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SPATIAL DIMENSIONS OF FEAR IN A HIGH-CRIME COMMUNITY: FEAR OF CRIME OR FEAR OF DISORDER?
Steven A. Kohm
Department of Criminal Justice, University of Winnipeg
This article presents findings from a two-year study of fear of crime and victimization in a high-crime, inner-city neighbourhood in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Face-to-face interviews were carried out in 2007 with a sample of 394 neighbourhood residents. Respondents provided qualitative, quantitative, and spatial data on levels of fear, patterns of victimization, and experience with neighbourhood disorder. Despite high levels of criminal victimization and worry about crime, neighbourhood residents cited concerns with disorder rather than crime as determinate of locations of highest fear in the community. Spatial and qualitative measures of fear in this neighbourhood suggest support for the link between disorder and fear of crime even in high-crime communities.
CRIME SPECIALIZATION ACROSS THE CANADIAN PROVINCES
Martin A. Andresen
School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University
For many years, the Canadian provinces have exhibited a pattern where crime rates increase from east to west. Despite this regional pattern of crime being of long standing, there has been little research that attempts to explain it. This present article approaches the problem by calling the pattern itself into question. Using an alternative measure of crime, the location quotient
, it is shown that western Canada does not simply have higher levels of all crime in Canada. Rather, while a given individual is more likely to be a victim of a crime in the western provinces, not all crimes are disproportionately higher in the west. It is found that different provinces have different tendencies in relation to particular kinds of crime, and this implies that focusing only on the level of criminal activity may be misleading.
EXPLORING DRUG SOURCING AMONG REGULAR PRESCRIPTION OPIOID USERS IN CANADA: DATA FROM TORONTO AND VICTORIA
Benedikt Fischer,1, 2 Joseph Anthony De Leo,2 Christiane Allard,1 Michelle Firestone-Cruz,2 Jayadeep Patra,2 and Jürgen Rehm,2
1 Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addictions (CARMHA), Simon Fraser University, Vancouver
2 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Toronto, Toronto
Recent North American data document increased prescription opioid (PO) misuse in general and street-drug-user populations. One aspect of this phenomenon - as distinct from illicit drug use - appears to be sourcing, since POs may be obtained through various forms of diversion from the medical system and other sources. However, the overall function of street-drug markets for POs remains unclear.
Regular street users of POs in Toronto (N = 43) and Victoria (N = 39) were recruited by community-based methods and completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire exploring features of PO sourcing from street-drug markets.
Respondents were PO- and non-opioid poly-drug users, with few holding their own prescription for POs. Regular sources for POs were more common in Toronto. Sizeable proportions of respondents in both sites reported exchanging and selling illicit drugs, involving both PO and non-PO drugs in Toronto, yet mainly restricted to the latter in Victoria. Respondents suggested a possible demarcation line between street market sources for POs and street market sources for illicit drugs. The availability of demand for, and prices for PO-drugs was observed to have increased in recent years.
Street-drug markets appear to be one key source feeding increasing levels of PO use among street users. Our data suggest that there may be distinct market patterns for POs, findings which are important for developing interventions and future research.
THE SAGA CONTINUES: CANADIAN LEGISLATIVE ATTEMPTS TO REFORM CANNABIS LAW IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
In July 2003, in an article published in the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
, Fischer, Ala-Leppilampi, Single, and Robins wondered whether Canada's long "saga of promise, hesitation, and retreat" in cannabis law reform was coming to an end, after 30 years of inertia. Their optimism was rooted in the federal government's apparent determination to decriminalize cannabis possession and in an existing socio-political context favourable to reform. Indeed, the government had recently tabled legislation that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, making it a ticketable offence. However, this bill died before it could be passed into law. Two later versions of this legislation also failed to pass through the House of Commons. This paper picks up where Fischer et al. (2003) left off, by updating and reviewing developments in Canadian cannabis policy between 2003 and 2008. It reviews the provisions proposed by Bill C-38 and its successors, tracing the bills' movements through Parliament and then delineates the positions of key interest groups regarding the decriminalization of minor cannabis possession. It concludes by reflecting on the contemporary period to show that Canada's "saga of promise, hesitation, and retreat" in cannabis law reform continues unabated.
CRIME-PREVENTION JURISPRUDENCE? A RESPONSE TO ANDREWS AND DOWDEN
School of Psychology, Deakin University
Recently Andrews and Dowden (2007) published an article proposing that both offender and victim well-being could be enhanced by utilizing the risk-need-responsivity model to guide the legal and court systems in crime prevention (rather than therapy). Consequently, crime-prevention jurisprudence
(defined as a law-and-justice objective reflecting the language of personality and social psychology) was proposed as an alternative to therapeutic jurisprudence
(defined as a mental-health objective reflecting the clinical language of forensic mental health). The authors erroneously claim that therapeutic jurisprudence is a mental-health concept whose aim is to provide therapy that improves well-being in offenders rather than to demonstrate concern for victims. In fact, therapeutic jurisprudence is a legal concept that utilizes social-science knowledge to highlight the therapeutic and anti-therapeutic impacts of the law, legal procedures, and legal roles on all individuals, including victims. This article will respond to Andrews and Dowden by challenging three assumptions they make regarding the role of therapeutic jurisprudence. This response concludes that the focus of offender rehabilitation should be on enhancing community protection by balancing offender rights and victim rights. Therapeutic jurisprudence already provides such a framework and, therefore, the promise of crime-prevention jurisprudence fails to add value.