The Chinese Community Leaders' Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System

By Chow, Henry P. H. | Canadian Journal of Criminology, October 1996 | Go to article overview

The Chinese Community Leaders' Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System


Chow, Henry P. H., Canadian Journal of Criminology


In the fall of 1992, the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System was established by the Ontario Government to examine the procedures, practices, policies, and processes in the institutions of the criminal justice system that may cause or reflect systemic racism. Without doubt, treating people unequally or unfairly on the basis of their race, creed, colour, nationality, or ethnic origin is not merely illegal, but profoundly unjust. It matters when it happens in employment, housing, or education. It matters perhaps even more if there is any suspicion of discriminatory practices in the criminal justice system as it is the bedrock on which our democratic society is based.

The Toronto Chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) was commissioned to conduct a survey to investigate the views of Chinese community leaders on the various aspects perfectly depict the issues being presented, they are neither formed nor sustained in a vacuum. Citizens, opinions of the criminal justice system is of vital importance as they can have a decided effect on the administration of criminal justice. Brillon's (1985: 121-122) remark is quite pertinent.

A negative image of the penal agencies, and a lack of confidence in the police, the judiciary and the correctional institutions, can prompt certain social groups to set up, if not their own system of justice, at least their own method of control. This is far from being a guarantee of better justice and a greater respect for people's rights and liberties.

Unfortunately, the results of the study conducted by CCNC (Toronto Chapter) have not been included in the final report released by the Commission (Ontario 1995). This final report, however, contains findings of a study undertaken by The Institute for Social Research of York University (ISR), which examined the views of the "general public" on the criminal justice system. The findings of this study are certainly noteworthy. Nevertheless, it focuses only on what the report calls "significant groups, in Metro Toronto, namely the Chinese, blacks, and whites (Spragett and Chow 1992). Limited resources was cited as another reason to justify the exclusion of other minority groups. Although the Terms of Reference of the Commission stress that anti-black racism should be utilized as a focal point for their analysis of racism, it also states clearly that various experiences and vulnerabilities of all racial minority communities should be recognized. The inclusion of only these three groups might send a negative message to other minority groups that the sheer size of their communities has rendered them "insignificant" and that their opinions and experiences could be ignored. As the CCNC (Toronto Chapter) study focused on the views of the Chinese community leaders, its findings will complement those of the ISR survey.

Survey findings

The study conducted by the CCNC (Toronto Chapter) investigated the views of the representatives of Chinese community organizations, including social services organizations, professional associations, business and manufacturers, association, labour/trade unions, clan associations, Chinese-Canadian associations, and religious organizations, on the following aspects of the criminal justice system(2): (a) law and the legal system: (b) courts and judges; (c) plea bargaining, (d) prisons; (e) access to legal services; and (f) individual and community participation in the criminal justice process. Based on the mailing directory of the CCNC (Toronto Chapter), a copy of the research instrument was sent to 189 randomly selected Chinese community organizations within Metro Toronto, of which 71 questionnaires were returned, representing a response rate of 40.3%. Participants were management level staff or board directors of these organizations(3).

The research instrument for the collection of data was a bilingual (Chinese and English) self-administered questionnaire containing a total of H statements pertaining to various criminal justice issues. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Chinese Community Leaders' Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.