system is promoted Different roles for prosecutors and judges the police and the correctional officers The fairness is to be taken into account within the neutrality of the judgeWhat are some of the limitations of this type of system Procedural justice is sometimes sacrificed for efficiency We have lengthy trials that are often expensive and the judges have the power to exclude pieces of information and evidenceGoals of the CJSThere are 5 goals of our criminal justice system1Reduce the amount of crime2Confront fear3Achievement of justice4Moral legitimacy which is supposed to be achieved 5Proper scope of the crime responseSubstantive vs Procedural JusticeAccuracy of criminal cases and fairness of the criminal justice procedures are two of the ways that justice are evaluatedSubstantive justice refers to the accuracy of the outcome of the caseProcedural justice refers to the fairness of the procedures that are used to arrive to the verdict of the caseHow Much Crime is ThereThe crime rate counts all police reported crime equally its a more reliable way of looking at trends and crime as opposed to total counts because it translates the crime rate into a rate of 100000 More beneficial since its a better look to see how the crime rates are actually different Uniform Crime Reporting designed to measure the incidents of crime in a canadian society started in 1961 and to be able to create a system to go across canada that would be the same for each place Used standard definitions for each offense in all of the provincesUCR1 Aggregate Collected summary data for 100 different offenses Recorded the number of incidents that were reported to the police and the number of actual incidents and whether or not they were cleared or solved by the police Didnt create any information or track information on victim characteristics The survey was initially made to produce a historical snapshot of crime in canada tracked since 1962 but created in 1961UCR2 IncidentBase Wanted to gather more detailed information than what was initially gathered in UCR1 Developed in the 1988 fully operational in 1992 Alternative method that creates a separate statistic file for each criminal incident Took micro data on the characteristics of the victims in the accused and that you can do more analysis with the data than just with the trends Did track some of the information of the circumstances A nonrepresentative and only tracts 152 of the police stations but it does provide us of a better analysis of the crime trends Uniform Crime ReportData obtained from the UCR is useful to the following peopleorganizations like key information when we do analysis1Community Policing Come up with programs specifically for those police officers to alleviate crime in that neighborhood or school2Municipal and Provincial Governments to be able to help come up with enough information to allocate certain resources to certain police stations and to come up with provincial standards for the police departments Helps them look at the different areas of the provinces to see what can be done for something else 3Federal Government Policy and legislation initiatives and development and basically to evaluate our legislations 4The Public Offers information of the nature in crime in Canada like the crime thats actually reported to the police Crime Rates in 2010Did the 2010 overall crime rate in Canada increase or decrease in comparison to 2009 By how much Declined by 58 offenses accounted for almost 81 of all reported crimeThe most commonly reported offenses were1 Theft under 5000 dollars 262 Mischief16 3 Break and enter 94 Common assault least serious form of assault bar brawl something petty in nature 85 The administration of justice offenses 8National crime rate has been decreasing in the past years and the crime is nonserious in nature
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