The Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety
An initiative of the University of Regina Office Of The Vice-President (Research)

Community Safety

The CCJS is involved in several projects that impact community safety. These projects cover a wide range of issues surrounding community safety, including policing, the court system, emergency management, demographics, and search & rescue. As concerns are raised in different areas of community safety, the CCJS is in a position to connect with stakeholders, locate researchers with relevant interests and expertise, and facilitate allocation of resources to embark on necessary research.

Aboriginal Policing Model Review

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In order to better understand the challenges of Aboriginal policing, this review first presents a context that includes a review of Aboriginal population trends and the demographic characteristics of that population. The fact that the Aboriginal population is the fastest growing population group in Canada, and the youngest, has long-term implications for police services both on- and off-reserve. In addition to the impacts on victims, high crime rates have a corrosive effect on community relationships and especially opportunities that are lost. When responding to the after-effects of crimes that have already occurred and trying to prevent future offences consumes much of the creativity of a community, leaders lose opportunities to work toward job creation, promoting healthy lifestyles and relationships, helping youngsters succeed, or spending scarce resources on developing a community’s infrastructure rather than repairing the damages caused by crime.

There are three distinct types of agencies policing Aboriginal communities and peoples and each type faces a different set of challenges that are shaped by their role and geographic location as well as organizational size and history.

  • Large networked police organizations, such as the RCMP and the Ontario Provincial Police.
  • Self administered Aboriginal police services that range from small stand-alone agencies to larger regional police services.
  • Specialized Aboriginal policing programs delivered by municipal or regional police services.

Each of these police services responds to the challenges of crime in a different manner. It is useful to examine these different strategies to determine best practices. To widen the available data for this exercise, policing strategies in other English-speaking common law nations with large Aboriginal populations is also explored.

Addressing the policy-related questions raised in this review of the literature will supply stakeholders a framework that will provide the evidence-based knowledge needed to inform emerging plans for the future of Aboriginal policing in Canada.


First Nations Policing: A Review of the Literature

Policing First Nations: Community Perspectives

Changing Demographics and Economy in Saskatchewan

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The population of Saskatchewan has been steadily growing and this growth, including natural increase, non-permanent residents, interprovincial migration, and intraprovincial migration, are important to consider when examining how the population will impact policing and crime.

Not only is the population rising in the province, but the economy of Saskatchewan is also "booming." Saskatchewans' resource-based economy has led to an incread in consumer spending, employment, and construction to support the population growth. Areas such as housing, mining, oil and gas, agriculture, and employment are changing rapidly, and these changes can be seen in many areas, including policing.

The basic questions for this research project are

  • What are the socio-economic determinants of crime?
  • How has the changing economy and demography influenced crime rates in Canada, and in Saskatchewan?
  • How have changes in the economy and demography influenced crime rates (overall and by type) in specific regions of Saskatchewan?
  • With regions of Saskatchewan projected to grow due to resource development, how will the local economy and demography change, and how should policing efforts respond?
  • How will the incidence of specific types of offenses change in the coning years with expected economic and demographic change in Saskatchewan's major communities?

This project will compile data regarding economics, demographics, crime, and policing from across the country, and particularly from Saskatchewan. There will be a literature review conducted to examine the relationships between key socio-economic, demographic, policing, and crime variables. An empirical (econometric) model will be constructed to determine the extent of these relationships. Comparative case studies of key regions, cities, and towns will be completed. Possible scenarios for the future will be assembled from these case studies.


The Changing Economy and Demography of Saskatchewan and its Impact on Crime and Policing, Phase I Report: Overview of Demographic, Economic, Crime and Policing Trends in Saskatchewan

The Changing Economy and Demogrpahy of Saskatchewan and its Impact on Policing, Phase II Report: Influences on Criminal Behaviour - Theory and Evidence

Circles of Support and Accountability

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Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) is a national program based on restorative justice principles designed to assist high-risk sexual offenders enter the community at the end of their sentence. Since its original inception in 1994 in Ontario, CoSA has grown into a viable community partner in 18 communities across Canada, 13 of which participated in the National Demonstration Project under the umbrella organization of the Church Council on Justice and Corrections. The Demonstration Project funding has enabled CoSA to grow substantially over the past five years.

The national evaluation of the CoSA Demonstration Project was designed as a participatory approach involving key stakeholder groups, many of whom were actively involved throughout the project as members of an Evaluation Advisory Committee. The evaluation design was based on a mixed method model intended to measure both process- and outcome-level data, to determine the effectiveness of CoSA, and to identify factors that have hindered and/or supported its successful implementation across different settings.


Circles of Support and Accountability

Economics of Community Safety

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Governments at all levels are grappling with the challenges of increasing demands on police services at the same time that their budgets are threatened with cuts. Although Canada’s economy has weathered the financial crisis that started in 2008 with fewer disruptions than in the United Kingdom or the United States, there are signs that global economic conditions, especially in the European Union, continue to be uncertain and those challenges could have a substantial impact upon economic conditions in Canada. Economic uncertainty can have an impact on all government services, including policing.

Austerity Policing
In this project the research team will review the economics, management, and policing literatures to identify current trends in respect to the relationships between economics and policing, including how police services in other nations have managed austerity.
The RAND cost of crime calculator was introduced in 2010 as an instrument to be used by US police stakeholders to better understand the value proposition of policing. There are a number of shortcomings to this model that make it less efficient in estimating the benefits of policing in Canada. The investigators will identify how the calculator could be modified to inform provincial policing by a) adding additional offences to the calculator; b) updating the instrument using the results of cost-benefit and officer effectiveness research published since 2010, and: c) considering benefits to society other than reducing serious crimes (e.g., reducing traffic accidents).
The project is scheduled for completion Summer 2014

Published fall 2014 by University of Regina professors Rick Ruddell, Ph.D. and Nicholas Jones, Ph.D., Austerity Policing: Responding to Crime During Economic Downturns documents the difficulties and challenges faced by police forces operating with less funding and resources.

Published summer 2014 by University of Regina professors Rick Ruddell, Ph.D. and Nicholas Jones, Ph.D., The Economics of Canadian Policing Five Years Into the Great Recession aims to identify current trends in relationships between economics and policing as part of a proactive strategy to enable Canadian police agencies to plan well for the future.

Regina Police Service: Community Perceptions

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Through a telephone survey of Regina residents, University of Regina professors Dr. Nicholas Jones and Dr. Rick Ruddell examine attitudes towards the Regina Police Service. The survey was conducted in 2013, and again in 2015.


Community Perceptions of the Regina Police Service, 2013

Community Perceptions of the Regina Police Service, 2015

Search and Rescue Organization and Tasking

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When situations of emergency search and rescue arise in Saskatchewan, there are several types and ways that search and rescue (SAR) teams help the RCMP. Conservation officers, Armed Forces, community volunteers, and volunteer pilots assist professional, trained and paid SAR teams. With these varied resources, what is the most effective and efficient way for search and rescue assets within Saskatchewan to be organized and tasked?

This project will produce a summary report concerning the issues facing the Saskatchewan SAR system, which will be gleaned from interviews of key stakeholders and from a literature review. Focus groups will be held with members of SAR agencies/groups (CASARA Saskatchewan, RCMP, EMS, Amateur Radio Emergency Service, and Search & Rescue Saskatchewan Association of Volunteers) to ascertain the issues being faced. A province-wide evaluation questionnaire will be developed and administered. Qualitative and statistical anayses will be undertaken on the focus group and survey data with SPSS, and a report will be generated to provide recommendations on the most effective and efficient SAR resource management within Saskatchewan.

The Duty to Disclose

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In recent years, there has been a growing interest in applying business models and cost-benefit analyses to the criminal justice system, especially in terms of holding these core public services more accountable for their performance as publically funded agencies . As a result, there has been a determined focus and increase in the search for efficiencies within the criminal justice system. One area where, as a result of court decisions, there has been an increase in workload and costs is that of the requirements associated with pre-trial disclosure.


Duty to Disclose (Full Report)

Duty to Disclose (Executive Summary)