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Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
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January 2006 | Contents Volume 48, No 1


ABSTRACTS

Only abstracts of full articles are contained in these Web pages. Research notes and commentaries are usually not summarized into abstracts. Readers who need the complete texts should contact the CCJA and subscribe to the Journal. They can also purchase single copies of back issues that are still in stock.



 
CRIME PREVENTION THROUTH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN: DISCOURSES OF RISK, SOCIAL CONTROL, AND A NEO-LIBERAL CONTEXT
 
Patrick F. Parnaby
University of Guelph
 
This article explores the means by which crime-related risks are discursively framed by practitioners and supporters of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). It will argue that crime-related risks are framed in three interrelated ways: first, as forms of foreseeable danger; second, as depoliticized potentialities; and third, as potentialities that require complete responsibilization. It is argued that these discursive practices constitute the means by which practitioners legitimate their area of professional expertise while at the same time providing them with an opportunity to exercise pastoral control over their client(s). Furthermore, it is argued that these frames demonstrate how “risk” has become an important discourse through which neo liberal governmentalities (Foucault 1991) with respect to crime control are actualized.
 

 
MALE AND FEMALE YOUTH CRIME IN CANADIAN COMMUNITIES: ASSESSING THE APPLICABILITY OF SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION THEORY
 
Joanna C. Jacob
Department of Sociology,
University of Waterloo

 
Despite an increasing awareness of female youths’ involvement in criminal activities, few criminology theories and empirical studies account for female youth crime. Social disorganization theory provides an ecological explanation of youth crime rates. This theory is traditionally applied to male youth crime and has been studied predominantly using American date. Social disorganization theory contributes to understanding the social conditions associated with increased crime rates, and it is therefore also useful for understanding female crime. This article examines whether and to what degree social disorganization theory is applicable to male and female youth crime in Canadian communities. Several sources of data are integrated for the analysis of overall property, and violent youth crime by gender, including the 1996 Canadian Census and the 1996 Canadian Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR). The results lend partial support for the application of this theory at the community level in Canada; however, they also suggest that predictors related to the informal social control of youth crime vary more by type of offence than by gender.
 

 
IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NATIONAL DNA DATA BANK: A CONSIDERATION OF THE CRIMINAL ANTECEDENTS OF PREDATORY SEXUAL OFFENDERS
 
John C. House and Paul Noble
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

Richard M. Cullen and Brent Snook
Memorial University of Newfoundland

This study assessed the effectiveness of the DNA Identification Act by examining whether 106 predatory sexual murderers and 85 predatory sexual assaulters had earlier convictions for offences that require offenders to provide a DNA profile to the National DNA Data Bank (NDDB). Offender criminal records were checked for convictions of primary and secondary designated offences, as stipulated by the Act, and non-designated offences that occurred prior to the murder or assault. A majority of the murderers (68%) and assaulters (59%) had no primary designated offence convictions; 50% of the murderers and 37% of the assaulters had no secondary designated offence convictions; and 39% of the murderers and 28% of the assaulters had no prior convictions for any designated offence. Overall, the largest number of prior convictions was for non-designated offences and the smallest for primary designated offences. Previous convictions for theft (non-designated) and breaking and entering (secondary) were most prevalent among the murderers and assaulters. Results suggest that the effectiveness of the NDDB for the identification of sexual predators may be improved by requiring mandatory provision of DNA samples following convictions for some non-designated and secondary designated offences.
 

 
RESULTS BY DESIGN: THE ARTEFACTUAL CONSTRUCTION OF HIGH RECIDIVISM RATES FOR SEX OFFENDERS
 
Cheryl Marie Webster
Department of Criminology
University of Ottawa

 
Rosemary Gartner and Anthony N. Doob
Centre of Criminology
University of Toronto

 
A recently published article by Langevin, Curnoe, Fedoroff, Bennett, Langevin, Peever, Pettica, and Sandhu (2004) reports a recidivism rate of 88.3% for sex offenders. A detailed analysis of the study demonstrates that this unusually high level is uninterpretable because the offenders whose criminal careers were followed are unlikely to be representative of sex offenders in general. Furthermore, the measure of recidivism used in the study not only distorts the normal meaning of recidivism but also artefactually creates an inflated – and consequently meaningless – recidivism rate.
 
 

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