I am currently involved in several projects:
My UofA colleague Dr. Kevin Haggerty and I are currently heading the largest qualitative study on Canadian prisons in the history of Canadian criminology. Together with our research assistants, we are examining the lived realities of prisoners and correctional officers in six provincial prisons in Alberta. We are particularly interested in security threat groups, as well as in how the opioid crisis is changing corrections. To date, we have conducted over 500 interviews with prisoners across the province, as well as with over 150 correctional officers and staff. Topics that we are exploring with prisoners include such things as the victim/offender overlap, drugs, issues relating to violence, family histories, substance abuse, programming, radicalization, and gang involvement. Our research on correctional officers includes topics relating to the culture of correctional officers, identifying risky or dangerous situations, security concerns, and their views on possible reforms to current prison conditions. (funded by SSHRC, Killam and TSAS). Several of our graduate students are writing their MA and PhD theses on our prison data.
Together with Dr. Haggerty and Luca Berardi, I am co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Ethnographies of Crime and Criminal Justice - to be published by Oxford University Press in 2019. This edited collection will draw together the leading criminological ethnographers to provide overview articles as well as cutting edge case studies.
During my sabbatical in 2016/2017, I ethnographically studied how the biggest global refugee crisis since WWII is playing out in a small, conservative, and deeply catholic German village. By interviewing refugees and village residents, I am examining how integration works outside of big cities and in a non-traditional immigration space.
Together with Dr. Carolyn Greene from Athabasca University, I examine how police organizations in the province have responded to the influx of the Syrian refugee community and how they build successful partnerships with newcomer communities.
Together with Dr. Sara Thompson from Ryerson University, I am engaged in several projects looking at how law enforcement organizations in Canada reach out to communities thought to be 'at risk' of radicalization, and how these initiatives are perceived by the communities, with a particular focus on the Somali diaspora in Edmonton, Toronto, and Surrey/B.C. (funded by CSSP and TSAS)
If you are a potential graduate student interested in working on any of these projects, please do not hesitate to contact me.