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Guest editor

Rémi Boivin
Associate Professor, School of Criminology, Université de Montréal
Director, International Centre for Comparative Criminology

Special issue

Recent fatal encounters where citizens were confronted by police officers raise questions about the use of force and, more generally, the role of the police in our societies. The deaths of George Floyd (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Michael Brown (Ferguson, Missouri), Sammy Yatim (Toronto, Ontario) and Alain Magloire (Montreal, Quebec) sparked social unrest and fueled political movements such as “Black lives matter” and “Defund the police”. Important discussions started following these events, and the CJCCJ would like to contribute to the debates by focusing on a specific topic: the use of force by police or, more specifically, our understanding of the use of force by police. Our understanding of controversies about police use of force can be informed by knowledge in a diversity of research fields. This special issue of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice seeks to contribute to the existing literature by asking experts to provide empirical studies informing on police use of force. Because the topic of this special issue crosses typical borders, we are seeking papers that can inform the Canadian situation, but do not need to be based on Canadian data. Authors are invited to provide papers on a range of topics, including, but not limited to:

– the occurrence of misuse of force and/or the use of excessive force during police encounters;

– the inappropriate profiling of specific populations in use of force situations;

– the extent of police discretion in use of force situations.


The CJCCJ is a peer-reviewed forum for original contributions and discussion in the field of criminology and criminal justice. Proposals (200-300 words) should be sent to Jeffrey Mathesius ( before December 20th 2020. Selected authors will be notified quickly, in order to be able to submit their article before May 15th 2021. Articles should be 5,000-7,000 words, exclusive of tables, figures, and references. The special issue is expected to be published at the end of 2021.


Complete submission guidelines can be found online (

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