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

Responder and Victim Resiliency

The CCJS is involved in a number of research projects directly involving responder and/or victim resiliency. These projects range from emerging technologies to mental health issues like PTSD. An integral part of the public safety community is the ongoing health, and recovery after trauma of front line responders and victims of crime, accident or disaster. Research into best practices will not only result in financial economies, but increased quality of life for the human beings involved in public safety.

Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment

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CIPSRT is a national network operating within the governance structure of the Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety at the University of Regina that responds to the urgent needs of the Tri-Services and Public Safety sector to provide the best practical scientific evidence that will lead to real and imminent positive impact on the mental health of all public safety personnel.

The ongoing work and existing collaborations nationally demonstrate the need to develop, implement, and broadly use standardized assessment tools and procedures for measuring and treating symptoms of PTSD and other operational stress injuries. CIPSRT can provide:

  • Earlier interventions;
  • Evidence-based preventative actions for PTSD;
  • Development of a Canadian-made global standard for researching operational stress injuries; and
  • Foundations for better mental health care for public safety personnel and eventually all Canadians.

For many public safety personnel there are two key barriers to receiving treatment: stigma and access. By reducing stigma and increasing access, mental health can be improved for public safety personnel who are highly visible community leaders. Positively affecting their mental health can change how all Canadians react and interact with undesirable stigma associated with mental health issues.

Public Safety Partners Resource Centre

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The PSPRC website is a virtual forum offered to support the collaborative efforts of Canadian frontline emergency response and public safety agencies. It provides an internet-based facility for like-interested public safety organizations to work together toward enhancing the effective delivery of public safety services in Canada. The website focuses on the conducting of research and the pursuit of developmental science and technology such that public safety organizations are able to meet emerging challenges in an environment of constant and rapid change.

Industry representing fire, police, and paramedics is currently organizing at the national level (referred to as Communities of Practice, or COP), and strongly supports the "housing" of REL at the CCJS. CCJS has identified potential funding sources to transition to REL to operations and to further develop the REL into a "full hazard Canadian listing" that will be housed within the CCJS/s Public Safety Partners Resource Centre.

We have further opportunities to partake in the COP meetings, and to develop proposals such as the development of Complexities of Public Safety Procurement collaboration with the CATA Alliance in order to bundle activities and secure funding for additional initiatives

PSPRC Website

First Responder Equipment, Safety and Health Consortium

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First responder organizations rely on manufacturer literature and testing, incomplete or out of date standards, and anecdotal report to make equipment decisions. The objectives of the First Responder Equipment, Safety and Health Consortium (FRESH), is to develop an interdisciplinary collaborative network linking practitioners with science and technology expertise, supporting evidence-based evaluation and decision making.

The Braidwood Commission and other studies have criticized the lack of independent evaluations of responder equipment. Protocols for assessment have been developed but not implemented. FRESH will build on work already completed and implement full standards-compliant ISO9001 evaluation processes. The structured ISO model provides a repeatable process for evaluation, development, and improvement of personal equipment and for placement of equipment in response vehicles. Evidence-based approaches will increase responder confidence in their equipment, community confidence in the process of evaluation and selection, and will enable policy makers and procurement professionals to select the most appropriate equipment options for their situation.

This project will

  • Create management structures to develop the FRESH Consortium from strategic and operational perspectives.
  • Begin developing solutions for first responders through development, evaluation and commercialization of personal equipment.
  • Prioritize applied research projects.

The Consortium will include first responder practitioners in equipment evaluation and design, enruing results will practially and realistically guide evaluation, purchasing and deployment decisions and new designs. Evaluation, optimization, and technology development will be done in existing laboratories of partnering organizations. Evaluation, optimization and/or development of personal equipment for first responders under an industry standard design control process will lead to improvements in personal equipment for first responders and capacity to respond. A Canadian Consortium focused on this area will lead to rapid dissemination of information and technology insertion. It may also lead to a large enough domestic market to encourage commercialization of new technologies.

The objectives of the First Responder Equipment, Health and Safety Consortium (FRESH) is to develop an interdisciplinary collaborative network linking practitioners with science and technology expertise, supporting evidence-based evaluation and design optimization to be made which benefit Canadian first responders.

Vulnerability and Resiliency for PTSD in First Responders

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We at the CCJS are excited to be partnering with Dr. Nick Carleton of the University of Regina in his ground-breaking research into PTSD. Dr. Carleton has been examining trauma and stress for 15 years, and has worked with military, paramilitary and the RCMP for the past five years.

Here is Dr. Carleton's explanation of his research:

I am leading a multi-university, multi-expert group of internationally recognized leaders who are collaborating with RCMP senior leadership to conduct a transformative research project into mental health care for its members. Current mental health care systems are reactive, with help coming after the injury has been sustained — often too long after. That health-care model is economically unsustainable and morally insufficient.

The planned project will use available research evidence to make imminent improvements, collect never-before available data, and design a better system for supporting mental health care. It will be proactive instead of reactive, reduce risk, increase resiliency and reduce stigma.

The project will also use recent advances to enhance care by integrating evidence-based practice first into the RCMP Cadet Training Program and then throughout the membership. The project should improve the quality of life for members and their families, and ultimately save millions in annual economic costs.

The planned national project will be highly visible. It will inform policies and programming by turning the aspirational standards from the Mental Health Commission of Canada into actionable and measurable improvements — first for the RCMP, then for all first responders, and ultimately for all Canadians. As they have done so often before, the RCMP will again stand as a beacon of hope, this time for mental health, supported by many of our best and brightest researchers.

For the full story, including the historical background of PTSD, please click here.

Reducing Victimization

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This paper reframes justice to focus on victimization, explore the numberous associated factors involved with victimization and crime, many of which are often overlooked, and discuss the potential for the implementation of Inter-Professional Collaborative Practice. This approach has great potential for reducing victimization by targeting these factors.


Hitting Crime Where it Hurts: A Holistic Approach to Reducing Victimization