Alex Luscombe

Alex Luscombe

PhD Candidate in Criminology

University of Toronto

About Me

Alex Luscombe is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, a Researcher at the Centre for Access to Information and Justice, and a Junior Fellow at Massey College. His research interests include policing and social control, inequality in the criminal justice system, institutional transparency and accountability, mixed methods research design, and computational social science.

Alex’s research has been published in numerous academic journals and books, including Social Forces, Criminology & Criminal Justice, British Journal of Criminology, Sociology, Policing & Society and Canadian Journal of Criminology & Criminal Justice, and has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Sociological Association, and the Government of Ontario. With Dr. Kevin Walby, he recently co-edited the book Freedom of Information and Social Science Research Design (Routledge, 2019).

Alex’s work has been featured in numerous national and international news outlets, including BBC News, The Washington Post, Vice News, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, CBC News, Global News, CTV News, The Baffler, and The Montreal Gazette. In addition, his research has contributed to numerous policy debates in Canada, most recently on issues of criminal record pardons and police responses to COVID-19.

With a small team of researchers, Alex co-leads the Policing the Pandemic Mapping Project, a Canadian data justice initiative aimed at tracking and publishing data and critical commentary on the enforcement practices of police in response to COVID-19.

Prior to starting his PhD at the University of Toronto in 2017, Alex worked as a Research Associate on a multi-year, government funded research project investigating user-pays policing and private financing of public police in Canada. He holds a BA (Honours) in Sociology from the University of Victoria and a MA in Sociology from Carleton University.

Beyond his research, Alex is an avid rock climber, mountain biker, and cross-country skiier.

Recent Posts

Sampling the Canadian Hansard Dataset

Recently I learned about an incredible initiative launched by a team of political scientists, computer scientists, and historians at my university called The Canadian Hansard Dataset. The data set is a massive, digital collection of English-language debates in the House of Commons from 1901 to today (all French speeches have been translated to English).

Publications

Race, Cannabis and the Canadian War on Drugs: An Examination of Cannabis Arrest Data by Race in Five Cities

The enforcement of drug laws in the United States has been heavily racialized. A substantial proportion of individuals arrested and prosecuted for drug possession in America are Black and Latino, despite similar rates of drug use across racial …

Freedom of Information Research and Cultural Studies: A Subterranean Affinity

Introducing the idea of subterranean affinity, this article explores how methodological use of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests can contribute to the field of cultural studies. Contributing to literatures on transparency and secrecy, we consider …

Police Foundation Governance and Accountability: Corporate Interlocks and Private, Nonprofit Influence on Public Police

Police foundations are new private organizations used by public police services to raise corporate monies in North America. This article examines problems of governance and accountability arising in relation to police foundations and police services. …