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Karla Dhungana Sainju

Associate Professor

Women in Research Council Chair

Criminology and Justice

Faculty of Social Science and Humanities

Contact information

Bordessa Hall - Room 324
Downtown Oshawa
55 Bond Street East
Oshawa, ON

905.721.8668 ext. 5809
Women in Research Council


Dr. Karla Dhungana Sainju earned her PhD and MS in Criminology from Florida State University (FSU). Prior to joining Ontario Tech University, she was a Senior Research Associate for the Public Safety Performance Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. She conducted research on state criminal justice policy and was responsible for the project’s research portfolio of sentencing and corrections briefs, reports and policy evaluations. She has completed a Congressional Fellowship on Women and Public Policy in the United States House of Representatives where she handled a legislative issue portfolio covering judiciary, women’s issues and child exploitation interdiction. While earning her PhD she also worked as a researcher at the FSU Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research. Dr. Dhungana Sainju was a recipient of the Florida State University Thirty under 30 Young Alumni Award in 2014 and has been nominated for several faculty awards at Ontario Tech University including the Early Career Teaching Award, Learning Reimagined Award, and the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities Teaching Award. 


  • PhD, Criminology Florida State University

Courses taught

  • Alternative Sanctions
  • Issues in the Family 
  • Policy and Practice in the Criminal Justice System
  • PhD and MA Professional Seminars
  • Special Topics in Criminology and Justice: Bullying: Prevalence, Predictors and Prevention

Research and expertise

Corrections & Community Corrections

  • Electronic monitoring for pretrial release and post-conviction supervision
  • Parole and probation
  • Alternatives to incarceration
  • Justice-involved veterans

Traditional and Cyber Bullying

  • Big data analysis, social media, and bullying
  • Macro and micro-level influences on bullying
  • Bullying roles and their impact on bullying behavior
  • Xenophobic and Race-based bullying

Women and the Justice System

  • Reentry concerns
  • Procedural justice
  • corrections and sentencing
  • offender monitoring technologies
  • traditional and cyber bullying
  • gender and crime
  • public policy
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation Research Grant for Emergent Issues and Priorities 2022-2023. Understanding the Experiences and Perspectives of Ontario Educational Personnel with Race-Based Bullying. Karla Dhungana Sainju (Principal Investigator). 

SSHRC Internal Small Grant: Explore 2021-2022. Justice-Involved Veterans and the Criminal Justice System. Karla Dhungana Sainju (Principal Investigator).

SSHRC Internal Small Grant: Exchange 2021-2022. Knowledge mobilization activities for Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation Research. Karla Dhungana Sainju (Principal Investigator).

Mitacs Research Training Award 2020. Sociological Effects of COVID-19: A Machine Learning and Qualitative Examination of COVID-19 related bullying on Twitter. Mitacs Research Training Award, Academic Supervisor for intern Huda Zaidi.

SSHRC Small Grant 2019. An Examination of Bullying through Twitter. Karla Dhungana Sainju (Principal Investigator).

The Pew Charitable Trusts (2015). Evaluating the Effectiveness and Perceptions of Electronic Monitoring Technologies in the Criminal Justice System: Phase I. Karla Dhungana Sainju (Principal Investigator). 


  • Selected publications

    Dhungana Sainju, K., Zaidi, H, Mishra. N., & Kuffour, A. (2022). Xenophobic Bullying & COVID-19: An Exploration Using Big Data & Qualitative Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(8), 4824. Part of the special issue: Second Edition of Stigma, Health and Wellbeing. 

    Dhungana Sainju, K., Kuffour, A., Young, L., & Mishra, N. (2021). Bullying-Related Tweets: A Qualitative Examination of Perpetrators, Targets, and Helpers. International Journal of Bullying Prevention, 4(1), 6-22. Part of the special issue: The Use of Artificial Intelligence to Address Online Bullying and Abuse.

    Dhungana Sainju, K., Mishra, N., Kuffour, A., & Young, L. (2021). Bullying Discourse on Twitter: An Examination of Bully-Related Tweets Using Supervised Machine Learning. Computers In Human Behavior, 120, 106735.

    Dhungana Sainju, K. (2020). Beyond the Schoolyard: A Multilevel Examination of Individual, School, and School District Variables Associated with Traditional and Cyber Peer Aggression. Child & Youth Care Forum, 49, 769–797.

    Dhungana Sainju, K., Fahy, S., Baggaley, K., Baker, A., Minassian, T. & Filippelli, V. (2019). Electronic Monitoring for Pretrial Release: Assessing the Impact. Federal Probation, 82 (3), 3-10.

    Stevenson, P. J., Fahy, S., & Dhungana Sainju, K. (2019). The Use of GPS and RF Devices to Monitor Defendants and Convicted Offenders in the United States. Journal of Offender Monitoring, 29 (2), 4-6.

    Mancini, C., Baker, T., Dhungana Sainju, K., Golden, K., Bedard, L. & Gertz, M. (2016). Examining External Support Received in Prison and Concerns About Reentry Among Incarcerated Women. Feminist Criminology, 11(2), 163-190.

    Baker, T., Pickett, J., Amin, D., Golden, K., Dhungana, K., Gertz, M. & Bedard, L. (2015). Shared

    Race/Ethnicity, Court Procedural Justice, and Self-Regulating Beliefs: A Study of Female Offenders. Law and Society Review, 49 (2): 433 – 466