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CRIM241 Ch1-4 Notes.docx

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Simon Fraser University
CRIM 241
Danielle Murdoch

PART 1 Canadian Corrections: Setting the Framework CH1–PerspectivesonCrimeandPunishment The Early Days  Punishment by imprisonment was rare o Death penalty was common (boiling alive, drowning) o Corporal punishment (exile, fines) th th  Ecclesiastical prisons run by catholic church 6 -9 century, could not shed blood so need way to take care of prisoners, hard labour, solitude, religious contemplation, strict diet, time for self-reflection  First house of corrections opened in Bridewell, London 1557 – believe subjecting offenders to hard labour was the best solution to rising population of criminals  Courts increasingly resorted to the death penalty in an attempt to stem the rise of what the emerging middle class saw as the „dangerous classes‟  England‟s Bloody Code – more than 350 offences were punishable by death o Disposed many through transportation (a form of banishment), or confined in hulks in decommissioned sailing vessels that was converted to floating prisons Perspectives on Crime, Offenders and Punishment Classical (Conservative) School Reason: CS held that offenders exercise free will and engage in criminal behavior as a result of rational choice.  Offenders engaged in a „hedonistic calculus‟ that maximized pleasure and minimized pain  Thus to change behaviour, the cost of crime must outweigh the benefits – and should be no greater than necessary to deter the potential offender Historical influences: Classical school of criminology  Cesare Beccaria = Gravity of offence should be measured by the injury done to society.  Jeremy Bentham (hedonistic calculus) Primary goal for CJS: deterrence, not revenge  Punishment must be swift, certain and severe.  Related to tough on crime approaches, mass incarceration Weakness:  Fails to consider any external causes of crime, societal conditions (poverty, racism, discrimination)  No evidence that tougher sanctions actually work as deterrence  Ignore more individualized factors that may contribute to criminality (eg addiction)  Relies on reason alone to explain and respond to crime Positivist (Liberal) School Reason: PS view that criminal behaviour is determined and that offenders require individualized treatment.  Poverty, racism, other social injustices causes crime  Explanations for crime should centre on individual rather than on society Historical influences: Positivist school of criminology - Cesare Lombroso, Enrico Ferri, Raffael Garafalo Goal: Should focus on treatment/rehabilitation  Treatment should be individualized so they reflect the unique qualities of the offender  Calls for „selective incapacitation‟ – only incarcerate heinous crime offenders- opposite of mass incarceration Weakness:  Fail to consider roll of free will in criminal offending  May result in net-widening and more persons under supervision  Exclusive focus on individual offender may distract from an examination of broader social injustices Critical (Radical) School Reason: Crime is because of the exploitative nature of capitalist system, which uses justice system to oppress the lower classes  Rich exploit the poor and the poor prey on one another  A disproportionate number of persons are in lower class, suffer high rates of mental illness, addiction, homelessness and have hew skills  Profits from law and policies (eg war of drugs) render marginal people more susceptible to punishment – leads to mass incarceration, which does nothing to contribute to a safer society Historical influences: writings of Karl Marx and contemporary critical criminology Goal: Eliminate the capitalist system and establish a new social order  Crime is a result of the way society is structured, any attempt to reduce crime must focus on the system rather than on individual offenders – CJS is used to repress the lower class Weakness:  Fail to consider individual factors that may contribute to crime  Pay little attention to victims, or impact on communities  Ignores board public support for most laws Objectives of Punishment Retribution: focus on the offence + justified by moral = offenders deserve to be punished  See offenders are free agent and we should hold them accountable Deterrence: focus on actual/potential offenders + to prevent future crime = make punishment more C/S/S  See offenders as rational beings who engage in cost/benefit calculations Incapacitation: focus on actual offender + risk control = lock them up so they can‟t commit crime  See offenders as not to be trusted and must be constrained Rehabilitation/Reintegration: focus on needs of offender + fix deficiencies = reduce reoffending with treatment and assist in re-entering community  See offenders as good people who have gone astray, will respond to treatment st Punishment and Corrections in Early 21 century Trends in the History of punishment and corrections  Increasing centralization and professionalization, Decreasing role of the community o From community to more government control, because need degree The Risk-Focused Society and Corrections  Risk assessment reduce liability of personnel who released the prisoners, if they reoffend (they followed proper procedure)  Heightening surveillance – psychoactive drugs control, electronic tracking, supervising offenders in community, genetic risk assessment focus on genetic predisposition to violent/criminal behaviour  Techno-corrections (surveillance in institutions, GPS monitoring of offenders) focus on security and order at the expense of rehabilitation/treatment  In prisons, inmates are heavily restricted in their movements, watched by CCTVs, may have negative impact on offenders  Government continue make more punitive punishment for crime Punitive Penology  The rise of “punitive penology”, includes penal populism + a shift toward laws that increase severity of criminal sanctions + expansion of surveillance/control over offenders  Penal Populism ** o Happens when politicians advance “tough of crime” policies that appeal to the public in order to improve their chances of re-election but do little to reduce crime rates/ensure justice is done o Often do not reflect public opinion, or formulate in the absence of an informed public o Eg mandatory minimum sentences, three-strikes-rule  reflect classical perspective o Resulted in significant increase in prison populations, increasing cost  1/9 black American men age 20-34 is a prisoner in any given time  1/4 either has been/presently in prison Corrections in Community and Public  Canadians have little confidence in corrections system to protect community, to supervise or help offenders. Media tend to be biased toward sensation crimes and simplify crime and justice issues. Contributing to an uninformed or misinformed public, increase fear. Correctional service does little to protect their image, so little support  A major obstacle to correctional program in the community is the NIMBY syndrome.  NIMBY (not in my back yard): the resistance of community residents to the efforts of corrections systems to establish programming and residences for offenders in community.  Corrections personnel often have to react to accusations of interest groups, struggling to reassure public after escape of offender on parole, attempting to justify the release of a high-risk offender to community Restorative Justice: alternative perspective Restorative Justice: Approach to justice based on the principle that crime injures V/C/O, and that all of these parties should be involved in efforts to address the causes of the behavior and its consequences.  Key principles: healing, reparation, reintegration and the prevention of future harm  Objectives: o Victim‟s needs are addressed o Offenders acknowledge and take responsibility for their behavior. o Create a "community "of support + assistance for the victim + offender o Prevent reoffending by reintegrating offenders Comparison of Criminal Court Process vs. Restorative Justice Traditional Justice Restorative Justice People Experts, non-residents Local people Adversarial, state v offender Community vs. problem Process  Encourages dialogue and mutual agreement, gives  One side wins, the other loses. victims and offenders central roles Problem Laws broken Relationship broken To establish guilt and imposes Identify needs of victim, offender and community Goal appropriate punishment.  Judged by the extent to which responsibilities are assumed, needs met, and harm repaired Punishment/control Healing/support Tools Fixed rules Flexible Effectiveness?  Victims – more satisfied with face to face interactions, positive impact on psychological/health  Offenders – higher satisfaction with justice; more likely to assume accountability, more likely to comply with court orders  Communities – opportunity for community to be involved in a proactive, problem solving context, contribute to healthier community and improve quality of life  Recidivism – significant reduction in reoffending for property and violent crime, more effective with serious/violent than property, more effective than incarceration  Costs – cost saving, reduce time to conclude a case Challenges  Public perception it is soft on crime  Lack of public awareness about RJ  Many RJ principles are unfamiliar, eg forgiveness, community, empowerment, healing, spirituality  Preventing revictimization (eg aboriginal woman experience high rates of sexual/physical abuse in their communities)  Community dynamics, especially in rural and remote communities, difficult to implement RJ approaches CH2 –CanadianPenitentiaryHistory  Pennsylvania model – a separate/silent system, eat work sleep in separate cells, completely isolated o Most European, South American, Asian prisons  Auburn Model – strict silence at all times, eat work together during the day, individual cells at night o Most prisons US/Canada today are patterned on the auburn model  The first Kingston Penitentiary 1835 was constructed in Ontario o Influenced by US developments, overcrowding in local jails, and view that corporal punishment was improper and degrading o Design symbolized a moral architecture, one that reflected the themes of order and morality o Goal is to remove underlying causes of crime: intemperance, laziness and a lack of moral values  Within prison, hard labour + emphasis on religion were core elements of the reformation process o Within several years, concerns were being raised regarding its effectiveness in punishing and reforming offenders o Conditions in prison were really bad, centered on hard labour and discipline, swift and harsh punishment… which led to the creation of Royal Commission in 1848  Brown Commission 1848-49 – Investigated charges of corruption and mismanagement at Kingston Penitentiary; o Condemned the use of corporal punishment and emphasized the need of rehabilitation o Questioned whether prison was the right setting to address criminality/rehabilitation – identifying same concern we have today o Impact on prison reform uncertain, corporal punishment and hard labour remained prominent o Brown Commission was viewed as a missed opportunity for Canadians to reconsider the use of penitentiary  1906 Penitentiary Act o Separated young + mentally disordered offenders from general population o Remove power and duties of federal penitentiary inspectors o However, philosophy of corrections: unchanged – punitive practices continue o Inmates were subjected to a variety of harsh disciplinary until 1930s  1930-1970 Beginning of modern reform o Harsh regime changing, eg good conduct gets light to read, get paid for work o Royal Commission on the Penal System of Canada – goal of prison, add reform + rehabilitation o Post WW2 – shift toward treatment model  More vocational training, education, group counselling  Increase number of psychologists/psychiatrist on prison staff  Shift towards medical model of corrections  Criminals were ill (physically/mentally/socially) – criminal behaviour = symptom of illness  Treatment and diagnosis would ensure rehabilitation o 1960 = Built minimum and medium security, hold smaller populations, expand visiting privileges, education and training opportunities  Late 20 and early 21 – Americanization of Canadian corrections o Increasing cost – 86% increase between 2007 - 2012  Over 80% of corrections $ are for custodial expenses, even tho less than 5% are sent to prison  $100,000/male @max, higher for female, 1/4 cost community o Departure from a liberal model of corrections practice, to conservative (like US)  Elimination of faint hope clause (reduce parole eligibility date for 1 degree murder)  Increase in waiting period to apply for a record suspension  Abolition of accelerated parole review (Concerns they are getting off easy)  Elimination of „two for one‟ credit for time served (2 days in remand = 1 in institution o BillC-10 Safe Streets and Communities Act 2012  Introduction of mandatory minimum sentences, for drug or sex offences  Judge can consider adult sentences for young offenders  Restriction on judges as what types of offences can be considered for a conditional sentence  Changed „least restrictive measures‟ to „limited to what is necessary and appropriate‟  Creating Choices 1990  Closed Kingston P4W, built smaller regional facilities (no evidence reduce recidivism) CH3 –Contemporary CanadianCorrections Corrections Primary mandate: To protect society  “Pendulum” swinging back and forth from classical to positivist  21 century, more punitive but also more restorative justice model  “Split personality” of corrections = Punishment vs Treatment Who of Corrections  NONCARCERAL = Portion of corrections system relating to offenders in noninstitutional settings (eg probation) o More staff in this sector since most people are not sent to prison o Who? = judges, probationers, community counsellors/treatment professionals, aboriginal friendship centres, offender‟s family, parole board members, NGOs, community volunteers, parolees, parole officers, halfway house staff,  CARCERAL = Portion of corrections system relating to confinement in correctional institutions o Who? = judges, Inmates, superintendents and wardens, correctional officers, institutional parole officers, spiritual advisers (eg elders), native prison liaison workers, treatment professionals, citizen advisory committees, community volunteers, offender‟s family  Judges begins in both, because correctional process begins when sentence is passed What of Corrections = “Corrections as a ...”  Political Enterprise  reflect critical school perspective, C policy influenced by government of the day  Philosophy for Responding to Criminal Offenders  provide basis
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