Remembering John

It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the passing of our beloved friend and colleague Professor Emeritus John Maurice (J.M.) Beattie on Wednesday July 12, 2017.

Survived by his wife Susan, his loving wife of almost 59 years; three children: Katherine (Ed Holmes), Allison (Mark Simpson) and Roger (Joanne Horibe); and five grandchildren: Natalie, Nicholas, Sarah, Chloe and Kaz – all of whose lives he touched so deeply. He was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Mary Beattie and by his beloved older sister, Joyce.

John was, and will indeed remain, one of the greatest scholars in the fields of history, criminology and beyond. There will be a celebration of his life in the fall academic term, details to be announced.

Read John’s Globe & Mail Obituary here

audreyOur director Professor Audrey Macklin was one of nine scholars who contributed to an Amicus Brief on behalf of a defendant in US Supreme Court hearing Sessions v. Morales-Santana last year.

This week the case was decided in favour of Mr Morales-Santana, finding a provision of the US Immigration and Nationality Act — Section 1409(c) – unconstitutional.

The law created an exception for an unwed mother holding US citizenship to transmit citizenship to a child born abroad. As the law does not allow a father the same opportunity, it was struck down as being incompatible with the Fifth Amendment’s requirement that the government accord to all persons “the equal protection of the laws”.

The judgment directly references the brief, Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars on Statelessness in Support of Respondent, accepting the arguments presented by the group and acknowledging its influence in the outcome of the decision to strike down the law.

Criminological HighlightsCriminological Highlights is designed to provide an accessible look at some of the more interesting criminological research that is currently being published. Its focus is on research that is policy relevant. It is produced by a group of about a dozen academics and professional librarians including faculty from the University of Toronto and nearby universities and doctoral students at the University of Toronto. The project is directed by Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner.

In the Current Issue (Vol 16, No 5), we ask:

  1. Why is it in the public interest to allow people to free themselves from their criminal records?
  2. What kinds of events are likely to cause an increase in police use of force in dealing with ordinary citizens?
  3. Do highly informed citizens think that sentences are too lenient?
  4. What can be done to create more smoothly running prisons?
  5. What is the first step that cities should take to prepare for events that might involve citizen protests?
  6. Do transfers to adult court hurt youths’ life chances?
  7. How accurate are predictions of future intimate partner violence?
  8. Can crime be stopped by increasing the likelihood of apprehension?

Special Issues:

  1. Research on Public Confidence in the Criminal Justice System
  2. The Effects of Imprisonment: Specific Deterrence and Collateral Effects
  3. Issues related to Harsh Sentences and Mandatory Minimum Sentences: General Deterrence and Incapacitation
  4. Sex Offenders and Society’s Responses to Them
  5. Understanding the Impact of Police Stops

Browse our complete Archives

Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal
Studies on the Travel Ban


On March 23, emeritus Centre professors Anthony Doob & Rosemary Gartner presented a report called “Understanding the Impact of Police Stops” to the Toronto Police Services Board.

Download their report here!

Peter Rosenthal — adjunct professor of law and professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Toronto — wrote a Toronto Star op-ed about their presentation: “Compelling report must end harmful carding practice by police.”


In more exciting news, doctoral candidate Holly Pelvin has been awarded the top-ranking Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellowship for her project titled “Aboriginal remand imprisonment: Investigating the legacy of colonialism and contemporary experiences of punishment.”

Holly will tenure the award at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Sandra Bucerius. The research will include interviews and fieldwork with Indigenous remand prisoners at two provincial prisons in Alberta, and she will seek to understand if and how the legacy and continued experience of colonization may affect the experiences and consequences of remand imprisonment. Way to go, Holly!



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undergraduateGraduateThe Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies is a research and teaching unit at the University of Toronto. Founded in 1963 by Professor John Edwards, the Centre’s faculty and students study crime, order and security from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and theoretical approaches. With backgrounds in sociology, history, law, psychology, philosophy and political science, the faculty are actively engaged in Canadian and international criminological research.

The Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies offers a graduate program for masters and doctoral students. The undergraduate Criminology and Sociolegal Studies Program is administered through the Woodsworth College. The Centre’s library (the Criminology Information Service) houses the leading Canadian research collection of criminological material, consisting of more than 25, 000 books, journals, government reports, statistics and other documents.