Date of Degree

2-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Sociology

Advisor(s)

Lucia Trimbur

Committee Members

Lynn Chancer

Jayne Mooney

Michael Jacobson

Subject Categories

Criminology | Other Sociology | Race and Ethnicity | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance

Keywords

crime prevention, settler colonialism, carceral state, non-profits, Canada, Manitoba

Abstract

This dissertation illustrates how settler colonialism is reproduced in present-day Canada through the governance of crime, and how political struggles against policing, imprisonment, and colonialism are linked. It focuses on the politics of crime in the Province of Manitoba from 1999–2016, during which the left-of-center New Democratic Party (NDP) government engineered a significant expansion of the carceral state, overseeing unprecedented increases in policing and jail growth. In Manitoba, the vast majority of prisoners are Indigenous. This dissertation explores the logic through which the NDP integrated their support for policing and imprisonment into their “progressive” value system, packaging their carceral expansion as a project of protecting poor people from victimization. The central argument of this dissertation is that carceral expansion in Manitoba was made to fit into a “progressive” agenda by appealing to a contemporary colonial common sense: that Indigenous communities are suffering from the legacy of a colonial past, and that policing and imprisonment are necessary but not sufficient responses to violence that originates within those damaged communities. Through interviews with NDP politicians, political advisors, bureaucrats, policy researchers, and people who work at community-based organizations (CBOs) recruited to participate in crime prevention, this dissertation documents how colonial logic structured both the NDP’s crime-prevention programming, and their punitive tough-on-crime initiatives.

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