18th Biennial Virtual Symposium on Violence & Aggression


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 2021 offering (rescheduled from the postponed 2020 edition) will take place virtually via Pheedloop* June 14 & 15, 2021 and will feature 4 plenary speakers and up to 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.
*PheedLoop is a third party provider not affiliated with USask.  Registrants will be required to read and agree to the terms and privacy policies of that host.



Please visit the virtual symposium V&A page for the full program and speakers' information

Plenary Speakers

Monday June 14, 2021 - 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 15, 2021 - Day #2

Mr. Howard Sapers
The case for prison depopulation:  Prison health, public safety and the pandemic

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 14

Dr. Dena Derkzen
Research Branch, CSC

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

Dr. Angela Book
Brock University

Psychopaths as Social Predators

Dr. John Bradford

Autism Spectrum Disorder, focusing on Asperger's syndrome and violence

Dr. Liam Marshall
Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care

Effective Treatment for Sexually Offending Behaviour

Missing Persons Project Team

Missing Persons Initiative

Dr. Adelle Forth
Carleton University

Toxic relationships: The impact of psychopathy

Day #2 - June 15

Dr. Annie Lewis-O’Connor
Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital

Trauma & Resilience: Shifting the Paradigm

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. Margaret McKinnon

Homewood Research Institute and McMaster University

Moral Injury:  Risk factors and resilience across special populations

Dr. Sandra Bucerius
University of Alberta

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

subject to change


Now Open!  Please register before June 1, 2021

$105.00 + GST
Full admission to the 2-day live, virtual symposium plus access up to 60 days post-event to the Conference app (including materials and speakers' presentation videos).

$55.00 + GST (registered student rate)
Use Promo Code:  STUDENTVA2021
Proof of enrolment may be required.

Poster Competition

The deadline for abstract submissions has passed.

*Call for abstracts – virtual poster session open to all (monetary prize for ‘best student poster’)

Submit your poster session abstract by Thursday April 15, 2021 to forensic.centre@usask.ca

In your submission please include:

  • Title, Authors and affiliation(s)/contact info;
  • Abstract (300 words);
  • Key words

Planning Committee

Dr. Lisa Jewell (Co-Chair), Research Associate, 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 Program Integrity and Evaluation, Offender Services, Goverment of Saskatchewan
Dr. Leslie Anne Keown, A/Senior Research Manager, Research Branch, Correctional Service Canada - National Headquarters
Professor Cindy Peternelj-Taylor, Interim Dean, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
Dr. John Weekes, Executive Director, Homewood Research Institute
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
Curtis Charney, Prairies Recruitment Team, Correctional Service Canada, Prairie Region

Symposium Sponsors

Dedication to Dr. S. Wormith