Palgrave publishes The Handbook of Prison Tourism co-edited by Justin Piché

The Handbook of Prison Tourism co-edited by Jacqueline Z. Wilson (Associate Professor, Social Sciences, Federation University Australia), Sarah Hodgkinson (Independent Researcher, United Kingdom), Justin Piché (Associate Professor, Criminology, University of Ottawa) and Kevin Walby (Associate Professor, Criminal Justice, University of Ottawa) has been published by Palgrave.  The edited volume features 48 chapters, including the following pieces that emerged from the SSHRC-funded study led by professors Piché and Walby from 2009 to 2014 exploring representations of confinement and punishment in Canadian lock-up, jail, prison and penitentiary museums:

  • "Commemorating Captive Women: Representations of Criminalized and Incarcerated Women in Canadian Penal History Museums" by Ashley Chen (MA program graduate) and Sarah Fiander (bachelor's program graduate / PhD student, Sociology, Carleton University)
  • "From Shame to Fame: 'Celebrity' Prisoners and Canadian Prison Museums" by Matthew Ferguson (MA program graduate) and Devon Madill (MA program student)
  • "Haunting Encounters at Canadian Penal History Museums" by Alex Luscombe (PhD Student, Criminology, University of Toronto), Kevin Walby and Justin Piché
  • "Representations of Capital Punishment in Canadian Penal History Museums" by Justin Piché, Kevin Walby and Joshua Watts (JD student, Law, University of Toronto)

This extensive Handbook addresses a range of contemporary issues related to Prison Tourism across the world. It is divided into seven sections: Ethics, Human Rights and Penal Spectatorship; Carceral Retasking, Curation and Commodification of Punishment; Meanings of Prison Life and Representations of Punishment in Tourism Sites; Death and Torture in Prison Museums; Colonialism, Relics of Empire and Prison Museums; Tourism and Operational Prisons; and Visitor Consumption and Experiences of Prison Tourism. The Handbook explores global debates within the field of Prison Tourism inquiry; spanning a diverse range of topics from political imprisonment and persecution in Taiwan to interpretive programming in Alcatraz, and the representation of incarcerated Indigenous peoples to prison graffiti. This Handbook is the first to present a thorough examination of Prison Tourism that is truly global in scope. With contributions from both well-renowned scholars and up-and-coming researchers in the field, from a wide variety of disciplines, the Handbook comprises an international collection at the cutting edge of Prison Tourism studies. Students and teachers from disciplines ranging from Criminology to Cultural Studies will find the text invaluable as the definitive work in the field of Prison Tourism. 

Steven Bittle co-organizes a conference on corporate crime at Osgoode Law School

Margaret Beare (Osgoode Law School, York University) and Steven Bittle (Criminology, University of Ottawa), are the co-organizers of a two-day conference at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School later this month, entitled "Revisiting Crimes of the Powerful: A Global Conversation on Capitalism, Corporations and Crime". The conference will bring together international and multidisciplinary experts on corporate crime to discuss what can be done to stop corporate abuses of power. The conference – which will take place May 25 and 26, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in the Moot Court of Osgoode Hall Law School, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto – is hosted by Osgoode’s Jack & Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security.

There is no charge to attend the conference, but registration is required. Kindly RSVP:

Claudia Gagnon et Drew Taylor reçoivent la Bourse Chuck Talbot / Claudia Gagnon and Drew Taylor receive the Chuck Talbot Scholarship

Le Département de criminologie et l’Université d’Ottawa offrent, pour une quatrième année consécutive, la bourse Chuck Talbot à des étudiants et étudiantes qui ont réalisé une contribution exceptionnelle lors du stage. Les candidatures pour la bourse ont été présentées par les superviseurs de stage et nous avons invité les candidates ainsi que leurs collègues de classe à appuyer la nomination.
Deux étudiantes inscrites au programme en français et deux étudiantes inscrites au programme en anglais  ont été nominé(e)s pour la Bourse Chuck Talbot : Claudia Gagnon (Vallée Jeunesse), Jessica Lalonde (Services de probation et de libération conditionnelle d’Ottawa Est), Cynthia Curti (Service de probation et de libération conditionnelle) et Drew Taylor (Ottawa Drug Treatment Court, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services).   
Bien que le choix fût très difficile pour le Comité de sélection, c’est avec plaisir que nous remettons la Bourse Chuck Talbot à Claudia Gagnon et Drew Taylor pour l’année 2016-2017. Félicitations aux récipiendaires.

The Department of Criminology and the University of Ottawa is offering, for the fourth time in a row,  the Chuck Talbot Scholarship to students who have made an exceptional contribution during their field placement. Candidates for the scholarship were nominated by their field supervisors and candidates and their classmates were invited to support the nomination.
Two students registered in the French program and two students registered in the English program were nominated:  Claudia Gagnon (Vallée Jeunesse), Jessica Lalonde (Ottawa East Probation and Parole Services ), Cynthia Curti (Probation and Parole Office) et Drew Taylor (Ottawa Drug Treatment Court, Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services).   
Although it has been a very difficult decision for the Selection Committee, it is our pleasure to announce that Claudia Gagnon and Drew Taylor are the recipients of the Chuck Talbot Scholarship for the 2016-2017 academic year. Congratulations to the recipients!

Professors penned an open letter to City Council in support of a Sanctuary City policy

Claire Delisle, Maritza Felices-Luna, Sandra Lehalle, David Moffette and Baljit Nagra - all criminology professors who work on immigration, borders, and statelessness - signed an open letter to City Council on the need for a sanctuary city policy. In this letter signed by 40 Ottawa academics doing research in these fields, they argue that there is evidence that such a policy is needed and call for Council to come back on their decision not to move forward on this issue.

Entrevue de David Moffette sur le projet de ville sanctuaire

David Moffette a donné une entrevue en espagnol à Radio-Canada International sur les politiques de villes sanctuaires et sur l'opposition du Maire Watson à l'adoption d'une telle politique à Ottawa. Il explique l'importance de ces politiques pour assurer l'accès aux services municipaux de tous les résidents de villes comme Ottawa, sans égard à leurs statuts d'immigration, explique le refus du maire d'aller de l'avant et décrit la nouvelle stratégie de mise en place de politiques d'accès aux services "par le bas", de concert avec les travailleuses et travailleurs de première ligne.

Event on May 17 - Justice for Soli: Why Are People Dying in Detention in Ontario?

The Criminalization and Punishment Education Project, an initiative in which various students and faculty are involved, is partnering up with Justice for Soli and Muslim Link for a public event titled Justice For Soli: Why Are People Dying in Detention in Ontario? The event will take place on May 16, 2017 at 7pm in FSS 1030. Criminology professor Justin Piché is among the speakers.

Irvin Waller and Jeffrey Bradley sign an op-ed denouncing the plan to build a new jail in Ottawa

In response to the Ontario government's announcement that it plans to build a new, bigger jail to replace the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre, Irvin Waller and Jeffrey Bradley wrote an op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen to propose alternatives. They explain that "at first sight, this would seem like an obvious solution to overcrowding, solitary confinement, constant lock downs and other issues related to the deplorable conditions. But [Minister Lalonde] is not just the minister of jails. She is also the minister of community safety and a bigger jail is not the answer. It is an expensive and ineffective Band-Aid, not a cost-effective or evidence-based solution to overcrowding or public safety." They argue that investing in prevention would be a much better policy strategy.

Credit: Ottawa Citizen

Credit: Ottawa Citizen

Michael Kempa's MA seminar on media and public criminology in the news

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This past term, Michael Kempa proposed an original seminar to MA students in the Department of Criminology. The seminar aimed to encourage students to take part in debates on criminal justice reforms and provide them with tools to intervene in the media. This endeavour is the object of an article in the Toronto Star as part of its special series on "The New Newsroom".

Justin Piché denounces the projet of building a new jail in Ottawa

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Last week, the Ontario government announced that a 725-bed jail will be built to replace the current Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC). In an op-ed published in the Ottawa Citizen, Justin Piché does the math and concludes that the financial, human and political costs of doing so are too high for this project to make sense. He explains: "A new jail in Ottawa could cost us at least $500 million. Factor in the average daily cost to incarcerate one person in Ontario, which in 2015-16 was $215 per day, or $78,475 per year, the 725-bed human warehouse that’s slated to replace the 585-bed Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre will likely cost taxpayers somewhere around $11 million more annually to operate than the existing facility." And later claims that "There’s a massive body of criminological research and front-line experience that shows it isn’t just old jails that aren’t up to the task – it’s imprisonment itself. Confining human beings does great harm to prisoners and their loved ones, while failing to prevent victimization in the long-term. The history of carceral expansion in this country is littered with examples of new facilities being built to address horrid conditions of confinement, only to usher-in new correctional crises."

Cheryl Webster's research is contributing to the debate on court delays and the Jordan decision

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In a piece on court delays and the implications of R. v. Jordan, the Canadian Lawyer explains that "one of the only academic studies into preliminary hearings was conducted in 2005 by Cheryl Webster, a criminology professor at the University of Ottawa." Defending the importance of preliminary hearings, Webster states: "While there are clearly costs to this criminal procedure [in terms of court time and appearances], these costs appeared to be small as preliminary inquiries did not seem to account for a large portion of the courts’ business”. But she also expresses concerns for a generalized "culture of adjournment" and suggests that the current restrictive approach to bail creates a drain on court resources.

Interview with Christine Gervais on her research and forthcoming book

In a Q&A for the Global Sisters Report, Christine Gervais discusses her research and forthcoming book, titled Beyond the Altar: Women Religious, Patriarchal Power, and the ChurchWhen asked during the interview why a criminologist would be interested in women religious, she mentions their role as chaplains in the criminal justice system, the way that "women religious continue to be 'deviantized' and disciplined by the church's clerical hierarchy", and the fact that criminology is much broader than what most people think. She states: "Criminology itself, and especially its critical variant, is an interdisciplinary domain in which human rights violations and harms of the powerful are now prioritized, particularly in my department at the University of Ottawa. Thus, the gender-based discrimination and victimization experienced by women religious within a context of institutionalized patriarchal oppression are relevant topics in critical and feminist criminology." 

Book Gervais 2018

Véronique Strimelle, Françoise Vanhamme et leurs collègues publient un nouveau livre

Avec plusieurs collègues, Véronique Strimelle et Françoise Vanhamme ont publié un nouveau livre intitulé "Justice!" Chercheurs en zones troubles. L'ouvrage, disponible en ligne en accès libre, explore une facette peu traitée de la recherche : l’expérience du métier de chercheur. Cet objet se découpe et se recoupe ici en un ensemble de thèmes qui ont émergé d’une analyse en groupe - quoique sensiblement réaménagée - menée par douze chercheurs criminologues. Il met en lumière les troubles et difficultés que le chercheur rencontre par rapport à son travail, sa place, ses valeurs, les institutions auxquelles il appartient, les institutions qu’il étudie… mais également, les doutes, réflexions, réactions qui émergent de la confrontation à ces troubles, ou encore les modes de régulation mis à contribution à cet égard.

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Conference on-campus this week / Conférence sur le campus cette semaine

The Critical Criminology / Representing Justice conference is being held on-campus this week.  Highlights include keynote presentations by Didier Fassin (Institute for Advanced Study) and Michelle Brown (University of Tennessee - Knoxville).  There is no registration and attendance is free.  Download the conference program and paper abstracts to learn more.

La conférence Criminologie critique / représentations de la justice se déroulera cette semaine sur le campus. Les conférenciers d'honneur son Didier Fassin (Institut for Advanced Study) et Michelle Brown (University of Tennessee - Knoxville). Il n'y a pas d'inscription et la participation est sans frais. Téléchargez le programme et les résumés de textes pour plus de détails.

Professor Piché awarded a SSHRC Insight Grant to study punishment memorialization in Canadian penal history museums

Photo of "Kidzone" at the Ontario Provincial Police Museum in Orillia, Ontario, Canada (credit: Matthew Ferguson, 2015)

Photo of "Kidzone" at the Ontario Provincial Police Museum in Orillia, Ontario, Canada (credit: Matthew Ferguson, 2015)

Justin Piché (Associate Professor, Criminology, University of Ottawa) and Kevin Walby (Associate Professor, Criminal Justice, University of Winnipeg) have been awarded an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).  This funding will support research assistants and field research conducted from 2017 to 2022 as part of a study entitled "A Culture of Justice? Meanings of Penality in Canadian Police, Courthouse and Prison Museums".  To learn more about the project, download the proposal summary.

Professeure Côté-Lussier est collaboratrice sur un nouveau projet financé par le CRSH / Professor Côté-Lussier is collaborating on a new SSHRC-funded study

Les pratiques pénales au Canada : vers un virage punitif des tribunaux?

Professeure Carolyn Côté-Lussier travaillera au sein d’une nouvelle équipe de recherche dédiée à la question du « virage punitif » des tribunaux canadiens. La stabilité des taux d’incarcération au Canada soulève un questionnement quant à savoir si les changements législatifs punitifs des dernières années ont eu l’effet désiré.  Le projet, subventionné par le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines (CRSH) et mené par Chloé Leclerc (Centre International de Criminologie Comparée, Université de Montréal), cherchera à étudier l’évolution des pratiques pénales au Canada entre 2000 et 2015. Pour en savoir plus, vous pouvez contacter Professeure Côté-Lussier. 

Penal practices in Canada: Are the courts harsher?

Professor Carolyn Côté-Lussier will be working with a new team of researchers investigating whether there is “punitive” trend in Canadian courts and judicial decisions. Canada’s relatively stable incarceration rates bring into question whether punitive policies introduced in recent years have had their desired effect. The project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and led by Chloé Leclerc (International Centre for Comparative Criminology, Université de Montréal), will investigate changes in Canadian penal practices between 2000 and 2015. To find out more about the research, please contact Professor Côté-Lussier. 

David Moffette's study cited in NOW magazine - Une étude de David Moffette citée dans le magazine NOW

Une étude de 2015 de David Moffette sur la collaboration entre la police de Toronto et l’Agence des Services Frontaliers du Canada (ASFC) est citée dans un texte d’opinion de l’ancien directeur de la Commission des Services Policiers de Toronto dénonçant le non-respect de la politique Accès Sans Peur pour les immigrants à statuts précaires. L’étude conclue que la police de Toronto a contacté l’ASFC plus de 3200 fois durant une période de huit mois et que plus de 80% des appels étaient pour vérification du statut d’immigration.

A 2015 study by David Moffette on collaboration between the Toronto police and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) was cited in an op-ed by the former chair of the Toronto police denouncing the police’s violation of the city’s Access Without Fear Policy for immigrants with precarious status. The study found that the Toronto police contacted the CBSA more than 3,200 times in an eight-month period, and more than 80% of those calls were checks of immigration status.

Innocence Ottawa hosted their 4th Annual General Meeting and Conference on March 29

On 29 March 2017, Innocence Ottawa hosted their 4th Annual General Meeting/Conference entitled: “Forensic Pathology and Wrongful Convictions: Testimonies from an Expert and an Exoneree. Dr Christopher Milroy, Forensic Pathologist and Maria Shepherd, a recent exoneree addressed the consequences of inadequate oversight of expert testimony in the criminal justice system. The problematic expert evidence and testimony of the former Dr. Charles Smith led to countless wrongful convictions; Dr. Milroy served on the panel that reviewed many of Smith’s errors, whereas Maria Shepherd was one of Smith’s victims.  

Dr. Christopher Milroy, a Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Medicine, specializes in the field of forensic pathology and explained the evolution of the pediatric and forensic pathologists oversight process, their role in the criminal convictions and the faulty expert evidence of Charles Smith. During the 1990’s, Smith worked as a pathologist whose inadequate training led to many errors and misdiagnoses that in turn resulted in a number of wrongful convictions. A coroner’s review reopened Smith’s autopsies and discovered that “Twenty of forty-five cases were misdiagnosed. Thirteen of those cases resulted in criminal convictions.” As Dr. Milroy expressed “[Smith] didn’t understand basic pathology concepts and he practiced in isolation. [In the courtroom, however] he was an impressive witness and difficult to cross-examine.”  Shortly after the Coroner’s Review, the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario, lead by Justice Stephen Goudge concluded in 2008 that many of Smith’s findings were incorrect and void of medical accuracy.  The many recommendations from the Goudge Inquiry have drastically changed the practice of pediatric forensic pathology in the province of Ontario.

Maria Shepherd was caught up in Smith’s errors and on October 1st, 1992, she plead guilty to manslaughter in the death of her three-year-old stepdaughter. In 2016, twenty-four years later, Maria was finally exonerated.  Her wrongful conviction came about due to a number of factors, including faulty expert evidence, the effects of the Reid interrogation technique and a false confession. Maria shared her painful and difficult journey with the students present at the meeting; she had little choice but to enter a guilty plea if she wanted to see her other children grow up.  Maria’s case illustrates the problems when expert testimony goes unchallenged and when experts act as a “hand of the prosecution.” The 4th Annual General Meeting/Conference of Innocence Ottawa allowed for a passionate discussion about how miscarriages of justice can result from an overreliance on faulty forensic testimony and the importance of future advocates in the criminal justice system to be vigilant to how such errors can occur.   

Professors from the University of Ottawa contribute to a book - Des professeurs de l’Université d’Ottawa contribuent à un ouvrage

Le travail du professeur Irvin Waller a récemment été mis en lumière dans un ouvrage original qui présente des profils révélateurs et des récits rédigés à la première personne par les hommes et les femmes qui ont façonné la criminologie canadienne depuis l’époque coloniale jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Les contributions des professeurs Holly Johnson et Ross Hastings sont également mentionnées dans ce livre qui aborde l’évolution de la criminologie depuis l’époque coloniale jusqu’à aujourd’hui.

Ce livre unique, édité par John Winterdyk de l’Université Mount Royal, comprend des récits intrigants rédigés par Patricia L. Brantingham et Paul J. Brantingham, Ezzat Fattah, Arlène Gaudreault, Jim Hackler, Marc LeBlanc, Irvin Waller et Jo-Anne Wemmers, fournissant au lecteur un accès privilégié à l’évolution de la criminologie et des disciplines connexes, notamment la justice pénale, la victimologie, ainsi que l’étude des services correctionnels et de la police. Par ailleurs, les contributions de nombreux autres pionniers sont également présentées parmi les contributions des intellectuels reconnus; celles-ci incluent des sommités du domaine comme Jean-Paul Brodeur, Anthony Doob, Richard Ericson, Tadeusz Grygier, Gwynne Nettler, André Normandeau, Dennis Szabo et plusieurs autres.

Quatre chapitres thématiques ajoutent davantage de valeur et d’intérêt à l’ouvrage : Ritesh Dalip Narayan discute des pionniers du système juridique canadien, Joshua Murphy et Curt Taylor Griffiths examinent les principaux contributeurs des études de la police et des pratiques policières, Rick Ruddell fournit un aperçu des figures importantes de correction, tandis que Steven Kohm et Michael Weinrath abordent le développement et la prolifération des programmes de criminologie et de justice pénale au niveau post-secondaire. Lisa Monchalin a contribué à un préambule instructif pour ce volume révolutionnaire qui promet d’intéresser les étudiants, les universitaires et les praticiens.

Professor Irvin Waller’s work was recently highlighted in a unique book that presents insightful profiles and first-person accounts of the men and women who have shaped Canadian criminology and criminal justice from colonial times to the present. The contributions of professors Holly Johnson and Ross Hastings are also mentioned in this book which discusses the evolution of criminology and related disciplines.

This unique book, edited by John Winterdyk of Mount Royal University, includes intriguing memoirs by Patricia L. Brantingham and Paul J. Brantingham, Ezzat Fattah, Arlène Gaudreault, Jim Hackler, Marc Le Blanc, Irvin Waller, Jo-Anne Wemmers, providing a ringside seat to the evolution of criminology and related disciplines and sub-disciplines, including criminal justice, victimology, and the study of corrections and policing. In addition, the contributions of numerous other pioneers are also profiled in contributions by respected scholars; these include such giants of the field as Jean-Paul Brodeur, Anthony Doob, Richard Ericson, Tadeusz Grygier, Gwynne Nettler, André Normandeau, Dennis Szabo, and many others.

Adding further value and interest are four thematic chapters: Ritesh Dalip Narayan discusses pioneers of the Canadian legal system, Joshua Murphy and Curt Taylor Griffiths examine key contributors to the study and practice of policing, Rick Ruddell provides an overview of important figures in corrections, while Steven Kohm and Michael Weinrath consider the development and proliferation of programs in criminology and criminal justice at the post-secondary level. Lisa Monchalin has contributed an insightful foreword to this ground-breaking volume, which promises to be of interest to students, scholars, and practitioners alike.


“As academic disciplines, Canadian criminology and criminal justice have a rich and varied albeit compara­tively short history. It was just over 50 years ago that the first criminol­ogy program was established at the Université de Montréal. But until now, aside from tributes occasioned by the passing of key academics and practitioners and the odd Festschrift, we have had no consoli­dated account of the legacy of the pio­neers who have helped forge these disci­plines.” —from the Introduction by John Winterdyk

“As academic disciplines, Canadian criminology and criminal justice have a rich and varied albeit compara­tively short history. It was just over 50 years ago that the first criminol­ogy program was established at the Université de Montréal. But until now, aside from tributes occasioned by the passing of key academics and practitioners and the odd Festschrift, we have had no consoli­dated account of the legacy of the pio­neers who have helped forge these disci­plines.”
—from the Introduction by John Winterdyk