With Canadian politicians in the midst of a roiling debate over criminal justice policy, the Ottawa Citizen reports that an influential best-practices publication produced the Centre for Criminology at the University of Toronto has been mysteriously defunded. “Criminological Highlights” was a distillation of information from more than 100 English-language academic journals on crime and criminal justice policy. The Canadian department of justice paid just $25,000 a year to fund it, but the contract was not renewed when it expired in May.
The newspaper says the federal government isn’t saying why the funding was ended, but it says a March 2010 Canadian Press story had something to do with it. That story said, “The federal Justice Department pays to help publicize leading criminal justice research that frequently discredits the Conservative government's 'tough-on-crime' agenda.” It cited a number of examples. At the time that article appeared, “Criminological Highlights” was in the first year of a two-year contract. That contract ended in May, and so did its funding.