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Crisis Centre

Expert Centre


Carla Cesaroni, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Since joining UOIT in 2005, she has held the positions of Graduate Program director, associate professor and assistant professor. Additionally, she maintains an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto (U of T), as well as associate researcher in the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research at the University of Glasgow/Edinburgh, Scotland. A revered international authority on youth justice, Dr. Cesaroni is frequently called upon to provide credible testimony within the public court system, and to give expert counsel to key policy makers and stakeholder groups including the Policy Implementation Directorate Programs Branch of the Department of Justice Canada, and the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Ontario. Published reports on her recommendations in the high-profile Ashley Smith Inquest; and on the Use of Segregated Isolation of Youth in Custody in the Province of Ontario in 2012 are playing an important role in shaping legislation in Canada’s Justice System. She credits her incredible mentor Dr. Tony Doob at U of T’s Centre of Criminology and one of the world’s most cited scholars as her inspiration for pursuing her path in research and demonstrating what a great teacher can do for students. She began her distinguished career in 2002 as a lecturer in the Department of Criminology at the University of Toronto, and the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University. Dr. Cesaroni obtained her Doctorate in Philosophy from the Centre of Criminology at U of T in Toronto, Ontario in 2005. She received her Master of Arts in Criminology from U of T in 1999, a Certificate (Honours) in Criminology from U of T in 1998, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Relations, and Italian from U of T in 1986. Dr. Cesaroni is a member of the American Society of Criminology, American Psychology and Law Society, and the Society for Research on Adolescence.


Expert Witness, Ashley Smith Inquest

November 12, 2013

At the request of the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, on November 12, 2013, Dr. Cesaroni appeared as an expert witness at the Ontario coroner’s inquest into the death of Ashley Smith, a 19-year-old woman who died in 2007 in a segregation cell. Among the 104 recommendations handed down by the jury, many of Dr. Cesaroni’s recommendations were affirmed. A report she co-authored on the inquest is available at

Assistant Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, UOIT

July 1, 2013

Dr. Cesaroni has served on dozens of internal university committees including the FSSH Leadership Team Committee, Graduate Program Directors Committee, Graduate Studies Committee, Hiring Committee and Tenure Committee.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, UOIT

July 1, 2010

Dr. Cesaroni teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Punishment and Society, The Prison Experience, and Youth Crime and Violence. She has received numerous teaching and research awards at UOIT including a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Award in 2010, the second such award of her career.

Board of Directors, Family Education Resource Network (FERN)

January 1, 2009

Since 2009, Dr. Cesaroni has lent her expertise to FERN, a not-for-profit, professional and family driven resource and education centre located in York Region, Ontario. FERN is dedicated to providing support, materials, knowledge and guidance to families and educators.

University of Toronto

PhD - Philosophy, Centre of Criminology

University of Toronto

MA - Criminology

University of Toronto

Certificate - Criminology

University of Toronto

BA - International Relations, Italian
  • Indigenous Youth: Issues Currently Impacting Strategies to Address Overrepresentation in the Youth Justice System

    $9949.30  | October 1, 2016

    Awarded by: Youth Justice Canada (Department of Justice), Standard Grant
    “Aboriginal Peoples” is a collective name for all of the original peoples of Canada and their descendants (National Aboriginal Health Organization (NAHO). Section 35 of the Constitution specifies that Aboriginal Peoples in Canada consists of three groups; First Nations, Inuit and Metis (NAHO). It should be noted however, that the term “Indigenous” (meaning native to the area), is the term used by the United Nations, for Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and is increasingly used by Aboriginal scholars and advocates to describe Aboriginal Peoples collectively, inclusively and to recognize the place of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s late- colonial era (NAHO).

  • Meeting the Needs of Aboriginal Justice-Involved Youth in the Context of Community Sentencing

    $190660  | June 1, 2016

    Awarded by: SSHRC Insight Grant
    This five-year research project examines effective ways to promote rehabilitation for Aboriginal justice-involved youth.

  • A Comparative Studt of Incarcerated Young Adults in Scotland and Canada

    $97282  | June 1, 2015

    Awarded by: SSHRC Insight Grant
    A four-year, cross-national study of incarcerated young adults between 18 and 24 years of age in Scotland and Canada.

  • Working Effectively with Justice Involved and High Risk Youth Program

    $7000  | January 1, 2014

    Awarded by: Tape Studies
    Program Director for a series of 12 modules on various aspects of working with high risk, justice involved youth including the history of youth justice in Canada, ethical issues, consent and confidentiality, assessment, mental health issues and addictions, evaluation of programming.

  • Report to the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children & Youth Concerning the Death of Ashley Smith

    $12515  | November 7, 2013

    Awarded by: Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
    Principal investigator for research outlining the adjustment issues of incarcerated young people including the impact of segregation.

  • Therapeutic Interventions for Seriously Violent Youth: An Update of Scientific Literature

    $9734  | January 1, 2013

    Awarded by: Government of Canada, Department of Justice, Policy Implementation Directorate, Programs Branch
    Principal investigator for a research summary of the most recent work on interventions for violent youth, in particular youth involved in homicides.

  • The Use of Segregation on Incarcerated Youth

    $5500  | January 1, 2012

    Awarded by: Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth
    Consultant on the research literature and data available on the use of isolated segregation, and the impact segregation has on incarcerated youth.

  • American Society of Criminology

  • American Psychology and Law Society

  • Society for Research on Adolscence

  • Family Education Resource Network


  • Past speaking engagements
    • The Adjustment of Incarcerated Young Adults (18 – 21) in Adult Facilites

      San Francisco, California
      November 20, 2014

      Annual Meeting of The American Society of Criminology

    • Public Opinion Regarding Youth, Social Media, and Suicide

      San Francisco, California
      November 19, 2014

      Annual Meeting of The American Society of Criminology

    • Policing Cyber-bullying: What does the Public Think?

      San Francisco, California
      November 19, 2014

      Annual Meeting of The American Society of Criminology

    • Understanding the Adjustment of Incarcerated Boys and Girls: The Importance of Institutional Culture

      Toronto, Ontario
      July 26, 2014

      Canadian Youth Justice Conference. llR Healthcare Series

    • The Intersection of Race, Class and Gender: Aboriginal Girls in Pre-Trial Detention

      Ottawa, Ontario
      August 26, 2012

      The International Institute of Special Needs Offenders and Policy Research (Canada)

    • A Comparative Study of Adolescent Females and Males in Pre-trial Detention

      San Juan, Puerto Rico
      March 17, 2012

      Psychology & Law International, Interdisciplinary Conference

    • The Experiences of Adolescent Males in Secure Detention

      Montreal, Quebec
      April 2, 2011

      Society for Research in Child Development

    • Youths’ Perception of Rights and Fair Treatment in Detention

      Miami, Florida
      March 5, 2011

      Psychology & Law International, Interdisciplinary Conference

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