The Department of Sociology at the University of Manitoba is home to several leading criminologists in Canada.



Elizabeth Comack  has been teaching and researching in Criminology and the Sociology of Law for over three decades. She is the editor of Locating Law, one of the foremost texts in the Sociology of Law, and co-editor (with Gillian Balfour) of Criminalizing Women: Gender and (In)justice in Neoliberal Times, a book widely used in feminist criminology courses. Prof. Comack’s most recent books include “Indians Wear Red”: Colonialism, Resistance and Aboriginal Street Gangs (Fernwood 2013) and Racialized Policing: Aboriginal People’s Encounters with the Police (Fernwood 2012). For the past ten years her research program has focused on justice, safety, and security in Winnipeg’s inner-city communities, which has involved conducting studies on violence in the street sex trade, racialized policing practices, and Aboriginal street gangs. In 2010 Prof. Comack was the recipient of a University of Manitoba Outstanding Teacher Award. In 2017 she received a University of Manitoba Outreach Award.

Criminology Courses regularly taught: Sociology of Law (SOC 3700); Women, Crime & Social Justice (SOC 3790)





Frank Cormier (B.Sc., B.A., M.A.) has taught Sociology and Criminology at the University of Manitoba and in communities across northern Manitoba since 1995. He also worked for six years as an independent justice consultant, completing projects for numerous government and NGO clients. More recently he was a senior associate at a private-sector research and consulting firm, designing and managing research and evaluation projects for clients including Justice Canada, the Winnipeg Police Service, Saskatchewan Justice, the Correctional Service of Canada, and Indian and Northern Affairs. Our Criminology/Sociology Research Practicum Coordinator, Frank has extensive knowledge and experience in conducting evaluation research. He remains actively involved in current issues, research priorities, and emerging applied research methods in criminology and is presently writing a textbook for use in Criminal Justice and Corrections courses.

Criminology Courses regularly taught: Criminology (SOC 2510); Criminal Justice & Corrections (SOC 2610); Practicum in Criminological/Sociological Research (SOC 3100)



Mary-Anne Kandrack has been teaching in Sociology/Criminology for more than 25 years, with a specific focus on Gender, Deviance and Social Control as well as Deviance and Medicalization. Mary-Anne has participated in a variety of local, national, and international strategic research initiatives, including consultations for UNICEF and the Public Interest Law Group (Manitoba). She has also been active in the community, including service on the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council and on the boards of Beyond Borders, Inc. and the Crossing Communities Art Project. Prof. Kandrack was the recipient of a University 1 Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008-09, the University 1 Ongoing Outstanding Excellence in Teaching Award for 2010-11, and a University 1 Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013-14.

Criminology Courses regularly taught: Women, Crime & Social Justice (SOC 3790)


Rick Linden is the editor of Criminology: A Canadian Perspective. Now in its eighth edition, it is the most widely used criminology text in Canadian colleges and universities. Prof. Linden’s research program centers on policing and crime prevention.  He is the past Chair of the Manitoba Police Commission (2011-2016) and since 2003 he has served as chair and co-chair of the Manitoba Auto Theft Task Force.  The major initiative of the Task Force has been the Winnipeg Auto Theft Suppression Strategy (WATSS), a comprehensive program that includes intensive supervision of high-risk offenders, a mandatory immobilizer program for the most at-risk vehicles, and a broad range of community intervention strategies.  Since the implementation of the Strategy in 2005, auto theft rates in Winnipeg have dropped by over 80 percent.  WATTS was awarded the 2010 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)/Motorola Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement.  He is also involved with the Block by Block program - a community safety program involving a broad range of organizations - and with the Winnipeg Police Service's Smart Policing Initiative.  In 2013 Prof. Linden was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work on community safety.

Criminology Courses regularly taught: Criminology (SOC 2510); Criminal Justice & Corrections (SOC 2610); Policing & Crime Prevention (SOC 3400)




Jeremy Patzer joined the Department of Sociology and its criminology program in 2016.  His research interests lie in Aboriginal law, Indigenous peoples and the law, transitional justice and historical repair, as well as the sociology of law and contemporary theory. His doctoral research examined the development of case law concerning treaty rights, Aboriginal rights, and Aboriginal title in Canada, arguing that contemporary Aboriginal law is largely the result of the Supreme Court of Canada’s efforts to reconcile a compromising history of colonial dispossession, but that the new forms of justice offered to Indigenous peoples are also thoroughly measured and oriented toward reducing risk to the settler state. Jeremy has authored peer reviewed publications relating to Aboriginal law and, in particular, Métis legal issues.

Criminology Courses regularly taught: Sociology of Criminal Justice & Corrections (SOC 2610); Theorizing Crime, Law & Social Justice (SOC 3310); Law, Justice & Indigenous Peoples (currently a Selected Topics in Criminology (SOC 3740) course)


Russell Smandych is recognized nationally and internationally for his research in the fields of Canadian youth justice system reform, law and Indigenous peoples, and Canadian and comparative common-law legal history. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, and is the editor and co-editor of ten books, the most recent (with J. Winterdyk) on Youth at Risk and Youth Justice: A Canadian Overview (Oxford University Press, 2016). He is also the co-author (with A. Nettelbeck, L. Knafla, and R. Foster) of a detailed transcolonial study of law and Indigenous peoples in nineteenth century Australia and western Canada entitled Fragile Settlements: Aboriginal Peoples, Law, and Resistance in Southwest Australia and Prairie Canada (UBC Press, 2016). Prof. Smandych's recent research projects deal with cross-national Canadian and comparative youth criminal justice reform, issues surrounding the implementation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act in Manitoba, and biographical research on the life and career of Sir James Stephen, Jr., legal counsel and Permanent Under-Secretary in the British Colonial Office from 1813 to 1847. In 2010,   Prof. Smandych was the recipient of the Faculty of Arts Award in Internationalization which is awarded annually to a professor whose research and teaching is dedicated to increasing students' awareness of international culture, perspective, and issues.

Criminology Courses regularly taught: Criminology (SOC 2510); Criminal Justice & Corrections (SOC 2610); Youth, Crime & Society (SOC 3830); Global Criminology & Criminal Justice (SOC 3880); Advanced Seminar in Criminology (SOC 4490)



Jane Ursel is the Director of RESOLVE, a research network that coordinates and supports research aimed at ending interpersonal violence. She is the lead editor of What’s Law Got To Do With It? The Law, Specialized Courts, and Domestic Violence in Canada (Cormorant Books, 2008). Since 1990 Prof. Ursel has been the spearheading the Family Violence Court tracking project, which has collected data on all cases processed by this court since its inception. In 2002 Dr. Ursel was conferred with the Order of Manitoba in recognition of her contributions to the prevention of family violence and interpersonal violence in the province.

Criminology Courses regularly taught: Institutional Responses to Violence (SOC 3750)



Andrew Woolford  has an established reputation for his work in the areas of genocide studies, redress, restorative justice, transitional justice, settler colonial studies, and Indigenous/settler relations.  The author of four books—"This Benevolent Experiment": Indigenous Boarding Schools, Genocide, and Redress in the United States and Canada (University of Nebraska Press/University of Manitoba Press, forthcoming 2015). The Politics of Restorative Justice (Fernwood, 2009); Informal Reckonings: Conflict Resolutions in Mediation, Restorative Justice, and Reparations (with R.S. Ratner, Routledge, 2008); and Between Justice and Certainty: Treaty-Making in British Columbia (UBC Press, 2005)—he is presently preparing a manuscript (with Bryan Hogeveen) titled Cold Cities: Care and Control in Edmonton and Winnipeg in which the effects of neoliberalism on inner city social service users are explored. He is co-editor of Colonial Genocide and Indigenous North America (Duke University Press, 2014) and the Idea of a Human Rights Museum (U of M Press, 2015).  Proff. WEoolford is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fulbright Scholar, and a recipient of a UM Rh Award (in 2009).  He has also served as the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2015-2017).  




Criminology Courses regularly taught: Criminology (2510); Theorizing Law, Crime and Social Justice (SOC 3310); Restorative Justice (SOC 3850); Genocide, Crime and Society (SOC 3860)