Becoming Dangerous in Canada: A Case Study of Regina v. Clark

Matthew G. Yeager, Carleton University

Much of the managerial criminology focuses on the pathology of the convict and not on the process by which the individual is designated a Dangerous Offender. To assume that the process is not contested, or that we are all in agreement about just what "dangerousness" is about, is to engage in what Richard Quinney (2000) calls myth making., Any theoretical explanation, therefore, must take into consideration both the sociology of law and its application.

In 1998, this author was involved as one of the defense experts in a Dangerous Offender application under the Canadian Criminal Code (Section 752, et. seq.). Based on field ethnography and access to the trial transcripts, a detailed case study of regina v. Eric Andrew Clark will be presented. One of the conclusions to emerge was that the Accused was not at particularly high risk for future criminal recidivism and yet was found to be dangerous. What then might be both the manifest and latent functions of this labeling process?

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Updated 05/20/2006