Congratulations to 2018 LSA Graduate Student Paper Prize winner Ayobami Laniyonu

May 22, 2018

Photo of Ayobami LaniyonuAyobami Laniyonu, who will be joining the Centre in July 2019 as an assistant professor, has been awarded the 2018 Law and Society Association Graduate Student Paper Prize for “Coffee Shops and Street Stops: Policing Practices in Gentrifying Neighborhoods.” The Law and Society Association presents this award to the graduate student paper that best represents outstanding law and society research.

From the awards announcement: “This article explores the effect of gentrification and neighborhood change on policing patterns. Ayobami approaches the challenging topic of spatial implications of the postindustrial policing hypothesis. Analyzing recently released quantitative data from New York City, Ayobami tests the implications of the extant research, finding a strong and positive association between gentrification and Stop-and-Frisk police stops. His article emphasizes the importance of spatial dimensions in the analysis of urban policing. Ayobami’s work was nominated by Professor Mona Lynch.” Laniyonu wrote a blog post discussing the research published in this prize-winning paper for the Urban Affairs Forum.

Laniyonu is currently a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles and a research scientist at the Center for Policing Equity. His research explores the impact of the criminal justice system on political behavior and the impact of urban revitalization on policing practices.

This prize, and the other 2018 LSA awards, will be presented at the International Meeting in Toronto on Thursday, June 7 at 1:30 pm. Congratulations to Ayobami and to all of the award winners!


CrimSL PhD student collaborates on open-source investigation of political violence

May 14, 2018

Screenshot from the navigable three-dimensional digital platform that shows a model of the safe house and the environment of El Junquito around itSince early this year, CrimSL PhD student Giancarlo Fiorella has been collaborating with the Bellingcat Investigation Team and Forensic Architecture on an open source investigation into the events that lead to the death of Óscar Pérez in a raid on a safe house in El Junquito, Venezuela on January 15, 2018.

On May 13, 2018, the team published a report, in English and Spanish, researched and authored by Fiorella and Aliaume Leroy, of the Bellingcat Investigation Team, which describes the investigation so far. Fiorella and Leroy also published an op-ed in the New York Times appealing to members of the public to help with the investigation by getting in touch with videos, photos and details from El Junquito the morning of the raid.

The team is using open-source forensics—collecting, identifying, verifying, and plotting in space and time available media online to reconstruct a narrative—and have located about 60 pieces of evidence, including tweets, videos, and photos from citizens, security forces, and Pérez himself, and leaked audio of police radio communications, within a navigable three-dimensional digital platform that shows a model of the safe house and the environment of El Junquito around it.

Fiorella, whose research interests centre on political violence in Venezuela, protest policing, and social movements, wrote that “working on this report made me gain a new perspective on the incredible work that Venezuelan journalists are doing, in the most adverse conditions possible. We could not have concluded this report without their tireless efforts to uncover the truth and reveal it to others.”

A note for prospective students: the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies does not have a program in forensic studies. You can learn more about the University of Toronto Mississauga undergraduate forensic science program from their website or by contacting their office at 905-828-3726.


Commentary regarding the arrest in the Toronto van attack

April 25, 2018

In the wake of the van attack in Toronto on Monday, April 23rd, scholars from the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies have provided expert commentary and insight in various media regarding the arrest of the suspect without the use of lethal force. This list will be updated as media appearances continue.

  • Professor Scot Wortley and PhD student Erick Laming, along with U of T Mississauga psychology professor Judith Andersen, spoke with U of T News about the police officer’s conduct and the de-escalation training that Toronto Police receive.
  • Professor Wortley also spoke with several CBC radio programmes: Afternoon Drive, The Homestretch, and On The Coast. 
  • Professors Anthony Doob and Rosemary Gartner wrote, in their The Lawyer’s Daily column, about the lessons for reducing police shootings that can be drawn from Monday’s events
  • PhD student Erick Laming spoke with USA Today about police-involved shootings in the US and Canada.
  • Criminological Highlights shared a look at research addressing the question “What should we do to reduce police shootings of civilians?” from their most recent issue.


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 17, No 2), we ask:

  1. Are complex algorithms for predicting recidivism helpful?
  2. Is the presence of substance abuse treatment programs in a community associated with changes in crime rates?
  3. How does contact with the criminal justice system affect the mental health of an accused person?
  4. What do the police need to do to encourage Muslim communities to report suspected terrorism activities?
  5. What can we learn from the failure to replicate an experiment involving the police?
  6. What can be done to help people with criminal convictions find housing?
  7. How does pretrial detention affect crime?
  8. What should we do to reduce police shootings of civilians?

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

Our Land Acknowledgement


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.”

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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.