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Chapter

SOC101Y1 Chapter Notes -Welfare Fraud, Street Prostitution, Domestic Violence


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC101Y1
Professor
Adam Green

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Gender and Crime
- women in conflict with the law and their relationship and life circumstances
crime rates: women are charged with far fewer and less serious crimes when
compared to men
most frequently charged with theft under 5000, prostitution, and level 1
assault (common physical fights), fraud (usually welfare fraud) and
possession/ trafficking (weed) (all of these crimes sum to 55% of charges
laid against women)
Profile of Women offenders
- history of victimization, sexual, physical abuse and usually ignore these past
events (72% of provincially sentenced) ( 82% of federal sentenced ) (90% of
aboriginal women)
- 43% of federally sentenced women have substance abuse or addiction drug
problems which are connected to history of abuse
- high degree of economic marginalization
- (24%) of Canadian women who are single mothers are poor which is down
from (53% in 1996)
- 5 times more likely to be poor if a women lives on her own / 13 times higher
for senior women living on their own
- women who work year round only make 71 cents per one dollar of men
- account for 60 percent of minimum wage workers
- worse for aboriginal women (double the rates for other Canadians)
- also immigrant women face worse marginalization
Types of crime
Theft under 5000, majority of women have shoplifted items for themselves
or their children and typically shoplift shoes clothes and makeup (needs they
cant afford)
- the number of women charged usually increases in august when women are
preparing their children for school, and peak in December
- December is the highest time ( school, Christmas etc)
- leads to a fine of 2000 dollars or 6 months of incarceration
- typically doesn’t result in jail time for a first time offender
- therefore legal aid lawyers are not available if incarceration is not a possible
result
Assault since 1987 there has been a double in the number of women
involved in level one assault
- until 1983 it was legally allowed to be sexually abused by your husband
- so after 1983 there has been liberation of women
- police began to double charge in cases of domestic abuse which lead to
increase in women assault
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Fraud- as welfare starts to drop to a minimum level of sustenance there has been
an increase of incarceration of welfare fraud
- receive a sentence of less than 2 years
- become a major issue for government as there has been a growing outrage
against cheaters of the system
- 2002, Quebec claimed they lost 30 million a year on welfare fraud and when
they did crack down they saved 3 million dollars which means cutting people
from welfare that may deserve it
- white collar fraud comes from much of the 30 million dollars, not just welfare
fraud (target the poor)
Drugs majority from trafficking and possession of marijuana
- most aren’t really involve in trafficking, they participate in the role of a
currier
- more involved in drug use
Prostitution
- most arrested for street prostitution (communicating) because they are
visible
- engage on the street because most do it in the privacy of their own home but
if they are poor they are more visible
- in 2008, many laws against prostitutions were challenged because of the
danger that lies behind women living in poverty that cant afford to do this
job in private
Non payment of fines
- most charged with fines for driving under the influence, soliciting for the
purposed of prostitution
- most women sent to prison are there for fine defaults because they don’t
have money to pay fines
- prison time is calculated by 8 X minimum wage divided by how much you
owe
- 47% admit to fine default in prisons in saskatow0n, 39 % in Alberta, 30% in
Manitoba, and 29% in Ontario, 22% in Quebec
- may not be sentenced to jail may have to do community service but this takes
away from money for child care so they usually fail these programs and end
up going to jail anyways
Bail consequence of being held in jail pending trail is for serious crimes
but they are less likely to be able to help their own case and are more likely
to be found guilty
- the proportion of all women on remand after being denied bail is 24%
compared to 29% for men but considering that men are charged with more
serious crimes why is this number so similar ?
- so a lot fewer should be detained because they pose less of a threat to society
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