City of Order: Crime and Society in Halifax, 1918-35

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UBC Press, May 15, 2012 - Social Science - 336 pages
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Interwar Halifax was a city in flux, a place where citizens debated adopting new ideas and technologies but agreed on one thing -- modernity was corrupting public morality and unleashing untold social problems on their fair city.

 

In this context, citizens, policy makers, and officials turned to the criminal justice system to create a bulwark against further social dislocation. Officials modernized the city’s machinery of order -- courts, prisons, and the police force -- and placed greater emphasis on crime control, while residents supported tough-on-crime measures and attached little importance to rehabilitation. These initiatives gave birth to a constructed vision of a criminal class that singled out ethnic minorities, working-class men, and female and juvenile offenders as problem figures in the eternal quest for order.

 

Michael Boudreau’s in-depth study of crime and culture in interwar Halifax, the first of its kind, shows how tough-on-crime measures can compound, rather than resolve, social inequalities and dislocations.

 

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Contents

Crime the Rule of Law and Society
1
The SocioEconomic Contours of Interwar Halifax
16
2 The Machinery of Law and Order
37
3 The Social Perceptions of Crime and Criminals
74
Halifaxs Criminal Class
96
5 Women Crime and the Law
126
6 The Ethnic Dimensions of Crime and Criminals
156
The Supremacy of Law and Order in Halifax
184
Data Relating to Religion Ethnicity and Unemployment in Halifax 192141
190
A Statistical Profile of Crime in Halifax Saint John and Hamilton 191835
193
Report of the Royal Commission Concerning Jails Province of Nova Scotia 1933
214
Notes
227
Bibliography
290
Index
320
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About the author (2012)

Michael Boudreau is an associate professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at St. Thomas University.

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