Jennifer L. Schulenberg

Associate Professor

PhD Sociology (Waterloo)
MA Sociology and Anthropology (Guelph)
BA  Sociology and Anthropology (photograph of Jennifer Schulenberg.Guelph)

2016 Faculty of Arts Excellence in Teaching Award
2016 Outstanding Performance Award
2005 Governor General of Canada Academic gold Medal

Research and teaching areas

Research areas

  • Policing
  • Youth crime
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Criminal justice system

Teaching areas

  • Socio-legal responses to crime
  • Policing
  • Sexuality & the law
  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods

Teaching philosophy

My goal in disseminating knowledge is to take each teachable moment as an opportunity to harness student passions and use innovative teaching methods, regardless of class size, that can foster the development of transferable skills and knowledge to the real world. This entails encouraging students to move beyond their current and often comfortable frames of reference to one that examines the world through a sociological, empirical lens. 

Current research

Police human resources: Working with the Stratford Police Service, this study uses data from online surveys, ride alongs, and crime statistics to provide recommendations that will inform patrol staffing levels, deployment practices, and identify the occupational expectations and stressors for patrol officers. The goal is to inform initiatives that recognize the unique challenges police services face outside large, urban communities.

Youth specialization policing models: This SSHRC funded study involves conducting interviews, observational ride alongs, and analyzing calls for service from ten police services across Canada to examine whether dedicated police officers, specialized units, and other deployment strategies are effective and efficient responses to youth crime.

Missing persons: A project funded by SSHRC is working with the Saskatoon Police Service to assess and develop evidence-based practice to inform police and street outreach responses to missing persons reports of youth between the ages of 12 and 21. An analysis of crime statistics and police contacts with missing persons informs the collection of interview and observational data with police, outreach workers, and street youth to evaluate the innovative multi-agency Operation Runaway program.

Selected publications

Journal articles and presentations

  • Schulenberg, J. L., Chenier, A., Buffone, S., & Wojciechowski, C. (2017). An application of procedural justice to stakeholder perspectives: Examining police legitimacy and public trust in police complaints systems. Policing & Society, 27, 779-796.
  • Buffone, S., Chenier, A., Schulenberg, J. L., & Sycz, D. (2017). Improving the police complaints system: Stakeholder collaboration as a vehicle for systems change. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 42, 293-313.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2016). The dynamics of criminological research. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2016). Police decision-making in the gray zone: The dynamics of police citizen encounters with mentally ill persons. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 43, 459-482
  • Gallupe, O., Nguyen, H., Bouchard, M., Schulenberg, J. L., Chenier, A., & Cook, K. D. (2015). An experimental test of deviant modeling. Journal of Crime & Delinquency, 53, 482-505.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2015). Moving beyond arrest and reconceptualizing police discretion: An investigation into the factors affecting conversation, assistance, and criminal charges. Police Quarterly, 18, 244-271.
  • Schulenberg, J. L., & Chenier, A. (2014). At international protest events the ‘buck stops here’: Media frames defining the police and protestors as social problems. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 56, 261-294.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2014). Systematic Social Observation of police behaviour: The process, logistics, and challenges in a Canadian context. Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, 48, 297-315.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2010). Patterns in police decision-making with youth: An application of Black’s theory of law. Crime, Law, and Social Change53, 109-129.
  • Schulenberg, J. L., & Warren, D. M. (2009). Content and adequacy of specialized police training to handle youth-related incidents: Perceptions of trainers, supervisors, and front-line officers. International Criminal Justice Review19, 456-477.
  • Schulenberg, J. L., & Warren, D. (2009). Police discretion with apprehended youth: Assessing the impact of juvenile specialization. Police Practice and Research: An International Journal10, 3-16.

Government and practitioner reports

  • Schulenberg, J. L., & Sycz, D. (2017). Optimizing police strength: Exploring effectiveness, efficiency, & workload for patrol officers. Preliminary survey findings report prepared for the Stratford Police Association.
  • Schulenberg, J. L., & Chatterjee, A. (2013). The Ontario police complaints system forum: Perspectives from the community, police and policy-makers. Final reported prepared for the Attorney General of Ontario and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2013). A view from the streets: Preliminary findings. Prepared for Chief Matthew Torigian, Waterloo Regional Police Service.
  • Buffone, S., & Schulenberg, J. L. (2012). Investing in our youth: Community safety and the role of the Toronto Police Service in building healthy communities. Report on the Hate Crimes Peer Education Evaluation. Toronto, ON: Scadding Court Community Centre.
  • Buffone, S., & Schulenberg, J. L. (2012). Investing in our youth: Community safety and the role of the Toronto Police Service in building health communities. Report on the Hate Crimes Peer Education High School Surveys. Toronto, ON: Scadding Court Community Centre.
  • Cross, R., Duncavage, T. C., Frasier, M. L., Granato, J., Jones, M. P., Lawton, B., Mayes, T. J., Reed, W., Schulenberg, J. L., Soltis, M. G., & Wong, M. C. S. (2009). City of Houston: Conducted energy device program performance audit (Report No. 2009-09). Houston, TX: Mir Fox & Rodriguez, City of Houston Controller’s Office, and City of Houston Auditor’s Office. [Authors listed in alphabetical order]

Invited talks

  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2017). Understanding youth crime. Youth Crime Investigator Course, Toronto Police College, Toronto, ON.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2016). Policing youth: Creating change one person at a time. Waterloo Regional Police Service Cops & Youth Program, Cambridge, ON. [Annually since 2009]
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2014; 2015; 2016). A reason to hope: Antisocial behaviour and youth in conflict with the law. Guelph Police Service Youth Engagement Program, Guelph, ON.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2014). Public order policing: The value of mounted police units. Making and breaking barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK Symposium, University of Oxford | RAND Europe | Association of Chief Police Officers, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2013). A view from the trenches: Perceptions and responses to antisocial behaviour and youth crime. Keynote speaker, Public Criminology Lecture Series, Wilfrid Laurier|Brantford, Brantford, ON.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2013) The Police Complaints System in Ontario: Perspectives on moving forward and what change means. Panellist, Report Launch and Media Release, Scadding Court Community Centre, Toronto, ON.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2011). The dynamics of social control: Perspectives and responses to youth in conflict with the law. Gesellschaft für Soziologie, Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, University of Graz, Austria.
  • Schulenberg, J.L. (2008). The personal is public. Keynote speaker, Arkansas Victim Assistance Academy, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, AR.

Research grants

  • Collaborator, “LEADS agencies in Canada: A new program to fix an old problem”. SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, 2018-2020 (PI: L. Huey).
  • Principal Investigator, “Policing innovation: An investigation of targeted interventions and responses to youth crime”. SSHRC Insight Grant, 2017-2021.
  • Co-Investigator, “Peer influence and theft: An experimental test”. SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2015-2017 (PI: O. Gallupe).
  • Co-Investigator, “Exploring police responses to citizens in mental crisis”. SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2015-2017 (PI: J. A. Lavoie).
  • Principal Investigator, “Bridging the divide: The dynamic, challenges, & factors affecting police discretion with youth”. SSHRC/UW 4A Grant, 2013-2014.
  • Principal Investigator, “The Ontario police complaints system: Where are we three years later”. SSHRC Public Outreach Grant, 2012-2015.
  • Principal Investigator, “The internationalization of juvenile justice”. Waterloo International | Centre for Teaching Excellence Course Internationalization Grant, 2012.
  • Principal Investigator, “The dynamics of antisocial behaviour: An investigation of responses to youth crime by schools, the police, and treatment providers”. UW/SSHRC Seed Grant, 2009-2011.
  • Co-Investigator, “Evaluation of taser use by the Houston Police Department”. City of Houston Controller’s Officer, 2007-2009 (PI: M. Frasier).

Professional activities

  • Insight Grant Adjudication Committee Member, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2017.
  • Academic Member, Canadian Society of Evidence-Based Policing, 2015-present.
  • Academic Consultant, Waterloo Crime Prevention Team, Waterloo Regional Police Service, 2013-2017.
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, Canadian Graduate Journal of Sociology and Criminology, 2012-present.
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2010-2014.
  • Committee Member, Advisory Group on Research & Evaluation (AGORE), Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council, 2009-present.
  • Program Committee Member, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Meeting, 2009-2011.
  • Associate Editor & Book Review Editor, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2004-2010.
  • Advisory Board Member, Center for Safe and Secure Schools, Harris County, Texas, 2006-2008.
Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo

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