Crimes of Colour: Racialization and the Criminal Justice System in Canada

Edited by Wendy Chan and Kiran Mirchandani

© 2001

The original essays in Crimes of Colour explore the link between “race” and “crime” in the Canadian context. Much of the literature on race and crime to date has treated the category of “race” unproblematically; debate on this topic has focused primarily on the assumption that members of certain racial groups are most likely to commit crimes.

In charting a different path, the authors in this collection provide critical and historical analyses of the connections between processes of “racialization” and “criminalization” in Canada.  The book seeks to engage the reader in thinking critically about how conceptualizations of racial identity and crime are interwoven. The editors begin by arguing for a need to shift from an analysis of “race” to an analysis of “racialization” in order to create the space for new ways of looking at the connections between race and crime. They investigate the history of the treatment of racialized people in Canada, looking at the processes through which First Nations people, immigrants, and people of colour have been defined in racialized terms and the way in which state policy has racialized individuals and groups. The insights provided by the historical backdrop situates the problematic legal positions First Nations people and people of colour occupied vis-a-vis the criminal justice system.

Contemporary analyses of “race” and crime continue to highlight the on-going, complex, and subtle nature of the issues. Understanding how individuals are racialized in the legal system forms one of the main themes in this collection. Specifically, these discussions involve identifying the processes through which racialized groups and individuals are criminalized. The processes of racialization and criminalization come together in many contexts including various criminal justice institutions like the police and social institutions like the media.

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Product Details

  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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SKU# HE000079

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2001

    From: $29.71

    Regular Price: $34.95

    ISBN 9781551113036
  • PUBLISHED AUG 2001
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Quick Overview

"The contributors do not mince words: racism is rife in the criminal justice system. They offer careful and courageous scholarship to support their claims and we would do well to heed them." - Sherene Razack, University of Toronto

Crimes of Colour: Racialization and the Criminal Justice System in Canada

Edited by Wendy Chan and Kiran Mirchandani

© 2001

The original essays in Crimes of Colour explore the link between “race” and “crime” in the Canadian context. Much of the literature on race and crime to date has treated the category of “race” unproblematically; debate on this topic has focused primarily on the assumption that members of certain racial groups are most likely to commit crimes.

In charting a different path, the authors in this collection provide critical and historical analyses of the connections between processes of “racialization” and “criminalization” in Canada.  The book seeks to engage the reader in thinking critically about how conceptualizations of racial identity and crime are interwoven. The editors begin by arguing for a need to shift from an analysis of “race” to an analysis of “racialization” in order to create the space for new ways of looking at the connections between race and crime. They investigate the history of the treatment of racialized people in Canada, looking at the processes through which First Nations people, immigrants, and people of colour have been defined in racialized terms and the way in which state policy has racialized individuals and groups. The insights provided by the historical backdrop situates the problematic legal positions First Nations people and people of colour occupied vis-a-vis the criminal justice system.

Contemporary analyses of “race” and crime continue to highlight the on-going, complex, and subtle nature of the issues. Understanding how individuals are racialized in the legal system forms one of the main themes in this collection. Specifically, these discussions involve identifying the processes through which racialized groups and individuals are criminalized. The processes of racialization and criminalization come together in many contexts including various criminal justice institutions like the police and social institutions like the media.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Higher Education
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Crimes of Colour documents how Canadian courts, the police, policy makers, the media, lawmakers, the judiciary—in short, elites—play an active role in criminalizing, over policing and incarcerating Aboriginal peoples and poeple of colour at rates that are among the highest in the world. The contributors do not mince words: racism is rife in the criminal justice system. They offer careful and courageous scholarship to support their claims and we would do well to heed them.


    Sherene Razack, Ontario Instutute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
  • Author Information

    Wendy Chan is Professor of Sociology at Simon Fraser University, author of numerous articles and books on crime and immigration, and co-editor of Crimes of Colour: Racialization and the Criminal Justice System in Canada (2001).


    Kiran Mirchandani is at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
  • Table of contents


    Preface

    1. The Racialization and Criminalization of Canadian Society - Kiran Mirchandani and Wendy Chan

    Part I: History

    1. Settler Capitalism and the Construction of Immigrants and 'Indians' as Racialized Others - Andrea McCalla and Vic Satzewich

    2. Defining Sexual Promiscuity: 'Race', Gender and Class in the Operation of Ontario's Female Refuges Act, 1930-60 - Joan Sangster

    Part II: Racialization and the Legal System

    1. The Criminalization of Race/the Racialization of Crime: there are no 'race shield laws' - Yasmin Jiwani

    2. Looking at Law Through the Lens of Culture: A Provocative Case - Audrey Macklin

    3. Racism and the Collection of Statistics relating to Race and Ethnicity - Julian Roberts

    Part III: Processes of Racialization and Criminalization

    1. Police Constructions of Race and Gender in Street Gangs - Gladys L. Symons

    2. The Criminalization of Aboriginal Women: Commentary by a Community Activist - Colleen Anne Dell

    3. The Justice System and Canada's Aboriginal People: The Persistence of Racial Discrimination - John Hylton

    4. "Making Sense" of Moral Panics: The "Young, Black Mugger" and Other Contemporary Folk Devils - Chris Doran

    5. The Social and Legal Banishment of Anti-Racism: A Black Perspective - Akua Benjamin

    6. The Dangerous Duality: The "Net Effect" of Immigration and Deportation on Jamaicans in Canada - Annmarie Barnes

    Appendix
    Contributors
    Index

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