skip to Main Content

April 2021

Volume 63, No. 2 | Go to abstracts

Articles

Page 1

A Tale of Two Theories: Whither Social Disorganization Theory and the Routine Activities Approach?
Jen-Li Shen, Martin A. Andresen

Page 23

Contacts with the Police and the Over-Representation of Indigenous Peoples in The Canadian Criminal Justice System
Jean-Denis David, Megan Mitchell

Page 46

#AbolishNCR: A Qualitative Analysis of Social Media Narratives around the Insanity Defense
Ilvy Goossens, Marlee Jordan, Tonia Nicholls

Page 68

“We’re Not Where We Should Be”: Enhancing Law Enforcement Responses to Hate Crime
Barbara Perry, Kanika Samuels-Wortley

 

 

Abstracts

A Tale of Two Theories: Whither Social Disorganization Theory and the Routine Activities Approach?

Jen-Li Shen, Martin A. Andresen

Social disorganization theory and the routine activities approach have been extensively applied separately as theoretical frameworks for the spatial analysis of crime, with general support. As hypothetical explanations for complex social phenomena, criminological theories can impact how studies are framed and how the crime problem is approached. Thus, it is important to evaluate theories continuously in various geographical, as well as contemporary contexts. This study uses both theories in tandem to examine their ability to explain 2016 property crime in Vancouver, Canada, using 2016 census data. Both theories found moderate support. Of particular note is that all of the variables designated as proxies for ethnic heterogeneity in social disorganization theory were either not statistically significant or negative, consistent with the immigration and crime literature. Additionally, almost all variables, when statistically significant, were found to have consistent results across crime types. These results bode well for the continued use of social disorganization theory and the routine activity approach in spatial analyses of crime.

_____________________________________________

 

Contacts with the Police and the Over-Representation of Indigenous Peoples in The Canadian Criminal Justice System

Jean-Denis David, Megan Mitchell

There is abundant evidence of the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in Canadian correctional facilities but, there is, however, limited research on the over-representation of Indigenous peoples at other stages of the criminal justice system. This article examines self-reported contacts with the police by Indigenous peoples in Canada as a way to broaden our understanding of their over-representation in the criminal justice system. Settler colonialism is used as a theoretical framework to better assess the various processes by which Indigenous peoples and police may come into contact. Using data from the 2014 General Social Survey, we quantitatively examine the prevalence of various types of police contacts for Indigenous and non-Indigenous respondents. Results suggest that Indigenous peoples are more likely to encounter the police for a variety of reasons including for law enforcement reasons, for non-enforcement reasons, including being a victim or a witness to a crime, and for behavioural health-related issues. Results are discussed within the context of historical and ongoing settler colonial practices and the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system.

_____________________________________________

 

#AbolishNCR: A Qualitative Analysis of Social Media Narratives around the Insanity Defense

Ilvy Goossens, Marlee Jordan, Tonia Nicholls

This article presents an analysis of social media posts by laypersons regarding a finding of Not Criminally Responsible on Account of Mental Disorder (NCRMD) for Matthew de Grood after a high-profile trial in 2016 in Canada. From trial to verdict, a total of 4,991 tweets relating to the case were harvested from Twitter. Qualitative content analysis of 365 tweets by laypersons revealed three themes – largely equating the insanity defense to a legal loophole: (1) The case exemplified a misappropriation of the legal defense (e.g., due to privilege, due to the seriousness of the offence); (2) The perception existed that the NCRMD defence is a miscarriage of justice; (3) Many comments reflected a search for answers and justice. These embodied the ABCs of NCRMD: advocating, blaming, and clarifying. A need for public education about the forensic psychiatric system is evident; misconceptions about the insanity defence appeared pervasive. Further research could focus on the efficacy of knowledge translation over new media channels, such as Twitter.

_____________________________________________

 

“We’re Not Where We Should Be”: Enhancing Law Enforcement Responses to Hate Crime

Barbara Perry, Kanika Samuels-Wortley

In an era when reported hate crimes are increasing dramatically, it is troubling that there appears to be, at best, an uneven response to the problem from law enforcement in Canada. Our pilot study of policing hate crime in Ontario is the first attempt to understand whether and how law enforcement think about and act on hate crime. Interviews with officers in eight police forces across eastern and southern Ontario (N = 38) uncovered three clusters of factors that appear to shape how they manage hate crime: environmental, organizational, and individual. What we offer in this paper is a series of related recommendations for enhancing police responses to hate crime along each of the three dimensions.

Back To Top
×Close search
Search