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Chapter

Soc209 Readings ch1-3

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC209H5
Professor
Nathan Innocente
Semester
Fall

Description
Soc209 Readings Lectures: - Crime is breaking the norm or standard that is set by society. Crime leadsto response from government official. Deviance leads to response from society. - Meris Rea: belief that rational people choose their own behaviour. o Necessary element of crime, refers to intent of crime, a guilty mind. o Three levels of meris rea: intent (must want to harm), knowledge (knew action was wrong) and Recklessness (lack of appropriate care and attention to what he/ she was doing) Chapter 1: Criminal Justice System: - Considered to contain all the agencies and organizations involved in dealing with crime prevention and responding to persons charged with offenses, and persons convicted of crimes. - Includes crime prevention and reduction - Responds to law breaking with investigation, prosecution and punishment. - Only fraction of criminal acts come to police attention, and even smaller go into court and lead to sentence of incarceration. - Restorative justice: alternative methods, conditional release (parole, mediation etc.) - Crime funnel: small amount of crime caught, smaller reported, smaller arrested, court, incarcerated. Actual crime a lot more. Structure of Criminal Justice: - Controlled almost entirely by governments. o Elected officials: members of parliament (establish budgets for criminal justice agencies) o Senior civil servants: appointed government employees o NGO; not all people in justice system gov’t employees Roles & Responsibilities of Governments in CJS: - Constitution act 1867: division of responsibility between federal and provincial government - Federal decides which behaviours constitute criminal offences, provincial and territorial enforce and administer justice system. - Federal: o create, amend and repeal law for entire country. Sets procedures for prosecuting person charged with offenses, and establishes the punishment. RCMP; prosecutes some federal offenses, manages some courts, operates correctional institutions. o Federal offenses: drugs, abduction, etc. criminal code: sets criminal laws, procedures for prosecuting federal offenses, sentences and procedures for the justice system o Charter of Rights: component of constitution act that guarantees basic rights and freedoms. - Provincial: o Can pass laws under their constitutional jurisdiction o Drinking, speeding, handheld device while driving o Police: 3 types of police: Ontario provincial police, Surete du Qubec & Royal newfoundland constabulary o Prosecutors, Courts and Judges: every province and territory has attorney general, for laying charges and prosecuting. Also have courts, and judges elected via independent tribunal o Corrections: probation, fine-option program, and victim-offender reconciliation >less than 2 year - Municipal: o Enact bylaws that are within city limits. Minor penalties; principally fines Flow of Cases through Justice System: - Dynamics: decisions are made by justice personnel, challenges they face preventing and responding to crime, initiative taken to make justice system more effective. - Adversarial system: advocates present case in front of a neutral judge or jury. Has principles, some include: o Presumption of innocence: innocent before proven guilty o Crown bear burden of proof: they try to prove the accused guilty not accused prove his/her innocence o Doli incapax: too youg for evil; child under 12, not prosecuted for criminal acts o Insanity: mentally instable o Attempts are crimes: attempted then punished for ½ of actual sentence of act - Accused person cannot be compelled to give evidence. Defence lawyers concerned about placing defendant on stand; they can give distorted version of event, can have difficulty answering questions. Exercise of Discretion by Criminal Justice Personnel: - Discretion: freedom to choose between different options when confronted with decision. - Makes it inconsistent of how laws are applied and how cases processed in court - Criminal justice professionals are also given considerable opportunity for discretion. - Parole officers under scrutiny because of releasing people convicted of heinous crimes. - Disparity: one judge might give probation while another would sentence to prison Community Control to State Law: - History: society was previous regulated by norms, folkways and mores, there was strong in group pressure to conform. - Punishment: gossip and ridicule, or revenge as a response to harmful acts - Complexity of society informal social control mechanisms replaced by formal ones. Transfer of power and authorities to governments and criminal justice agencies.’ - Restorative justice allows community resident involvement Foundations of The Legal System: - Canadian legal system of common law (originated in Europe, Canada 17-18 cen. - Precedent: when judge makes decision to be legally enforced, guide other judges - Stare Decisis: higher courts set precedents lower courts must follow - Rule of law: foundation of Canadian legal system o All citizen must obey law, if break, only legal system respond o Legal system must be fair o Only elected officials make decision o Written clearly so all people understand o Must apply equally o Penalty must be defined for breaking rule Criminal Law: - Two general categories public and private law, public affect society - Public Law: criminal, constitutional, administrative, taxation - Criminal Law: body of law that deals with conduct so harmful to society that it is prohibited by statute and prosecuted by government. - defines which acts are against law and sets out available penalties. Guidelines to be followed by police and judges when arresting and investigating. - Limits in the extent criminal law can intrude on activities of citizens in confines of their home. Masturbating case Criminal Law vs. Civil Law: - Civil Law: cateogory of laws relating to contracts, torts, inheritance, custody of children - Difference between criminal and civil: o Gov’t assumes responsibility in case of criminal law, criminal court on behalf of victim and community undertake responsibility of determining innocence or guilt. o Civil law is conflict between individuals o Civil law person brings case into court, seeks compensation from wrongdoing party. o Standard of proof: in criminal trial prosecutor has to prove defendant guilty, in civil: balance of probabilities. What is Crime: - Act or omission that is prohibited by criminal law - Omission: failing to report a case of child abuse - Commission: o Actus reus: commits the act o Mens rea: intent to commit act - Crime occurs when: o Commits an act or fails to do so when in legal responsibility to do so o Has intent to commit act o Does not have defence for committing act o Violate provision in criminal law. Principles of Canadian Law: - Act does not person guilty until they are proven so - No crime without a law, no punishment without a law (rules cannot change in middle) - Ignorance of law is no excuse - No one is compelled to incriminate himself: right to remain silence; can’t force confess - No one should be twice trouble for same cause Origins & Application of Criminal Law: - How are laws applied: two main explanations: - Value consenus model: crime and punishment reflect commonly held opinions and limits of tolerance. Incest and murder. Society cohesiveness and boundaries - Conflict Model: crime and punishment reflect the power that some groups have to influence to formulation and application of criminal law. Person who steals 100 from convenient store gets bigger sentence then fraud by stockbroker resulting loss of mil. Classification of offenses: - 3 categories of criminal offenses: conviction, indictable, hybrid - Summary conviction: less serious; hurting animal, found in brothel, impersonating pol. - Indictable: serious offenses that may carry maximum prison sentence of 14+; sex assault, murder, robbery - Hybrid (elective): offenses that can be prosecuted summarily or indictment, decision made by crown. Pointing fire arm at person, sex assault, driving while disqualified, death threats. o 6 months to make decision, if increase then it is indictment Where do Criminal Laws come from: - Victoria England, before that bible/ religion - As society changes so does law; stink bombs in public became illegal, lotteries became legal. Development of technology: cyber bullying, child pornography, misappropriating cable television service. - New laws formed, some struck down or repealed - Moral entrepreneurs: lead moral crusades against certain groups or behaviours pressurizing legislators to enact criminal statutes; prohibition during war. Models of criminal justice Administration: - Crime control model: an orientation to criminal justice in which protection of the community and apprehension of offenders is paramount. - Due process model: an orientation in criminal justice in which individual rights of citizens, including those suspected of committing a crime against state are paramount - police with crime control, court with due process Deterrent Effect of Criminal Law: - punishment prevents future crime if three conditions are met: certainty, celerity, severity. Person must know legal sanctions will be applied for engaging in criminal activity they will get caught, speed at which they will get punished, and then the severity of the punishment. - But catch rate low and punishment not swift, because of due process in court, defence lawyer may prolong punishment. Who’s law? whose justice? - Rule of law: no one is above law, all bound to law and must follow it, are entitled to its protection, should be observed and enforced equally. - Debate regarding social profiling, because of increased diversity in Canada - Proactive efforts of police may be supported by majority of community but not by minority groups who feel subjected and targeted by police. - Most new immigrants settle in rural urban areas; cheap places, these spots are already dense in police because of parole and etc. language barriers also lead to racist thinking. Law Reform: - Law changes all the time; it is fluid - 1920’s prohibition laws - Assisted suicide and abortion still under debate - This also alters punishment; parole etc. Restorative Justice: - Def: An approach to justice based on the principle that criminal behaviour injures the victim, offender and the community. - Thus these parties should be involved when trying to solve problem - Alternative to adversarial system of justice Dimensions of Restorative Justice: - Victim-offender mediation, circle sentencing, community holistic healing programs and family group conferences. Restorative Justice initiatives in Aboriginal Communities: - Increasing involved in developing restorative methods - Lower the # of aboriginals incarcerated in provincial corrections. - Holistic: offenders and victims plus their families make sanction that will meet everyone’s needs. Effectiveness of Restorative Justice: - Lowers rate of reoffending. - Receive high marks from victim and offenders in terms of Fairness - Reduced court and case processing times Obstacles to info Sharing: - Barriers to info sharing can affect the completeness of information available to key decision makers. - Interoperability: ability of hardware and software from multiple databases to communicate with one another. - Police can share info with counter parts, etc. Chapter 2: High Cost: Crime and Criminal Justice - 13 billion to operate criminal justice system - Increased spending has not affected the efficiency or effectiveness of the system Justice in Multi-culture Scoiety: - Because Canada is so multicultural, makes it difficult for justice system to ensure rights of all citizens. - Muslim girl in quebec taken off of team because of rule ag
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