SOC 1500 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Offender Profiling, Visible Minority, Racial Profiling

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10 Aug 2016
November 11th & 13th, 2014
Week 11: Criminal Justice System’s Response to Crime (policing)
Chapter 8 – Responding to Crime – page #201-210:
Crime, Law and Order:
Law-and-order supports a strict criminal justice system
This tough-on-crime logic extends to all three major elements of the criminal justice system
the police, the courts, and the prisons
Tough-on-crime logic keeps with the deterrent theory that the fear of harsh punishment is the
most effective way to deter crime
Long prison sentences, mandatory minimum sentences, and even capital punishment are not
particularly effective policies for reducing crime, even though they do serve the retributive
function of punishing criminals and reducing the risk to society posed by violent offenders
only while they are incarcerated
Victims of crime and their advocated play important roles in terms of promoting a more
punitive criminal justice system
Society currently fails adequately to support crime victims and their families but “victims’
rights” doesn’t mean that things are done to help the victim but that things are done to the
Common forms of crime are impossible to curtail through rigid state control
The amount of youth crime and the severity of official measures that are aimed that
controlling it are unrelated and therefore changes in the criminal justice system will do little to
solve the youth crime problem
The structure and purpose of policing is now much more complex than it was following
Policing in Canada is carried out at four levels
1. Federal RCMP responsible for enforcing all federal statues
2. Provincial enforcing provincial laws, in addition to the Criminal Code, provincial police
generally serve smaller communities
3. Municipal enforce local bylaws
4. First Nations Aboriginal communities have the option of establishing their own police
forces these police services are distinguished from other police services in Canada (of
Aboriginal decent and recruited from the communities they police)
“Broken-windows” model social incivilities, such as loitering, public drinking, urinating in
public spaces, and property incivilities like vacant lots and abandoned, boarded-up buildings
produce a set of behaviours and environments, that, if left to further deteriorate, will cause
serious anti-social behaviour, even violence
o This perspective suggests that there is an inevitable association between public
“disorder” and crime
Zero tolerance policing “the maintenance of order”, where the police target those individuals
who are perceived as the most important causes of disorder
Racial profiling refers to members of the police force systematically targeting members of
racial groups on the basis of a perceived criminal proclivity of the whole group; racial profiling
is most commonly associated with police contact with visible minority groups
The job of policing, according to the police, requires a level of conduct that cannot be
undermined by concerns that minorities or interest groups may cry foul or be identified as
victims of unfair targeting
From the perspective of the police, “while particular groups may garner attention, this is
hardly the outcome of racialized police practices; they engage in criminal profiling, not racial
Racial profiling is connected to order within policing
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