Sociology 327 first midterm
Terms in this set (94)
Canadian Criminal Justice system consists of what 3 parts
Police, the courts, the correctional system
What are the 3 types of definitions of crime
1. Legal definitions, 2. Social definitions 3. Constructionist definitions
Two commonly used legal definitions of crime
1. A crime is said to occur when a law is broken
2. A crime only takes place when a person has been deemed guilty of a crime and punished accordingly
Problems with legal definitions of crime
- not every individual who violates the law is caught and punished
- many criminal acts are not prosecuted even when they are identified by authorities
- there is no analysis about why some acts are dealt with formally and other informally
Social definition of Crime
crime is a violation of social norms, said to cause social injury and harm as such it should be controlled
Problems with social definitions of crime
some sociologists contest the existence and clarity of norms, question the utility of approaches that neglect the reality that norms vary across time and place
Constructionist definition of crime
crime is the result of social interaction; a negotiated process among the police and Crown prosecutors
3 main objectives of Canadian criminal justice system
1. To control crime
2. To prevent crime
3. To maintain justice
Justice often refers to what?
Abstract and at times contentious concept
Justice Model of criminal justice
1. Guilt, innocence, and the sentence should be administered fairly with the available evidence
2. The punishment should fit the crime
3. Like cases should be treated alike and different cases differently
What does disparity refer to?
difference (not necessarily discrimination)
Illegitimate and Legitimate Disparities in the CJS
Legitimate - altering the sentence on the basis of the seriousness of the offence and prior arrest record of the perpetrator
Illegitimate - race or gender of the perpetrator affecting sentencing
Differential treatment often as a result of negative judgements about an individual or group
the 4 types of Discrimination
Systemic, Institutionalized, Contextual, Individual
found consistently in all areas and operations of the Criminal Justice system ex. race and gender -> rates of arrests, types of charges laid, and the decision to prosecute or stay charges.
no intent to discriminate exists
an individual officer arrests members of a group for offences that s/he only issues warnings for others
accuracy or correctness of the outcome of a case and the appropriateness of a judgement, order, or award
fair procedures before arriving at a verdict in a court case
Procedure used to determine truth in criminal court system -> the burden of proof lies with the state to prove the charges against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt -> open to the defence to challenge this evidence
system protects the defendants legal rights, that the trial is fair, and that final decision is impartial
3 levels of police agencies in Canada
municipal, provincial, federal
Majority of Police officers work at which level
How many sworn police officers in 2015
2011-12 Processed Cases and charges in 9 Provinces and Territories
386,451 cases and 1,160,307 charges
Highest Level of Criminal Court
Supreme Court of Canada
First charged with a criminal offence, most canadians first encounter is with which court?
Provincial Courts (may be specialized i.e. youth court, family court)
Territorial and Provincial governments are responsible for what?
non-custodial sentences and sentences under two years
Federal Government responsible for what?
Sentences over two years
4 steps Processing Cases
Pre-Trial, Trial, Sentencing, Incarceration
Police laying a warrant that is signed by a judge. Officers may wish to provide the accused with an appearance notice or a summons to court. The Accused may be detained, relased on bail, or reamain in custody. Fitness hearings ensure that the accused understands the trial proceedings
During an arraignment, the accused hears the charges and enters a plea. During a preliminary inquiry, the court determines whether there is sufficient evidence to go to trial. For most indictable offences, the accused can choose to be tried by a judge and jury or a jury alone. this is not the case for murder cases.
If found guilty, the judge has some discretion regarding sentencing. An absolute or conditional discharge can be issued as well as probation, incarceration, or a suspended sentence. The judge's decision may be impacted by the history of the accused and any mitigating circumstances of the case.
Offenders may be incarcerated in provincial or federal institutions (dependent on the seriousness of the crime). Most offenders in Canada do not serve out their full sentence, rather, they frequently receive parole or statutory release.
Criminal Justice Funnel
Total # of offences 2,235,325 -> Guilty findings 246,984 -> Sentenced admissions 86,661 provincial, 4,999 federal
- Illustrates the fact that fewer and fewer cases reach the next screening point, also reveals that there is discretion at each stage of the process.
Discretion - Victims
Victims may not report crimes - 4 reasons (Urban victimization survey) - 1. too minor 2. the police could not do anything 3. inconvenience 4. nothing taken
Discretion - Police
The police may choose not to lay charges against suspects - sometimes they may find cases unfounded, may find a crime too minor to proceed, almost half of all criminal suspects were not processed to the next stage even when the police believed that a crime had been perpetrated
Discretion - Bail Hearings
Evidence has shown that those denied bail are much less likely to be acquitted and more likely to be found guilty, and also more likely to incur longer prison sentences
Discretion - Prosecution
The time between the laying of arrest and when the prosecution decides to proceed generates the greatest amount of contrition. Charges often stayed - quality of evidence generated by police - victim may not wish to testify - police sometimes strike deals with the accused
Discretion - Sentencing
Extra-legal factors such as the characteristics of the accused sometimes affect sentencing decisions ex. first nations more likely to be sent to prison in comparison to white people
Herbert Packer 2 models
Crime Control model and Due Process Model
Police prefer which of Herbert Packers Models, and Prosecutors prefer which of Herbert Packers Models
Crime Control Model - Police, Due Process Model - Prosecutors
6 Stages of the Due Process Model
Investigation, Arrest, Charge, First Court Appearance, Trial, Conviction
Due Process Model
Prioritizes the rights of the suspect, the justice system must protect the rights of the accused at every stage of the process, it is essential that innocent people are not convicted.
Crime Control Model
Emphasizes the control and suppression of criminal activity. Speed efficiency, and incarceration for those found guilty is most important. It is a "get tough on crime" approach that presumes guilt.
Two types of Criminal Law
Substantive and Procedural
Substantive Criminal Law
Describes our rights and duties as members of Canadian society. the substantive part of the criminal law prohibits various forms of conduct from which society and its members have a right to be protected. Includes Actus reus, Mens rea, Harm
Procedural criminal law
The rules that define the operations of criminal proceedings. It specifies the methods that are to be followed in obtaining warrants, conducting trials, sentencing convicted offenders, and reviewing cases in the appeal courts. Its main purpose is to describe how substantive offences are to be enforced. AKA due process
Procedural Law found where in the charter?
Sections 8-14 of the charter
Principles of Fundamental justice
Procedural Law is
Sexual Assault Prior to 1983
1. Complainant had to be female
2. The accused had to be male
3. Complainant and accused were not married to eachother
4. Sexual Intercourse occured
5. The act of intercourse occured without the consent of the woman
Bill federal governement implemented dealing with sexual asasult
Bill C-127 (1983)
Brought in 3 different levels and types of sexual assault:
1. Level 1 includes cases where the victim endured the least amount of physical injury (10 years maximum punishment)
2. Level 2 includes the use of a weapon, threats to sue a weapon, or bodily harm (14 years maximum punishment).
3. Level 3 involves wounding, maiming, disfiguring, or endangering the life of the victim (life imprisonment).
Canadian Law is derived from what?
British Law - Common law emerged during the reign of Henry II (1154-1189)
Significance of Henry II
He established territorial judges who administered the king's law. Over time, this created a shared knowledge of law common to all.
common law doctrine under which judges are to follow those precedents established by prior decisions
What are the four written sources of law
Constitution, Statute Law, Case Law, Administrative law
The canadian constitution includes the charter of rights and freedoms. Only the federal government can enact criminal laws and procedures.
Statutes are laws that prohibit or mandate certain acts. They are enacted by various levels of government
refers to times when the courts need to interpret existing statutes (LGBT rights)
refers to the regulations created by agencies that enforce rules in specific areas such as the environment, competition policy, food safety, and hazardous products
Charter of rights and freedoms enactment date
April 17th, 1982
Section 7 Charter
Individual rights are protected
Section 8 Charter
Individuals have the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy
Section 9 Charter
People cannot be arbitrarily detained
Section 10 Charter
rights of the accused when detained
Section 11 Charter
indicates the rights people have when charged with an offence
Section 12 charter
stipulates fair punishment
Section 13 charter
freedom from self-incrimination
Section 14 Charter
the right to an interpreter
Section 15 charter
Section 24 charter
rights of the accused when detained
CJS definition of crime
actions that are harmful, prohibited, can be prosecuted in a formal environment, and for which a punishment can be handed out
The body of circumstances that must exist for a criminal act to have occurred
What must the state prove in order to convict
2. Mens Rea
3. Actus Reus
4. Concurrence of mens rea and actus reus
Age, Mental Disorder, Automatism, Mistake of fact, Mistake of law
Duress, necessity, self defence, provocation, entrapment
Summary Conviction Offences
Generally punishable up to 6 months and a maximum fine of 2,000
Less serious (theft under $5,000) are known as absolute jurisdiction indictable offences -> most serious are supreme court exclusive indictable offences -> election indictable offences
What are the 4 main philosophies of our Criminal Justice System
1. Justice model
3. Selective Incapacitation.
Closest to the way our criminal justice system operates today. backward approach - punishes individuals based on what they have done as opposed to what they may do in the future. Punishment should fit the offence, not the criminal.
when did the justice model emerge
Maine, California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, in the 1970's and 1980's
Oldest of the crime control philosophies in existence today. Concerned with stopping (or deterring) individuals from committing future crimes. Prefers longer sentences than the justice model, and focuses on individuals and society as a whole. Rooted in Classical Theory. Deterrence is central; prevent future crimes. Importance of the social contract.
Outgrowth from deterrence model. Instead of focusing on all offenders it is concerned with chronic or repeat offenders; that is those individuals who repeat illegal behaviour at a high rate and who are responsible for most serious offences. Supports determinate sentences and the longest and most severe punishments.
Where did Selective Incapacitation originate from
James Q. Wilson's Thinking about Crime in the 1970's
How much can Selective Incapacitation reduce crime if each violent offender served 3 years without parole
When was selective incapacitation considered by the US government
Focuses upon the actor. It is forward looking as it attempts to change the behaviour of people so they won't commit a crime in the future. It believes in discretion as well as indeterminate sentences in order that responses to each person convicted of a crime can be individualized.
Aboriginal Justice Belief
Central governments must relinquish their monopoly over the criminal justice system
What is deemed most important in eliminating the hierarchy of justice
Where was the first aboriginal court system opened
October 2000 in the Tsuu T'ina Nation - has jurisdiction over summary conviction offences and hybrid offences (elected to be tried as summary conviction offences).