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The Usual Suspects: The Causes and Consequences of Racial Profiling in Canada (paper available below)

Location: Room 108N North House Munk School of Global Affairs
Date and Time: November 28, 2013, 2-4pm


Racial profiling has emerged as one of the most controversial issues within Canadian society. The presentation will begin by reviewing various definitions of racial profiling and exploring the root causes of this social phenomenon. Qualitative and quantitative data documenting the extent of racial profiling in Canada will then be explored. The presentation will conclude by reviewing the profound social consequences associated with biased policing practices. It will be argued that profiling not only contributes to the over-representation of racial minorities in the Canadian criminal justice system, it also undermines the legitimacy of the State and contributes to both youth alienation and radicalization. Policy options will be reviewed.

Scot Wortley FeatureSPEAKER’S BIOGRAPHY:

Dr. Wortley is a Professor at the Centre for Criminology and Socio-legal Studies, University of Toronto. He is currently serving as the Centre’s Graduate Coordinator and Director of Undergraduate Studies. In 2001 he was appointed the Justice and Law Domain Leader at the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Settlement (CERIS). In 2007, he was appointed by Metropolis to the position of National Priority Leader for research on Justice, Policing and Security. Professor Wortley also recently served as the Research Director for two major government inquiries into youth violence in Canada: The Toronto District School Board’s School Community Safety Advisory Panel (chaired by Julian Falconer) and the Ontario Government’s Roots of Youth Violence Inquiry (chaired by Roy McMurtry and Alvin Curling).

Professor Wortley’s current research projects include: 1) The Jamaican National Crime Victimization Survey; 2) A study that is investigating the extent and nature of street gangs in Canada; 3) Three studies that are investigating the effectiveness of various gang prevention programs in the Toronto area; 4) A project that is exploring the relationship between immigration and crime using both official and unofficial sources of crime data; 5) A general population survey of Toronto residents that is examining racial differences in perceptions of and experiences with the Canadian criminal justice system; and 6) A study that is examining the direct and collateral consequences of criminal deportation. Professor Wortley has made numerous presentations at international conferences and has given talks to officials at all levels of government. He has also published in various academic journals including the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Law and Society Review, British Journal of Sociology, Policing and Society, Youth and Society, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, British Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Canadian Journal of Ethnic Studies, Journal of International Migration and Integration, Sociological Perspectives and the Journal of Studies on Alcohol. Recently he published an edited volume on Crime and Criminal Justice in the Caribbean with researchers from the University of the West Indies.


Related Material

Paper published in Policing and Society, 21:4, 395-407 (2011)

Wortley and Owusu-Bempah The usual suspects: police stop and search practices in Canada


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