The Canadian penal system is currently experiencing a dramatic period of public scrutiny. Community indignation over issues of parole, probation, prisonization and rehabilitation has resulted in the enactment of numerous policy and program initiatives by various sectors of the criminal justice system, including corrections and policing.
This collection of articles examines the construction of social control as constituting a carceral context, a convenient mythology that perpetuates, conceals and justifies the coercive nature of the criminal justice system. Specifically, this work generates a theoretical, methodological and pedagogical foundation upon which to facilitate a greater comprehension of the systemic racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and ableism inherent in various correctional and policed environments.
By systematically questioning the common sense notions upon which the criminal justice system was founded, students reading this text will be able to critically challenge the institutional practices which perpetuate these ideologies and develop individual and collective strategies for social changes.
Kevin R.E. McCormick is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at York University and a Fellow of Bethune College. His research challenges and expands the empirical and conceptual parameters of contemporary criminological discourse. His works, as demonstrated in Canadian Penology and Understanding Policing, co-edited by Professor Livy A. Visano, investigate and examine the social constructions of the juridic actor within countless social and institutional contexts.