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CRIM 1650
James Williams

CRIM 1650 LECTURE NOTES – WINTER TERM JANUARY 8 , 2013 - Newtown Connecticut shooting (Adam Lanza) – killed twenty children o NRA held a press conference and one of his key recommendations was that armed guards were needed to be placed in all schools in the United States  The best solution of a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun  how do you differentiate a good guy from a bad guy? o Suggested establishing a database for the mentally ill  how do you define the mentally ill? What would the point be? – there is no evidence between mental illness and crime like there is evidence between alcohol and crime - *Clip from the NRA Press Conference* o The mentality is similar to that of “Silence of the Lambs” – the NRA seems to be invested in the myths of the criminal mind  Has a cultural resonance of the biological perspective o The core message of the NRA is that guns don’t kill people, people do – deflect attention from the guns and focus on the problems of the people who use them  Monstrous psychopaths versus “the rest of us” Race and Crime Objectives 1. Cultural Representations of Race and Crime a. Racialization of crime b. Criminalization of race 2. Dilemmas of Definition and Measurement 3. Explaining the Race-Crime Link a. Differential offending VERSUS b. Racial discrimination Myths: Cultural Representations of Race and Crime - How connections between race and crime are culturally and socially constructed - Researchers tend to accept and establish definitions of race, categorizations of existing racial groups and focus all attention on whether or not there is a connection between race and criminal activity o Take race for granted, not thinking about what it is, what it means and how it is significant - If you go back to the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a tendency to view race in biological terms o Race was understood as an expression of fundamental biological differences o Those differences could be communicated through superficial, physical features  E.g. skin colour, eye shape, hair texture - Process of categorizing people is an important expression of power – power is expressed through the development and implementation of categories  what race IS o Science started to be applied to criminology, sociology in understanding society and its make up - Belief that these race based differences could help to explain variations in things like intelligence, socio- economic status o They were used to explain social differences – powerful because you are essentially arguing, in a particular situation, that social differences are a result of your biological features - The problems with this biological view (assumption that race is a biological category) o If you look at this from a biological perspective and focus on genes – greater genetic variation within race-based groups than between  Within whites, you will find more genetic variation than between whites and Hispanics  Race then accounts for 0.001% of genetic variation within the human population  Race isn’t seen as very important within a biological perspective o If you go back to the time period of the early 1900s you will see very strange ways of looking at racial groups and trying to distinguish different groups  You have many accounts of a number of groups that are considered white now were classified as non-white (e.g. Germans and Italians)  Suggests that what we are talking about is not a biological difference but a social distinction, which is why we move from race as being a biological construct to race as a social and political construct - Racism now is less overt and not generally tied to a specific attitude 1. Race as social and political construction 2. Traditional versus Symbolic and Systemic Racism o Traditional Racism: idea that racism is an attitude, a state of mind in which individuals openly view other racial groups in very negative ways – view other groups as being less intelligent, lazy, more prone to crime, etc.  Consistent with the idea of HATE o Symbolic Racism: negative representations of social groups that are expressed through coded language and symbols  How groups are described, how conditions, activities (like crime) are described  While this use of language is not overtly racist, it is nevertheless informed by popular understandings of race and they reproduce race-based accounts of common social problems  EXAMPLE: if we’re talking about language, the media is a great place to look for symbolic racism. Bill O’Reilly met with Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s (well known restaurant in harlem). Was explaining how the restaurant Sylvia’s is like every other restaurant even though it’s run by black people. Also said that it was calm and without any craziness. He is generally reproducing in a subtle way race-based stereotypes – the very idea that African American’s would be yelling and crazy in a black restaurant and surprise that there is civility like in a white restaurant.  Language is fundamental in the way that race is talked about and racism is reproduced in a subtler way than it has been in the past o Systemic Racism: Refers to practices and patterns in society and its institutions which, although they may not be intended to disadvantage any group, can have the effect of permitting discrimination against non-white groups and thus reproduce inequality.  Prison system, immigration, welfare, schools, etc  Because this form of racism is deeply embedded within institutional practices, if often becomes invisible or deniable (which is its key feature)  EXAMPLE: 1950s in the US, after the Second World War the US government established an initiative to encourage home ownership so returning veterans can own their own homes which at that time were very expensive and prohibited. Government created relatively cheap mortgages so homes could be purchased. One of the things that came to be important to who would get these loans was geography. Where you lived became a factor of determining the risk of the loan. Established concept of red district and green district. If you lived in a red district there was a low chance you would be given a loan. The red areas were disproportionately African American and Hispanic areas, while the green areas were often the white areas. An institutional practice is established which isn’t clearly informed as racist but based on the way the system was implemented, in practice, it had the ability to discriminate against blacks and Hispanics. Known as the practice of red-lining.  EXAMPLE: 2008 Sub-Prime Crisis – lawsuits directed towards big investment banks which charged those banks with providing high risk loans and loans which were very difficult to pay back, providing those loans disproportionately to African Americans and Hispanics. Banks would not inform the buyers that the interest rates would skyrocket down the road. Known as the practice of green-lining. *RACE: THE POWER OF AN ILLUSION – Documentary* - What we perceive as race is one of the first things we notice about each other: skin, eyes, hair o Attached to these characteristics are values, assumptions and historical meanings - The average person believes that by looking at a person’s physical appearance they can find out subtle things about them o There are no sub-species in human beings o Race is based on your cultural lens - Being classified as Asian or black or latino has never carried the same advantages in society as being white - The markers of race that we identify mean nothing unless they are given social meaning and unless there is public policy and private actions that act upon those characteristics – creating race th - At the start of the 20 century, law makers and social scientists wondered how they would fit into all the races already there o Seeking economic opportunity, freedom and a future for their families o Of the 23 million newcomers, the vast majority were from Europe o Immigrants often work the hardest and lowest-paying jobs - Charles davenport expressed fears in 1911 – “the population of the united states will rapidly become darker in pigment, smaller in stature, more given to crimes of larceny, kidnap, assault and murder will increase” - Biology was considered destiny – could be a matter of life of death depending on which side you are on - New immigrants from Europe were “in-between” people who were neither white nor black - To be white was to gain the full rewards of American citizenship - Race is a social, political construction TH JANUARY 15 , 2013 - Missing women (19 documented cases of aboriginal sex slave workers murdered) o Police exercised a “systemic bias” which prevented them from taking the disappearances seriously, which prevented them from investigating various instances that were reported (instances of violence and abuse), which were speculated to be linked to pinktin o Not taken seriously because of their background o Term that he used was “systemic bias” but was really implying “systemic racism” 3. Cultural Representations of crime and criminality informed by race o The way that race is discussed and spoken about often involves connection with crime and vice versa o A very powerful social and cultural phenomenon within society 4. Racialization of Crime and the Criminalization of Race o These processes are fundamentally connected o Racialization of crime represents one of the ways symbolic racism comes into play  Racialization of crime as the process through which crime is constructed and defined in explicitly racial terms  Hurricane Katrina – had massive coverage from the news media. One of the aspects that received a lot of attention was the idea of spikes in violent crime. People went to the superdome and the convention centre for refuge. Reports began to surface of people being physically and sexually assaulted in these people. Many of the reports were exaggerated. If you look at some of the coverage beyond the reports of violent victimization there will be captions of white people stealing supplies from the store, with captions reading that they need supplies because they need help or food. When black people did the same thing, captions portrayed them as criminals and thugs.  Example: Guns and Gangs. The context in which that phrase is used often carves out interesting connotations of race  Example: when “crack” was mentioned, the assumption was instantly made of who that problem had to do with  Symbolic racism gets portrayed and produced with language, and these portrayals often have a close connection with crime o Criminalization of Race has to do with the treatment of particular racialized groups – treatment of them as though they are criminal or potentially criminal  the perception that certain racialized groups are predisposed towards crime and crime prone, so they are treated as such  Example: racial profiling – racial profiling is in large part an outcome of racialization of crime in our society. It breeds suspicion of particular groups that they are more crime prone and will ultimately be subject to stereotypes and scrutiny.  Example: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. What role did race play in Zimmerman’s view of this individual being suspicious? Is this an example of how the racialization of crime is expressed through these judgments? Race  social and political construction  symbolic racism (which goes to racialization of crime and one of the implications are criminalization of race) or systemic racism (which leads to criminalization of race) Reality: Dilemmas of Definition and Measurement 1. Absence of Canadian statistics on race and crime o Statistics are not collected/compiled based on race - A) Validity and interpretation of race-based crime statistics o This is simply a reflection of policing practices, they could be disproportionately targeting particular groups based on pre-existing stereotypes and biases o Becomes difficult to interpret data and how it’s actually significant - B) problematic Policy Implications o If there was a connection between racialized groups and crime then policy implications could justify racial profiling, greater deployment within racialized communities, incredibly such as those suggested by former drug czar who said “if you wanted to reduce crime, if that were your sole purpose, you can hoard every black baby and crime would go down” 2. Available data confined to prison populations - A) over-representation of aboriginal peoples in both federal and provincial prison systems o They are being disproportionately convicted relative to their general population  Their percentage in the prison population is much higher than their percentage in the population as a whole  Adults represent roughly 20% of admissions in territorial provincial prisons, and about 18% to federal prisons. They only make up 3% of the Canadian adult population  In Saskatchewan, aboriginal people make up 81% of provincial prison admissions, whereas they make up 11% of the adult population - B) over-representation of Blacks – particular in Ontario - Unclear whether the over-representation has anything to do with a true link in race with crime or with policing in the criminal justice system 3. According to U.S. data, African-Americans are over-represented in both arrest statistics and prison populations o Suggests a strong link between race and crime o Link especially strong in drug offences Explaining the Race-Crime Link: Disproportionate Offending (everything below is the first explanation) - Two ways to explain the race-crime link: o Disproportionate offending – data reflects more or less accurately their actual involvement in crime 1. Historical Legacies of Colonialism and Slavery o Important to think not just about social, political and economic marginalization, but even to appreciate the influence of history and deep-rooted systems and structures of inequality and oppression that have existed for 100s of years o Colonialism: starting in about 1500s in Canada, first nations people became subject to being colonized. Practices designed to either annihilate first nation’s people or to try to assimilate them (make them more white). Had to sign away their land, rights to their resources. Indian Act based on assimilation and segregation.  Residential schools – were an effort to forcibly take aboriginal children away from their families, place them in these schools (run by Catholic Church), would be given new names, taught basic medial skills and told never to speak their language. Prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. 2. Social, Economic, and Political Marginalization o When you look at many of the first nation’s communities, you have very little economic opportunities, low rates of unemployment, high rates of teen pregnancy, lack of affordable housing, lack of sanitation, lack of running water, high rates of infant mortality – conditions similar to conditions in third-world countries 3. Community Disorder, Helplessness, and Anomie o Anomie: reflects a state of normlessness – lack of norms, values and sense of community cohesion and identity o It helps to highlight and understand some of the effects and implications of colonialism and forms of marginalization that came along with it o Resulted in high rates of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, problems with family violence, sexual abuse Explaining the Race-Crime Link II: Racial Discrimination 1. Difficulties in defining and quantifying racial discrimination in the criminal justice system o A) Opinion research and Anecdotal Data  Stories of people who feel they have been profiled or received unfair treatment on the basis of their race  Example: 1995. Ontario Commission on Systemic Racism. Commission surveyed attitudes of the members of the public and asked those questions if they felt certain groups were unfairly treated by the police, crown jurors and jury’s. One of the key findings was that members of the public and defence attorneys clearly believe racism played a role. While some Crown attorneys and judges acknowledging influence of race, many made comments that there is no basis for believing race plays a role.  Example: Wrongful convictions – exonerations largely through DNA evidence. Years later they go back to DNA and realize they got the wrong person. Innocence project looked at 260 Exonerated through DNA , 155 were black that were wrongfully convicted o B) Researching the Police and the Courts  Research has revealed that to the extent race does play a role in decisions by the police and the courts, it would appear that the effects are much more pronounced and apparent at the informal rather than formal ends of the justice system  Racial discrimination would have greatest impact on policing practices such as stop and search or traffic stops, where decisions are informal, based on discretion and there is limited accountability  Race appears to play a strong role in pretrial bail decisions. Non-whites are denied bail at a much higher rate, even with similar backgrounds  Race appears to play less of a role at the more formal ends of the system (the actual moment of arrest, sentencing decisions) - Racial profiling: refers to any action undertaken for reasons of security or public protection that relies on stereotypes about race rather than reasonable suspicion to single out an individual for scrutiny or different treatment - Example: Toronto star got the records of police traffic stops. Disproportionate amount of black people were charged with driving without insurance or a non-updated license. These are things that would only be known after stopping the individual, meaning they were stopped for a reason based on suspicion (racial bias) - There is a great deal of evidence that racial profiling occurs, that racial discrimination plays a role in the justice system, and yet even with this evidence at hand it is still very difficult to conclusively prove that it was race that triggered the response, triggered the decisions made by the justice system officials 2. Invisibility and deniability of “systemic racism” o Expressed by the police when they say they don’t engage in racial profiling o Difficult to disprove that race actually plays the role, which is why it is easy to make such denials ND JANUARY 22 , 2013 - Held police officer has the power to stop question and frisk individuals out on the street if officer has “reasonable suspicion” that person has committed/is committing/or may commit an offence in the future - Controversy in new York because of the disproportionate numbers, where blacks and Hispanics seem to be targeted o Cases where there really was no reasonable suspicion - In May of 2012, a federal judge from NY district ruled practice was unconstitutional Clip from new York times” – the scars of stop-and-frisk - Tyquan believes if you are a young and you are black, you fit the suspicion - If you talk back or ask questions you would get taken in custody - From 15-18 he was stopped, questioned and frisked at least 70 times - 88% of those stopped in 2011 were not arrested - 87% of those stopped were black or latino - Young men of colour are believed to be targeted, racially profiled, and the expectation is that if the person is stopped he will have something illegal on him - Proponents say this simply reflects demographic realities of crime Explaining the Race-Crime Link II: Racial Discrimination (Cont’d) - 2) Invisibility and deniability of “systemic racism” o Police deny this by purely denying they engage in racial profiling o Police believe that those who state they are racist are racist themselves o Construction of blacks as the other: implies the construction of blocks as though they are somehow unlike non-blacks, construction as if they are somehow disproportionately involved in crime, uniquely predisposed crime so they are inherently crime prone and dangerous  Characterization of the racialization of crime - 3) Case Study: Rodney King o March 1991 – at night, Rodney King a middle aged African American male was driving in a way that was perceived as reckless. Lights went on and police tried to pull him over but he proceeded to exit the freeway, and the LAPD joined the chase. Soon after he stopped. He allegedly refused requests by officers to get into the prone position and appeared at one point to charge one of the officers. He was beaten and arrested. A trial followed in 1992 and as a result of the trial, the four officers who have been charged with excessive force were found not guilty. Two of the officers were subsequently found guilty for violating his constitutional rights. What’s interesting is that there was a clear case of excessive use of force. How is it that a seeming incident of excessive use of force is transformed into an appropriate excessive use of force? And what role did race play in that shift? o Video of the trial:  Excessive use of force is clearly evident, with officers continuously beating Rodney  The officer spoke of Rodney as if he was a bear after telling the counsel of his two Taser uses  Officer believed he was an ex-con due to the way he looked, he believed he was also under a drug PCP that led him to become strong and out of mind, similar to a monster  Koon believed he and his officers followed the procedures and policies of LAPD training o Response was believed to be necessary because of the officer’s fear of Rodney king which was informed by his physical appearance and interpretation that Rodney was acting animalistic o There was an ex-con connection and the connection of drug use o By taking the video out of the live flow of events and looking at it frame by frame, they could justify every single action and reaction – an example of the incident being decontextualized o Dehumanizing of Rodney King o Identification with the police – identification is taken for granted in part of the audience with the perspective of police, which is reinforced by police going up and testifying – tendency to see incident through police’s eyes rather than the victim’s (Rodney) eyes o An understanding of Rodney King, being linked in an important way to race, is transformed into him just being violent – this is how deniability of racism works, and ability to identify and imagine how Rodney is dangerous Race and Crime 1. Confronting the Politics of Race o Three ways that race is politicized  1) the existence of race as a social and political construct rather than a marker of essential biological differences  2) politics come into play with respect to the collection of race-based statistics – difficulties with respect to location, policy implications, etc.  3) politics come into play with respect to our understanding of the link between race and crime – on one hand interpretation on disproportionate offending, on other hand interpretation on systemic racism 2. Invisibility and deniability of “symbolic” and “systemic” racism o Recognition that race exerts greatest role at the informal part of the criminal justice system, where it is informal invisible and systemic in nature o Resistant to quantification – resistant to even study o The tendency and ability of the police, politicians, and general public to deny accusations of racism and racial profiling o Strategies that construct non-white groups as others, predisposed to crime and dangerous 3. The problem of policy o Real difficulties in deciding how best to respond to race-crime link o Problem that starts off with interpretation then leads to other problems in terms of what kinds of policies actually being implemented Morality and Crime Objectives 1. Exploring “Crime on the Margins” 2. Examining the Links between Morality and Crime 3. Criminalizing Drug Use: Objective harm versus social construction “Crime on the Margins” 1. Focus on the boundaries or margins between crime and deviance o Moving towards behaviours and activities that are more deviant rather than necessarily criminal in nature, and we start to look at the “line” between criminal and non-criminal, such that a distinction is made between what is criminal and what is simply deviant o Considered conflict crimes because of the lack of agreement of their harmful nature 2. Examination of two related processes: o A) Amplification of Deviance  The process through which the deviant aspects of a behaviour or activity are exaggerated or amplified with the result that this behaviour or activity is redefined as a crime o B) Normalization of Deviance  Refers to the reverse – how activities that can be construed as being deviant and harmful are treated as normal, non-criminal  The process through which the deviant aspects of a behaviour or activity are downplayed and minimized with the result that the behaviour or activity is not defined as a crime 3. “Objectivist” versus “Constructionist” approaches to social problems o The process of defining social problems o From an objectivist perspective, the status of a behaviour or a practice as a social problem is based on their objective characteristic  Objective and measurable forms of harm  Empirical evidence, scientific studies – based on documented harms it is decided that activity is a social problem o Constructionist -- Result of process of social construction – not due to their objective harm but due to their perceived harm 4. Links between the process of social construction and the wider social, political and economic context in which this process takes place o In order to understand process of social construction, we need to understand larger social context in which it takes place 5. The legal boundaries between crime and deviance reflect prevailing forms of power, conflict, and social inequality o Provides insights into how power influences the development formation of criminal law Morality and Crime 1. Morality as a foundation for criminal law o Recognition that morality is a foundation for criminal law and morality is used to justify a whole variety of types of crime and offences 2. Victimless crimes and the ambiguity of harm o Gambling, prostitution – referred to as victimless crime because there is no victim, to the extent that the individual is the person actually engaging in the behaviour o Harm is unclear whether the behaviour is harmful, who the harm is ultimately impacting, what the harm actually is o Morally informed judgments thus become more impaired 3. Hypocrisy and societal double standards o A) prevalence of sexual commodification and strong demand for sexual services  What explains the demand of sexual services if the action is so inherently morally wrong? o B) widespread consumption and legal status of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs  Why do so many people drink alcohol? Why do so many people smoke? 4. Moral distinctions = social, political, and economic distinctions o Moral judgments are not something based on objective evidence, but rather they reflect larger social, political, and economic contexts and interests 5. Based on this connection, we need to view criminalization of morality as a political accomplishment o Matter of morals and politics disguised as morals 6. Case Study: Criminalizing Drug Use and Abuse o You don’t think of alcohol, smoking and prescription drug use as a form of drug use o Difference between legal and illegal drug is not in the substance itself but the way it is consumed  If you were to inject caffeine, effect would be similar to cocaine rather than if you just drank it  But the pharmacological aspect of caffeine and cocaine are very similar o Kid rock – “picture”  In Canada a line allows the word “cocaine and whiskey” to be used, while the American version takes away the word “cocaine” but keeps in “whiskey” Criminalizing Drug Use: Objective Harm (objectivist approach) Claims 1. Distinctions between legal and illegal forms of drug use are rooted in objectively defined harms 2. These harms reflect the pharmacological properties of the drugs themselves and take one of two forms: o A) Personal Harms  Their addictive properties, the inevitability of addiction, which lead to negative health effects (injury, death) as well as effects on social relationships (friends, family, school) o B) Societal Harms  The reason why we need to take these drugs seriously is because the drugs impact society as a whole – including: health care and treatment costs, lost economic productivity, connections with crime and violence, and pressures on social programs Reality 1. Objective measures of harm fail to differentiate between legal and illegal drugs – don’t actually allow us to explain why certain drugs or illegal and why some are legal o A) prevalence of recreational drug use and limits to physical addiction  most individuals do drugs recreationally, and do not end up becoming addicted  Alcohol is drunk on a casual basis, but you are not alcoholics. Thus, if cocaine is taken recreationally, it does not mean they will become long-time addicted users  Limits to physical addiction – distinction between physical addiction (when you essentially become sick if you stop taking a drug) and psychological addiction (where your body doesn’t need the drug to feel well, it instead becomes associated with feeling a certain way and being able to do certain things).  Many of the harms actually associated with drugs stem from the fact that they are illegal and prohibited o B) far more harm linked to legal drugs – alcohol and tobacco  When you look at it closely, far greater harms are associated with legal drugs  There is a connection between violence, aggression, and drug use – the drug with the strongest connection is alcohol  You have as much of a risk as overdosing in water as you do in marijuana  435,000 deaths from tobacco, 0 from marijuana  If looking at objective harms, it doesn’t explain how we draw this line on what makes something legal or illegal 2. Ambiguity of the boundary between legal and illegal forms of drug use o One of the most recent version of the drug strategies have eliminated alcohol – alcohol used to be a drug of concern with recognizable consequences  It used to be recognized on a policy level as something needed to be focused on o Police feel it is necessary to focus on alcohol as an actual drug that is used in substance abuse o If objective harm is inadequate in accounting for differences, then what other factors have come into play Criminalizing Drug Use: Social Construction 1. Historical Novelty of Criminalization as a Response to Drug Use o We tend to assume that drugs like cocaine, opium and marijuana have been deemed dangerous and been criminalized for a long time – only recently they have been criminalized o Opium and cocaine were actually patent medicines, and were used often  Example: Soothing Syrup  Sigmund Freud used cocaine often and called it a magical substance 2. Historical context of Criminalization: Social, economic, and political anxieties o 1914 first federal legislation in US that regulates opium and cocaine – if those were the first points in time when drug use was deemed criminal, what factors may help to explain this shift? o The state of the economy – in early 1900s there was a great deal of economic instability, stock market fluctuated greatly, there was a fluctuated rate of unemployment, and these economic swings create anxiety and hardships o Suspicions, fears and outright expressions of hate, dislike directed towards specific racialized groups  Connection between Chinese and opium in early 1900s after building the railways. People, as the economy started to waver and employment started to go up, there was economic anxiety with anxiety of what it meant to have so many Chinese people in Vancouver and how they’d integrate. There was a link between economy, race based conflict with Chinese, and context of opium and opium smoking in opium dens which is what triggered in 1908 the establishment of the opium act. No shift in harms associated with opium, it was a matter of public, political and media perception  With cocaine the link was with blacks in the US south, and anxieties, conflicts and concerns with the abolition of slavery and the movement of blacks through the south. Connection made between cocaine and blacks in the south. Harrison cocaine act in 1914  Marijuana was related to Mexicans in the US south 3. Characteristics of Users and Contexts of Use o Because a connection was made between opium users and Chinese that you saw criminalizing of opium as well as with cocaine o It’s not just characteristics of users but also context of use – where the drugs are consumed  Portrayal of places or spaces of drug consumption as being especially dangerous  Example: Opium Dens seen as dangerous not only because people were smoking opium but because it was seen as seeds of vice  Example: Saloons were seen as anti-social, anti-American areas of activity which contributed to alcohol being seen as a negative substance leading to its prohibition 4. Claims Makers  A) Moral Entrepreneurs  Making claims about the significant dangers associated with different drugs  Moral depravity of drug users and drug use  In Canadian context, one of key moral entrepreneurs was Emily Murphy who, working as a judge, came across problem of opium when she saw prostitutes and johns brought before her. One of the things she learned is that many have been charged with possession of opium or going into an opium den. Made connection between opium and prostitution. Speaks volume of mentality at the time. Questions about the purity of white women and how relationship with drug users and using at the place affected these women o ‘her moral senses are blunted, and she becomes a “victim” in more senses than one’ o It was after the publication of the black handle that opium laws were expanded and strengthened – after 1922, even the possession of opium was criminalized, which often included removal of the country  B) Politicians  Invested in criminalization of drugs, trying to stir up or respond to anxieties  C) Physicians and the medical establishment  Physicians were concerned with cocaine being criminalized – legitimacy of medical profession began to develop. They were less concerned with the effects drugs were having and more interest in the division between legal and illegal drugs that would give them essentially control over prescribing legal drugs 5. Case Study: Marijuana  “hooked: illegal drugs and how they became that way” (documentary)  Why was this drug criminalized and what are some of the factors that came in play?  most popular drug in the world  in 1930s there was a campaign to get rid of marijuana and criminalize  enemy of state in 1937 – 20 million americans arrested or incarcerated for using it  government relied on education films – “becomes invitation to your own murder” o relies on words to deter individuals  drugs illegal because they cause problems - -crime related problems, violence related problems – none of the drugs became illegal until they became associated with deviant groups  America rediscovered marijuana after alcohol was prohibited  Marijuana and jazz – it is cheap and popular – murder dominates the headlines in new Orleans, and a sensational story is important to sell o Saw it as linked to violent crime, predatory crime, murders and rape  Society is worried about people who are not in control of their mind, so criminalizing marijuana was important – they also identified it with black violence  Worried about Mexicans during depths of depression on US border, and these Mexicans have been useful labour force but now they aren’t needed. To stigmatize them and get rid of them, they were compared to violent crazy individuals who use weed o An excuse to drive Mexicans out of the country  Weed is the cause of sex and murder – 1930 the great depression brought fear to America  Since 1920 alcohol has been banned by constitutional amendment, but law repealed it because they began to focus on narcotics  The issue was less about danger of drugs and more about politics – entangled with immigration problems o Mexican immigrants seen as unnecessary and surplus population  Movies should exaggerated dangers of the drug – propaganda war  National firearms act which said you cannot give borrow or transfer a machine gun without a machine gun transfer stamp (government would not make any stamps) – point was to stop distribution of firearms  Idea to make marijuana illegal – anyone involved in distribution or use was required to give a marijuana tax stamp – government would only make a certain amount of stamps  Marijuana was the gateway to heroin and cocaine – assassin of youth  Congress passes marijuana tax act in 1937  Drugs were demonized by Harry J. Anslinger o Bearcat, concerned about budget, cutbacks across the board cause of depression, concerned with preserving and expanding his budget  William Hurst o Responsible for spreading many outlandish claims about marijuana and its links to violence Lessons Learned 1. Processes of deviance amplification associated with drugs and prostitution reflect social, political, and economic interests and anxieties rather than objective harms o Disconnect in terms of the law – between where the law stands on drugs and questions of harm. Some of the most harmful drugs are legal while some of the least harmful drugs are illegal o “the only consistent different between licit and illicit drugs has been one of legal/moral definition” (Reinarman) 2. Questions of morality = matters of politics o Efforts to legislate morality are inevitably influenced by political interests and provides a way of reaffirming and reproducing differences between social groups 3. Definitions of criminal behaviour are key stakes in social and political struggles JANUARY 29 , 2013 Morality and Crime II – The “War on Drugs” Objectives 1. Politics and Criminal Justice Policy: “The War on Drugs” 2. Alternatives to the “War on Drugs”: Decriminalization and Legalization 3. Irrationality of Drug Policy and Barriers to Reform Politics and Criminal Justice Policy: “The War on Drugs” 1. Ronal Regan, Neo-Conservatism; and the Contemporary “War on Drugs” o Approaches to drugs were softened after second world war o In late 60s it really changed with Richard Nixon elected on a platform not just on crime but problems associated with drugs – once he was elected he laid the groundwork for drug enforcement o In mid 1970s there was another softening on thoughts towards drugs o In 1981 election of Ronald Regan – moment where most people view the modern day birth of the war on drugs  he was a republican, concerned with economic stagnation of the US in late 1970s – perception that it was losing its competitiveness with other countries  drive to try and improve the economy, by cutting back the size of the US government (social programs, social welfare initiatives  Philosophy that would allow him to pursue this course of action – needed a way to justify this massive wholesale cutback to the size of US State. He drew upon emerging ethic of individualism – responsibility of individual to make sure they are successful , not the state  If problems are rooted in individual, we can cut back on the state because that’s not where the problem lies  Emerging use of drugs as a scapegoat for a whole variety of social problems (crime) that existed around this time o Media played key role in 1980s that revolved around crack cocaine, where media outlets went berserk about the problem in America – linked with Hispanics and African Americans o In 1989 famous speech by first George Bush – during speech held up a bag that contained cocaine and said it had been seized in a park across the street from the Whitehouse – a sign of the pervasiveness of cocaine. What he didn’t say is that he had actually told DEA weeks ago that he wanted a bag of crack for the speech. 2. Principles and Tactics o A) Reduce Supply  Reduce supply of drugs to the US market  Crop eradication (US military would go to places and spray the coca fields with herbicide)  Interception and seizure (tactic)  Domestic drug enforcement (tactic)  Establishment of stricter, tougher penalties – first times that mandatory minimum sentences are seen for drug distribution o B) Eliminate Demand  Public education campaigns 3. Effectiveness o Four key criteria :  Supply – has there been a significant reduction in availability of drugs?  Price – if there was a decrease in supply, then the price of drugs would go up  Purity – drugs would become less pure  Rates of drug use – decreases in drug use that would more or less mirror the investments and expansion on the war on drugs o Evidence:  Supply – drugs have not gone down, they are more available than ever, and there are new drugs  Price – prices of drugs have actually gone down  Purity – for many drugs, purity has gone up  Rates of drug use – has actually decreased, but what’s interesting is that much of the decrease began before the war on drugs was established (mid to late 1970s) and some of the changes in drug use since the early 80s have not mirrored investments of the war on drugs. 4. Effects o A) Cost o B) Explosion of the Prison Population o C) Systemic Discrimination and the War on People of Colour o D) Police Deviance and Corruption o E) Creation of Drug Dependent Economies 5. Continued Investment FEBRUARY 5 , 2013 Politics and Criminal Justice Policy: “The War on Drugs” Documentary: Drug Wars - len bias overdose from cocaine and dies – changed nation’s perception about cocaine - june 1986 when len bias dies, drugs become the biggest issue in the entire congress - death penalty for major traffickers, life in prison for repeat offenders, severe penalties for repeat possession - 50 agencies involved, not because they have a desire to do something about drug abuse, but because money is available o If a drug unit is formed, they can get money - Crack and cocaine becomes an “epidemic” – huge increase in stories about drugs throughout media - 48 hours on crack street awakened politicians – new pieces of anti-drug legislation would be reported, hearings would be held, and members of congress were jockeying for position in front of the media and the public - New law mandating minimum sentences – eliminating the judge’s discretion - Federal sentences – incarceration for tens of thousands o This resulted in the necessity for more prisons – more funds were needed o Budget for prisons over next decade increased over 160% o Prison population more than doubled o Number of prison guards also doubled - Law enforcement groups were focusing on the asset more than the trafficker – asset forfeiture o Would receive more from the assets than from congress o Money became more important than arresting the offender - Proliferation of intelligence centres for drugs because money became available o Lack of co-ordination that was problem – no accountability o Nobody was responsible, regardless of all the agents working and information wasn’t even exchanged about all these agencies - Casual drug use dropped by over 40% -- barely half the size everyone thought it was o Problem that was driving public concern (real hardcore cocaine addiction) was exploding  This means that the solution would be rehabilitation rather than law enforcement  Major emphasis on treatment and allocation of resources toward treatment regimes rather than disproportionate regime toward enforcement - Drug use then became socially unacceptable – denormalization o De-normalize drug use – restore moral authority of the institutions o By emphasizing the problems of drug abuse, you risk demonizing the people who use it o Stigmatizing of drug users made it more difficult for treatment programs, and a lasting misunderstanding of drug addiction - Drug use is a voluntary behaviour, the problem is that over time the drug use changes your brain and you become in another brain state and you have to understand you’re not dealing with the same person who first started o If you see it as a moral weakness, then your corrective approaches are going to be that simplistic and won’t work - Treatment programs are available to less than 7% of prisoners in the united states o Politicians cannot be soft on crime, and it is difficult for them to spend money to help offenders rather than punish them Things important from this documentary as highlighted by professor: - One of the lasting legacies of this period of time is a dramatic expansion of the narco-enforcement complex (drug enforcement beurocracy) - Proliferation in the number of agencies who have a direct interest in the war on drugs o Expanding interest on part of different enforcement agencies that represents a significant barrier in changing courts - Disconnect between policy direction and actual data around rates of drug use - Idea of de-normalization o Stigmatization, demonization of casual drug users as an important act of this policy  What are the implications of drug users in this way? As if they are deviant, immoral and criminal?  Does that create barriers to emphasizing treatment? Does that further perpetuate investment in punitive drug responses? o Demonization is a form of dehumanization because it affects how drug users are talked about, framed, spoken about in media and political circle  Characterizations and definitions of social problems have important consequences LECTURE - Example: announcement from 2012 – international panel conveined to look at problems associated with war on drugs at a global scale. Concluded, that on a global basis, the war on drugs has been a failure – commission is global commission on drug policy - The war on drugs has not been effective - It is not simply that the war on drugs has been unsuccessful, but also the fact that it has contributed to the production of a whole additional set of harms (harms to individual, society, public health and economic implications) Effects - A) cost – massive investment and massive redistribution of the way the government spends its resources. Investments in education for instance have decreased while war on drugs increased in California in the 80s. o 1982 to 1992 – 1.6 billion dollars invested in war on drug efforts increased to more than 19 billion by 1992. Budget for DEA quadrupled during same period of time. - B) Explosion of the Prison Population – reliance on law enforcement and reliance on mandatory minimum sentences and as a result, a reliance on building more prisons o Rate of incarceration between 1980 to 1995 tripled  Bulk of this increase is due to drug offences and vast majority of those drug offences are relatively non serious drug possession  Marijuana was what was driving the majority of this increase - C) Systemic discrimination and the war on people of colour – framed war on drugs in terms of a war on people of colour because of systemic discrimination underlaying many police strategies. Racial profiling, sentencing, bail and how the inequalities are especially pronounced between different racial groups for drug offences. o Look at laws themselves and at mandatory minimums and at disparities around sentencing guidelines for different variations of the same drug o Comparison often made between powdered cocaine and crack cocaine – mandatory minimum for crack cocaine are 8 times longer for powder cocaine because crack cocaine users (predominantly black and latino) and powdered cocaine users are white and middle class o Disproportionate rates of arrest and incarceration o Non-white women of colour – to 1986 and 1991, there was an 828% increase in state incarceration on drug charges for African American women. Reflects marginalized position of women within society and drug trade - D) Police deviance and corruption – police deviance is viewed as unethical illegal activities that are undertaken for the benefit of the police organization as a whole. Example: planting drugs on a suspect you know is guilty or bribing witnesses to testify in court to strengthen a case. Corruption -- The intention is to benefit the individual police officer instead of society. Example: accepting bribes or kickbacks, participating in the drug trade and theft. o Both of these practices could be systemic – became systemic because of lack of control and accountability - E) Creation of Drug Dependent Economies -- FEBRUARY 12 , 2013H - Economic and human costs associated with war on drugs - Impact on women and non-white women - Each sets of effects has led most observers to wonder about the effectiveness of the strategies Decriminalization and Legalization - Political o Rely on funds for their campaigns, or some of their portion of their funds comes from companies that deal with private security or prison construction o Direct political stakes associated with war on drugs - Economic o Idea of drug dependent economies – true in developing countries and western nations  Economic health is linked to underground drug colony - Bureaucratic o Police – war on drugs is significant source of revenue o A way of demonstrating their effectiveness, to show they are seizing drugs and stopping offenders - Symbolic o Links into the idea “denormalization of drug use/users”, demonization of the drug user and how that creates a powerful image in the mind of the general public  An image that isn’t conducive to changing course and a greater emphasis on treatment because it creates a sense of fear o Associated judgments that drug users are immoral – less moral by nature  Creating a barrier to loosen these controls and regulations on drug use o Dimension of race and racialization – not only crime in our society that is defined in racial terms, but drug and drug use as well *clip from documentary* HOUSE I LIVE IN – critical on war on drugs - You can’t get elected if you don’t focus on drugs, you can’t stay elected if you don’t do things about crime - System of corrections are not actually correcting anyone – people recidivate and go through “revolving doors” of prison - We put profit before people - Congress people skew laws to be draconian to keep a relying system of money and profit - Why is it a success? How is it a success? o Keeps police busy o Keeps private securities prisons thriving CORPORATE AND WHITE-COLLAR CRIME Objectives 1. “normalization of deviance” 2. Definition of terms: White-collar versus corporate crime 3. Barriers to definition and measurement 4. Decriminalization of corporate crime: objective harm versus social construction o Objective harms which are very significant, extensive, have impact on everyone but perceived harms are relatively small and minor 5. Case Studies Normalization of Deviance - 1) “Crime,” law and power o Different sets of interests get expressed through criminal law – what is defined as criminal vs. non- criminal - 2) Ability of corporations to normalize their activities and resist or avoid the application of criminal law o Normalization of deviance: process through which the deviant aspects of a behaviour or activity are minimized… or as a result of this behaviour is not defined as a crime o How events that should be illegal are viewed as tolerable o Laundering of corporate criminality - 3) Normalization of deviance as a reflection of corporate influence on both the formation and enforcement of law o How they are able to influence the formation of law (variation initiatives including political lobbying)  Financial contributions and campaign contributions provide them with a degree of influence o The implementation of law – what difference do the laws make if they are developed but never implemented? - 4) language of corporate wrongdoing and the flexibility of law o Interesting how corporate acts are described in popular press – often hear that their actions are defined as : offenses, violations…rather than as “crimes”  Rather than corporate activities characterized as immoral the way drug use is, they are referred to as unethical  Why do we allow corporate crime to be described as an offense rather than a crime? Language is powerful – helps to shape peoples beliefs and understanding o Flexibility of law  Only one type of law that for the most case is ever brought to bear on prostitution and drug offenses – either it’s criminal or non-criminal  When we look at laws dealing with corporations, there are many different options…corporate and white-collar crime can go through criminal law, civil law, regulatory law, ethical violation  Law is much more flexible than it is in other areas - 5) De-criminalization of corporate crime: “objective harm” versus “perceived harm” o We live in an age that is dependent on images. The ability to dramatize issues and problems. Street crimes is very conducive to those dramatic portrayals, while corporate crime is complex, invisible and a result of a series of corporate actions and practices engaged by number of individuals behind closed doors – something that can’t be visualized Definition of Terms 1. White-Collar (occupational) Crime o A “criminal” act committed in course of one’s occupation for the benefit of the individual  Our definition and our way of understanding differences between types of crime hinges on who benefits. The benefit is primary to the individual in corporate crime  Example: Embezzlement, insider trading 2. Corporate (organizational) Crime o A “criminal” act committed in the course of organization activities for the benefit of the corporation  Example: accounting fraud, dumping toxins 3. Economic Crime o Crime of an economic or financial nature perpetrated by individuals and/or groups independently of a specific occupational role or organizational function  To distinguish between crime that occurs in a corporate context and to focus instead on fraud that it’s committed more by individuals (e.g. organized crime, scams, frauds)  Example: e-mail (winning the lottery)  You may have an act that benefits the individual and the corporation – gets confusing when you have stop options involved  Individual vs. corporate benefit as a distinction is a good rule of thumb, but doesn’t hold true in every case Barriers to Definition and Measurement 1. Absence and Ambiguity of Law o Even if there was a legally sanctionable law, they may be ambiguous and riddled with loopholes that allow corporations to continue to engage in their criminal conduct o Problems with interpretation o One of the difficulties you see with corporate crimes is that there aren’t any criminal laws dealing with them – can you count actions that aren’t defined as criminal law violations as a criminologist? o Tappit and Sutherland had debate exactly about how corporate crime should be defined  Sutherland: it didn’t matter so much whether a corporate or a specific form had misconduct so much as there was some law or some punishment that had to do around with that practice  Expand the definition – it wasn’t the criminal law that was a violation, but a violation of ANY law  Tappit: a criminal court has not found the corporation to be criminally responsible, so they cannot be seen as criminal o We shouldn’t limit ourselves just to legal violations, we should look at corporate activities that are harmful rather than simply corporate activities that are illegal  EXAMPLE: chocolate. The producing of it may be used through slave labour and cheap labour. The farmers who produce the chocolate get the smallest portion of compensation relative to the corporate multinationals who buy the means, process them, and market them. A case of price- fixing in the chocolate industry (nestle, mars, Cadbury) – executives were getting together and fixing the prices of chocolate bars…leading to class action lawsuits.  EXAMPLE: Mcdonalds Big Mac combo. System based on factory farming, a system of processing meat that is in many cases is unsafe and can lead to outbreaks of ecoli. Food production has associated harms both to animals and humans. Products which are in no way are illegal, but are associated with various types of harms o Most appropriate for definition of crime should have the definition of harm – if it is harmful, then it is relevant to corporate crime 2. Absence of Reliable Data o There is a UCR for street crime but for corporate crime there is no equivalent o You can go t regulatory agencies and make inquiries about their regulatory activities and sanctions they gave to other companies o The main issue is that many of those regulatory activities have been scaled back, such that the regulators aren’t doing the same job they used to  Decrease of incidence not because corporations are doing a better job, but because regulators aren’t pursuing as many cases as they used to o Researchers studying corporate crime have limited resources, each of which only provides a small glimpse into corporate crime o Case law, law reports, regulatory agencies, going to companies and the media are all areas you can attempt to go to find information 3. Lack of Research Funding o Granting agencies are very open to research around conventional crime o Many agencies much less willing to fund research around corporate crime due to its controversial aspect 4. “Corporate Harm” versus “Corporate Crime” - below is continuation Corporate Crime: Objective Harm 1. Harm Against Consumers o Production pricing and representation – e.g. price fixing o Product quality and safety – e.g. products deemed unsafe 2. Harms against the economy o Strategies of misrepresentation – e.g. representing a company as being profitable and successful when it’s not; inflating sales, inflating profits o Strategies of evasion and avoidance – e.g. tax evasion 3. Harms Against Employees o Health and safety violations – e.g. employees hurt or killed at work due to violations of safety rules o Inadequate compensation – e.g. mandating employees to work overtime without additional pay o Interference with the legitimate organization of labour – e.g. companies like walmart who implement strategies to stop union involvement 4. Harms Against the Environment o Pollution – e.g. BP oil spill in gulf of Mexico o Depletion of Natural Resources – e.g. deforestation o Destruction of the Environment – e.g. destruction of ecosystems - Given the degree of harm, why is the social and legal response limited in many of these cases? Why is there a disconnect between high degree of harm and very limited social response? 5. Minimal Societal and Legal Response o Why is the response to street crime so massive, while the response to things that are harmful like corporate crime so muted and un-challenged Corporate Crime: Social Construction FEBRUARY 26 , 2013H Corporate Crime: Social Construction (continuation from last week) 1. Pro-Business Ideology - Cultural norms, values and attitudes within capitalist societies which support the role of business in the generation of wealth  Ideas are especially powerful because we assume that the success of business is essential to the success and prosperity of our country, we assume that minimal regulation is necessary for corporations to be profitable – attitudes and values that circulate and we take for granted, becoming part of our common sense o A) Costs of Doing Business  A belief that corporate harms are inevitable and unavoidable cost/side-effects, consequences of a productive capitalist market system  we acknowledge there are problems with pollution and health and safety rules, adequacy of wages and other harms, but attitude is that these harms are costs we need to bare as a result of living in a capitalist system o B) Dangers of Regulations  A fear that greater regulation and increases in taxes associated and any form of regulation will result in corporations moving offshore – an idea of a global economy, and within that global economy corporations are able to move around very easily – meaning state regulators are careful about regulating too much  “risk-based regulation”: any time a regulator wants to pass a new law they always have to identify the costs and the benefits, and they have to demonstrate that the regulation will not have an overly burdensome impact on business and also need to focus on activities that pose the greatest risks  focusing on a very narrow band of activity, involving the most obvious risks and practices that involve the smaller and marginal players because going after bigger companies is too risky o C) “What’s good for business is good for the country”  Our interests as a general public are very much aligned with business interests – m
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