Sunday, February 5, 2017

Monday, February 6. 2017

Today's schedule is A-B-C-D

A Block Introduction to Law 9/10 - Today I have the library booked for you so that you may word process your crime theory interview. Remember, you are a famous Canadian criminologist being interviewed by George Stroumboulopoulos on his CBC television show. What you'll need to do is come up with some crazy, creepy or absurdly normal crime that gained huge notoriety in Canada (murder, treason, assault, embezzlement, kidnapping, criminal harassment - AKA stalking, drug trafficking, gang related activities or some minor crime perpetrated by a major Canadian celebrity - oh just imagine Justin Bieber being charged with what). After you create a crime story idea, you'll need to have five questions that George will ask you (no "what's your name" doesn't count as one). Try to come up with questions that you can reasonably answer within three to four sentences..."So what do you think motivated (person X) to commit (action Y)"?

What should this look like? A brief paragraph that introduces the crime and gives a brief biography of you is the start. Next write out the five questions George will ask you about the crime, the perpetrator, the kind of person who commits that crime, the motives of that person, an explanation of your personal crime theory and then try to answer them using your theory.

B Block Law 12 - Today we'll look at the three sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that limit your individual rights (Reasonable Limits, Notwithstanding Clause and Where the Charter Applies). After this we'll identify what our fundamental freedoms are (section 2 a-d of the Charter). In partners I'll have you work on the R. v. Oakes (1986) case (discuss it in partners do not write the answers) which established the "Oakes Test" in Canadian law which allows reasonable limitations on rights and freedoms through legislation if it can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. We'll chat about it afterwords. Then, on your own, you'll need to complete questions 1-5 on page 40 of the All About Law text. After that I'll have you back in partners to work through the Multani v. Commission scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (2006) case on pages 41-42 of the All About Law text.

C Block Social Studies 11 - Today we'll continue with our look at the federal and provincial government structure in Canada. We'll look at the Legislative Branch of the Federal government in Canada starting with the House of Commons. You'll need to work on three questions:

  1. What is "Caucus" and what does it do?
  2. What is "Cabinet", what is "Cabinet Solidarity", what happens when you break "cabinet solidarity", how do you get to be a cabinet member, and identify three ministries covered in the federal cabinet?
  3. What is the "Official Opposition" and what do they do?

Here are some websites to help:
Current Canadian Ministry (Cabinet)
Privy Council Office: About Cabinet
Conservative party Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet
Parliament Of Canada Members of the Cabinet and Opposition Critics

Next, we'll continue looking at the "legislative process" - creating laws in Canada.

An idea to make a new law or to change an existing law starts out as a "bill." Each bill goes through several stages to become law.

  1. At first reading, the bill is considered read for the first time and is printed. There is no debate.
  2. At second reading, Members debate the principle of a bill — is the idea behind it sound? Does it meet people's needs?
  3. If a bill passes at second reading, it goes to a committee of the House. Committee members study the bill carefully. They hold hearings to gather information. They can ask for government officials and experts to come and answer questions. The committee can propose amendments, or changes, to the bill. When a committee has finished its study, it reports the bill back to the House. The entire House can then debate it. During report stage debate, Members can suggest other amendments to the bill.
  4. Once report stage is over, the bill is called for third reading debate. Members who voted for the bill at second reading may sometimes change their minds at third reading after seeing what amendments have or have not been made to the bill.
  5. After a bill has passed third reading in the House of Commons, it goes through a similar process in the Senate.
  6. Once both Chambers pass the bill in the same form, it is given Royal Assent and becomes law.
You will have to draft a simplified bill that you would like to see made law, where you'll write the idea in a simple sentence or two and then use the Make It Law handout to organize your ideas. Here is the legislative agenda for the Canadian parliament. Here is the legislative agenda for the British Columbian legislature. After this, you'll create a comic strip demonstrating the process of how a Bill becomes a Law in Canada for next Monday.

D Block Criminology 12 - Today you will need to set up a blog for the course. You may use Google's Blogspot, Wordpress, Live Journal, Bloguni, or any other blog creation site you choose. I would HIGHLY recommend staying with Wordpress, Live Journal or Blogger (you have a Google account through the school district and Blogger is a Google product so it makes sense to use your school e-mail account to create a Blogger site). Here are a few previous examples from past Criminology family members:

Criminology (Meryssa on Blogger); Criminology (Jacob on Wordpress); Crime Journal (Darion on Live Journal); Scout's Criminology Blog;

After you create your blog (IF YOU GET STUCK on the blog creation portion, then move on and in a Google Doc or Word file), then as your first entry, you'll need to write your own theory as to why people commit crime. To help, use the brainstormed list we did in class last week along with the Crime Theory Web Site found on this link and the notes below...

After I mentioned that I'd like you to come up with your own theory about why people commit crime. To help, use the brainstormed list we did in class last week along with the Crime Theory Web Site found on this link and the notes below... To help you build your own theories about why crime happens - which is your first blog entry - below you'll find some notes on Choice, Trait, Social Structure, Social Learning, and Conflict theories:

Choice Theory (Chapter 4 in the Crim textbook) Choice theories assume that criminals carefully choose whether to commit criminal acts. People are influenced by their fear of the criminal penalties associated with being caught and convicted for law violations. The choice approach is rooted in the classical criminology of Cesare Beccaria, who argued that punishment should be certain, swift, and severe enough to deter crime. Today, choice theorists view crime as offense- and offender-specific. Offense-specific means that the characteristics of the crime control whether it occurs. For example, carefully protecting a home makes it less likely to be a target of crime. Offender-specific refers to the personal characteristics of potential criminals. People with specific skills and needs may be more likely to commit crime than others. Research shows that offenders consider their targets carefully before deciding on a course of action. Even violent criminals and drug addicts show signs of rationality.

Trait Theory (Chapter 5 in the Crim textbook) One area of interest is biochemical factors, such as diet, allergies, hormonal imbalances, and environmental contaminants (such as lead). The conclusion is that crime, especially violence, is a function of diet, vitamin intake, hormonal imbalance, or food allergies. Neurophysiological factors, such as brain disorders, ADHD, EEG abnormalities, tumors, and head injuries have been linked to crime. Criminals and delinquents often suffer brain impairment, as measured by the EEG. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and minimal brain dysfunction are related to antisocial behavior. An evolutionary branch holds that changes in the human condition, which have taken millions of years to evolve, may help explain crime rate differences. As the human race evolved, traits and characteristics have become ingrained. Cognitive psychology is concerned with human development and how people perceive the world. Criminality is viewed as a function of improper information processing. Individual reasoning processes influence behavior. Reasoning is influenced by the way people perceive their environment. Psychological traits such as personality and intelligence have been linked to criminality. One important area of study has been the antisocial personality, a person who lacks emotion and concern for others.

Social Structure Theories (Chapter 6 in the Crim textbook) Social structure theories suggest that people’s place in the socioeconomic structure influences their chances of becoming criminals. Poor people are more likely to commit crimes because they are unable to achieve monetary or social success in any other way. Social structure theory includes three schools of thought: social disorganization, strain, and cultural deviance theories. Social disorganization theory suggests that the urban poor violate the law because they live in areas in which social control has broken down. Strain theories view crime as resulting from the anger people experience over their inability to achieve legitimate social and economic success. Cultural deviance theories hold that a unique value system develops in lower-class areas. Lower-class values approve of behaviors such as being tough, never showing fear, and defying authority. People perceiving strain will bond together in their own groups or subcultures for support and recognition.

Social Process Theories (Chapter 7 in the Crim textbook) Social learning theory stresses that people learn how to commit crimes. Social control theory analyzes the failure of society to control criminal tendencies. Labeling theory maintains that negative labels produce criminal careers. Social learning theory suggests that people learn criminal behaviors much as they learn conventional behavior. Control theory maintains that all people have the potential to become criminals, but their bonds to conventional society prevent them from violating the law. This view suggests that a person’s self-concept aids his or her commitment to conventional action. Social reaction or labeling theory holds that criminality is promoted by becoming negatively labeled by significant others. Such labels as “criminal,” “ex-con,” and “junkie” isolate people from society and lock them into lives of crime. 

Conflict Theory (Chapter 8 in the Crim textbook) Social conflict theorists view crime as a function of the conflict that exists in society. Conflict theorists suggest that crime in any society is caused by class conflict. Laws are created by those in power to protect their rights and interests. Marxist criminology views the competitive nature of the capitalist system as a major cause of crime. The poor commit crimes because of their frustration, anger, and need. The wealthy engage in illegal acts because they are used to competition and because they must do so to keep their positions in society.

Once you've done this, then find an article about a recent crime here in Canada, make a link to the news article on your blogsite and then write how your crime theory explains why the crime happened. An excellent crime news website is the CANOE CNews Crime site...or the Toronto Star Crime site...or Global News Crime site...or the Huffington Post Canada Crime site...or the Vancouver Sun Crime Blog 

And to help you here is an example from a previous Criminology family member Mariah Barth...

Crime happens for many reasons, however I believe that one of the main reasons people commit crime is because of social structures they are immersed in and the people they associate with. Obviously there are many other contributing factors such as brain chemistry, gender, drug usage, inner conflict and just plain choice, the list could go on and on, but the people we surround ourselves with play a huge role in how we behave. I know personally I act differently around my parents then I do when its just my friends and I. others play a huge influence in our lives. As children we learned everything from our parents and mimicked their behavior, then as we entered school we made friends and copied their behavior as well. If we ended up making friends with bad apples then we will most likely be doing and acting the way they are, all feeding off each others behavior in a sense Peer pressure from these same people we hang around with has a major influence on whether or not we are committing crime. For example in this article you have a 13 year old boy planning on robbing a convince store with no previous criminal record and 3 accomplices older then him, I don't personally know the kid but something tells me he was not the one to come up with the idea, maybe robbing the store what he had to do to become a member of the "Indian Posse" gang or just to impress the older boys either way it was most likely him trying to be tough and to impress someone else. I personally know a kid who at the age of 15 tried to shoplift something from a mall, I don't know what it was he was trying to steal but what I do know was he got chased and tackled by mall cops then spent a few hours in jail waiting for his mother to bail him out. This kid is not a bad kid I know that he is a good human being, comes from a good stable he's just your average teenage boy trying to fit in, but the kids he was hanging around with are kind of shady guys, I know for a fact that this boy regrets doing this, and in the long run getting caught for him turned out being more embarrassing then being too chicken to shoplift whatever it was he was attempting to steal. It just goes to show how far people will go to feel some sort of belonging in society and when they themselves feel uncomfortable with the fact that they might be different in someway or defy social norms people can go to extreme lengths to feel loved and important.


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