U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Responding to Calgary's "Gang War": A Political Sociology of Criminological Ideas

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 54 Issue: 2 Dated: April 2012 Pages: 141-168
Heather Rollwagen; Daniel Beland
Date Published
April 2012
28 pages
This article examines the use of increased policing as a crime control policy.
Drawing on the political sociology of ideas, this article considers a crucial crime control policy: increasing levels of policing. This policy is particularly interesting, given the scarcity of research indicating that increased levels of policing lead to reductions in crime. An examination of the ideas used to guide understandings of criminal events and crises shows how political actors understand crime as the consequence of a lack of control. In light of this understanding of crime, increasing the level of control through a heightened police presence becomes a logical solution. To illustrate this process, the article presents a case study of a "gang war" occurring in Calgary since 2007. Through an analysis of newspaper articles, the article shows how this event was framed by political actors in a way that legitimized policies that increase the number of police. (Published Abstract)