Fellow

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah

Expertise: Race, Racism, Inequality, Policing, Criminal justice, Drug policy

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah BA (Carleton) MA, PhD (Toronto) is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. Dr. Owusu-Bempah’s work focuses on the intersections of race, crime and criminal justice, with a particular interest in the area of policing. His current projects include: a study of Black males’ perceptions of and experiences with the police in Greater Toronto Area (including the experiences of both civilians and police officers); and an examination of representations of Blackness in Canadian print media. He is also studying various aspects of cannabis legalization in Canada. His research has recently been published in Policing and Society, Crime and Justice, and Theoretical Criminology.

Dr. Owusu-Bempah began his academic career in the United States at Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to becoming a professor, he held positions with Canada’s National Judicial Institute, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. He has consulted for various levels of government and served as a member of the Toronto Police Service’s Black Community-Police Consultative Committee and the Service’s Recruiting Coalition. Dr. Owusu-Bempah is frequently sought out to provide commentary and advice to police agencies, government bodies, community organizations, and media outlets on matters relating to policing, justice and social inequality.

Posts & Activities by Akwasi Owusu-Bempah


  • Big Data and Criminal Justice – What Canadians Need to Know

    Every Google search, credit card purchase, social media interaction, and doctor’s visit leave traces of information about you, where you’ve been, who you’ve interacted with, and what you like. What’s more, advertisers, data brokers, and government agencies can collect and analyze the digital breadcrumbs you leave behind as you go about your day. Welcome to the world of ‘big data.’

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    Big Data and Criminal Justice – What Canadians Need to Know



  • Humans have become data-producing machines

    Every Google search, credit card purchase, social media interaction, and doctor’s visit leave traces of information about you, where you’ve been, who you’ve interacted with, and what you like. What’s more, advertisers, data brokers, and government agencies can collect and analyze the digital breadcrumbs you leave behind as you go about your day. Welcome to the world of ‘big data.’

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  • Cannabis legalization and equity in Canada

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    Recreational cannabis is almost legal in Canada, former cops are cashing in, yet our government is still hesitant to advance any measures that would repair some of the social damage caused by almost a century of cannabis prohibition. 

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