Summer 2019 - CRIM 312 D100

Criminological Perspectives on Social Problems (3)

Class Number: 5269

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5009, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Neil Boyd
  • Prerequisites:

    CRIM 101.



Involves detailed study of forms of deviance that have been commonly defined as constituting 'social problems.' Consideration of drug abuse (alcohol, nicotine, heroin and others), suicide, prostitution, obscenity, gambling and abortion. Justifications for present legislative policy and the relationship between these activities and the criminal justice system.


 There will be four major areas canvassed in this course: child and adult pornography, drug use and distribution, violence (with a focus on homicide) and wrongful conviction. In each of these realms we will undertake both a sociological and legal analysis of the phenomena in question. There will be particular emphasis on drug use and distribution.

COURSE EVALUATION: Students will be required to contribute to class discussions, to provide a brief presentation on a topic related to the course, to complete a term paper, and a final take home exam. The term paper, not to exceed 5,000 words in length, will be on an agreed topic, selected by the student, within the scope of the course. The final grade will be determined as follows:


  • Seminar Participation 20%
  • Seminar Presentation 20%
  • Term Paper 40%
  • Final Exam - Take Home 20%



1. Drug Policy & the Public Good, 2nd Edition (2018), Babor et al. 
ISBN: 978-0-19-881801-4.

2. Wrongful Conviction - International Perspectives on Miscarriages of Justice (2010), Huff & Killias 
ISBN: 9781592136469

3. Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2016, ISBN 0190262400, 9780190262402

4. Online Readings, made available without cost via Library databases

Department Undergraduate Notes:

If you have any Criminology course enrollment requests (course adds, course swaps), please contact a Criminology advisor. Please do not contact instructors for enrollment assistance as they will ultimately refer you to a Criminology advisor.

Criminology course enrollment requests should be sent to a Criminology advisor no later than the last day of the Second week of classes. Late enrollment requests are subject to approval and are not guaranteed. 

Enrollment requests for non-Crim courses should be directed to the advisor for the program offering the course. 

ATTENTION: STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY: Please contact the Centre for Accessible Learning, (MBC 1250 or Phone 778-782-3112) if you need or require assistance, not your individual instructors.  
-N.B.:  Students are reminded that attendance in the first week of classes is important.  However, there are no tutorials in the first week. Ø  -Assignments not submitted to the Professor/T.A. during class/office hours must be placed in the assignment drop box in front of the General Office of the School of Criminology (SWH 10125).  The assignment drop box is emptied Monday to Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. only, with the contents date stamped accordingly.  No other department’s date stamp will be accepted (e.g. Library/Campus Security).  For the Surrey Campus, assignments must be hand delivered to the General Office of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, located at SUR 5180, on Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30p.m., or placed in the assignment drop box located at the southwest corner of Galleria 5.  The Surrey assignment drop box is emptied Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., with the contents date stamped accordingly.  The School of Criminology is not responsible for assignments submitted in any other manner (e.g., slid under office doors).  The University does NOT accept assignments by fax or email.
-A student must complete ALL grading components of a course (including assignments, exams, class participation, presentations, chat room components of Distance Education courses, etc.).  Otherwise, a grade of N (incomplete) will be assigned for the entire course. 
-E-mail policy:  The School of Criminology discourages the use of e-mail as a substitute for office hour visits.  The School advises its instructional staff that students wishing to confer with them should do so in person during their office hours.
-The University has formal policies regarding academic dishonesty and grade appeals.  Students are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with policy S 10.01, the Code of Academic Integrity and Good Conduct, available on the University’s website.  Information about grade appeals may be obtained from the General Office of the School of Criminology. UNIVERSITY POLICY FORBIDS FINAL EXAMINATIONS WHILE CLASSES ARE STILL IN SESSION.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.