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Kanika Samuels Wortley

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in Systemic Racism, Technology and Criminal Justice

Criminology and Justice

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Bordessa Hall - Room 309
Downtown Oshawa
55 Bond Street East
Oshawa, ON


Research topics

  • race, racism and the criminal justice system
  • critical race theory
  • predictive AI technologies within criminal justice processes


Before joining Ontario Tech University, Dr. Kanika Samuels-Wortley was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminology at Toronto Metropolitan University and the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Carleton University. Presently, she is a Visiting Fellow at Australian National University at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) in Canberra, Australia. Dr. Samuels-Wortley holds a Ph.D. in Sociology (2021) from the University of Waterloo, an MA and BA in Criminology from Ontario Tech and the University of Toronto, respectively.

Dr. Samuels-Wortley’s research explores the intersection of race, racism, and the criminal justice system. Her research aims to advance critical race discourse in Canada through empirical mixed-methods approaches. Through the Criminological Research Advancing Racial Equity Lab (cRARE Lab), Dr. Samuels-Wortley and her team engage in research to better understand how bias and discrimination impact racialized peoples experiences and perceptions of the police, court, and correctional system. This includes an exploration into the use of predictive AI technologies within criminal justice processes and the role they play in exacerbating racial inequities in Canada.

Dr. Samuels-Wortley has published in prestigious peer reviewed journals, including Race and Justice, Crime and Delinquency, and the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research has been supported by a number of awards and grants, facilitating both international and national engagement, including a SSHRC Partnership Grant which involves a multi-disciplinary research team across several academic institutions in Canada. Dr. Samuels-Wortley has served as a member of the research committee for the Learning Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Correctional Service Canada, and is currently a research member with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.


  • PhD, Sociology University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario
  • MA, Criminology Ontario Tech University, Oshawa, Ontario
  • BA, Criminology University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

Courses taught

  • CRMN 3056U Race-ing Justice

Research and expertise

  • Algorithmic bias
  • Civilian oversight in law enforcement agencies
  • Police community engagement
  • Police legitimacy
  • Program evaluations in criminal justice agencies
  • Race and racism
  • Racial bias and discrimination in the Criminal Justice System
  • Youth engagement in crime
  • Youth diversion
  • Youth victimization

SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2022-2024
Principal Investigator (PI)

SSHRC Partnership Grant, 2022-2029
Co-applicant (Dr. Sandra Bucerius, University of Alberta, PI)

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, 2022-2024
Co-applicant (Dr. Alex McCelland, Carleton University, PI)

British Columbia’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (BCOHRC) Grant, 2021
Principal Investigator (PI)                                               

Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) Emerging Scholar Grant, 2019
Principal Investigator (PI)

Visiting Scholar Fellowship, School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University, 2019
Principal Investigator (PI)


  • Selected publications

    Harb, J., Anantharajah, K., Samuels-Wortley, K., Qureshi, N. (2024) Back at the Kitchen Table: Querying Feminist Support in the Academy. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 26(2), 427-446.

    Samuels-Wortley, K. (2024). Racialization and Crime. In N. Boyd (Ed.) Understanding Crime in Canada: An Introduction to Criminology, Third Edition. Emond Publishing.

    Samuels-Wortley, K. (2024) Community Policing, Police Militarization, and Canada’s Colonial Project. In Sebastián Sclofsky and Analicia Mejia Mesinas (Eds.) In Police and State Crime in the Americas: Southern and Postcolonial Perspectives (pp. 99-122), New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

    Greene, C., Urbanik, M.-M., Samuels-Wortley, K. (2022). “It stays with you for life”: The everyday nature and impact of police violence in Toronto’s inner city. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Vol. 19, pg. 1-11.

    Samuels-Wortley, K (2022). Black on Blue, will not do: Navigating Canada’s evidence-based policing community as a Black academic: A personal counter-story, in Derek Silva and Mathieu Deflem (Eds.) Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance: Diversity in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies, pg. 63-82. Emerald Publishing.

    Garcia-Hallett, J., Samuels-Wortley, K., Henry, T.K., and Boyles, A. (2022). Reclaiming our stories: Centering BIWOC voices and experiences in the carceral state. Qualitative Criminology, Vol. 11(3), pg. 1-19.

    Perry, B., and Samuels-Wortley, K (2021). We’re not where we should be: Enhancing law enforcement responses to hate crime. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Vol. 63 (2), pg. 68-98.

    Samuels-Wortley, K. (2021) To serve and protect whom? Using composite counter-storytelling to explore Black and Indigenous youth experiences and perceptions of the police in Canada. Crime and Delinquency, Vol 67(8), pg. 1137-1164.

    Kabiri., S., Shadmanfaat, S., Samuels-Wortley, K., and Gallupe, O (2020). Does moral identity matter in situational action theory? Some evidence of Iranian fans’ cyberbullying perpetration. International Criminal Justice Review, Vol. 30(4), pg. 406-420.

    Samuels-Wortley, K. (2019) Youthful discretion: Police selection bias in access to pre-charge diversion programs in Canada. Race and Justice,

    Samuels-Wortley, K. (2019). Violence against Black youth in the great white north: Exploring the prevalence of victimization among Black women from a Canadian context. In A. Kalunta-Crumpton (Ed.) pp. 229-248, Violence Against Women of African Descent: Global Perspectives. New York: Lexington/Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Research reports

    Bucerius, S., Samuels-Wortley, K., Wortley, S. (2023). Marginalized Populations with Edmonton Public School Board’s School Resource Officer Program. An evaluative study: Final Report.

    Wortley, S., Bucerius, S., and Samuels-Wortley, K. (2022) Edmonton Catholic School Division School Resource Officer Evaluation Report.

    Samuels-Wortley, K (2021). The State of School Resource Officers in Canada: A review.  British Columbia’s Human Rights Commission.

    Samuels, K. (2008). Mentoring strategies. In S. Wortley (Ed.) Preventing Youth Crime and Violence: A Review of the Literature. The Roots of Youth Violence Inquiry, Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Government of Ontario.

  • Awards

    Black on Blue, Will Not Do – Navigating Canada’s Evidence Based Policing Community as a Black Academic – A Personal Counter-Story” in Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance was awarded a 2023 Emerald Literati Award for Outstanding Author Contribution. Emerald Publishing is one of the world’s leading publishers of academic journals and books.

    As a result of the award, the chapter is now available, open access. 

  • Media appearances