Projet en Vedette: Prison, Répression et Contrôle Social / Featured Project: Prison, Punishment and Social Control

Les dates limites pour postuler aux programmes de doctorat (10 janvier) et de maîtrise (15 janvier) offerts par le département de criminologie à l'Université d'Ottawa approchent rapidement. Dans le mois suivant, vous trouverez quelques-uns des nombreux exemples de projet de recherche conduits par les professeurs dans chacun de nos dix champs de recherche. L'édition d'aujourd'hui expose le projet de Cheryl Webster dans le champ de recherche «Prison, Répression et Contrôle Social».

The application deadlines for the doctoral (January 10) and master’s programs (January 15) offered by the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa are rapidly approaching.  Over the next month you will find a few of the many examples of research projects being led by professors in each of our ten research fields. Today’s edition showcases a project by Cheryl Webster within the research field of “Prison, Punishment and Social Control”. 

Prison, Punishment and Social Control / Prison, répression et contrôle social

Cheryl Webster is interested in Canadian imprisonment policy.  In collaboration with Anthony Doob (Centre of Criminology and Legal Studies, University of Toronto) their broad research program has been focused on describing and understanding the use of imprisonment in Canada over the past 50 years.  Initial work adopted an inter-national comparative approach in an attempt to explain the anomalous nature of trends in Canadian incarceration rates since 1960 as contrasted with those of the U.S. and England/Wales. While they demonstrate that Canada has not been immune to pressure for harsher criminal justice practices and policies, it has largely been able to counter or balance these trends with other moderating forces. More recent work has adopted an intra-national approach in an attempt to describe and understand trends in imprisonment rates within the country. They have found that the various contributors to our rates of imprisonment show not only considerable diverging patterns but also significant variability across place and time. Further, these various stages in the criminal justice process are shown to have differential effects, depending on the characteristics of the offender or the offence. It is precisely the juxtaposition of this description of Canada’s penal landscape as one of considerable internal instability with that from their prior research of overall or aggregate stability which is their current object of study. Specifically, they have been attempting to go beyond a mere description of the various diverging trends in punishment and explain how they – in combination with each other – produce overall stability through various compensatory systems.