Courses

Fall 2018 Timetable (tentative)

Winter 2019 Timetable (tentative)

Required Course

  • CRI 2010H – Methodological Issues in Criminology

Courses offered 2017-2018

  • CRI 1020H – Law and Society
  • CRI 2120H – Data Analysis
  • CRI 2140H – Guilt, Responsibility and Forensics
  • CRI 3020H – Criminology and the Policy-Making Process
  • CRI 3110H – Qualitative Research Methods
  • CRI 3130H – Policing
  • CRI 3140H – Special Topics in Criminology & Sociolegal Studies: Preventing Wrongful Convictions
  • CRI 3220H – Organized Crime and Corruption
  • CRI 3310H – Special Topics in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies: Indigenous Peoples and the Criminal Justice System
  • CRI 3340H – Health and Justice
  • CRI 3350H – Directed Reading in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies
  • CRI 3351H – Directed Reading in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies
  • CRI 3355H – Sentencing
  • CRI 3356H – Youth Crime and Youth Justice
  • CRI 3360Y – MA Research Paper

Note:

With the exception of the Research Paper for M.A. students, all courses are half courses.

Due to space limitations, Criminology graduate students will be given priority in graduate course enrollment; students in other programs must receive written permission from the instructor before enrolling in any of the Centre’s graduate courses.

 

Course Descriptions (2017-2018)

Law and Society: Theoretical Perspectives – CRI 1020H

  • Professor M. Valverde
  • This seminar surveys core readings in sociolegal studies, including classical sociological approaches to law and legal institutions, as well as more contemporary approaches to studying the relationship between law and society. A central focus of this research is the divide between the “law on the books” and the “law in action,” but rather than focusing on specific empirical effects, much of this seminar will focus on specific empirical effects, much of this seminar will focus on the production of law, the ubiquitous place of law and its relationship to other social institutions, and the often competing processes through which law comes to “know.” Readings tentatively include the production and evolution of law, legal decision-making, the constitutive ways in which law shapes everyday life, law and globalization, law as a professional project, and legal knowledge as the product of (often competing) claims to authority and expertise.

Methodological Issues in Criminology & Sociolegal Studies – CRI 2010H

  • Professor R. Gartner
  • There are two sets of skills that can be taught in a course like this. The first set has to do with evaluating criminological research that you read. Assessing the importance of a piece of research requires you to be able to identify important limitations in the manner in which the work was carried out and the assumptions behind the way in which the data are analyzed. Any “user” of criminological (or, more generally, social science) research must be able to evaluate it effectively.  The second set of skills has to do with conducting your own research analyzing your own data. This course will focus on skills that will be useful to those of you who are interested in doing research that has a quantitative component to it, or to those who are considering work where the ability to analyze quantitative data would be useful. In general, however, this is not a course on data analysis and statistics. The major focus of the course will be on the various methods that are used in criminological research. Hence our time will be spent largely in understanding and evaluating research and statistics rather than on how one carries out particular statistical tests. The course will attempt to combat the tendency for many of social science research to skip over methods and results sections of papers or books and to accept uncritically an author’s inferences about the findings that are reported.I hope that the course will give you an understanding both of some of the ways in which questions are answered in criminology understanding and of the limits of any one approach to research.

Data Analysis – CRI 2020H

  • Professor A. Doob
  • Part of the challenge of social science is to provide descriptions of events, relationships, etc., that both capture the “meaning” of the matter being described but are also efficient and effective. This course will focus on using quantitative data for these purposes. How do we take ‘data’ and turn these data into useful information?  In exploring this process, I also hope that students will acquire a better understanding of the meaning of ‘statistics’ as they are presented in published criminological research. I will not be assuming any prior statistical knowledge, nor will the course assume that you have any special background in mathematics.  This is a course in ‘data analysis’ not a statistics course per se.  The course is designed to give you the skills that are necessary to carry out basic and intermediate quantitative analysis of data, using the software SPSS. I will be assuming that you have had no experience with SPSS or any other data analysis software.  We will be working with the data from the 2014 Statistics Canada General Social Survey on Victimization. Small assignments, using these data, will be used to acquaint you with the techniques of analyzing quantitative data.  In addition, students, alone or in pairs, will carry out a research project (using these survey data) that answers a question of their own choosing.

Guilt, Responsibility and Forensics – CRI 2140H

  • Professor Catherine Evans
  • This course considers the barriers to establishing a defendant’s guilt in common law jurisprudence. It is particularly concerned with questions of criminal responsibility and forensics, and with the interaction of medical, social scientific and legal expertise in criminal contexts. The focus throughout is on the mind: How do we distinguish between disease and depravity, truth-telling and lies, bad luck and bad character? What kinds of technologies and expertise do we rely on to make these determinations? Common law jurisdictions have placed issues of mental capacity and culpability at the centre of their criminal justice systems. From assessing a defendant’s fitness to plead to the criminal trial, from sentencing to evaluating a prisoner’s eligibility for parole, the quality of a person’s mind, and our ability to know it, is essential. This course approaches the concept of the ‘guilty mind’ from a critical perspective, emphasizing the roles of culture, context and history in informing our understandings of the self, moral agency and sinfulness. The reading list privileges historical, literary and sociolegal works, especially monographs. These are paired with legal and policy-oriented articles that help us to bridge the gap between the past and the present, and to consider how recent developments in psychology and neuroscience affect how we approach the criminal mind today.

Criminology and the Policy-Making Process – CRI 3020H

  • A. Deshman
  • Criminological theories and research are used by a wide variety of non-academic audiences including activists, bureaucrats, lawyers, journalists, judges, politicians and law enforcement actors. There are also many ways to mobilize academic research, including through litigation, government-led policy reform, public engagement and grass roots activism. This course will examine criminology’s potential to propel social change or reinforce the status quo by studying a selection of current Canadian debates and policy discussions within the fields of civil liberties and criminal justice.  Specific topics may include criminal record checks, the bail system and pre-trial detention, “carding” and racial profiling, prison conditions, safe injection sites, prostitution and/or sentencing reform.  Throughout the course we will consider the benefits and pitfalls of academics using their research to propel social change, the challenges posed by “applied” academic research and the various ways in which social science research has been used (or abused) within the Canadian context.

Qualitative Research Methods – CRI 3110H

  • L. Marshall
  • Description TBD

Policing – CRI 3130H

  • L. Kosals
  • Police will be examined as one of the state institutions providing normative regulation and social order in connection with other institutions like politics, economy, and culture. The course will include three main parts: i) Police: origin, structure and functioning, ii) Police in changing social environment and iii) Police: continuous change and innovation. Students will receive knowledge on the origin and short history of the police, its structure and operation as well as about major challenges, organized crime, and terrorism. Last developments such as community, private and problem-oriented policing, a problem of reforming also will be examining. Additionally to Canadian police during this course police of some other well-established, developing and transition countries will be studied with the focus on comparative policing.

Special Topics in Criminology & Sociolegal Studies: Preventing Wrongful Convictions – CRI 3140H

  • M. Comiskey
  • In this seminar, students will explore how miscarriages of justice occur and what steps can be taken to prevent wrongful convictions, beginning with an overview of the law in this area and the role played by key players in the criminal justice system from the investigating officers, prosecutors, expert witnesses, trial judge and jury. The primary focus will be on Canada, but the seminar will also include materials from several other jurisdictions including the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Weekly topics of discussion will include tunnel vision; suppression of exculpatory evidence; eyewitness testimonies; jailhouse informants; review of the law on miscarriages of justice in Canada;DNA evidence and exonerations; forensic pathology and the Charles Smith scandal in Ontario; jury instructions; and proposals for correcting errors, improving forensic science, and creating proper avenues for redress.

Organized Crime and Corruption – CRI 3220H

  • Professor M. Light
  • Police will be examined as one of the state institutions providing normative regulation and social order in connection with other institutions like politics, economy, and culture. The course will include three main parts: i) Police: origin, structure and functioning, ii) Police in changing social environment and iii) Police: continuous change and innovation. Students will receive knowledge on the origin and short history of the police, its structure and operation as well as about major challenges, organized crime, and terrorism. Last developments such as community, private and problem-oriented policing, a problem of reforming also will be examining. Additionally to Canadian police during this course police of some other well-established, developing and transition countries will be studied with the focus on comparative policing.

Special Topics in Criminology & Sociolegal Studies: Indigenous Peoples and the Criminal Justice System – CRI 3310H

  • J. Bolton
  • This course examines the relationship between Indigenous people and the Canadian Justice system, with a particular emphasis on the Gladue principles as a framework for inquiry. It has become well known that Indigenous people are disproportionately represented in jails across Canada, a situation that the Supreme Court in 1999 thought could fairly be termed a crisis, and a situation that persists today.

The first half of this course will provide a foundation for understanding the legacies of earlier institutional structures and colonial policies and their impacts on Indigenous society. Students will be provided with a historical overview to better understand the social, political and economic factors that have shaped the relationship between Indigenous people and Canadian society. This will provide context on the background and systemic factors that may bring an Indigenous person into contact with the criminal justice system.  The second half of the course will look at the purpose and application of Gladue principles at sentencing. Students will develop an understanding of the Gladue principles and critically examine their role as a restorative justice practice, the constraints and barriers to their application and the potential they have to affect change.

Health and Justice – CRI 3340H

  • Flora Matheson
  • This course engages students in the study of issues that intersect health and justice. Students will cultivate community-based research skills by conducting a research project jointly with the community. Students will also develop skills in translating research findings to plain language materials for specific audiences. The course will consist of weekly 2-hour seminars focused on small-group problem-based learning.Context: The United Nations states that “Prisoners shall have access to the health services available in the country without discrimination on grounds of their legal situation”. However, this obligation is not consistently met in Canada. The health status of prisoners in Canada tends to be much poorer compared with the general Canadian population, particularly for mental health and substance use. There are more than 250,000 adult admissions in Canadian correctional facilities every year, with about 40,000 currently in correctional facilities on any given day. Racialized and indigenous Canadians are also disproportionately over-represented in the prison system and about 15% to 20% of aboriginal persons in federal facilities have attended residential schools. Two recent reports from the Ontario Correctional Investigator highlight the need to rethink mental health service delivery and segregation for people involved with the correctional system.Format: This course will bring students together to design and conduct a research project with a justice-focused community partner. Through small-group problem-based learning and community engagement you will develop your professional and research skills. Students will participate in all aspects of the project such as review of relevant literature, policies; primary data collection; data analyses and interpretation; and, knowledge translation and dissemination. Students will need to be flexible to adapt unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the research.

Directed Reading in Criminology & Sociolegal Studies – CRI 3350H

  • Faculty
  • Under the direction and supervision of one or more members of the Graduate Faculty, a course of specially directed readings and research in an area of criminology that is not adequately covered by other graduate courses available within the University, can be undertaken. This course will not be available to any student for credit without the approval of the Graduate Coordinator. Before such approval will be granted, a program of study, together with an indication of the written assignments, which students will be required to complete, and the criteria for evaluation of students, must be submitted for approval. Students may take up to two Directed Reading Research courses taught by different faculty members.

Directed Reading in Criminology & Sociolegal Studies – CRI 3351H

  • Faculty
  • Under the direction and supervision of one or more members of the Graduate Faculty, a course of specially directed readings and research in an area of criminology that is not adequately covered by other graduate courses available within the University, can be undertaken. This course will not be available to any student for credit without the approval of the Graduate Coordinator. Before such approval will be granted, a program of study, together with an indication of the written assignments, which students will be required to complete, and the criteria for evaluation of students, must be submitted for approval. Students may take up to two Directed Reading Research courses taught by different faculty members.

Sentencing – CRI 3355H

  • Justice K. Crosbie
  • Description TBD

Youth Crime and Youth Justice – CRI 3356H

  • Professor S. Wortley
  • This course examines contemporary issues in youth culture, youth crime and youth justice. The course will begin by discussing the definition of “youth” and how this concept has changed through time.  The course will then address a number of contemporary youth-related topics including: 1) Trends in youth crime and reporting to the police; 2) The impact of television, movies and video games on youth behaviour; 3) The relationship between Hip Hop music, youth resistance and youth violence; 3) The causes and consequences of street gangs; 4) Race, policing and criminal justice; 5) Perceptions of social injustice, youth radicalization and crime; 6) Cyberbulling; 7) Sexting and Youth Gender Relations; 8) Recent developments in youth justice; and 9) The implementation of evidence-based youth punishment and crime prevention policies.

MA Research Paper – CRI 3360Y

  • Faculty
  • The Research Paper option for M.A. students is the equivalent to two half courses. It is not a thesis but it does involve original research and/or analysis. Students pursuing this option must find a suitable supervisor by October, submit a formal paper proposal in December, and submit a final paper of 8,000 to 12,000 words by the end of August in order to meet the 12-month deadline. Research papers are evaluated by the supervisor and one other faculty member. Students pursuing a part-time degree must submit a proposal by the beginning of their second year in September.