The Department of Criminology offers a program leading to the PhD in criminology with a particular focus on the creation and reform of criminal justice policies in Canada. The program is offered in English and in French.
Criminal justice policies are based on a combination of cultural elements, specialized knowledge, laws and social practices that determine behaviour of a potentially criminal nature and the kind of response society can or should adopt.
The field is divided into two areas. The first addresses the process by means of which criminal justice policies (including laws and institutions such as the police, prison, etc.) are created and developed. The second concerns the theoretical and empirical analysis of the implementation of such policies. It examines how institutions function and attempts to assess the social consequences of these policies so as to suggest new reforms or alternative measures of a more moderate nature and more respectful of human dignity.