With the ongoing intensification of criminalization and punishment in the Canadian context there is a growing need for public education, activism, and research to study shifts and continuities concerning these social processes and their consequences to inform broader public discussions.

The Criminalization and Punishment Education Project (CPEP), started by students and professors at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa, aims to bring together critical criminologists, students, researchers, community members, front-line workers, and those affected by criminalization and punishment, to carry out such public education, activism, and research in the hopes of creating social change. Particularly, CPEP members work to identify key issues to be the focus of criminological and social justice inquiry, develop collaborative research projects, and plan and carry out related public education and advocacy initiatives.

CPEP aims to:

  • Make visible the harms of criminalization and punishment as responses to social conflicts and harms by privileging and establishing a dialogue between persons affected by state repression and researchers.
  • Pursue research that informs political and social action to resist the punitive status quo.
  • Challenge inequality, privilege and dominant social structures (e.g. capitalism, colonialism, racism, patriarchy, heteronormativity and ableism) that have a particularly negative impact on marginalized persons and groups.
  • Reject efforts to further expand and entrench state repression and promote policy alternatives that are appropriate, effective, just, humane, and non-violent to this end.
  • Build capacity and solidarity amongst CPEP members and allies in a manner that values contributions, challenges difference, and offers mutual support.