CANADIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE ASSOCIATION |ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DE JUSTICE PÉNALE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S ANNUAL REPORT
The Canadian Criminal Justice Association is composed of professionals and interested citizens who work together as a strong and credible force to encourage rational, informed and responsible research, study and the sharing of information in order to enhance the development of a humane, equitable and effective criminal justice system in Canada.
- Fostering Communication Within and About the Criminal Justice Field
Over the course of the last decade we have substantially broadened our reach nationally and internationally. This has been accomplished in part and traditionally through our on-going work in policy development. Through our advice to Ministers and Parliamentary Committees, the CCJA has maintained and grown its stature in criminal justice over the last 102 years. Through our various national and international affiliations we have also broadcast our knowledge, influence and network more widely.
It is through our biennial Canadian Criminal Justice Congresses that we have so often expanded our reach. In 2017 we partnered with the Ontario Youth Justice Ministry to host one of our most successful conferences ever. This was the first time that this event created a full partnership with a government department. In 2019 we returned for the second time in a decade to work with our colleagues at the Quebec Criminology Society, after an absence of over 40 years. In a giant leap, in 2022 we will be presenting and co-hosting our 38th Congress, in conjunction with the 5th World Congress on Probation and Parole. This is an opportunity not only to showcase the work of Canadians as well as world researchers, but to also shine a great spotlight on the work and ability of the CCJA to foster communication, networking and the sharing of knowledge.
- Public Education/Partnerships
In tandem with the credibility we have established over time, we have built upon our affiliation partnerships with the International Corrections and Prisons Association (ICPA), the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Correctional Association. It is as a result of these partnerships that we were invited to manage and co-host the 5th World Congress on Probation and Parole in Ottawa.
Rather than a singular partnership, we are in effect working with the Confederation of European Probation, the ICPA and the main components of the Canada Public Safety Portfolio; that is the Parole Board of Canada, the Correctional Service of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This has been a massive task, particularly in the face of the Covid 19 epidemic however, the reputation of the CCJA will carry far and wide, indeed across at least 25 countries who are participating in the Congress. It is hoped that further partnerships and public education opportunities will expand internationally.
We cannot underestimate the impact the epidemic has had on academics and researchers and the resulting challenges for our Journal of Criminology and Criminology. As the submission of peer-reviewed quality submissions slowed, we were forced to postpone the release of regular issues for many months. With the addition of at least two special theme issues, we believe the Journal will now be back to its usual schedule and attract much interest.
The Justice Report experienced some similar delays however, there has never been any lack of submissions; it continues to attract many student submissions as well as excellent articles by renowned authors. In addition, the engagement of guest editors for special theme issues has brought an always fresh look and perspective.
- Research/Policy Development
The Policy Review Committee (PRC) recently came under the chairmanship of Dr. Myles McLellan, after many years of excellent work by Howard Bebbington. The work of the volunteer members continues unabated and produces comprehensive briefs and documents for the attention of Ministers and Parliamentarians.
- Governance and Organizational Development
CCJA operates with a very lean organizational structure. Thanks to the support and work of our two part time staff we have been able to continue to function effectively during the height of the COVID pandemic and beyond. This has been made possible through the decisions and measures taken previously to contract out many administrative tasks including editorial work, printing and mailing of the Justice Report and the Journal. Bookkeeping and financial processes are managed electronically as much as possible and expanded with online services. This has saved in staff time as well as in responding to members’ needs.
- Resource Development
More than half our operating budget is provided as a sustaining grant by Public Safety Canada and we are always grateful for their on-going support. Our grant was however significantly reduced for the period of 2020-2025. While we managed during a period in which there were little or no travel expenses, this will be a challenge for our budget process going forward.