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Simon Fraser University

Instructor: Melissa Roberts
Spring 2011

Introduction to Canadian Criminal Justice System


This document provides a summary of the following:

 The general criteria used for grading papers
 Instructions for the written assignment – including topic choices
 Paper guidelines
 Suggestions for how to locate academic articles and newspaper articles for inclusion in your paper
 Detailed instructions regarding referencing in your written assignment
 A checklist of things to look out for when writing up your paper

General Criteria for Grading Papers

1. Understanding and incorporation of course materials, including the one mandatory article from the
Roberts and Grossman reader
2. Appropriate use of academic sources (this should include three academic journal articles outside of
the course materials including the one mandatory article I have chosen)
3. Appropriate use of one or two newspaper articles
4. Evidence of critical thought and analysis
5. Meets instructions re: Paper Guidelines provided below
6. Grammar, syntax, spelling, organization
7. Proper referencing and citations (See Instructions for Referencing in Written Assignments below)

Instructions for Written Assignment

Your four-to-five page essay is due at the beginning of lecture on March 22, 2011. Your essay is worth
20% of your final grade and you have a choice of three topics for your essay.

Each topic involves:

 the integration of one reading found in the Roberts and Grossman reader;
 the use of course materials (requires appropriate citation – avoid citing lecture unless materials are
not available in readings);
 three outside academic sources, one mandatory (see Including Academic Sources below for
information that will assist you in determining if a source is an academic source. Note: There are no
restrictions on the publication dates for your academic articles but you should keep in mind that more
recent articles are usually preferable);
 the use of required outside academic source; and
 the integration of one or two newspaper articles as part of your discussion. NOTE: The news articles
you select must be current (published after January 2010) and may come from a current newspaper
or from an online news source. The news articles must be attached to your paper, include the
publication date, and should be cited appropriately.

Fall 2010
Topic #1: Police Powers and Decision Making

Wortley, S., & McCalla, A. (2008). Chapter 15: Racial Discrimination in the Ontario Criminal Justice
System. In Roberts, J.V., & Grossman, M.G. (Eds.). Criminal Justice in Canada: A reader (p.187-206).
Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education Ltd.

One of the key issues in the study of policing is how much power officers should have, and what type.
Discuss the main powers of police (for example, power to detain/arrest, power of search and seizure,
etc.) and where limitations placed on police powers come from. Discuss how the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms affects police powers. What effect do limits on police powers have on the exercise of
discretion? How are abuses of police power dealt with?

Mandatory outside academic source:

Recasens, A. (2000). The Control of Police Powers. European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research,
8(3), p.247-269.

For this assignment, you will need to locate and use two outside academic journal articles in addition to
the mandatory academic source I identify and course resources, including the identified chapter from the
reader and one or two news articles that discuss police powers. Remember to provide a critical analysis.

Topic #2: Victims of Crime

Grossman, M.G., & Kane, C. (2008). Chapter 22: Victims of Crime and the Justice System. In Roberts,
J.V., & Grossman, M.G. (Eds.). Criminal Justice in Canada: A reader (p.284-295). Toronto, Ontario:
Nelson Education Ltd.

Identify some of the services currently available for victims of crime. Locate one or two news articles that
discuss the role (or lack thereof) of victims in the Canadian CJS. Relate this article to your discussion of
victimology and victims‟ rights. Should the Criminal Justice System pay greater attention to the rights of
crime victims? Are the existing victims' services programs working, and if so, should they be expanded,
and how? What other steps could the criminal justice system take to make victims feel that they have
been treated more fairly, and make them more likely to report their victimization and participate more
willingly in the justice process? What about sentencing or plea bargains or restorative justice?

Mandatory outside academic source:

Prairie Research Associates. (2006). Multi-site Survey of Victims of Crime and Criminal Justice
Professionals across Canada. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada, Policy Centre for Victim Issues.
Available at:

For this assignment, you will need to locate and use two outside academic journal articles in addition to
the mandatory academic source I identify and course resources, including the identified chapter from the
reader and one or two news articles that discuss victims of crime. Remember to provide a critical

Topic #3: Wrongful convictions

Denov, M., & Campbell, K. (2008). Chapter 17: When Justice Fails – Understanding miscarriages of
justice. In Roberts, J.V., & Grossman, M.G. (Eds.). Criminal Justice in Canada: A reader (p.219-234).
Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education Ltd.

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“A common perception among many members of the public is that the justice system tends to protect the
rights of the accused, with the result that guilty parties too often escape conviction. However, the
opposite can also occur: innocent accused persons are sometimes convicted of crimes they did not
commit.” Discuss some of the reasons for wrongful convictions and how the government/state addresses
the issue. Does the Canadian criminal justice system do enough to prevent wrongful convictions? Further
to this, what does this mean for wrongfully accused people in prison trying to apply for parole? For
example, parole boards require a prisoner to accept responsibility for their crime before they are granted
parole. What does this mean for prisoners serving time for crimes they did not commit? You may want to
look at some of the most prominent Canadian examples to assist you with this paper (Donald Marshall).

Mandatory outside academic source:

Department of Justice Canada (2005). Report on the Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice.

Federal/Provincial/Territorial Heads of Prosecution Committee Working Group. Available at:

For this assignment, you will need to locate and use two outside academic journal articles in addition to
the mandatory academic source I identify and course resources, including the identified chapter from the
reader and one or two news articles that discuss wrongful convictions. Remember to provide a critical

Paper Guidelines

Late papers will be penalized 5% for each day they are late including weekends. Late assignments
can be handed into the Continuing Studies Office (HC2300). Assignments will be date stamped. If you
submit your assignment late please let me know via email when you have done this. DO NOT PLACE
YOUR PAPER UNDER ANYONE‟S DOOR. E-mail or faxed assignments will not be accepted. Inability
to meet deadlines requires advance notification to the instructor as well as appropriate documentation.

Paper Format:

In addition to adhering to the above information, each of the following components should be included in
your paper. You may choose to use headings but you are not obligated to do so. That choice belongs to
you. However, each of the below sections needs to be found within your paper. The Student Learning
Commons Website provides useful information that may assist you in writing your paper - see

Title Page
The title of your paper should convey the subject matter in 15 words or less. Do not call it anything like
"Crim 131" (this gives no information about content), or "Criminology Paper" (not specific enough). Your
title should capture what the paper is about. Your name, student number, title of the course, date and
your instructor name should appear somewhere on this cover page.

The introduction should do exactly that – it introduces your topic and contextualizes it within the broader
literature as appropriate, states your objective (thesis statement) and should end with an outline of what
your paper discusses. Most importantly, it should provide a useful framework to the paper. My advice is
to be specific about the topic you are addressing and if appropriate be sure to explain your approach to
the topic. Make sure that you properly cite sources of the information you include (see below).


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The body of your paper should provide a discussion that addresses each component of the topic you
selected. It should also include a discussion of the newspaper article(s) you selected for inclusion in
your paper. Do not forget to attach the newspaper articles to your paper.

The conclusion should provide a summary of what you found. Having examined the literature and
comparing it to the media sources you found, what can you conclude about your topic? Are there
questions that remain unanswered? If so, be sure to discuss them briefly.

Including Academic Sources

Outside research for your paper is required in addition to using the course readings and lectures (NOTE:
you should only cite the lecture as a last resort; cite the course texts whenever possible). At least two
additional academic articles should be included as resources for your paper. Your paper should be
referenced using APA style following Instructions for Referencing below. Please consult the Library for
guidance on how to properly cite your work if you are unsure. Please note: you must include full APA
reference citations for material that you include in your paper.

Please note the following important points: If you are uncertain how to reference your work, see the
on the SFU Library website for details regarding APA format for different types of sources at . Additional resources that may be helpful in writing up
your paper are found at .

Academic references must be included throughout the paper; you must appropriately cite the sources of
your information. Please note: is not an academic source and should not be cited in a
formal academic paper.

How to Write an Academic Paper:

Browse the Student Learning Commons on line resources if you need assistance in writing academic
papers In particular, see which provides
some helpful tips. If you are uncertain about what it means to provide a critical analysis you should find
the following document helpful

How to Search For and Evaluate Academic Articles:

Use the SFU library‟s website to search for academic articles and books that may be related to your

See for a variety of suggestions and

resources available to help you locate relevant articles.

To determine if your article is an academic source please see the following resource to assist you in
assessing whether or not you have located a scholarly journal:

How to Locate Newspaper Articles:

The newspaper articles used in your paper must be attached to your assignment. You must use current
news articles (published after January 2010). You may choose to use an article from a current
newspaper, you might search various news websites, or you may use the library‟s on line resource –

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Canadian Newsstand. Go to and scroll down
and click on connect under the Canadian Newsstand database.
This Canadian newspaper database contains full-text articles. Remember that your article must be
current. Try to locate articles that specifically support (or refute) the arguments you make in your paper.
Please read the below information carefully. If you have any questions please come and see me
before you submit your paper.

All students are expected to review SFU’s policy S10.01 code of academic integrity and good
conduct at

Instructions for Referencing in Written Assignments

Academic references must be included throughout the paper; you must appropriately cite the sources of
your information.
1. The School of Criminology has a number of handouts on Essay Format, Style and Intellectual
Honesty with which you should be familiar
guides/criminology/citing-writing Note: APA 6th edition notes that page numbers are preferred
whether or not you are using a direct quotation or paraphrasing information. For this class,
page numbers are required for both quotations AND paraphrases.
2. Footnotes, endnotes, references and bibliographies must be complete. NOTE point 5 below which
must be followed.

3. Long quotations (4 lines or more) must be single spaced and indented from both the left and right
4. All direct quotations in your paper must be in quotation marks. If you omit a few words or pages in
a quotation, put the quote in quotation marks and connect the two segments by ellipses (i.e., three
dots – see point 5 below for an example). If you change one or two words in a quotation put your
word(s) in square brackets. Phrases which are direct quotes must be put in quotation marks.
5. Both quotations and paraphrases must be followed by its source and the page at which they are
located. When quoting or paraphrasing cases with paragraph numbers, use the para. number, where
it exists (e.g. para. 142). If using on-line articles use PDF versions whenever possible so that a page
number is available. If a PDF version is not available, use the pages as they appear when the online
article is printed in HTML format.

6. A paraphrase (a restatement of someone's idea in your words) must be followed by a reference to

the source and page (or para. number, for legal cases and some on-line articles) of the idea. If your
paraphrase is almost identical to the original source, use a direct quotation. When paraphrasing from
a case, use the paragraph number instead of the page number, where it exists. Note: Formats
which state that a page number is optional are not acceptable in this class. Page numbers are
required for both quotations and paraphrases.

7. Understand - changing only a few words or the order or words is a form of plagiarism commonly
referred to as patch writing. It is unacceptable and is considered a form of academic
dishonesty. See the interactive tutorial on Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism http://www- accessed
December 2, 2009

e.g., In original: “After initial analysis of the women‟s interviews, focus groups were held with service
providers from women-serving organizations, and the justice and child protection systems … Twenty-
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eight service providers who work with women who experience violence and/or their children
participated in focus groups on child custody and access ” (Varcoe & Irwin 2004:83).
Patch writing (a form of plagiarism): Following the interviews, focus groups were held with service
providers who work with women who experience violence and/or their children and women from the
justice and child protection systems and women-serving organizations (Varcoe & Irwin 2004:83). This
is too similar to the original and is not acceptable because quotation marks are not used.
Resolution #1: Following interviews with the women, “focus groups were held with service providers
who work with women who experience violence and/or their children” including individuals from
“women-serving organizations, and the justice and child protection systems” (Varcoe & Irwin
Better resolution: In addition to interviews with women meeting criteria for the study, focus groups
were conducted with individuals providing service to abused women and those working in “the justice
and child protection systems” (Varcoe & Irwin 2004:83).

8. Provide a complete citation (name of author and article) and a website address for all material
obtained from the web when a PDF version is not available. Additional information regarding web
citations are found in the APA Manual referenced above.

A note about web references. The author of the website should be used within the body of the paper.
The reference provided in your reference list should include the website address. The following is an

British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General. (2000). Violence against Women in Relationships
Policy. Retrieved April, 2003, from the World Wide Web:

A note about edited texts. When citing from an article found in an edited text you must cite the
specific article used and its author(s) as well as the editors. For example,
Best, J. (2001). The Worst Social Statistic Ever: Introduction. In B. R. E. Wright & R. B. McNeal
(Eds.), (2010), Boundaries: Readings in Deviance, Crime and Criminal Justice (pp. 1-8). New
York: Pearson Custom Publishing.

9. Acknowledge the use of secondary sources (e.g. Smith, 1986 as quoted in Black, 1988 at 24)
although whenever possible you should refer to the primary source. In this example, the author of the
article is Black who cited a 1986 source by Smith. When you do not go to an original source cited by
another author you cannot cite the article as though you read it. This is known as a secondary
source. You must acknowledge that you have taken the info from a secondary source in text and you
do NOT include the reference in your reference list. Using the above example – you would include
Black in the reference list but not Smith (you did not look at the Smith source, so you cannot include
it in reference list).

10. Submitting the same or similar assignments in two different courses is a form of academic
dishonesty, even if you wrote the paper.
Note: failure to indicate a quotation or to acknowledge the source of your ideas is plagiarism.
Such behaviour, or any other form of academic dishonesty, will result in 0 out of the points
allocated to your assignment. Further action may be taken under the University's Policies and
Procedures Relating to Student Discipline (S10.01). According to Policy S10.01, penalties may
include “failure in a course, denial of admission or readmission to the University, deregistration,
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forfeiture of University awards or financial assistance, suspension or permanent suspension
from the University, or revocation of a degree.”

PLEASE NOTE: university policy now includes a new grade. In the event that you are found engaging in
academic dishonesty, and the Director of the School of Criminology deems it appropriate, he now has
the authority to assign a grade of “FD” (failed – academic dishonesty) for the course.
We will assume that you have read and understood the above instructions. If you do not
understand these instructions, please ask.
If you are writing your paper and taking notes or quotations from the articles or texts, my advice is to put
them in quotation marks and note the specific page numbers the first time around. If you are
paraphrasing, note the page from where you have obtained the ideas. This approach will save you a lot
of time and keep you from plagiarizing material.

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Checklist - Avoiding Common Mistakes


 Please do not use binders or plastic covers, duotangs, folders or other similar things in putting your
paper together. These simply make the papers heavier and generally cause the papers to fall all over
the place when they are in piles.
 Ensure that your paper is securely fastened together. If you do not have a stapler that is adequate
use a clip that is very secure and will not get caught on other papers or fall off easily.
 4-6 pages (not including title page and reference page); margins: 1.25 inches/3.175 cm
 Your paper should use either Times Roman 12 point or Arial 11 point font.
 Your paper should be double-spaced throughout with the exception of your reference list. Individual
references can be singled spaced with a one-line space in between. There is no need for extra space
between paragraphs.
 Do not use MS Word default settings. These settings do not meet the requirements for this paper.
 Your title page should include the following information: name, student number, title of the course,
title of your paper (make this creative – not Crim 131 Final Paper), date, instructor name.
 Number your pages – page 1 should be the first page of text – not your title page.

Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation

 Avoid inappropriate capitalization. For example, unless it is the first word in a sentence or part of a
title, the names of theories are not capitalized. e.g., Merton‟s strain theory NOT Merton‟s Strain
Theory. Similarly, criminal justice system is not capitalized.
 Avoid using semi-colons (;) unless you know how to use them properly. Semi-colons are used: 1) to
separate two independent clauses (complete sentences) that are clearly connected; or 2) in lieu of a
comma to separate items in a list that is preceded by a colon (:).
 Titles of publications (including newspapers, magazines, movies, cases and the like) should be
underlined or italicized.
 Use Canadian punctuation: quotation marks follow commas and periods (,” or .”). Quotation marks
precede colons and semi-colons (”: or ”;).
 Use Canadian spellings – set your word processor‟s dictionary to English Canada.
 Spell check and proofread/edit: a good trick to notice spelling/grammar errors is to read the paper
from the back to front.


 Write out numbers that are less than ten and avoid starting sentences with numbers (e.g., 24 of the
participants were female).
 You may use the first person but do not overuse it. This is a formal academic paper; the first person
should be used sparingly. If you find you are using it frequently (more than three times per page)
please come and see me and I will show you how to strengthen your writing by avoiding unnecessary
use of the first person.
 Do NOT use long lists of authors and titles of books/articles in your text. This is simply space filler
and unnecessary with a properly cited paper and reference page. In general, identify all authors of a
cited work in the first reference (in the order in which they appear in the source – do not alphabetize)
and when there are three or more authors replace all but the first with “et al.” for subsequent
 Do not use informal language, colloquialisms, and contractions (e.g., use children, not kids; do not
rather than don‟t, police officers, not cops); this is a formal, academic paper.

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 Avoid value laden language, especially re: race and gender (e.g., „girls‟ refers to female children;
don‟t use girls or ladies in reference to women. If you use men, use women; if you use male, use
 Be careful with assumptions/interpretations – you should provide evidence of your arguments with
specific sources from the academic literature (note: is not an academic source).
 Be creative with titles and headings but ensure they follow the general rules of grammar and proper
 Don‟t assume I know what you mean when you use etc. If you have more to say please be specific.
 Note: i.e. means „that is‟; e.g. means „for example‟
 Separate your thoughts using paragraphs – typically there should be more than one per page.
 Noun/pronoun agreement - If your subject is plural then a plural pronoun is required (e.g., the
pronoun for participants [plural] is they; the pronoun for participant [singular] is s/he).
 Subject/verb agreement - The verb you use must agree with the subject of the sentence (e.g., they
are going; s/he is going).


 Direct quotes that are over 35 words or 4 lines of text need to be put in block paragraphs with .5 inch
indents on both sides and single spaced. The citation appears at the end of the quote and quotation
marks are not used in this instance only. The block format indicates it‟s a direct quote.
 Please pay particular attention to how to the correct citation for an edited text. See point 8 –
Instructions for Referencing Assignments.
 You MUST include the page number in your citations whether you are providing a direct quote OR
paraphrasing. All paraphrases must be cited. If you are using an online article that is not available in
pdf format then use the pages as they appear when the online article is printed in html format. Please
review pages 3-5.
 Technically, titles in APA format are in “sentence case” with the exception of proper nouns (only the
first word in the title and proper nouns are capitalized). If you choose to use typical “title case” format
you will not be penalized.

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