Class activities


 January 4




Analyze the song Crime to Be Broke in America:

(i)              Is there a connection between poverty (“being broke in [North] America”) and crime?

(ii)           Is there a connection between racial minorities and crime (is it a “crime” to be a minority in North America)?

(iii)        Do we have a two-tiered justice system (whorehouse justice for the poor and the excluded)? Is our criminal justice system fair? Does it treat all individuals equally?

(iv)         Does music, e.g. rap and hip-hop, influence crimes? Are listeners influenced to do violence as a result of listening to music?

(v)            In your opinion, what are the most pressing crime problems in Canada?

(vi)         Do we rely too heavily on criminal law and the criminal justice system to deal with complex social issues?



Crime to Be Broke in America Lyrics

By Michael Franti and Spearhead

I take the needle off the record
and shove it in my arm
whenever I feel life is
comin' on too strong
they left me in a clinic fulla
cynical motha fuckin' bureaucrats
and other kinda ding bats

Livin on the tracks
the tracks in my arm said
it all depends which side the tracks your on.
tellin' me what to wear
tellin me cut my hair
and tryin to convince me that they
really really care
all about my health and about my wealth
but still they built the Stealth
'cause everybody's
just lookin out for they self

So then I ask 'em
can I have a clean needle
Hell no that's illegal!

'Cause it's a crime to be broke in America!
and it's a crime to smoke dank in America!

Yeah hit those drums now;
they lockin' brother's in the poorhouse
who can't afford Moorhouse
politicians nervous
it's the only free service they provide
you wanna go inside
there's a hot meal waitin' for ya
a deal we can score ya
on a bed for a night or two
or three or four months.

They say they lockin' us up in cells
to protect us from ourselves
it smells like they got anotha
plan in store house
or should I say warehouse
fulla niggas and other misfits
that couldn't turn tricks in the courthouse
it's a justice whorehouse

It's a crime to be broke in America!
and it's a crime to be Black in America!

But there's a mutiny on the bounty
in ever single county
we remember Attica
but don't forget to pat a few
other on the back as a matter of fact
sister Assatta Shakur and Geronimo Pratt
'cause Amnesty international
is fightin' for political
but if your analytical
you know it's much more critical than that
percentages black is really, really whack
can I kick a few facts yes?

Sx percent in college
from livin on the block
twenty five percent in prison
the school of hard knocks
fifty percent in poverty
is livin on the rocks
five hundred brothas on a death row box

The punishment is capital
for those who lack in capital
because a public defender
can't remember the last time
that a brother wasn't treated like an animal.

They say they blame it on a song
when someone kills a cop
what music did they listen to
when they bombed Iraq?
give me one example so I can take a sample
no need to play it backwards
if you wanna hear the devil
cause music's not the problem
it didn't cause the bombin'
but maybe they should listen
to the songs of people starving..

'Cause it's a Crime to be broke in America!
it's a crime to smoke dank in America!
it's a crime to be black in America!
it's a crime to be black in America!
it's a crime to be Puerto Rican
Native American
Asian Hatian
a Woman



 January 9




Canadian Criminal Justice system


January 11





1.    Dirty Harry

a.     Which Criminal Justice model predominates in the prosecutor’s (D.A.) and in the judge’s arguments?

b.     Which Criminal Justice model predominates in the police officer’s arguments and actions?

c.     What due process rights has the police officer violated?

d.     Do you agree with the use of the exclusion of evidence here?

2.    10 To Midnight

a.     Which Criminal Justice model predominates in the police officer’s behavior?

b.     What is the police officer’s attitude towards the legal system?

c.     Why did he plant evidence?



January 16


Group debate


1)     Which Criminal Justice model predominates in the Canadian child pornography regime?

2)   Do you think that child pornography should be a crime or not?

3)   Do you agree with the Canadian criminal justice treatment of child pornography?

4)   Why is there such a strong stigma associated with child pornography?

5)   What is your opinion on the artistic exception? Should it be narrowed? Expanded? Should it be abolished?

6)   What is your opinion on the legal age for participating in pornography?

7)   What do you think of the criminalization of simulated child pornography? Is it a thought crime? A victimless crime?

8)   What are the main public policy reasons for the criminalization of child pornography?


January 18




1.     A Criminology professor at UBC shows some websites with children having sex with adults in order to teach her students what child pornography is and the theories dealing with the causes for the existence of child pornographers.


2.     A 16-year old girl takes a picture of herself while fully naked and emails it to her boyfriend.


3.     A 16-year old girl takes a picture of herself while fully naked and posts it publicly on a chatroom.


4.     A 17-year old couple taped themselves while having sex. The girl’s parents find the tape and watch it. Shocked, they got to the police with the tape and want to press charges against their daughter’s boyfriend.


5.     A 17-year old couple taped themselves while having sex. He shows it to their friends at their Cine Club, an extracurricular activity which takes place at their High School’s premises.


6.     While talking with his 16-year old girlfriend on the phone from his home, Kevin draws a picture of them having sex.


7.     John Robin Sharpe was arrested after police found that in his home boxes of material included photographs of naked boys who appeared to be as young as seven. Police also seized a collection of what they described as «extremely violent» short stories, allegedly written by Sharpe under the pen name Sam Paloc. The stories were entitled Kiddie Kink Classics.


8.     In his University email account, Paul received an email with a picture in an attachment entitled “children having sex”. He forwarded it to his personal hotmail account but never opened it.


9.     Cynthia Stewart turned in bath-time pictures of her 8-year-old daughter to a Fuji film processing lab in Oberlin, Ohio. The lab contacted the local police, who found the pictures “over the line” and arrested the mother for, among other things, snapping in the same frame with her daughter a showerhead, which the prosecution planned to relate somehow to hints of masturbation.


10. John was checking his emails at home. He tends to open every single email, even junk mail. He received a picture of a naked 17-year old girl, opened it, looked at it for a few seconds, and deleted it.


11.  American Pie




January 24



Video Scenes


1.    Different Strokes.

2.    Witness for the prosecution:

a.     Police inspector

b.     Housekeeper

3.    Seinfeld

4.    Family: Rudy Cortez

5.    My cousin Vinny

6.    Wild Things

7.    Legally Blonde


January 25





·        Which Criminal Justice model predominates in the Canadian mandatory arrest and prosecution regime?

·        Do you agree with the mandatory arrest and prosecution policy?

·        Is domestic violence a crime like any other? Should it be treated just like any other crime? Should there be special measures for victims and offenders?

·        How can you solve the contradiction between sexual assault and domestic violence arrest and prosecution policies?

·        What are the causes of violence against women? Is violence against women rooted in the way men and women are socialized?

·        Is there a profile of men who batter their partners?

·        Why don’t women leave abusive relationships?

·        Why don’t men leave relationships that are supposedly so unsatisfactory to them?

·        What is the cycle of abuse?

·        How does domestic violence affect children?



January 30




Mary’s story

I was twenty–three years old when I started my relationship with Russ. He was thirty–five and also a computer analyst where I worked. When I met Russ, my first marriage had recently failed and my son from that marriage, Richard, was three years old. The end of my first marriage was very traumatic for me because I had been raised a strong Catholic. I felt as though I had failed. In retrospect, I think Russ sensed my vulnerability and took advantage of it. He acted the part of a "knight in shining armor." He wined me and dined me. I was very impressed. Russ and I broke up a number of times while we were dating. I saw some of his anger and controlling behavior, and they frightened me. I even left the company where we both worked to get away from him. But he pursued me and won me back, and we got married a few years after we’d first met.

I became pregnant soon after we were married. I had severe morning sickness during the first seven months of the pregnancy. I felt very weak. Also, while I was pregnant, Russ announced that he was quitting his job and was going to raise horses. He said this was something he had always dreamed about. Despite the fact that raising horses is rarely profitable, he made this incredibly important decision without consulting with me at all. Going without Russ’ salary scared me. I was pregnant and also had my son Richard to support.

Russ’ first physical abuse occurred when I was pregnant. I have since learned that this is often the case. He had quit his job. I tried to discuss with him my fears about our financial situation, especially with the baby coming. We argued. All of a sudden, he came at me like a rocket launcher. He pushed me against the wall and, holding me there, started to strangle me. He screamed, "You don't tell me what I need to do."

I was shocked. I slid down the wall and fell to the floor, crying. He stood over me and berated me, saying that I was crying because I was "weak." I can still remember vividly what Russ looked like during this first attack. Words cannot describe it; it was so frightening. His face was distorted, inhuman, and filled with rage; his eyes bugged out. He did not look like the Russ I thought I knew; he seemed like a rabid dog.

I know there is this idea of the "cycle of violence" and that batterers express remorse after a battering episode. I have heard of a "honeymoon" period following the abuse where the batterer is extra nice. Well, that may happen in some cases, but it certainly did not happen in mine. Russ never apologized for this incident or any of the more violent ones that came later. He did not even acknowledge what he had done or that there was anything wrong with it. He never promised, "Honey, it won't happen again." He would, however, sometimes give me gifts after a beating. But even these supposed "gifts" were selfish and controlling. After a severe beating in which he tore up my right arm and shoulder, he bought me a waterbed so I could sleep more comfortably. The purchase angered me because we could not afford it. When I asked him to take it back to the store, he blew up and said my bitching about my shoulder and inability to sleep on my right side was boring. He called me a whiner.

It occurred to me to leave him at this point, but I was much too ashamed to consider it seriously. I thought to myself, "Well, you've dug a hole for yourself––now you have to live in it." I was much too ashamed and embarrassed to even think about calling the police. If I had, everyone in our neighborhood would have known that we were not a perfect couple. I wanted to keep up appearances. Though Russ never apologized for the violence, we did have many good times together, at least during the early years of our marriage. I am a very affectionate person, and he could be affectionate too.

During the pregnancy, I went to work at the second shift to make more money. This left Russ taking care of Richard, my son from my first marriage. I later learned that, while caring for Richard, Russ hit him with a paddle board. After the beating, to intimidate Richard, Russ said mockingly, "Are you going to run to Mommy?" Richard did not reveal this to me until I had left Russ for good. He knew Russ would just beat him again if he told me. Richard figured one beating was better than two. Naturally, the abuse from his stepfather has led to a lot of anger from Richard, now age twenty. However, the anger has not been directed toward me.

I gave birth to our first child together, a daughter, Elizabeth. Russ was obviously disappointed that it was a girl. He pressured me to have another child right away. Because of the abuse and my fear of Russ, I was willing to do anything to appease him. So, I became pregnant when Elizabeth was just five months old, even though I was neither physically or emotionally ready for another child. Our son Daniel was born fourteen months after Elizabeth.

Getting back to the issue of Russ's abuse of me. After the choking incident when I was pregnant, Russ just had to give me "the look," and I would try to make peace. I worked to keep the kids quiet; we all worked hard to keep from upsetting Russ. Everyone walked on eggshells. When the kids heard his truck coming, they would run and hide. While I was pregnant with our second child, Daniel, Russ twisted my arm so violently that it permanently damaged my shoulder. I cannot even remember now what the fight was about. A doctor later told me he was shocked to see an injury like mine in a layperson. He told me the damage done to my shoulder was so severe that it was similar to what a he would expect from a professional baseball pitcher after years of throwing and stress.

The shoulder injury prevented me from full participation in athletics. This was devastating to me. I have always been a superb athlete and enjoyed doing physical things. Because of who I am, the shoulder injury was not just physically painful. It was a way of taking away my identity. I did not initially seek medical help for the shoulder injury. I was ashamed and thought it was all my fault. Of course, Russ was always telling me that everything was my fault. I did not want anyone to know.

Russ also set up a number of rules for our house. The children and I were to follow the rules "or else." For instance, I was not allowed to watch comedies such as "Cheers" and "M*A*S*H" on television. Instead, we always watched the blood–and–guts action shows that Russ liked. My sense of humor is an important part of who I am and an important part of my self–image. Once again, as with the shoulder injury, Russ was chipping away at the very core of my being. There were always a lot of guns in our house. At one point, while in a face–to–face argument with my son Richard, who by then was about eleven or twelve, Russ shot a twelve–gauge shotgun straight up in the air, doing major damage to the ceiling and roof of our house. Obviously, this was a terrible act of intimidation and abuse. But, as I will discuss later, Russ did not see it this way, and the judge and custody evaluators did not take this incident seriously either.

As I now know is typical, I was subjected to an unending stream of degrading comments. Russ was always saying things to me like, "Your thighs are fat. Your boobs are too small. No one else would want you. You're lucky to have me." I cannot express the horrible, demeaning, and damaging effects these comments had on me. After all, they were coming from someone I loved and who supposedly loved me. I thought they had to be true. I could not help but internalize them. I had always felt good about my body, but the constant stream of criticism tore away at that. At one point, Russ almost convinced me to have my breasts enlarged, an operation that would have been completely unnecessary.

The tearing away at my self–image and self–esteem is hard to describe. I like to draw an analogy to an artichoke. You can pull one leaf off an artichoke and it's no big deal. But you slowly pull away one leaf and then another and then another, and before long, you're down to the artichoke heart. It's not an artichoke anymore with the leaves gone. And, once the leaves are off, you can stab the artichoke in the heart, no problem. Russ really knew where the insults would hurt, and he tore away at me.

Still, I always kept up a good front. I was able to keep information about the abuse away from my family for a long time. The only exception was one sister who lives in Colorado (I have five brothers and two sisters; we are a very close and loving family). One time, when she and I were talking over the phone, she heard Russ's angry screaming in the background. She asked one of my brothers, who lives locally, to follow up with me. When he did, I sloughed it off and said, "I'm fine."

I think a lot of people saw the look of terror in the children's eyes when Russ was around. But they either thought nothing of it or did not do anything. In retrospect, I also think various people in my life knew about Russ's anger but did not allow themselves to see the abuse and did not come forward to help me.

·        What are all the instances of abuse?

·        Which of these abuse situations are crimes? What crimes?

·        Which are not crimes? Should some or all of them be? Which ones?

·        Did Mary commit murder? Did she act in self defense? Can she successfully raise the battered woman syndrome defense?

·        Why do most instances of spousal abuse begin during pregnancy? What is the connection?

February 8




Broken Windows and Zero Tolerance




February 1 3




Group debate


1.     Do you think prostitution is an inherently gendered issue?

2.     Why is it that, in our culture, men are the clients of male or female prostitutes? What would have to change about women’s sense of their sexuality for them to become frequent clients of male or female prostitutes?

3.     Would gender equality be furthered by such a change?

4.     Do prostitutes choose their lifestyle, and if so, who has any business interfering with that choice? What is your view about the concept of choice in this debate?

5.     What do you think about Dworkin’s argument in relation to the role of money and exchange in prostitution?

6.     What do you think of the “communicating law”? Is it an effective legal tool? What do you think it would mean for it to “work”?

7.     Who do you think is more deserving of criminal punishment: the prostitute or the client? Should the law deal with them in the same manner?

8.     What do you see as the public policy intention behind crimes related to prostitution?

9.     What do you think is the point of not criminalizing prostitution itself, but instead criminalizing everything around prostitution?

10. What do you think the optimal legal response to prostitution would be?


February 15 




1.     Professor Julian Hermida forgot his watch at home. He needed to know the time. He was walking along Spring Garden road and he stopped a prostitute to ask for the time.


2.     A prostitute was loitering outside a bar on Argyle St. The bar owner was frustrated and he called the police to have the prostitute arrested.


3.     On the street, John asked a prostitute if she would have sex with him in exchange for drugs as he had no money.


4.     In the lobby of Future Inns Hotel in Clayton Park, John asked a prostitute if she would have sex with him in exchange for drugs as he had no money.


5.     A prostitute placed an ad online and gets phone calls from her clients. She always takes them to Bayview Motel. One day the concierge complained, but she gave him $50 and he let her go on with her business. Every month she gives him some money or small presents.


6.     When a client refused to pay this prostitute, they fought. The police came and arrested the prostitute, her client, and a man that was watching porn on TV in the next room. He was a guest and had no idea what was going on in the other room.


7.     A businessman from Montreal hired an escort when he came to a meeting in Halifax to accompany him to a party after the business meeting. After they left the party, while they were on the street the businessman asked his escort if she would have sex with him. She said she would for $100.


8.     A masseuse regularly provides full sexual services to all her clients in a massage clinic.


9.     In a massage parlor it is implied that a sex act may be available but will cost the client extra and a discussion ensues about price for sexual services between the masseuse and client in the reception area.


10.  A prostitute puts an ad on the Chronicle Herald advertising her/his services.


11.  A woman posted this note on


32 year old Woman
5 photos!
Looking for Men, Women or Groups
Living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada


12.  A mother sends out her daughter to be a prostitute and takes a cut of the profits.


13.  Curb your enthusiasm.


14.  Seinfeld: The Stranded


15.  The Life


February 27 and March 1





March 6



1.     Laura, a Dalhousie female student enrolled in a semester abroad at Paris I University in France, finds that she does not enjoy going to class due to the fact that her International Business professor frequently uses inappropriate language and makes sexually suggestive remarks in class. When the professor does this, many of the male students, including some Canadian male students from UofT, laugh and after class they repeat the professor’s comments. Laura started skipping class as the environment makes her uncomfortable. She talks to some of her male friends about it and they tell her that she is being “over sensitive”. Laura brings a claim to the University Adjudication Committee. The professor defends himself by arguing that article 1 of the University’s General Academic Rules, Standards and Practices adopted by the University Senate set forth that “teachers shall have absolute freedom as to the content and methodology of the classes they teach”. Does the professor’s behavior constitute the sexual harassment crime? Why? Why not? What can Laura argue? Did the male students commit the criminal offense of sexual harassment?


2.     After Laura finished her studies, she decided to stay in Europe for the summer to do an unpaid internship at Banque National de Paris in France. After the first month, her boss told her that if she slept with him, he would see that she gets paid for the internship. Laura thought that her boss was really cute, so she agreed to sleep with him. When she finished the internship the following month, she approached her boss and asked him for her salary. He told her that the bank could not pay her anything as she was in France with a student visa, and was not allowed to get any remuneration. Laura, who had taken Crime and Public Policy at Dalhousie, remembered something about French criminal policy regarding sexual harassment and decided to file criminal charges against her boss. Did his behavior constitute sexual harassment? Why? Why not?


3.     When Laura finished her internship, she received a job offer from a Spanish bank, BBV, to work at the International Accounts Department. They offered her a working permit and a salary that Laura could not refuse. So, she moved to Madrid. The very first day of work her boss –Manuel- took her out for lunch with the excuse of talking about her new job. Before going back to work, Manuel told Laura that she could get a huge salary increase if she gave him oral sex that night at his place. Horrified, Laura went back to the bank and asked her boss’s manager to transfer her to another department without any explanation about what happened during lunch. Her request was denied. Manuel got mad and threatened to fire her if she told what happened or even if she asked for a transfer to another Department again.


4.     Laura was assigned a shared cubicle with Jorgito. Jorgito continually displays sexually derogatory screen savers on his computer. Laura feels very uncomfortable. She doesn’t know what to do. Does this constitute the crime of sexual harassment in Spain?


5.     Alice is an exchange student from Spain taking a third year Criminal Justice class at Dalhousie. Her English is not very good, so Alice has come to Mike, the teaching assistant, for help with her written assignments. Mike spends a lot of time discussing the assignments with her and explaining what she does not understand. In subsequent classes, he singles her out for attention. He waits after class to talk to her about the course. Alice feels grateful to Mike because he has really helped her a lot. When Mike asks her to go for coffee after class, she accepts. She tells him that she is worried she will fail the course because her English is not good enough yet and she has trouble understanding written questions, particularly on exams. Mike tells her that if she kisses him, he will give her an A in the course. Alice freaks out and goes to the police right away to file criminal charges.



March 8






Analyze the following article on the Robert Pickton and identify all the rights that were violated.



Group discussion


·       Does DNA assist in solving crimes and in exonerating those wrongly accused? If so, how?

·       Are results infallible?

·       Do you think that the forensics industry should have a series of checks and balances? If so, what do you think these checks and balances should be?

·       Who do you think should be held accountable for the validity and accuracy of forensics results?

·       Why do you think that North America is fascinated with forensic science? How do you account for the popularity of the topic of forensics in the media?

·       Do you think that DNA databanks are an invasion of privacy? If so, is that invasion of privacy justifiable?




March 1 3




1.     Do a search about the following Canadian case: dealing with Hate Crimes: in R. v. Keegstra (1990). Write a short –one or two paragraphs- summary of the main issue of the decision. What is your opinion on the decision? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not?

2.     The members of a soccer team decided to go to a bar in town to celebrate a team member's birthday. Included in the group was Robert Pipkins, the only African-American on the team. Shortly after the team members entered the bar, a large group of skinheads appeared. These young toughs with shaved heads and jackets decorated with swastikas began to taunt Pipkins. They made monkey sounds and shouted “Nigger, get out”. The members of the soccer team decided to leave to avoid trouble. Duncan Kennedy, the last out the door, was yelling to the skinheads to leave Pipkins alone. The skinheads followed Kennedy chanting “Heil, Hitler!”

1.     Do a search about the following Canadian case: dealing with Hate Crimes: Léon Mugesera (2005). Write a short –one or two paragraphs- summary of the main issue of the decision. What is your opinion on the decision? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not?

2.     Some college students went to a bar. It was full, mostly with people from minority communities –Latinos, African Canadians, Asian Canadians. Since it was full, they were not allowed to get into the bar. Visibly angered, they went to a supermarket. They bought eggs and egged the bar. They also egged five vehicles and one house. Victims included an openly gay man and two African Canadian families.

1.     Do a search about the following Canadian case: dealing with Hate Crimes: Ahenakew (2006). Write a short –one or two paragraphs- summary of the main issue of the decision. What is your opinion on the decision? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not?

2.     Three African American men who were walking in the predominantly white neighborhood of Howard Beach, Queens, were attacked by white men. Two of the men managed to flee, but one, Glenn Moore, tripped on a curb and was beaten badly. The attackers used racial epithets while attacking Glenn Moore. The three black men, Moore, Richard Pope and Richard Walker, told the authorities they were in the area looking for a Chrysler 300 to steal and wandered into Howard Beach. Nicholas Minucci passed by them in his car, and then returned with his friends to attack the African American men. Minucci was arrested and confessed to the crime.



1.     Do a search about the following Canadian case: dealing with Hate Crimes: R. v. Andrews (1990). Write a short –one or two paragraphs- summary of the main issue of the decision. What is your opinion on the decision? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not?

2.     An evangelical pastor opened his Bible to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. He informed his congregation (which included homosexuals) that God is still angry at sexual perversion and will judge those who practice it.  Visibly angry, many persons, including heterosexuals and homosexuals, left.

1.     Do a search about the following Canadian case: dealing with Hate Crimes: R. v. Andrews (1990). Write a short –one or two paragraphs- summary of the main issue of the decision. What is your opinion on the decision? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not?

2.     One lesbian woman, who was talking with group of other lesbian women, described her experience in a public park when three men walked past and harassed them. We were in a line on the sidewalk and they walked down the line and they apparently patted or pinched one woman on the butt, and she kind of knocked their hand out of the way.... When they reached me...they pinched me on the butt. And my girlfriend saw this and said "Get your hands off her." So they stopped, turned around and said "Want to fight, bitch?" We kind of circled up and, you know, we were all facing them and said "No, leave us alone, get out of here." We tried to get them to leave and they wouldn't. When she said she didn't want to fight, he just stuck his fist out and broke her nose...As he was getting ready to throw the punch ... he said "fucking dykes...." One person [got] a cut open on their cheek, face. And another one had her collarbone broken and got knocked unconscious. I got kicked in the knee and upper thigh and was severely bruised. And then somebody came by and helped scare them away for us.


1. Do a search about the following Canadian case: dealing with Hate Crimes: in R. v. Keegstra (1990). Write a short –one or two paragraphs- summary of the main issue of the decision. What is your opinion on the decision? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Why not?


2. A gay college student and his lover told their experience of ongoing harassment on campus. Just on a daily basis we were taunted, called "fags" to the point where ... we didn't even want to go to the cafeteria, we'd just go out to eat. Then nightly we pretty much, we never knew what we were going to wake up to or be awakened by in the night, like someone urinating on the door or sticking stuff, something on the door.... When people write "fag" on your door and that was one of the main things.... Put a gay sticker on the door with one guy bent over and another behind him with a big line through it.... It was so awful.





March 15




Video Through the Blue Lens


·       Which criminal justice model predominates in the Canadian drug criminal policy regime?

·       Do you agree with the current Canadian criminal policy dealing with drugs? Why? Why not? What would you change?

·       Is drug use a crime, a health problem or a social problem? Is it all these? What can we do to prevent it?

·       Does drug use cause crime? Is there some intrinsic property associated with certain drugs that leads the user to engage in criminal behavior?

·       Do drugs (drug use) cause violence?

·       Do drugs (drug use) destroy the human community?

·        Does crime or criminal behavior, perhaps, lead people into drug use?


March 20


Review activity

Crime and media


The purpose of this activity is to compare popular culture images of crime and the criminal justice system to the theories and policies discussed in class.

Select a movie, TV show, chapter from a novel, newspaper story, or TV documentary. Bring it to class. Compare your selected item to one of the theories or topics discussed so far in class.

1.    Briefly summarize the selected media item. What is the main criminal justice issue?

2.    In what ways do the theories and policies discussed in class and the media source agree? In what ways do they differ?

3.    Which criminal justice model predominates in the media account?

4.    What are the most glaring kinds of information missing from the media account?

5.    How would you change the media account to make it more accurate or more informative?



March 22




·       Which Criminal Justice model predominates in the Canadian gun control regime?

·       Is there an inherent right to possess firearms in Canada?

·       Are firearms inherently dangerous?

·       Do you agree with the Canadian gun control regime? Should there be a total ban on guns? Should it be more flexible?

·       Is there any social utility in allowing the possession of guns?

·       Is there a gun culture in Canada?


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