Chat with us, powered by LiveChat CRIM 100: Lecture 6 Organized Crime When I teach this class face-to-face, I invite Mi | Max paper

CRIM 100: Lecture 6 Organized Crime

When I teach this class face-to-face, I invite Mike Trump (sessional instructor at UFV and former police officer) to deliver this as a guest lecture. He has an extensive background in studying organized crime and teaches our fourth year Organized Crime course here in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.


Please Note…

Warning: slides and hyperlinks include graphic, and sometimes disturbing images & content

Slides are for CRIM 100 internal use ONLY and may not be replicated, distributed or published by any means and are expressly for educational purposes by students officially registered in this course.

At the end of this lecture and after completing the reading, you should be able to:

Define organized crime.

Describe and nature and significance of organized crime.

Discuss the various types of organized crime groups operating in Canada.

Understand the development of organized crime.

Identify the attributes of organized crime.

Learning Objectives

This lecture contains a lot of material on organized crime, organized crime in Canada, and relevant theories and attributes of organized crime. I think you will find this material very interesting, but it may also be overwhelming. As I’ve mentioned before, CRIM 100 is intended to expose you to various topics in the field, and if you are interested, you could explore these topics in more detail, via other courses during your studies. Organized Crime is one of these courses.

So, given that this is a complex lecture, I will provide specific instructions regarding what will/will not be on the next quiz. 


“An organized crime is any crime committed by a person occupying, in an established division of labor, a position designed for the commission of crimes providing that such division of labor includes at least one position for a corrupter, one position for a corruptee and one position for an enforcer”

*Donald Cressey

Definitions of Organized Crime

“all illegal activities engaged in by members of criminal syndicates operative throughout the United States and all illegal activities engaged in by known associates and confederates of such members”

*Department of Justice

Definitions of Organized Crime

“as any group having some manner of a formalized structure and whose primary objective is to obtain money through illegal activities. Such groups maintain their position through the use of actual or threatened violence, corrupt public officials, graft, or extortion and generally have an impact on the people in their locales, region or country as a whole” *current FBI definition

Definitions of Organized Crime

“Organized criminal group shall mean a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences established in accordance with this Convention, in order to obtain, directly, or indirectly, a financial of other material benefit

The United Nations Convention

A group, however organized, that is

Composed of three or more people in or outside of Canada

Has as one of its main purposes or main activities the facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences that carry a five year or higher maximum sentence

That if committed would likely result in in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit to the group or by any of the persons who constitute the group”

Definitions of Organized Crime
Criminal Code of Canada

The Canadian Criminal Intelligence Service (CISC) identified approximately 729 organized crime groups in 2012. These groups were found in all communities, from urban centers to rural areas

The number is constantly changing

Organized Crime in Canada

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs

Asian Organized Crime

Indigenous organized Crime

Latin American-Mexican organized Crime

East European-Russian Organized Crime

Organized Crime groups in Canada

There are several factors that affect organized crime in Canada:

Geography and size. The patterns of OC in Vancouver differ from that of Toronto.

Numbers. The number depends on how the gangs are counted.

Collaboration among OC groups. What do we know about the connection between traditional OC groups and emerging OC groups?

Groups or markets. Organized crime can either be looked at from the perspective of the groups who are committing the crimes or from the perspective of the markets in which the profits are made.

Groups. There are several reasons why ethnicity continues to play a role in some operations. The main reason is that there is a belief that criminal operations will be harder for the police to penetrate if the participants know each others, are from the same community, and share a distinct language.

Global transitions. Various regions around the world have undergone fairly significant social, economic, and political change during the last few years, and those changes may link to criminal activity within Canada.

Source: CRIM 100 Course Reader.


Alien smuggling

Armed assault

Car theft

Drug dealing


Trafficking humans and weapons

Exploitation through prostitution

Chemical terrorism


What kinds of activities are criminal organizations involved in?

Source: Winterdyk, 2020:253.


The British Columbia Lower Mainland, Southern Ontario and Greater Montreal are the primary criminal hubs with both the largest concentration of criminal groups as well as the most active and dynamic markets.

Where law enforcement successes have disrupted or dismantled specific crime groups, this impact tends to be short term. In general, criminal groups are highly resistant to long-term disruption

Many organized crime groups have the capability to exploit international borders and as a result supply and distribution chains remain strong.

Exploitation and infiltration of legitimate business by organized crime groups plays a critical role in undermining public confidence in some legitimate markets while contributing to the resilience on many organized crime groups

The expression “organized crime” was not commonly used until the 1920s

Prohibition provided Irish , Jewish and Italian immigrants the unparalleled opportunity to climb the “queer ladder of social mobility”

Development of Organized Crime

Immigration from 1820-1850 grew dramatically in the United States

Immigrants found employment in the most dangerous, monotonous and poorly paid industries

Roots of organized crime can be found in the politics of urban America before Prohibition in the form of the political boss

Development of Organized Crime

In Canada, 39% of the national prison population is made up of members of street gangs

Aboriginal Gangs – 26%

Predominantly weighted in the Prairie region

Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs – 17%

Traditional Organized Crime – 8%

Asian Gangs – 3%

Legitimate businesses

Violence and intimidation


Identity fraud

Money laundering


The union of fortunes or joining of several persons for one purpose


Combination of producers to control sale and price


Association of individuals who wish to carry out a business


Tow or more persons forming an association to conduct business


A company of persons who act in concert for a criminal purpose

Investigative Definitions

Has no political goals

Is hierarchal

Has limited or exclusive membership

Constitutes a unique sub-culture

Perpetuates itself

Exhibits a willingness to use illegal violence

Is monopolistic

Is governed by explicit rules and regulations

Attributes of Organized Crime

Bureaucratic/Corporate Model

Patron-client Network

Structure of Organized Crime

The Bureaucratic Model:

“The bureaucracy model of organized crime became widely known by the public confessions

of Mafia defectors, such as Joe Valachi, during interrogations of U.S. Senate committees in

the 1960s, and the scientific work of Donald Cressey for the Federal Task Force on Organized

Crime. In his frequently-cited book, ‘Theft of the Nation’, Cressey (1969) describes organized

crime as a more or less formal bureaucracy: pyramid-shaped, with a strict hierarchy, a clear

division of tasks, codes of conduct, and internal and external sanctions. Basically, organized

crime is viewed as a distinct organization and equated with a specific organizational form.

This bureaucracy model of organized crime is very popular in criminal justice circles and

turns up regularly in the media and in public debate, with frequent reference to godfathers

being in charge and lieutenants controlling certain specialized divisions.”

The Patron-Client Network:

“Patron-client networks are defined by fluid interactions. They produce crime groups that operate as smaller units within the overall network, and as such tend towards valuing significant others, familiarity of social and economic environments, or tradition.”

Source: Kleemans, E.R. (2014). Theoretical perspectives on organized crime. In: L.

Paoli (ed.). Oxford Handbook on Organized Crime. Oxford: Oxford

University Press.


A complicated hierarchy

An extensive division of labor

Positions assigned on the basis of skill

Responsibilities carried out in an impersonal manner

Extensive written rules and regulations

Communication from the top-down

Communication from the top to operational level personnel can be intercepted

Written records endanger the entire operation

Successful infiltration at the lower end can jeopardize the entire operation

Death or incarceration leaves dangerous gaps in operations

Bureaucratic/Corporate Model


The patron provides economic aid and protection against both the legal and illegal exaction of authority

The client pays back in more intangible assets (esteem and loyalty) and may offer political or other important support

Patron-Client Network

Networks can vary in size

Capable of considerable expansion

Have the capacity to extend across borders

They have the capacity to develop safeguards against infiltration

They develop a high degree of redundancy and duplication that make them resilient to disruption

Flexible and adaptable

Respond quickly to market opportunities and /or law enforcement strategies

Patron-Client Network

Lack of victims to initiate prosecution

Cloak of secrecy

Cultural morality

The permissive society

Social Acceptance and Organized Crime

Organized crime is a normal response to pressures exerted on certain persons by the social structure

Robert Merton

Social and Cultural Explanation of Organized Crime

Strain theory argues that “crime results from the lack of opportunity coupled with desire for conventional success that produces strain and frustration.” (Siegel and McCormick, 2016:215).


The North American preoccupation with economic success

End result is coveted; not the means

Pathological Materialism

All behavior-including criminal behavior-is learned

In the environment where organized crime thrives the strain is intense and coupled with easy access to criminal opportunity

As a result some people conform to the norms established by criminal or delinquent subcultures

Differential Association

Differential association theory is defined as the principle that criminal acts are related a person’s exposure to an excess amount of antisocial attitudes and values (Siegel and McCormick, 2016:245).


A culture refers to a source of patterning human behavior

A sum of patterns of social relationships and shared meanings by which people give order, expression and value to common experiences

Subcultures and Social Disorganization

A sub-culture implies that there are value judgments or a social value system which is apart from the larger or central value system



Social classes

Occupants of “closed institutions”

Subcultures and Social Disorganization

Activities where drug usage is the primary focus; the anomic condition leads the sufferer to reject the goal of economic success in favor of a more easily available one-simply getting high

Retreatist Subculture

Gang activities devoted to violence and destructive acting out as a way of gaining status

Conflict Subculture

The methods and processes by which the community influences its members toward conformance with established norms of behavior

Social Control Theory

According to social control theory, all individuals are potential law violators but are kept under control because they fear that illegal behavior will damage their relationships with others (Siegel and McCormick, 2016: 252).

You will learn more about this and other sociological theories when you take CRIM 104: Sociological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behavior.


Gang activity devoted to utilitarian criminal pursuits, an adaptation that begins to approximate organized crime

Criminal/Rackets Subculture

Organized crime provides “a queer ladder to success” for disadvantaged groups who eventually leave organized crime, making way for the next wave

Ethnic Succession

Illegitimate opportunities for success, like legitimate opportunity, is not equally distributed throughout society and access to criminal ladders of success are no more freely available than are non-criminal alternatives

Differential Opportunity

Social disapproval

Public shame

Social ostracism

Fear of punishment



External Restraints

Development of the superego

Sense of guilt

A controlling mechanism that develops out of the relationship with, and the influence of, our parents

Internal restraints

The superego takes its form and content from identifications which result in the child’s effort to emulate the parent

Develops out of love and fear of the parent

If the superego does not attain full strength the person is more likely to act on primitive impulses often of a violent nature

Psychology/Psychoanalytic Theory

You do not need to know the specifics of psychology or the Psychoanalytic theory. You will study this in detail when you take CRIM 105: Psychological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behavior.


The Psychology of Organized Crime

While sociological theories may identify societal variables that motivate involvement in organized crime, they fail to explain why only a small fraction of persons exposed to such variables actually become criminals.


The Psychopathic Personality

The psychopath does not experience the normal tripartite structure of id, ego, and superego.

Absence of a superego is the result of “failures of internalization that often begin with imitation of the parents’ behaviors, but then expand to include family, school and community norms and rules.”


As I mentioned in a previous lecture, you can learn more about psychopathy if you take my second-year course – CRIM 216: Psychopathy and the Criminal Justice System.


The Psychopathic Personality

Psychopaths are restrained only by the fear of punishment, which alone cannot exercise adequate control over antisocial impulses.

Such persons suffer little or no guilt as a result of engaging in socially harmful behavior.

They are characterized by a combination of antisocial behavior and emotional detachment


Psychotics and Psychopaths

A psychotic is a person with a psychosis

Debilitating organic mental illness

A psychopath will have a behavioral or personality disorder

Diminished capacity to experience fear and anxiety


Highly manipulative and often very charismatic

No remorse for victims

Lack of shame or guilt

Unable to empathize with others especially victims

Feel they are special and entitled to their actions

The saloon was the center of neighborhood activity and the saloonkeepers became political leaders and power brokers

Able to influence the general voting public

The machine politician influenced the bestowing of important services on his constituents in exchange for votes

The Saloon and The Machine

Began with the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1919

Ended in 1933

Era of corruption in both politics and law enforcement. Noticeable rise in the crime rate

Served as a catalyst for organized crime

It encouraged cooperation on a wide scale between gang leaders in the various regions and led to crime syndication


Irish presence in organized crime was limited and the Jewish heyday was over.

Italians and the American Mafia were now the dominant force

The End of WW II

Hells Angels 1% MC Montreal Canada documentary

(Optional Video)

OMGs are often touted as being community activists/contributors, patriots, and seen as following the beat to their own drums. They do toy runs and are very active in their communities, but there is another side to OMGs. Please watch the following documentary from the History Channel on outlaw motorcycle gangs in Canada (with a specific focus on the Hell’s Angels).

Source: Canadian Criminology, Fourth Edition © Oxford University Press Canada, 2020

Internet Protocol Television. (2015). Hells Angels 1% MC Montreal Canada [Video file]. Retrieved from

Point out what draws people into these gangs and what law enforcement agencies are doing about these gangs.


CTV Television Network (2019). Investigation of Money Laundering at BC Casinos: The Laundromat

(Required Video)

This media documentary provides a journalistic examination of significant, long-term, money laundering through casinos in the Province of British Columbia with specific focus on the River Rock casino in Richmond, BC.


On behalf of Mike Trump, thank you!

CRIM 100: Lecture 5

Drug Addiction, Mental Health, and Homelessness

Please Note…

Warning: slides and hyperlinks include graphic, and sometimes disturbing images & content

Slides are for CRIM 100 internal use ONLY and may not be replicated, distributed or published by any means and are expressly for educational purposes by students officially registered in this course.

“Often times, when we picture an addict, we think of a homeless person begging for money.  We associate homelessness and addiction, assuming that with one comes the other.  This stereotype is so strong that it is often how the homeless population is depicted in TV shows and movies.  There is the prevalent idea that people who are homeless are unable to take care of their own affairs and that their addiction is a sign of this failure.  People often say that they do not like giving money to the homeless as they will just use the money on drugs or alcohol, and the homeless population is further stigmatized as unworthy.  Though the proportion of addicts within the homeless population is high, it would be inaccurate to say that all homeless people have addiction issues. This stereotype does not help when it comes to addressing the connection between the homeless population and addiction.”

Source: Addiction and Homeless Population. Canadian Centre for Addictions.


According to Global News, “2,223 homeless people living in Vancouver, marking the highest number since the survey began in 2002.” (Global News, July 2019).


History of the Downtown Eastside

The downtown eastside in Vancouver is one of the oldest parts of the city, characterized by extreme drug use, prostitution, mental illness and homelessness. In the early 1980s the area experienced a major shift as it prepared for Expo 86. During this time, approximately1000 tenants were evicted from the DTES hotels to accommodate the massive tourism. Due to the increased tourist activity, drug dealers in the area began buying and selling high-purity cocaine and heroin. As a result, police tried to respond to the high levels of drug use and prostitution, but it was challenging given how fast and rampant the drug use was. As such, they dedicated their effort to focusing more on the dealers rather than the users. At this time, the government adopted the policy of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, resulting in the release of hundreds of patients from Riverview hospital. Some argued that many of these individuals congregated in the DTES because of the low-income housing. These individuals didn’t end up getting the community treatment they were supposed to get and soon became addicted to the drug scene in this area.


During the early 1980s to 2002, women were disappearing from the DTES, most of whom were sex workers. In 2007, Robert Pickton, was charged and convicted on six counts of murder.

During the 1990s conditions in the DTES took a turn for the worse when one of the biggest department stores, Woodward’s, closed. This resulted in devastating effect on what was otherwise a very active retail community. At this time, the city began to see major challenges with housing availability and homelessness. Without the presence of a strong economy due to retail, a drug economy emerged as did increases in crime. In 1995, crack cocaine hit the streets and, in 1997 the local health authority declared a public health emergency.

Source: Addiction and Homeless Population. Canadian Centre for Addictions.


Mid 1980s (Expo 86)

Tourism and evictions

Drug trafficking

Deinstitutionalization of psychiatric hospitals

Drug problems escalated in the 1990

Woodward’s closed

1997 declared a public health emergency

Led to new initiatives today


2016 declared another public health emergency

The Closure of Riverview Hospital

When Riverview hospital opened in May 1913, it was known as the “Hospital of the Mind.” The facility housed all men who were thought to be suffering from insanity. This form of mental illness was believed to be the result of hereditary or caused by intemperance, syphilis or masturbation. Over the span of 110 years, the facility began to shift its focuses to more progressive care and began implementing deinstitutionalization policies, which focuses on delivering mental health services in the community rather than in an institutional setting. However, some believed that this closure resulted in mentally ill patients congregating on the downtown eastide.


”The number of homeless people living in Vancouver based on homeless counts conducted between 2005 and 2019. City of Vancouver.”

Source: Vancouver homeless numbers rise to highest levels since 2002, latest count shows: Global News. July 5, 2019.


As many of you probably know, this increase was the result of the fentanyl crisis.


Vancouver homeless numbers rise to highest levels since 2002, latest count shows

Please read this article to get an idea of the homelessness issue we face here in Vancouver, B.C.


Critical thinking question:

Given the issues you just read about, do you agree with this approach? Should homeless people who are addicted to drugs be given a safe supply? How does the current Covid-19 pandemic affect your answer?


Supervised Injection Sites

Given the issues on the DTES, and based on your readings for this week, this lecture examines the current challenges surrounding mental illness, drug use and criminality, by paying special attention to the Supervised Injection Sites, particularly the role of Vancouver’s Supervised Injection site, Insite. Supervised injection sites are part of harm reduction – a progressive alternative to the prohibition of certain lifestyle choices. Harm reduction refers to policies, initiatives, and programs that work to reduce the negative health impacts associated with dangerous activities.

Can you think of some other examples of harm reduction initiatives or programs?


Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site

In 2003, INSITE opened North America’s first Supervised Injection Site, which is a safe, clean place where people with addictions can go to inject their drugs while connecting with health care professionals and addiction service providers.


Prior to considering the implementation of a SIS in Vancouver, the city formally adopted harm reduction as a centerpiece to the drug strategy to respond to what many were calling an IV drug use epidemic. And, by 2001 Vancouver adopted the 4 pillars approach. This approach was in line with Canada’s drug strategy that claims that substance abuse is primarily a health issue, rather than a law enforcement issue.


The 4 Pillars Approach was partly in response to the Mayor’s claim that enforcement was not enough of a solution, and that only an integrated approach would be effective. By focusing on all 4 pillars, the purpose was to improve the lives of both the IV users and the broader community.


InSite is funded by the Van Coastal Health Authority and operates at 500,000 a year. This site is located in the center of the downtown east side where drug use is clearly visible. There are several small parks characterized by congregations of addicted and visibly mentally disordered individuals. This site is funded by the Vancouver Coastal Authority along with Health Canada who required an evaluation of INSITE regarding its proposed health and social benefits.

Source: This information is from the Vancouver Coastal Health Wesbite (


Supreme Court Decision

This was the pivotal decision that paved the way for the future of Insite.

Critical thinking questions:

Do you agree? Is drug addiction a moral choice or an illness? Why or why not?

What other options or ideas do you have?


“Serious drug addiction is not a moral choice; it is an illness which essentially negates the notion of “choice” altogether, Adopting a moral attitude toward an addict’s “choices” – as the federal government did – was simply the wrong approach to take.”

Chief Justice McLachlin- Supreme Court ruling opens doors to drug injection clinics across Canada (September 30, 2011)

“Local, provincial and federal authorities combined their efforts to create it,” she said. “It was launched as an experiment. The experiment has proven successful. Insite has saved lives and improved health. And it did those things without increasing the incidence of drug use and crime in the surrounding area. The Vancouver police support Insite. The city and provincial government want it to stay open.”

What is a Supervised Injection Site?

The primary purpose of supervised injection sites is to reduce the health risks associated with the injection of drugs, to deliver drug, health and welfare services to a population that is conventionally hard to reach, and to reduce public disorder. These sites have the potential to reduce blood borne diseases and accidental fatal overdoses. In terms of delivering drug, health and welfare services, this includes providing referrals to drug substitution or detox programs, shelters, welfare services, and medical services.


Reduce health risks

Deliver services to a population traditionally hard to reach

Reduce public disorder

Purpose of SIS

Goals of Supervised Injection Sites


(1) reaching the target population; (2) health issues; (3) public order and safety concerns.


In terms of connecting with the target population, all SIS share a common interest in reaching as many people within the defined target population as possible. These sites largely target long term heroin and cocaine users, drug injectors, street users, and sex trade workers. The purpose is to establish an acceptable site so users can access it regularly while reducing the risks and harms associated with the public injection of drugs.


In terms of the health benefits, there are several benefits provided to the users. They provide clean needles and a safe place for the users to inject their drugs while remaining in a safe place following their drug injection, they reduce the number of discarded needles that end up on the streets, and they provide care on site.

In terms of public order and safety concerns, supervised injection sites are intended to reduce public nuisance and social disorder. The goal of such facilities is also to reduce the number of injections in public and to reduce the number of overdoses and deaths.


Reaching the target population

Encouraging service uptake

Improving health and reducing risk behaviours

Reducing the incidence of infectious disease

Reducing drug overdose and deaths

Reducing public nuisance and disorder

Avoiding an increase in neighbourhood crime

Harm Reduction

Prior to considering the implementations of a supervised injection site, Vancouver formally adopted harm reduction as a centerpiece of its drug policy to respond to what many described as an injection drug epidemic. By doing this, in 2001, Vancouver implemented the 4 pillars approach.


This approach combines elements of public order and public health in order to create a safer, healthier community. This coalition is made up of business, government, non-profit organizations and advocacy groups to engage the community in addressing Vancouver’s drug problem.



A philosophy of public health, intended to be a progressive alternative to the prohibition of certain lifestyles choices

Main objective is to mitigate the potential dangers and health risks associated with the behaviors themselves

Ex: Legalizing prostitution, condoms in schools, drug legalization, and safe injection sites

Benefits of Supervised Injection Sites

ARGUMENTS FOR: (1) mitigate risk to the general public by decreasing the amount of drug injecting that occurs in open public spaces; (2) reduce health, social and economic costs to the community; (3) reduce behaviors that are commonly associated with drug use such as petty theft, open drug dealing, and the appearance of drug use in open public spaces.


Reduce Blood Borne Diseases

Reduce Fatal Overdoses

Access to On and Off Site Services

Reduce Level of Drug Use

Reduce Drug Use in Public

Reduced Levels of Crime Near Site

Reduce # of Publicly Discarded Needles

Reduce Public Nuisance

Reduce Open Drug Scene

Opposition to Supervised Injection Sites

ARGUMENTS AGAINST: (1) contend that these facilities increase the likelihood of intravenous drug use by making it easier for those who wish to inject drugs and that this type of service draws drug users from other areas to those communities with supervised injection services.


Honey Pot Effect

Resistance to Treatment

Public Condoning of Drug Use

Increase in Acquisitive Crimes

Increase in Drug Dealing

Marginalized Remain Marginalized

Supervised Injection Sites


Three criteria for SIS:

(1) the appearance and resilience of open drug scenes

(2) the HIV epidemic among IV drug users

(3) an increasing acknowledgment that previous policies were failing to work


This is a picture of the injection room at 195 East Hastings street in Vancouver.


Please watch this videos to get an idea of what Insite looks like and how it operates.


This is the harm reduction kit given to users upon entry to the facility.


Please review the article and watch the video found in this link. This gives you some more information on supervised injection sites, other facilities around the world, and the benefits of such facilities.



“Insite is a supervised drug consumption site accessible to street drug users. Insite has injection booths where clients inject pre-obtained illicit drugs under the supervision of nurses and health care staff. Clean injection equipment such as syringes, cookers, filters, water and tourniquets are supplied.  If an overdose occurs, the team, led by a nurse, are available to intervene immediately. Nurses also provide other health care services, like wound care and immunizations” (Vancouver Coastal Health website

“Many Insite clients are marginalized and do not have regular connections to health care services. The men and women who use Insite often have concurrent disorder. Some have a history of trauma and can be homeless, live in shelters or live in substandard housing” (


13 individual self-injection stations

Clients must be buzzed in and security cameras are located in the facility

Clients must inject themselves and will be observed by the nurse

No restrictions on type of drug injected

Users will remain in the “chill-out” room for up to 15 minutes after so that staff can assess the medical stability of the patient

Onsite- 30 units on the 2nd and 3rd floor with detox and A&D free beds

Open 7 days a week from 9:00 am – 3:00 am, but open 24 hours a day on the Wed, Thurs, and Fri when social assistance cheques are issued

16 years and older


User statistics from January 1 – December 31, 2018

189,837 visits by 5,436 individuals

An average of 337 injection room visits per day

1,466 overdose interventions

3,725 clinical treatment interventions (such as wound care, pregnancy tests)

Substances reported used were opioids (62% of instances), stimulant (19% of instances), and mixed (19% of instances)

28% of participants were women

19% of participants were Indigenous

For the fiscal year 2017/18 443 clients accessed Onsite, the adjoining detox treatment facility, with an average stay of 11 days. Note: Clients may have been referred to other detox or treatment services elsewhere

These numbers are from the Vancouver Coastal Health Website (


Involves nurses, community outreach workers, drug and alcohol counselors, other health care professionals, and peers

Clients are provided with:

Water containers

New needles


Alcohol swabs

Cooking spoons

Insite Demographics


Designed for vulnerable populations:

Injection drug users-men and women

Addiction and mental disorder

History of trauma

Live on income assistance


Live in substandard housing or are homeless

Harm Reduction and the 4 Pillars Approach

What harm reduction services are offered at Insite?

“Education on safer drug use and safer sex, as well as referrals to health services, addictions services and other supports

Education and access to testing and treatment for communicable diseases as well as referrals to counseling services

Needle exchange services to promote safe recovery and disposal of used needles

Supervised consumption sites

Overdose prevention and response services

Cannabis (marijuana)

Referrals for clients seeking drug detox, treatment or counseling.”

This information is from the Vancouver Coastal Health Wesbite (


1) Prevention- Promoting healthy families and communities, protecting child and youth development, preventing or delaying the start of substance use among young people and reducing harm associated with substance use. Successful prevention efforts aim to improve the health of the general population and reduce differences in health between groups of people.


(2) Treatment- Offering individuals access to services that help people come to terms with problem substance use and lead healthier lives, including outpatient and peer-based counseling, methadone programs, daytime and residential treatment, housing support and ongoing medical care.


(3) Harm Reduction-Reducing the spread of deadly communicable diseases, preventing drug overdose deaths, increasing substance users’ contact with health care services and drug treatment programs and reducing consumption of drugs in the street.


(4) Enforcement- Recognizing the need for peace and quiet, public order and safety in the Downtown Eastside and other Vancouver neighborhoods by targeting organized crime, drug dealing, drug houses, problem businesses involved in the drug trade, and improving coordination with health services and other agencies that link drug users to withdrawal management (detox), treatment, counseling and prevention services.


4 Pillars Approach




Harm Reduction



INSITE clients have similar characteristics to the target population

Positive impact at the individual level

Substantial number of referrals

Community impact requires further study

Critical Thinking Exercise

From the following positions, provide arguments for and against having a SIS in Vancouver

Business owners in the areas

Homeowner in the area

Medical personnel employed at INSITE


Injection drug users


Thank you!
Amy Prevost


CRIM 100 – Lecture 4

Criminal Law & the Courts

Please Note…

Warning: slides and hyperlinks include graphic, and sometimes disturbing images & content

Slides are for CRIM 100 internal use ONLY and may not be replicated, distributed or published by any means and are expressly for educational purposes by students officially registered in this course.

First things first…

Before we discuss Criminal Law and the Courts, it is important to present a brief history of criminology, so you understand how we make decisions today

A Brief History of Criminology

How does one understand the causes of crime?




Is it nature or is it nurture? In other words, is crime the result of genetics and biology, or the result of our upbringing and socialization?



All nine points above have the potential to explain the causes of crime. You will learn more about these theories in other courses you take in Criminology, such as Criminology 105: Psychological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behavior and Criminology 104: Sociological Explanations of Criminals and Deviant Behaviour.

For now, simply keep these in mind as we continue with this lecture.




Personality disorders

Social learning



Moral development



Understanding the History of Crime and Punishment

Demonic Perspective (1200-1600)

”Demonology is one of the earliest theories in criminology. In ancient times, people believed that evil spirits or demons entered the human soul and made people commit sins. This was the earliest explanation given regarding crime and criminal behavior. Terms like demons, witches and windigo were used for people who had turned criminals under demonic influence. Society believed that this was the result of evil spirits. Supernatural powers were considered the best explanation behind crime and sin. It was believed that a person did not commit crimes of his own free will but because he was under the influence of evil” (Pratap, 2019; para 3).


People who violated social norms of religious practices were believed to be witches or possessed by demons

The prescribed method for dealing with the possessed was to burn them at the stake

Crime and punishment in Medieval England:

“The Classical School of Criminology emerged in response to the harsh, retributive nature of punishment inflicted on criminals in Europe into the eighteenth century.” (Siegel and McCormick, 2016 p: 99)


Classical School of Criminology (late 1700s and early 1800s)

A perspective premised on the belief that potential criminals, being rational beings capable of free will, will be deterred by the threat of swift, severe punishment.

“Emerged in response to the harsh, retributive nature of punishments in the 18th century. During the Enlightenment, the Renaissance brought the spread of more rational, scientific, and humanistic ways of thinking. By the 18th century, traditional doctrines of absolute obedience to authority were increasingly challenged, as were the prevailing concepts of justice” (Winterdyk, 2020 p: 99-100).

Beccaria embraced this concept, arguing that most potential offenders would be deterred if three basic conditions were met:

Certainty of punishment

Swiftness of justice

Fair penalties proportionate to the severity of the social harm done


A call for a more rational, utilitarian approach to crime

Operated under 5 basic principles:

1. Rationality

2. Hedonism

Beccaria and Bentham

3. Punishment

4. Human rights

5. Due process

A school of criminological thought whose adherents use the scientific method to measure behaviour and advocate rehabilitation over punishment.

Embraced by Lombroso, the “father” of modern criminology, and his contemporaries Garofalo & Ferri. “The Italian positivists attempted to shift the focus away from the themes of free will and rational choice to focus on the individual biological and mental traits that may predispose people to crime.” (Winterdyk, 2020: 105).


Positivist Criminology

Scientific method to understanding crime (i.e. facts, proof)

There are mind and body differences in people

Behavior is a product of social, biological, psychological, and economic forces

Ceasare Lombrosso (1835-1909)

Biological determinism: a doctrine that denies free will while maintaining that our decisions are decided by predictable and/or inherited causes that act on our character.

Atavism: a biological condition supposedly rendering an individual incapable of living within the norms of a society; they were viewed as evolutionary throwbacks.

Lombroso believed that the cause of atavism was hereditary.

Source: Winterdyk 2020


Atavism and defective genes

Mental and physical inferiority

Inability to learn and follow legal rules

Criminal behavior

Lombroso Continued…

“Lombroso’s ideas regarding criminality were influenced by Charles Darwin’s theory of biological evolution. He used the term atavistic to characterize those who, due to some morphological (bodily) characteristics, were considered throwbacks to some earlier period in human evolution. The idea that some physical anomalies can indirectly contribute to criminal behaviour reflects Lombroso’s recognition that environment can play a role in an individual’s development. Although Lombroso found correlations between physical appearance and criminal activity, he did not consider the possible effects that social labeling might have in triggering anti-social behaviour among those “labelled” as different or even evil.” (Winterdyk, 2020:104).


Physiognomy- the belief that fixed aspects of physical appearance are indicative of the qualities of a person

Concluded that the criminal was distinguished by certain physical anomalies – flattened nose, large ears, big lips, mongolian eyes, big jaws, etc.

William Sheldon (1893-1977)

The Foundation of Biological Determinism

Biological determinism: the idea that individual physical and mental characteristics are governed solely by heredity.

Somatotyping: the practice of attempting to draw connections between a person’s behaviour or temperament and the individual’s body type or physique.

Body Types and Criminal Behaviour

William Herbert Sheldon tried to associate body type with temperament and described three types:

(a) Endomorphic: heavy-set, soft in appearance; smooth, soft skin; small bones.
(b) Viscerotonic: extroverted, easy-going, fond of the “good life.”

(a) Mesomorphic: predominantly muscular, strong-boned, lean.
(b) Somotonic: Assertive; quite active.

(a) Ectomorphic: thin, pale, delicate; small bones, fine hair, sharp noses.
(b) Cerebrotonic: introverted complainers; troubled by insomnia and chronic fatigue.

Source (Winterdyk, 2020:130).



Endmorph = viscerotonic temperament (wider hips, narrower shoulder, round and extravert)


Ectomorph = cerebrotonic temperament (narrow shoulders, narrow hips and frail, introverts, value their privacy)


Mesomorph = somatotonic temperament (Broad shoulders, narrow hips, strong and firm, muscular, fit, risk taking and aggressive, extraverted)

Criminology Today


Theories still exist but in different forms

(Neo)classical and (neo)positivist principles are still dominant, and their influence is reflected in many criminological theories

Criminology has moved from being reactive to being proactive in its approach to crime

Biological and mental traits interact with environment

Criminological ideas are subject to change.

What may be “true” today may not be true in the future

Criminal Law and the Courts


In addition to the pages in your coursepack, please read the additional chapter posted under “Course Material.”


The Origins of Law

The criminal law controls the definition and understanding of crime. Criminal law developed over several generations and incorporates historical traditions, social values, moral beliefs, and is heavily influenced by political and economic developments. The criminal law is constantly changing to reflect the state and attitudes of society. The criminal law governs all interactions. Crimes are viewed as personal wrongs and compensation was offered to victims. An important concept in law is called Stare Decisis – “the principle that the courts are bound to follow the law established in previously decided cases (precedent) unless the law was overruled by a higher authority.” (Siegel and McCormick, 2016 p:31)


The Common Law

Common law refers to “early English law that was developed by judges and incorporated Anglo-Saxon tribal custom, feudal rule and practices, and the everyday rules of behavior of local villages. Common law became the standardized law of the land in England, and eventually formed the basis of criminal law in Canada” (Siegel and McCormick, 2016 p:31).


The Development of Law in Canada


Classification of Law

Law can be divided into two broad categories: civil and criminal

Civil law is made up of property law (the law governing transfer and ownership of property) and contract law (the law of personal agreement).

Tort law is similar to criminal law in that it involves the law of personal wrongs and damages This can be physical or mental harm, and individuals can still proceed to sue even if acquitted criminally because the standards of evidence are lower in civil case.

Beyond a reasonable doubt versus a balance of probabilities:

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. The standard that must be met by the prosecution’s evidence in a criminal prosecution: that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime, thereby overcoming the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Balance of probabilities refers to burden of proof in civil trials. It is also known as preponderance of evidence. The common distinction is made with the burden of proof in a criminal trial, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil trial, one party’s case need only be more probable than the other.

(Siegel and McCormick, 2016).


Principles of Criminal Law


Classification of Law

“Criminal laws can be classified as either indictable offences or offences punishable on summary conviction. An indictable offence is a serious offence, such as murder (section 231), whereas a summary offence, such as loitering (section 179 on vagrancy), is a minor or petty crime. The main differences involve procedure and penalty.

Mala in Se – crimes are rooted in the core values inherent in our culture and are designed to control such behaviours as inflicting physical harm on others. These crimes are deemed universal.

Male Prohibitum – crimes defined by current public opinion and social values, subject to change.”

(Siegel and McCormick, 2016:37).


The Legal Definition of a Crime

Actus Reus – An illegal act, such as taking money or shooting someone; also failure to act, such as not taking proper precautions while driving a car.

Mens Rea – The intent to commit the criminal act, need for most offences expect strict liability.

Intent – Carrying out an act intentionally, knowingly, and willingly.

(Siegel and McCormick, 2016:39)


Functions of the Criminal Law

The following text is from Siegel and McCormick, 2016 p: 37-39).

The criminal law is a written code defining crime and punishment, centralized under the jurisdiction of the federal government, which enable greater social control and perhaps higher respect for authority. From the consensus viewpoint, the law reflects the interests of the majority, whereas the conflict model sees the law reflecting the interests of the powerful

Providing social control – the first and foremost principle is to control people’s behavior. This is for officially recognized behavior that is prohibited by law and the power is given to political parties and enforced by its agents.

Discouraging revenge – to prevent the greater evil of private retribution. The criminal law controls an individuals need to seek revenge. If people took the law into their own hands, the risk would be arbitrary and excessive.

Expressing public opinion and morality – the third function of the law is to reflect constantly changing public opinion and moral values. This ties into our earlier discussion about crimes that are male in se and male prohibita (for example, murder and rape versus possession of marijuana or gambling violations

Deterring criminal behavior – the ability to deter potential law violators. Again, this is based on the idea that if people see or know what the punishment will be for a crime they commit, they will be less likely to commit it. This was the rationale behind executions in public places during the Middle Ages. Although we do not have public executions today, long prison sentences perform the function of general deterrence. This of course is based on the idea that people act rationally, and that they weight the costs and benefits of committing crimes beforehand. It would not then apply, to say, crimes of passion or a crime that is the result of impulsive behavior. Discuss general versus specific deterrence.

Maintaining the social order –


“The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the ultimate arbiter of law and legal rights in Canada. The Charter is included in the Constitution Act, which was repatriated from Britain in 1982” (Siegel and McCormick, 2016 p:45).


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

The Trial of Jian Ghomeshi

Read the Globe and Mail article on the Ghomeshi case, and then watch the video with his lawyer, Marie Henein (next slide).


Was Justice Served???

Now that you’ve read the article and watched the video, please answer the following questions:

In your mind, was justice served?

Explain what is meant by the presumption of innocence.

Explain what is meant by the burden of proof.


Thank you!
Amy Prevost

CRIM 100: Lecture 7

Corrections in Canada

Policing in Canada

This lecture will expose you to some of the key challenges facing the Canadian criminal justice system today, including issues in Corrections and Policing. Specifically, you will be asked to think critically about the use of segregation in correctional facilities and the history of policing in Canada and how it has changed.


Please Note…

Warning: slides and hyperlinks include graphic, and sometimes disturbing images & content

Slides are for CRIM 100 internal use ONLY and may not be replicated, distributed or published by any means and are expressly for educational purposes by students officially registered in this course.

Part 1: Corrections

Before we jump into learning about some of the specific issues in Canadian corrections, it is important to look at what happens upon entry to a correctional centre.

First is assessment. Here will we look at how we can reduce the risk of future offending through individualized assessments and management. Risk assessment is the process of evaluating the likelihood of someone’s risk of offending and the reasons that the person poses a risk. Conducting a risk assessment requires the evaluator, at a minimum, to gather information, evaluate the presence of relevant risk factors and protective fac- tors, and form a judgment about risk.

Offender classification: The process of assessing an offender’s personal characteristics and circumstances and matching them to appropriate management strategies and services aimed at lowering his or her risk of reoffending.

Reducing the risk of offending requires:

Risk assessment

Risk management


The Correctional Process

Begins when an offender arrives at an institution

Continues until the sentence is completed and the offender has reintegrated into the community

Intake / Risk Assessment

Gather / Analyze info.

Identify Risk Factors

Develop Correctional Plan

Pen Placement

Max. Sec.

Med. Sec.

Min. Sec.


Public Safety

Institutional Adjustment

Escape Risk



The correctional process begins when an offender first arrives at an institution and continues until they are reintegrated into the community. There are many steps along the way, as we shall see.

Assessment is done using the Custody Rating Scale which is 12 items that determine the offenders institutional adjustment and escape risk, and then recommends the level of security based on total scores.

Looks at a number of reports to help decide on programing and targeted intervention to ensure that the primary goal of CSC is met – protection of the public.

What could be a problematic about this? Self-fulfilling prophecy – whereby inmates classification influences their behavior rather than reflects it.

Approximately 15% are classified as high risk and the rest are classified as medium or low

There are three basic steps in the assessment process:

Information gathering

Evaluate the presence of relevant risk factors

Risk and protective factors

Dynamic and static risk factors

Formulate a judgment of risk

Professional judgement or

Actuarial methods

Source: Lyon & Welsh (2017)


Good Risk Assessment Practices

Good risk assessment practices should:

Be evidence-based

Prefer structured over unstructured methods

Consider all known major risk and protective factors

Consider static and dynamic factors

Conduct re-assessments at appropriate intervals

Provide useful information to guide risk management strategies

A dynamic risk factor is a changeable characteristic associated with an increased likelihood of future criminal behaviour.

A static risk factor is a permanent, or at least very difficult to change, characteristic associated with an increased likelihood of future criminal behaviour.

An actuarial method is a risk assessment method that prescribes all aspects of the process, including information gathering, risk factor identification and operationalization, and the rules for combining this information and making the judgment about risk.

A structured professional judgment (SPJ) method is a risk assessment method that prescribes the minimum information that must be gathered and identifies and operationalizes the risk factors that must be considered but gives the evaluator discretion over how to synthesize this information and make the judgment about risk. This information is critical in preventing recidivism.

Recidivism: when previously convicted people commit crimes again.

The recidivism rate is the number of offenders released from correctional institutions that re-offend and subsequently return to confinement, out of the number of all released offenders

The rehabilitation-reintegration approach reduces risk to re-offend by offering treatment and programming for inmates

Source: O’Grady (2018) PPT slides.


Risk Factors


Dynamic Risk Factors

Static Risk Factors

Factors that are not likely to change, including criminal history, prior convictions, seriousness of prior offences, and performance on conditional release

Attributes that CAN BE altered through interventions, including employment skills, education, addictions issues, and cognitive thinking skills

Criminogenic Risk Factors

Risk/needs factors that contributes to person’s propensity to commit crime: substance abuse, anti-social values

Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) Model of Offender Treatment

Risk-Needs-Responsivity (RNR) Model: A model of offender treatment that focuses on reducing re-offending by carefully matching the offender to treatment based on three core principles:

Risk principle

Needs principle

Responsivity principle

Source: Lyon and Welsh (2017).


The Risk Principle

“Who” is treated?

Treatment intensity must be matched to the offender’s risk of reoffending

i.e., little or no treatment for low risk; very intense treatment for high risk

Source: Lyon & Welsh (2017)


The Need Principle

“What” is treated?

Treatment should target dynamic risk factors

Source: Lyon & Welsh (2017).


Risk assessment and management. In this short video clip, various experts discuss the processes of risk assessment and risk management in the context of domestic violence.

(Required Video)


The Criminal Justice System

There are three players involved in the criminal justice system:

1. Police – Policing in Canada is carried out at four levels:




First Nations

2. Courts: Canada’s court system has several jurisdictions:

Criminal division

Trial division

Supreme Court of Canada

3. Corrections:

Prisons have existed in Canada since 1835, when Kingston Penitentiary was first opened.  Today, in Canada, there are 43 federal institutions for men and six for women.

Source: O’Grady (2018) PPT slides.


History of Canadian Corrections

1835: First prison opened in Kingston, Ontario

“From 1934-2000 the only federal institution for women offenders in Canada was the Prison for Women. It was a maximum-security prison in Kingston, Ontario. It housed all federal women offenders, regardless of security level.” (Correctional Service of Canada – Women’s Prisons :

“In the 1960s, new approaches to rehabilitation and reintegration were adopted:

Helping inmates prepare for life on the outside

In the 1970s, 500 inmates at Kingston started a riot.

This lead to years of turmoil in Canadian penitentiaries

Death penalty was abolished in 1976

Human rights issues resulted in levels of security

The acknowledgement that youth offending is different than adults – which resulted in a separate youth justice system.

More emphasis on women’s rights and the needs of female 0ffenders

Source: The History of the Canadian Correctional System: Correctional Service of Canada:

Classification of Institutions:

Federal vs. provincial prisons:

Sentence of two years less a day: provincial

Sentence of at least two years: federal prison

Prisons are officially referred to as ‘institutions’ and run by ‘correctional services’

Source: O’Grady (2018) PPT slides.


Kingston Penitentiary in 1835

Prison for Women (P4W) in 1934

New social realities (1960-1999)


Goals and Objectives of CSC

Controlling offenders to the extent necessary

Assisting offenders to become law abiding citizens

Involving community members and organizations in the offender reintegration process

Contributing to safer communities

Ensuring public safety

Goals and Objectives of CSC

You will learn more about sentencing when you take CRIM 103: Introduction to the Canadian Criminal Justice System.


Utilitarian philosophy

Balancing rehabilitation and public safety versus offender accountability through reward and punishment

Goals of sentencing




Protection of the public



Correctional Service of Canada’s Mission Statement

The Correctional Service of Canada ( CSC ), as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.

Citizens’ Advisory Committees

I have served on this committee since 2012. We meet once a month to discuss issues in the institutions, transfers from other institutions, incident reports, inmate count, etc. The committee is comprised of approximately 6 volunteers plus the Warden. The purpose of this committee is to communicate and liaise with the community. I find this committee very useful in teaching, as I can discuss current correctional issues with my students.


Under section 7 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations and further by Commissioner’s Directives, a Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) “contributes to the public safety by actively interacting with staff of the Correctional Service of Canada, the public and offenders, providing impartial advice and recommendations, thereby contributing to the quality of the correctional process.”

Purposes and Principles of Sentencing

An aggravating factor is defined as a factor that would justify a harsher sentence. Examples include prior record, hate crimes, vulnerability of victim, etc.

A mitigating factor is defined as a factor that would support leniency in sentencing. Examples include mental illness, abuse, minor role in the offence, etc.


Sentences must be proportionate

An offender should not be deprived of liberty

Aggravating and mitigating factors are considered at sentencing

Correctional Service of Canada

To be incarcerated in a federal penitentiary, an offender must be sentenced to a term of two years or greater. Those sentenced to terms of two years less a day are incarcerated in institutions that are managed by the provinces.

Offenders convicted of summary offences – which are the least serious, serve their sentences in a provincial or territorial institution. Those convicted of indictable offences serve their sentences in either a federal or a provincial institution.

Federal prisons have the most programming and the highest levels of security.

Source: O’Grady (2018) PPT slides.


Federal Corrections

CSC’s involvement begins once an offender is sentenced to a term of incarceration of two years or more.

Provincial Corrections

Offenders given probation sentences or sentenced to incarceration of less than two years

Sykes’ Pains of Imprisonment

When a person is transformed from a regular citizen to an inmate, it is called the process of prisonization. Once incarcerated, inmates often experience the following.

Deprivation of liberty

Deprivation of goods and services

Deprivation of heterosexual relations

Deprivation of autonomy

Deprivation of security


Deprivation of liberty

Deprivation of goods and services

Deprivation of heterosexual relations

Deprivation of autonomy

Deprivation of security

Mental Health

The size of federal and provincial prison populations is affected by changes in federal and provincial legislation.

Those incarcerated generally lack formal education, have poor employment histories, suffer from substance abuse, fetal alcohol syndrome, and other mental health problems.

Source: O’Grady (2018) PPT slides.


Among the biggest challenges for correctional institutions in Canada today

4 to 7 times more likely to have a psychiatric condition in comparison to the general population


Stigma and isolation

Inability of correctional staff to address the needs of mentally ill offenders

Prevalence Rates for Current Diagnosis of Major Mental Disorders among Incarcerated Women (N=154)

Disorder %
Any disorder 79.2
Mood disorders 22.1
Psychotic disorders 4.6
Alcohol/substance use disorders a 76.0
Anxiety disorders 54.2
Eating disorders 11.0
Pathological gambling
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD; lifetime only) 33.3
Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD; lifetime only) 49.4

Prevalence Rates for Current Diagnosis of Major Mental Disorders among Incarcerated Women (N=154)




Population Profile and Key Issues

Males in their mid-thirties

Overrepresentation of Aboriginals

Mental health and addiction


Incarcerated people in Canada do not represent a cross-section of the population

Two dimensions stand out the most

Gender: incarcerated males outnumber women by a ratio of about 10:1

Race: Indigenous people comprise about 23% of the prison population while only representing 4% of the Canadian population; African Canadians comprise 9% of the federal prison population while only 3% of the general population.

Source: O’Grady (2018) PPT slides.


“Smith was adopted shortly after her birth. Her home was like that of any traditional loving family. Her behavioral problems began with the onset of puberty, and were marked by episodes of defiance and poor school performance. After pelting a mailman with crab-apples, she was incarcerated for assaulting a public employee. What was designed to be a short sentence stretched into a number of years and multiple institutions. Her journey eventually concluded with her tragic suicide inside Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ontario.

The centerpiece of the film is never-before-seen surveillance footage that shows Smith undergoing a string of physical punishments at the hands of prison guards, including painful dousings of pepper spray, 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, a lack of adequate toiletries, and barbaric constraint.

Smith clearly suffered from some form of undiagnosed mental illness. The prison system was ill prepared to deal with her unruliness; in fact, the disciplinary abuses she suffered only exacerbated her already fragile state. Astonishingly, Smith’s treatment in these prisons was touted as therapeutic. It’s clear that she did not receive the level of compassionate rehabilitation that could have transformed the course of her life.

In the course of their investigation, the filmmakers speak with Smith’s grief stricken parents, a fellow inmate and correctional institution officials. Together, they paint a vivid portrait of a flesh and blood young girl overwhelmed by the delirium in her mind, the apathy of her captures, and the hell of her environment.

Smith’s story is not unique. Mentally ill inmates are frequently moved from prison to prison across the Canadian landscape. Their mental instability is further unhinged by inhumane treatment, which often inspires them to commit more and more drastic offenses. It’s a vicious cycle that betrays the purpose of reformation.”

Source: Ashley Smith Out of Control, the Fifth Estate.



Segregation is an inmate control technique used by correctional authorities to protect others within the prison from particularly dangerous or threatening inmates

confinement of an individual to his or her cell for upwards of 22 hours per day

Disciplinary or administrative

Voluntary or involuntary

Bill C-83 – Structured Intervention Units (SIU)

On June 21, 2019, Bill C-83 – An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act received Royal Assent. In particular, the amendments to the Correctional and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) in this Bill eliminate administrative and disciplinary segregation, and introduce a new correctional model including the use of structured intervention units (SIUs) for inmates who cannot be managed safely within a mainstream inmate population.


Issue # 1 (Aboriginal Inmates: The View from the Court)

Landmark case of R. v. Gladue

2 key elements:

(1) the unique systemic or background factors which may have played a part in bringing the particular Aboriginal offender before the courts;

(2) the types of sentencing procedures and sanctions which may be appropriate in the circumstances for the offender because of his or her particular Aboriginal heritage or connection.

There are two key issues I would like you to consider for this week. The first is the case of R.v. Gladue. Review this cases and think about how systemic racism is relevant and why this case was landmark case for the criminal justice system.


Issue # 2: Mental Illness and Ashley Smith

Mental illness is among the biggest challenges faced by correctional institutions in Canada today

Inmates are two to three times as likely as members of the general population to have had a recent psychiatric illness

Correctional institutions are ill equipped to respond and treat inmates with mental health issues

The second case involves the issue of segregation and Ashley Smith. This is discussed extensively in your readings. Please read this section carefully, watch the documentary, and then answer the critical thinking questions provided.


Background of Ashley Smith

Teenager who died by self-inflicted strangulation on 19 October 2007 while under suicide watch in custody at the Grand Valley Institution for Women

Caused major controversy with the Correctional Service of Canada

On 19 December 2013, the coroner’s jury returned a verdict of homicide in the case of Ashley Smith, and provided 104 recommendations to the presiding judge.


Ashley Smith: Out of Control
Critical thinking questions:

How do you feel about CSC’s approach to mental health and segregation?

What recommendations would you make to the Correctional Investigator?

Did the actions of CSC violate CSC’s mission statement?

Part 2: Policing in Canada

This mini-lecture on policing is an introduction to the history of policing in Canada, including an overview of policing as an organization and policing as a process, the forces that shape the transformation of policing in Canada, and the structure and levels of policing in Canada. If policing is something that interests you, you can take our second year CRIM 251: Law Enforcement in Canada. Here are the objectives for this lecture:

• Understand the origins of policing in Canada

• Understand the hierarchy of policing in Canada

• Understand the roles and responsibilities of the police in Canada

• Discuss some of the modern challenges facing policing in Canada


The History of Policing in Canada

The History of Canadian Policing

“It is difficult to point to one era in history as a defining moment in the creation of organized policing. Instead, there have been a number of events that have contributed to the evolution of the profession. In fact, to even call it a profession was something of an evolution! In the early European context, there was no recognizable system of policing comparable to what we know today. Instead, rulers, like Kings, Queens, or Emperors, defended their power and sovereignty through the use of their militaries, and those who did not comply with the ruler’s decree were met with harsh punishment, including death. Otherwise, the general public was largely left to their own resources for protecting themselves and each other. This is not to say that there was no social control or protection, but it often came from individuals within communities, rather from an organized police force like we know today.

Some of the earliest evolutions of policing started with the tithing system in Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries. Essentially, a tithing was an area of land similar to what we might refer to as a jurisdiction today. Within this area of land, or jurisdiction, the male heads of a household became responsible for the actions of others within the jurisdiction, providing security to others, and dealing with conflict in the community. Eventually, after the Norman conquest of large sections of England, these tithings slowly introduced courts for administering justice, and created Justices of the Peace to resolve disputes between community members. In more serious cases, juries of other town members were called to help make a fair decision regarding a dispute or offence. All of these elements still form different parts of our justice system today.

The next major step in the creation of a professional police force came in 1285, with the Statue of Winchester, also in England. This statute created a code outlining the practices of these very early police forces and outlined the concept of around-the-clock vigilance by a group of men. This system became known as the ‘watch and the ward’, particularly in larger towns. These basic and early ‘police’ practices continued for several centuries with very little change. Jobs in law enforcement became less and less attractive as the industrial revolution began in the 1700’s. It became more and more difficult to find competent people to be a member of the watch and the ward. Quite simply, people could make more money in a factory. Corruption within these early police forces ensued as poorer and poorer people filled these jobs, often abusing their power, taking bribes, assisting with the persecution of innocent people, and participating in a range of other unsavory acts. During this period of time, England, and much of Europe, witnessed massive population growth, particularly in urban centers, as people rushed into cities, abandoning their lives as farmers to work in factories. This massive population growth led to huge spikes in crime, particularly thievery, prostitution, gambling, fighting and violence, and drunkenness. By the early 1800’s, it became clear that a more effective structure for policing was needed, particularly in urban centers with large populations. Further, citizens, employees of factories, and factory owners started demanding reform to improve safety, deal with judicial and police corruption, and the problems associated with an increasing crime rate. This led to the creation of the Metropolitan Police Force in London in 1829, which was the first full-time, paid, professional police agency in the world.” (Cohen, Policing in Canada Module, 2021: 1-2).


Please watch this brief video on the History of Policing in Canada


Please watch the following video about the role of policing in Canada as it relates to the issue of race.


Levels of Policing in Canada

“The police can be defined as non-military individuals or organizations who are given the general right by the government to use course of force to enforce the law and his primary purpose is to respond to problems of individuals in group complex but impulse illegal behavior.” (Seagravem 1997:2 as cited in Campbell, Carter, and Pollard).

“The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) make up Canada’s federal police force.”

“Provincial police have jurisdiction in rural areas and in unincorporated regions around cities.”

“Municipal police have jurisdiction within their specific city or town and are paid for by that city or town. Municipalities without a police force use the RCMP for their policing.”

Source: (8.1 Levels of Police in Canada/Starting a Police Investigation PPT Presentation).





First Nations

Policing as an Organization

Police or Policing? What is the difference between policing as an “organization” and policing as a “process”?


Protecting the public from criminals


Providing general assistance in time of need


Maintaining order and preserving the peace


What are Sir Robert Peel’s Principles?

Challenge your Assumptions! Is that what good policing represents?

“While it is obvious that many of the principles outlined by Peel in 1829 (page 9 of your reading) still hold true today, modern expectations of a police force have also evolved from Peel’s original conception of the police. Arguably, there are a handful of things the public expects from a modern police force in Canada.



What the public expects from a modern police force in Canada

When It comes to accountability, it is important to note that “Police service, management, and officers are under more scrutiny than ever before, particularly with the increased use of mobile devices with phone and video capability. In 1992, a major riot started in Los Angeles after a video was broadcasted showing five Los Angeles police officers severely beating Rodney King, who was being stopped for speeding. Although Mr. King admitted to speeding, the officers that had engaged in the pursuit were angry that he had fled from them. This led to them surrounding and beating Mr. King in a parking lot. The beating that Mr. King endured, including being tasered, struck with batons, punched, and kicked, led to the five officers being arrested. Many believed that had the video never surfaced, the five officers would have never been arrested and charged. However, after a short trial, a jury acquitted all of the officers of assault, which sparked outrage in the community and led to two days of intense rioting. If any of you have been watching the news in 2020, it is obvious that these kinds of events are still happening in the United States and Canada; however, the major difference today is that they are often recorded and posted online. This has led to the demand for changes in policing, and certainly the demand for more accountability by police officers and departments for their actions. Within Canada, we have several forms of accountability for police, including external review by civilian oversight groups and review by police boards that are often comprised of politicians and prominent members of the community.” (Cohen, Policing Module, 2021:4-5).


1. Justice: administer power in a fair and reasonable manner, to ensure that the process used to investigate crime and disorder is fair, and to be fair in how they treat the public

2. Equality: provide services and safety to everyone, to provide equal access to the police, regardless of race, gender, income, sexual orientation, or status

3. Accountability: Within Canada, we have several forms of accountability for police, including external review by civilian oversight groups and review by police boards that are often comprised of politicians and prominent members of the community

4. Efficiency: to be cost efficient with taxpayers, to use their budgets wisely, and to ensure that every person in our society is given equal access to the police, regardless of gender, race, income, sexual orientation, or position in society

The Crime Complex

“David Garland suggested that the constellation or issues that frame the public’s perception of high crime rates and consequent fears can be termed the crime complex.” (Seagravem 1997:2 as cited in Campbell, Carter, and Pollard).


High crime rates are regarded a s a normal social fact

Emotional investment in crime in widespread and intense

Crime issues are politicized and regularly represented in emotive terms

Concerns about victims and public safety dominate public policy

The criminal justice state is viewed as inadequate or ineffective

Private, defensive routines are widespread and there is a large market for security

A crime consciousness is institutionalized in the media, popular culture, and the built environment

End of Lecture – thank you!

Amy Prevost


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