What Is the Gender & Crime Lab?

The Gender and Crime Research Lab is ultimately dedicated to improving gender responsive services for girls and women in the criminal justice system. However, we also study gender differences, and thus boys and men in conflict with the law are also actively incorporated into our research. We frequently collaborate with researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto, Canada, the Centre of Applied Psychology and Human Development, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, and lastly, Orbis Partners Inc., (orbispartners.com).

We adopt a multi-disciplinary approach in our research, both theoretically and methodologically. For example, we draw on theories from critical criminology and correctional psychology; we also rely on both quantitative and qualitative methods. With our collaborators, we are currently involved in 3 inter-related streams of research:

  • Understanding the role of strengths in risk assessment, service delivery, and desistance from crime among justice-involved adults (both men and women), and justice-involved adolescents (males and females)
  • Enhancing the gender responsiveness of global risk assessment measures and supplementary or more targeted measures. Collectively these measures are used to assess the risk of future criminal conduct, assess treatment needs, and progress during intervention
  • Understanding how complex trauma, risks and strengths among deeply entrenched justice system youth—males and females- either result in more violence and crime, or successful exit strategies characterized by law abiding citizenship