Jennifer L. Schulenberg

Associate Professor

519-888-4567 x 48639

photograph of Jennifer Schulenberg.

PhD Sociology (Waterloo)
MA Sociology and Anthropology (Guelph)
BA  Sociology and Anthropology (Guelph)

2020 Outstanding Performance Award

2019 EU Erasmus+ Teaching Fellow (University of Graz, Austria)
2016 Faculty of Arts Excellence in Teaching Award
2016 Outstanding Performance Award
2005 Governor General of Canada Academic Gold Medal
2004 SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto (Sociology)

Research, teaching, and supervision areas

  • Policing
  • Youth justice
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Mental health
  • Criminal justice system
  • Research methods

Current research

Ontario Provincial Police School Resource Officer Program Review: 

Current research includes a SSHRC-funded project evaluating the Ontario Provincial Police School Resource Officer Program, as well as more generally police deployment strategies, responses to mental health and vulnerable populations, and socio-legal responses to crime.

Recent challenges on the use of School Resource Officers (SRO) brought to the forefront the absence of evidence on the effectiveness of police officers in schools and the negative impact on youth, especially for Black, Indigenous, racialized, and vulnerable youth. Our understanding is limited as prior research is largely culture and race absent. Police work is experienced differently by people and this crucial context includes community concerns, lived experiences, perceptions of effectiveness by all stakeholders, key performance indicators to measure program success, and the variability of youth community mobilization strategies.

This SSHRC-funded participatory-action research responds to the demand for police reform and removal of police officers in schools by evaluating the OPP School Resource Officer Program and how police interact with youth, and doing so through an equity, anti-oppression, and anti-racism lens. OPP officers and the public can share their opinions and experiences through surveys, Town Hall meetings, interviews, and online feedback. This is supplemented with data from patrol ride alongs and a statistical analysis of calls for service.

The results will provide recommendations on: (1) whether the OPP SRO Program should continue, change, or be eliminated; (2) identify potential alternative strategies for police interactions with youth; and (3) actionable steps to address inequities, systemic, and institutional racism and discrimination experienced by youth when interacting with the police.

Research grants

  • Principal Investigator, “Policing innovation: An investigation of targeted interventions and responses to youth crime”. SSHRC Insight Grant ($200,436), 2017-2021.
  • Co-Investigator, “Peer influence and theft: An experimental test”. SSHRC Insight Development Grant ($54,203), 2015-2017 (PI: O. Gallupe).
  • Co-Investigator, “Exploring police responses to citizens in mental crisis”. SSHRC Insight Development Grant ($56,636), 2015-2017 (PI: J. A. Lavoie).
  • Principal Investigator, “Bridging the divide: The dynamic, challenges, & factors affecting police discretion with youth”. SSHRC/UW 4A Grant ($8,000), 2013-2014.
  • Principal Investigator, “The Ontario police complaints system: Where are we three years later”. SSHRC Public Outreach Grant ($100,000), 2012-2015.
  • Principal Investigator, “The internationalization of juvenile justice”. Waterloo International | Centre for Teaching Excellence Course Internationalization Grant ($1,500), 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 ($5,216), 2009-2011.
  • Co-Investigator, “Evaluation of taser use by the Houston Police Department”. City of Houston Controller’s Officer (US $65,000), 2007-2009 (PI: M. Frasier).

Selected publications

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Books, Chapters, & Edited Collections 

Huey, L., Ferguson, L., & Schulenberg, J. L. (2023). The wicked problems of police reform in Canada. New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis.       

Huey, L., Schulenberg, J. L., & Koziarski, J. (2022). Policing mental health: Public safety and crime prevention in Canada. Springer Briefs in Criminology: Policing. New York: Springer Nature Switzerland AG. 

Schulenberg, J. L. (2016). The dynamics of criminological research. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press Canada.

Journal articles and presentations

  • Gallupe, O., Lalonde, P., Nguyen, H., & Schulenberg, J.L. (2019). A randomized trial testing deviant modeling, peer gender, and theft: Replication and extension. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 15(3), 421-439. 
  • 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). 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. (2018). An investigation on bias and prejudice: Measurement in a policing context. Survey Design Report prepared for Durham Regional Police Service.
  • 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. (2021). OPP School Resource Officer Program Review. Ontario Association Chiefs of Police, Youth Committee, Zoom, 21 September. 

  • Schulenberg, J.L. (2019). SSHRC Insight Grant Panel. Office of Research, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, 05 September.
  • Schulenberg, J. L. (2019). Policing in the grey zone: An investigation into the challenges of procedural justice for police interactions with persons in a mental health crisis. Gesellschaft für Soziologie, Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, University of Graz, Austria, 17 June.
  • 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) 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.

Professional activities

  • Insight Grant Adjudication Committee Member, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, 2017.
  • Academic Consultant, Waterloo Crime Prevention Team, Waterloo Regional Police Service, 2013-2017.
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, Canadian Graduate Journal of Sociology and Criminology, 2012-2016.
  • 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.
  • 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.