18th Biennial Symposium on Violence & Aggression

June 14-16, 2020

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK

The Violence & Aggression Symposium is a conference held biennially since 1986 that brings together academics (faculty and staff), government (federal, provincial and municipal) and community representatives, including Indigenous and other community groups/agencies, to enhance knowledge and build partnerships and collaborations aimed at understanding and addressing critical issues related to violent crime and aggressive behaviour. Targeted to frontline workers, as well as clinicians and other professionals and policymakers in corrections, policing, and forensic mental health, the Symposium assists in translating research and theory into practice, provides an opportunity to highlight excellence and innovation within a variety of correctional and criminal justice environments, and promotes the use of evidence-based practice across the criminal justice spectrum -- crime prevention agencies, courts, police, corrections, parole -- in Saskatchewan, Canada and beyond.

The 2020 offering will take place for the fourth time at the University of Saskatchewan, June 14-16, 2020, and will feature 4 plenary and 12 concurrent sessions, involving more than 16 local, national and international presenters. Presenters will share their knowledge and experience on an array of topics including assessment, community safety planning, sexual offenders, psychopathy, predictive analytics, management of offenders, offenders with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), missing and murdered Indigenous persons, the weaponization of opioids, and trauma-informed approaches applied to offenders and frontline staff within policing and correctional environments.


Sunday June 14, 2020 

Tour of the Regional Psychiatric Centre
Welcome Reception

Plenary Speakers

Monday June 15, 2020 - Day #1

Dr. Mark Olver, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan
Evaluating Offender Treatment Change: Linkages to Risk Assessment and Management

Dr. Leslie Ann Keown, Research Branch, Correctional Service Canada 
The many faces of risk assessment:  An Interdisciplinary Exploration

Tuesday June 16, 2020 - Day #2

Mr. Howard Sapers
The Case to Reform Corrections in Ontario

Dr. Judith Andersen
Autonomic Modulation Training: A Biological Approach to Building Resilience and Wellness Capacity Among Police Exposed to Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI)

Concurrent Sessions
Day #1 - June 15

Dr. Dena Derkzen
Research Branch, CSC

Profile and Typologies of Federally-Sentenced Women Sex Offenders in Canada

US Federal Probation Office, District of North Dakota Panel

Enhancing Community Safety: The Implementation of Evidence Based Correctional Practices in the U.S. Federal Probation & Pretrial Services Office of North Dakota

Dr. Angela Book
Brock University

Psychopaths as Social Predators

Dr. Liam Marshall
Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care

Effective Treatment for Sexually Offending Behaviour

Saskatoon Police Services, Government of SK, USask Panel

Missing Persons Initiative: Lessons from the Saskatchewan Police Predictive Analytics Laboratory

Dr. Adelle Forth
Carleton University

Toxic relationships: The impact of psychopathy

Day #2 - June 16

Dr. Annie Lewis-O’Connor
Harvard University

Trauma & Resilience: Shifting the Paradigm

Dr. Michelle Stewart
University of Regina

From Offenders to Systems: Reconsidering Violence and Aggression in the Justice System

Dr. Gregory Brown
York University

Trauma-Informed Approaches to Assisting Police Officers Struggling with Mental Health Challenges

Dr. Rose Ricciardelli
Memorial University

Mental health and wellbeing:  Unpacking Interpretations of Trauma and the impact of trauma on staff

Dr. Sandra Bucerius
University of Alberta

Fentanyl Behind Bars:  How opioids are changing the dynamics in prisons

Ms. Angie Bear
Family Information Liaison Unit, Government of SK

Using a Trauma-informed Care Approach to Serve Families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons

Wednesday June 17, 2020 
Post-conference Workshops on Threat Assessment/Access to Data
(registration and further details TBA)

The V&A Planning Committee is pleased to announce that three post-symposium workshops will be held on campus Wednesday June 17.  V&A registrants can attend for free and will have the option to attend two of three half-day sessions: 

  • Canadian Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (CATAP) will deliver a ½ day workshop on interviewing techniques
  • CATAP will deliver a ½ day workshop on Threat Assessment related to Sexual Violence
  • Experts from Correctional Service Canada, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, and the Research Implementation Branch (Government of Saskatchewan) will deliver as ½ day workshop on accessing data and doing research in  correctional/healthcare facilities

Poster Competition


Planning Committee

Dr. Lisa Jewell (Co-Chair), Research Officer, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Mansfield Mela (Co-Chair), Director, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies
Lorrie Sorowski, Coordinator, Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Delphine Gossner, Director of Applied Research and Development, Research Implementation Branch, Goverment of Saskatchewan
Dr. Leslie Anne Keown, A/Senior Research Manager, Research Branch, Correctional Service Canada - National Headquarters
Professor Cindy Peternelj-Taylor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. John Weekes, Director, Research and Academics, Waypoint Research Institute, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care
Sgt. Nick SmythManager, Regina Violent Crime Analysis Sections, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Dr. Olajide Adelugba, Clinical Director, Regional Psychiatric Centre, Correctional Service Canada
Dr. Natalie H. Polvi, Registered Doctoral Psychologist, Chief Psychologist, Regional Psychiatric Centre, Correctional Service Canada, Prairie Region
Laura Garratt, Jr. Epidemiologist, Mental Heath Branch, Correctional Service Canada, National Headquarters
Curtis Charney, Prairies Recruitment Team, Correctional Service Canada, Prairie Region

Symposium Sponsors