Exploring Criminal Justice in Canada

Published: November 2016

This book presents the basic information that readers need in order to develop a working knowledge of Canada’s justice system. For many readers, this book will be their only exposure to justice-related studies, and they will finish their introductory class with an increased awareness of crime and of how the police, courts, and correctional systems respond to acts we have defined as crimes. In order to achieve that goal, this book provides a streamlined overview of Canada’s justice system using a “back to basics” approach. While some have said that “the devil is in the details” issues related to crime and justice can be deeply explored in your future classes.

A number of factors differentiate this overview of Canada’s justice system from other textbooks, including a focus on race, class, and gender in each chapter and how those issues influence both crime and the search for justice. In addition, each chapter contains a boxed feature titled “Myth or Reality,” where our ideas about the justice system are challenged and presented in a Canadian context. One of the difficulties in understanding the police, courts, and correctional systems is that many students new to the study of criminal justice have learned about crime and the justice system from the US media. This
is a significant concern because the Canadian justice system is very different from the US system, and responses to crime are also distinctively different. As a result, this book focuses on providing a wide variety of Canadian examples, although there are comparative sections in each chapter that contrast Canadian criminal justice practices against those in other nations. Last, each chapter contains a contribution from a criminal justice practitioner who shares information about his or her work experiences and career pathway, providing practical advice to readers considering careers in the justice system.

This book has some online resources including comprehensive summaries written for all ten provinces that highlight crime trends in those provinces, a description of the police, courts, and correctional systems within each province, as well as crime control problems or strategies that are distinctive to each province. An online chapter is also available for youth justice in Canada.

Rick Ruddell
Table of Contents: 

Crime and Justice
The Nature and Extent of Crime in Canada
Controlling Crime
Criminal Law
Police Organization and Structure
Police Activities, Operations, and Challenges
Criminal Courts and Court Personnel
Institutional Corrections
Community Corrections: Probation and Parole
Looking Forward: Criminal Justice in the
Twenty-First Century