History of the ICCJ Program

The Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice (ICCJ) at Carleton University traces its roots to the early work of Professors Don Andrews, Ken Hatt, and Jim Vantour, all of whom were instrumental in developing scholarship in the area of Criminology and Corrections in the early 1970s. Due to high student interest a multi-disciplinary Concentration in Criminology and Criminal Justice was formalized in 1977. Courses were first offered in Psychology and Sociology, with the addition of Law classes in the 1980s.

In recognition of student demand, the University mandated that the Concentration be changed to a direct entry B.A. program in Criminology and Criminal Justice in 1998. The B.A program offered core courses by the three departments of Psychology, Sociology, and Law (now Law and Legal Studies). The Institute was established as the governing body to administer the Criminology and Criminal Justice program, and to coordinate support from its contributing units in both the Faculty of Public Affairs and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Once admitted to the Institute, students declare a Concentration in one of these disciplines by the end of their second year, allowing for a more in-depth focus in one of these key areas. With the addition of a field placement coordinator, students had the option of completing a placement for course credit in their third or fourth year, thus establishing the strong link between theory and practice that remains a key feature of the program to this day. Over the years the ICCJ has taken advantage of our location in the national capital to place up to 80 students in pertinent justice-related agencies and government each year.

In 2008 and 2009 the ICCJ hired its first three directly-appointed research faculty (Nicolas Carrier, Evelyn Maeder, and Lara Karaian). From here the Institute set out to further develop a corridor of core criminology courses, beginning with CRCJ 3001: Quantitative Research Methods and CRCJ 3002: Qualitative Research Methods in 2008. In 2011, CRCJ 1000: Introduction to Criminology was added at the first-year level. In the fall of 2015, one of the three directly appointed faculty members, Professor Evelyn Maeder, became the ICCJs first core faculty member to serve as the Institute’s Director.

In 2018 the Institute celebrated the 20th anniversary of the B.A. Since then, the ICCJ has expanded its faculty roster and added more core course offerings. The recent additions of the two second-year courses—CRCJ 2100: Criminological Theory, and CRCJ 2200: Contemporary Issues in Criminology—provide students with a corridor of CRCJ classes and an expanded sense of community. In 2020 the Institute added the option of a minor in Criminology and is in the process of revising its program to offer more opportunities to pursue multi- and interdisciplinary scholarship and experiential learning.

Fun Fact: Actor Dan Aykroyd (known for his work on SNL, The Blues Brothers, and the original Ghostbusters movies, among other great films) was a student in this program. He was a sociology student with a criminology concentration. Although he didn’t graduate, he did receive an honourary doctorate from Carleton University 22 years later.