Justice and Related Areas
SPR has conducted a number of studies dealing with issues relating to the justice system and legal matters generally:
Other SPR justice projects include Evaluation of the Ontario Indian Policing Program, Evaluation of the Ontario Native Courtworker Program,
and a Feasibility Study for a New Identities Program -- to provide new identities for women fleeing family violence.
- Psycho-social Health and Safety in Ontario Youth Corrections Facilities.
This project looked at ways to improve the health and safety climate in Ontario youth corrections facilities.
The research involved a survey of
600+ correctional workers using the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) to assess risks of psychosocial
injuries in all Ontario youth corrections facilities. The study recommendations were focused on
large institutions (for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services and The Ontario Public
Service Employees Union, 2018-2019).
- Assessing the Risk for Youth Gang Involvement. An Evaluation of the Gang Risk Assessment Instrument (GRAI)
was conducted to assess this clinical risk assessment tool which is designed to support youth justice sector staff to identify
gang involved youth and assess risks for gang involvement. Methodologies included: an in-depth literature review of existing
documents on gang risk assessment procedures and tools available in Canada and other jurisdictions; telephone interviews with
staff that have used GRAI for risk assessment purposes; and focus groups with staff from Ontario's youth justice system who
have utilized GRAI (for the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 2018).
- Mandate Review of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and
Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC). This project involved a review of the mandates for three policing oversight
agencies in Ontario. Main data sources for the review included: legislation; past reviews; literature on policing oversight; and
data from key informants. Analysis methods included: assessments of consistency of the mandate and agency actions; and analysis
of performance of the three agencies in achieving mandate goals (within a Balanced Scorecard Framework). Key program design
features addressed the need for more open public scrutiny, in particular, for the SIU (for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney
- Evaluation of LAO-Funded Interpretation and Translation Services. This project consisted of two components:
an evaluation to assess the interpretation and translation needs of LAO-funded clinics, Student Legal Aid Services Societies (SLASS)
and their clients; and an evaluation of interpretation and translation services (multi-language interpretation services) currently being
provided to LAO's call centre, and the multilingual interpretation and translation services offered by LAO to assist staff in serving
clients at LAO-funded community legal clinics and SLASS (for Legal Aid Ontario, 2012-2013).
- Evaluation of the Ontario Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP). This evaluation assessed the program's
efficiency and identified lessons learned, applying a Balanced Scorecard approach. Case studies were conducted across Ontario and
an on-line survey of over 700 stakeholders (lawyers, Crown attorneys, police), identified approaches for improving the program
(for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, 2010-2011).
- Review of the Clinic Resource Office (CRO). This review examined the CRO's role in providing a
central information resource (decision summaries, precedents, research services) to Ontario's 70 community legal aid clinics
and legal aid lawyers. Surveys examined the CRO's services, client satisfaction and information needs with field visits to
London, Eastern Ontario and Thunder Bay (for Legal Aid Ontario, 2007).
- Evaluation of the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. This evaluation examined the demand for, and efficiency of,
the clinic's services and its relationships with other legal aid clinics. The research involved a number of surveys,
including interviews with clinics, members of the judiciary, and representatives of the South Asian community (for Legal Aid Ontario, 2006).