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Speakers Series

Criminal Justice


2016-17 Guest Speakers

Date: March 8, 2017

Dr. Russell Smandych, University of Manitoba

“Too Bad, So Sad”: Observations on Some of the Effects of Twenty Years of Youth Justice Reform in Canada, 1995-2015

Where: Room 2M70, 12:30 - 1:20 pm

Details: While in 1995 significant changes were made to the Young Offenders Act (YOA) to address mounting criticisms, by 2003 the legislation was repealed and replaced with the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). After thirteen years in operation, the YCJA has also undergone significant amendments aimed at fixing some of its perceived weaknesses. However, the question remains of whether long-recognized problems with administering youth justice in Canada are now being addressed more effectively with the enactment and amendment of the YCJA and corresponding changes in provincial and territorial youth justice policy and practice that have been introduced over the past two decades. The author argues that while significant progress has been made on some fronts – including the substantial reduction in the use of youth custody sentences – other areas of youth justice administration are still sadly in need of repair in Manitoba and elsewhere across Canada.

Russell Smandych is a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba, where he teaches and does research in the fields of Canadian and comparative youth justice, global criminology, and British colonial legal history. His recent publications in the field of youth justice include: “From ‘Misguided Children’ to ‘Criminal Youth’: Exploring Historical and Contemporary Trends in Canadian Youth Justice” (in J. Winterdyk and R. Smandych, eds., Youth at Risk and Youth Justice: A Canadian Overview. 2nd Edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2016); and “Youth Justice in Manitoba: Developments and Issues under the YCJA” [co-authored with M. Dyck, C. La Berge, and J. Koffman] (in M. Alain, S. Reid and R. Corrado, eds., Implementing and Working with the Youth Criminal Justice Act across Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016). 


Date: January 18, 2017

Dr. Denis Bracken, University of Manitoba
"Probation Practice with Indigenous and Ethnic Minorities in Ireland"

Where: Room 2M70, 12:30 - 1:20 pm

Details: Criminology has long recognized the issue of culture and ethnic identity as a potential source of crime and conflict between majority and minority populations.  This presentation will discuss the findings of a research project with the Irish Probation Service examining practice issues with members of the Travelling Community and recent immigrants and asylum seekers in Ireland.

Denis Bracken is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Manitoba.  He holds a BA in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, an MA in Criminology from the University of Toronto, and a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics & Political Science.  He has taught social work at the University of Manitoba since 1979.  Professor Bracken has held visiting posts at DeMontfort University in Leicester, the Glasgow School of Social Work, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin.  He is currently Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Work responsible for undergraduate and distance education.  Previously he was the Director of the University’s Inner City Social Work program from 1987 to 1993, and more recently was the Rector of St. Paul’s College from 2007 to 2012.  In 2011 he was appointed to a 3 person commission to examine overcrowding in Manitoba provincial correctional facilities.


Date: October 26, 2016

Dr. Christopher Schneider, Brandon University
"Policing and Social Media: Social Control in an Era of New Media"

Where: Room 2M70, 12:30 - 1:20 pm

Details: Dr. Schneider will discuss his new book Policing and Social Media. This book investigates various public aspects of the management, use, and control of social media by police agencies in Canada. Dr. Schneider argues that police use of social media has altered institutional public police practices in a manner that is consistent with the logic of social media platforms. Policing is changing to include new ways of conditioning the public, cultivating self-promotion, and expanding social control.

Christopher J. Schneider is Associate Professor of Sociology at Brandon University. His research investigates the role of media and information technology and related developments in social control. He has authored/edited four books and has published numerous articles and chapters. His most recent co-edited book is The Public Sociology Debate: Ethics and Engagement (UBC Press, 2014). Dr. Schneider has received award recognition for his research, teaching, and service contributions. In 2013, he was the recipient of a Distinguished Academics Award, awarded by the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia. His research and commentary have been featured in hundreds of news reports across North America, including the New York Times.

Check out the story in the Uniter.


Date: September 28, 2016

Dr. Corinne Mason, Brandon University
"Sex-Selective Abortions and Reproductive Justice: Race, Gender, and Surveillance"

Where: Room 2M70, 12:30 - 1:20 pm

Details: In this presentation, Dr. Mason will work at the intersections of reproductive justice, Canadian critical race feminism, and surveillance studies to demonstrate the ways in which mediated discourses around sex-selective abortion have stigmatized racialized women’s access to reproductive health services. Centering an analysis of the CBC’s undercover documentary Unnatural Selection, Dr. Mason will attend to the conceptualization of “racializing surveillance” as both a means to uncover the ‘problem’ of sex-selective abortion and as a method to address this issue in Canada.

Corinne L. Mason is an Assistant Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies and Sociology at Brandon University. She conducts transnational feminist analyses of development discourses and popular news media, focusing specifically on representations of LGBTIQ rights, violence against women, reproductive justice, and foreign aid. Her work has been published in Feminist Formations, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Feminist Media, Feminist Teacher, Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Surveillance & Society, and Canadian Journal of Communication. She is the author of Manufacturing Urgency: Violence Against Women and the Development Industry (University of Regina Press, 2017) and the editor of the forthcoming collection Queer Development Studies: A Reader (Routledge).

Check out the story in the Uniter.


Date: September 21st, 2016

Seminar on Graduate School Applications and Funding

Where: Room 3D01, 12:30-1:20 pm

Details: This professional development seminar will provide an opportunity for students in the 3rd and 4th years of undergraduate study to think about the transition from undergraduate studies into the professional world of graduate school. Specifically, the seminar will address the topics of graduate school applications and funding possibilities. We will focus on SSHRC in particular. The seminar will include a question and answer period involving current and former graduate students. Deanna England from Graduate Studies will present on the topic. Undergraduate students who are considering applying to graduate school are encouraged to bring questions and to participate in the discussion.