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SOC371H5 Chapter Notes -Evaluation Strategy, Homicide, Correctional Service Of Canada


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC371H5
Professor
Philip Goodman

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Scot Wortley (2003). Hidden Intersections: Research on Race, Crime, and Criminal Justice in Canada.35(3): 99-
117.
OUTLINE
1) Explores different theoretical models that try to explain why racial minorities appear to be over-represented in official crime stats.
2) Discusses racial discrimination within justice system.
a) Argues that intersection of race and lower class position may contribute to apparent disadvantages minority groups face when
dealing with police and CJS
3) Criminal Victimization
a) High rates of violent victimization. Why?
b) How researchers and gov’t should address the problem of hate crime
4) How race interacts with both social class and linguistic ability to impede access to high quality justice service
5) Conclusion
i) Detailed discussion of data needs and the many obstacles that researchers face when trying to conduct research on these
issues in Canada
ii) Academic community must play more of a leadership role and help establish a research agenda that will facilitate the
development of effective policy initiatives
INTRODUCTION
In October 2002, the Toronto Star newspaper published numerous articles on race and crime. These articles revealed that black people
were highly over-represented in some offense categories (such as drug trafficking). It claimed that this consistent over-representation
means that police engage in racial profiling and minority offenders treated more harshly after arrest compared to white people. This
article created huge controversy. The CJ reps denied all blames regarding racial profiling. Critics, on the other hand, argued that black
people were over-represented in arrest stats because they simply engage in more criminal activity than other people (not because of
differential treatment).
A FOCUS ON INTERSECTIONS
The purpose of this paper is to briefly review the limited Canadian research on race, crime, and criminal justice and highlight that any
understanding of this issue must explicitly focus on how race intersects with other important identity markers- including social class,
gender, age, immigration status, religion, language, and sexual orientation.
The paper is divided into four broad topic areas within criminology:
1) Criminal offending
2) Bias within justice system
3) Victimization
4) Access to justice
Important intersections between rave and other identity markers are discussed within each of thiese broad topics.
The paper concludes with a discussion of important data needs and potential obstacies Canadian researchers face with trying to
conduct research in this area.

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INTERSERCTIONS AND CRIMINAL OFFENDING
Author proposes that future research on race and crime focus on four different explanatory frameworks.
Each model gives very different explanations for the apparent relationship between race and crime, which in turn have dramatically
different policy implications. Unfortunately, these models have yet to be adequately tested by Canada's researchers.
Importation Model
Cultural Conflict Model
Strain Model
Bias Model
What is it
holds that immigrant, racial
minority offenders are
already motivated criminals
when they arrive in this
country
holds that majority of
immigrants arrive in
Canada with absolutely
no intention of engaging
in criminal activity. but
some immigrants
maintain cultural or
religious practices that
conflict with Canadian
law
holds that experiences of
racial minorities within
Canadian society are the
primary causes of minority
crime. They are more likely
to be unemployed, have low
household incomes, and
suffer from discrimination.
These negative life
experiences produce both
absolute and relative
deprivation and that such
deprivation can push some
people toward criminal
activity.
holds that over-representation
of racial minorities in crime
statistics is not the result of
racial differences in criminal
behaviour. Rather, such
differences are the result of
systemic and overt
discrimination within the
Canadian justice system
Variables
focuses only on intersection
of race and immigration
status
focuses on intersection
between race, culture and
religion
Focuses on intersection
between race and social
class
What does it
explain
Why security at border is
strict
Why legal education of
new arrivals is more
important policy option
than heightened security
at borders
Why Racial minorities often
suffer from social, cultural,
political, and economic
marginalization
Is there discrimination in
CCJS?
Assumptions
large proportion of racial
minorities in Canada are
recent immigrants
some immigrants arrive in
Canada with the intention
of engaging in criminal
activity
Examples of
policy
initiatives
Improved screening of
potential immigrants and
refugees
Better tracking of
international criminals
through cooperation with
foreign police agencies
Restriction of immigration
from "crime prone"
countries
Immediate or sudden
deportation of immigrants
who are convicted of
criminal offences
policy initiatives focus on
1) educating potential
immigrants about
Canadian law before they
decide to immigrate; or 2)
educating new immigrants
about how certain cultural
or religious traditions
associated with their
group may lead to
conflicts with the law
Rather than focus on law
enforcement initiatives and
legal education, this
perspective suggests that
crime will only be reduced
by employing policies that
eliminate discrimination,
reduce inequality, and
increase both educational
and employment
opportunities
Appeals to
what kind of
policy makers?
most likely to conservative
policy-makers because it
forgives Canadian society
of responsibility for
minority crime.
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