Speakers Series

Criminal Justice

2018-19 Guest Speakers

Date: March 13, 2019

Ann Hansen

"Taking the Rap: Women Doing Time for Society's Crimes"

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

Details: In 2001, Ann Hansen published a book, “Direct Action: Memoirs of an Urban Guerrilla” which documented the years leading up to and including the Direct Action campaign of the early 1980’s in Canada. She has just published a second book, documenting her years in prison and parole from 1984 until the present day. “Taking the Rap: Women Doing Time for Society’s Crimes” is a series of short stories about prison life based on Ann’s time in the Prison for Women from 1984-1991 and then more stories from the new federal prison in Ontario, Grand Valley Institution for Women in 2006 and 2012. Ann will speak about these experiences and then discuss the conditions and the role of prisons in Canada.

For more informaton on Ann's book please click here:

Date: January 30, 2019

Katherine Bueti, BA, LLB - President, Manitoba Law Society

"Justice in Manitoba: The Law Society and its Role"

Where: Room 2M73, 12:30-1:20 pm

Details: As the sitting president of the Law Society of Manitoba, Katherine Bueti will discuss the Law Society and its role in the Criminal Justice system and she will discuss the unique role a defence counsel plays. Katherine will also discuss two topics important to criminal justice in Manitoba: First, she will explore her experience with rates of remand in Manitoba, its occurrence and reasons for the exceptionally high rates, as well as how to re-think the role of remand in Manitoba. Second, she will discuss the issue of impaired driving and its decrease across Canada and if this is associated with changes in police powers and provincial legislative changes.

Katherine Bueti was called to the Manitoba Bar in 2000 and began her legal career with Gindin Wolson Simmonds as a student, moving on to becoming a senior associate. Leaving in 2009, she was the Founding Senior Partner of Bueti Wasyliw Wiebe, which was at one time of the largest defence firms in Western Canada. Her practice is criminal defence where she has appeared in all levels of court in Manitoba as well as many northern communities, western and southern Ontario. She has experience in administrative and civil litigation as well as immigration and refugee protection and immigration appeals. She has presented on issues ranging from false confessions to plea bargaining, and has worked at the Legal Help Centre as well as holding numerous positions with the Law Society before becoming its president in 2018.

Date: November 9, 2018

Dr. Joshua Page - University of Minnesota

"Preying on the Poor: Tough on Crime as Revenue Racket"

Where: Room 2M73, 12:30-1:20 pm

Details: In March 2015, Americans learned from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that the city of Ferguson, Missouri had been operating a “predatory system of government.” Police officers were acting as street-level enforcers for a program –promoted by city officials – in which fines and fees were used to extract resources from poor communities of color and deliver them to municipal coffers. What the DOJ discovered in Ferguson should not be seen as an anomaly, either in relation to U.S. history or American governance. Dr. Page offers a political analysis of the origins, operations, and consequences of revenue-centered criminal justice practices that have grown in the U.S. since the 1990s. Under this policy regime, local governments and market firms draw revenue streams from fine-centered policing, court fees, bail systems, prison charges, civil asset forfeiture, and much more. These practices have a long pre-history in earlier uses of predatory governance to advance American state and nation building, and manage race, class, and gender inequalities. 

Joshua Page is an associate professor of sociology and law at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of The Toughest Beat: Politics, Punishment, and the Prison Officers’ Union in California (Oxford, 2011) and, with Phil Goodman and Michelle Phelps, Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice (Oxford, 2017). Email: Joshua Page

Date: October 17, 2018

Dr. Holly Pelvin - Univeristy of Alberta

"How the Hell is Anybody Going to Help Me": The Disruption of Arrest and Sudden Imprisonment

Where: Room 3D04, 12:30-1:20 pm

Details: Drawing on in-depth interviews with 120 remand prisoners in maximum-security prisons, this talk examines the extra-legal consequences of arrest and sudden imprisonment.

Dr. Pelvin argues that the effects of arrest and sudden imprisonment are a punitive disruption on legally innocent people. Her findings suggest that the extra-legal consequences of arrest are influenced by the situational features of the arrest and the characteristics of a person’s life.

Holly Pelvin is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta. Holly completed her Ph.D. at the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto, where she examined the lived experience and consequences of remand imprisonment, based on field observations and in-depth interviews she conducted with 120 remand prisoners and 40 correctional staff at four maximum-security provincial prisons in Ontario. Dr. Pelvin’s current research seeks to explore the issues of remand custody and barriers to pre-trial release for Indigenous people in Alberta; investigating the links between the ‘helping’ and ‘harming’ arms of the state, and in particular, the legacies and continued practices of colonization.

2017-18 Guest Speakers

Date: February 14, 2018

Les Sabiston - PhD Candidate, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Columbia University

"Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Justice System"

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

Details: This talk will present some preliminary insights of an ongoing ethnographic research project that explores how Canadian society is coping with, responding, and adapting to growing medical-scientific understandings of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), with particular focus on how the justice system is realizing that this neurodevelopmental disorder may have impacts on how we understand criminal behaviours and subsequent determinations of guilt, culpability, and punishment for individuals with FASD. Particular focus will be given to the institutional and social contexts of Winnipeg, which is a major centre for generating research and developing policy and public discourse on FASD. Given the long and troubled history of colonial relationships between Indigenous and settler peoples on this land, made evident through many public inquests, inquiries, and reports on the systemic inequalities faced by Indigenous peoples in both the health and justice systems, this project takes a cautionary approach towards the ways that “FASD” is becoming a discourse that is sometimes made to fit into pre-existing strategies for understanding, explaining, and addressing these systemic inequalities.

Les Sabiston is a PhD candidate in socio-cultural anthropology at Columbia University in New York City. He is currently in the final stages of his fieldwork research in Winnipeg, which is also his homeland.

Date: January 17, 2018

Matthew Fast, Outreach Program Manager at Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (NEEDS) Inc.

"Finding Their Way Again: The Experiences of Gang-Affected Refugee Youth in Winnipeg.”

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

Details: Ongoing and protracted conflicts around the world have led to annual increases in the number of people living as refugees, a situation only worsened by anti-immigration policies across the West. Increasingly, Winnipeg, Manitoba, is home to many of these refugees. Refugees face multiple challenges integrating into their new environments, but these challenges can be particularly difficult for youth. When positive support mechanisms are insufficient and if basic human needs are not met, young refugees are at risk for involvement in criminal and gang activity. Matt Fast will discuss his qualitative research in which he explored the perceptions, challenges and experiences of war-affected refugee youth who became gang involved after settling in Winnipeg. Fast argues that in order to assist young refugees in their successful transition into a foreign culture and society, it is essential to understand how their perceptions and experiences inform their identity and behaviour. Such an understanding must inform policy and future approaches by government and community-based organizations to assist refugees in their transition.

Matt Fast has worked locally and internationally on behalf of war-affected families since 2004. Matt graduated with his Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2013. Matt is currently the Outreach Program Manager at Newcomers Employment and Education Development Services (NEEDS) Inc. and is an executive committee member of the Gang Action Interagency Network.

Date: November 22, 2017

Allison Fenske, LLM Public Interest Law Centre

Criminal Law and the Public Interest

Where: Room 3C14, 12:30-1:20 pm

Details: Allison Fenske will be speaking about the many ways lawyers can engage with the criminal justice system, outside of the day-to-day trenches of a criminal law practice. She will be offering some insight into opportunities for both systemic law reform, including constitutional issues around sentencing and prisoner rights, as well as individual advocacy, including the representation of victims of crime.

Growing up in Northern Manitoba, Allison Fenske learned that your community is what you make of it. Today, she is a lawyer with the Public Interest Law Centre, where she strives to use the law in ways to level the playing field and create equality of opportunities for people living in vulnerable or marginalized communities. In addition to a busy legal practice, she also teaches a course on Women and the Law at the University of Winnipeg.

Date: October 25, 2017

Dr. Shauna Labman, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba

The Export Experiment: Globalizing Private Sponsorship

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

Details: After over a decade of pilot programs, shifting numbers, narrowed criteria, submission caps and the introduction of a new blended sponsorship model, the change in federal Canadian government in 2015 came with a strong promise of resettlement, both governmental and private. Filipo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees declared that “Canada has taken the mantle of humanitarian leadership in the world” as talk grew of private sponsorship as a response to the asylum crisis in Europe. In September 2016, in partnership with the UNHCR, and the Open Society Foundations, Canada announced a joint initiative aimed at increasing the private sponsorship of refugees around the world. Whereas in the past the Canadian government turned to private sponsorship as evidence as its own humanitarianism at home, the new government embraced not just the numbers but the resettlement model itself on a global stage.  But private sponsorship sits in the particular context of Canadian history and geography nor has it been without challenges. This talk anchors its concerns in these challenges and the relationship between resettlement and asylum. Canada embraced resettlement because geography meant it was not a country of first asylum. New state interest results conversely from the reality of an influx of asylum seekers. Concerns with the privatization of state responsibility and the power of selection that resettlement offers over uncontrolled asylum raises questions over who will benefit from additional sponsorship places and who will face increased obstacles to access.

Dr. Shauna Labman is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba. She writes and speaks extensively on refugee law, resettlement and private sponsorship. Her research focuses on the relationship between law and voluntary action in refugee protection. Professor Labman co-founded the Migration Law Research Cluster housed at the University of Manitoba and previously worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for the Refuges in New Delhi, India. In 2016 she was named one of CBC Manitoba's Future 40. Current Projects and collaborations focus on building relationships between indigenous and newcomer groups, refugee parent perspectives on Canadian education and the secondary migration of resettled refugees.

Date: October 5, 2017

Dr. Prashan Ranasinghe, Associate Professor, Criminology, Universit of Ottawa

Helter-Shelter: Security, Legality and an Ethic of Care in an Emergency Shelter

Details: Dr. Ranasingh will discuss his new book which examines the travels and travails of an ethic of care as it is thought about and practised in an emergency shelter. He will describe how, despite the laudable and noble task of providing care, various factors, from the significant to the humdrum, work to make the deployment of care complicated. 

Prashan Ranasinghe is Associate Professor in the Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa. His research endeavours are in the sociology of law and his work has examined the regulation of public space among others. His most recent work is Helter-Shelter: Security, Legality and an Ethic of Care in an Emergency Shelter (2017, University of Toronto Press) and he is currently exploring one aspect of the constitution of homelessness that is related to time and 'nothingness'.

Date: September 27, 2017

Seminar on Graduate School Applications and Funding

Where: Room 2M70, 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.


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.