Owusu-Bempah, Akwasi

Assistant ProfessorSociology

Contact Information

Mailing Address: 
3359 Mississauga Road
Postal Code: 
L5L 1C6


Akwasi Owusu-Bempah BA (Carleton) MA, PhD (Toronto) is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.  Dr. Owusu-Bempah’s work focuses on the intersections of race, crime and criminal justice, with a particular interest in the area of policing.  His current projects include: a study of Black males’ perceptions of and experiences with the police in Greater Toronto Area (including the experiences of both civilians and police officers); and an examination of representations of Blackness in Canadian print media. He is also studying various aspects of cannabis legalization in Canada. His research has recently been published in Policing and Society, Crime and Justice, and Theoretical Criminology.

Dr. Owusu-Bempah began his academic career in the United States at Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to becoming a professor, he held positions with Canada’s National Judicial Institute, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. He has consulted for various levels of government and served as a member of the Toronto Police Service’s Black Community-Police Consultative Committee and the Service’s Recruiting Coalition. Dr. Owusu-Bempah is frequently sought out to provide commentary and advice to police agencies, government bodies, community organizations, and media outlets on matters relating to policing, justice and social inequality.


Owusu-Bempah, A. (2017). Race and policing in historical context: Dehumanization and the policing of Black people in the 21st century. Theoretical Criminology, 21(1), 23-34.

Hamilton, H. A., Owusu-Bempah, A., Boak, A., & Mann, R. E. (2017). Ethnoracial differences in cannabis use among native-born and foreign-born high school students in Ontario. Journal of ethnicity in substance abuse, 1-12.

Unnever, J., Owusu-Bempah, A., & Deryol, R. (2017). A Test of the Differential Involvement Hypothesis. Race and Justice, 2153368717697104.

Cobbina, J. E., Owusu-Bempah, A., & Bender, K. (2016). Perceptions of race, crime, and policing among Ferguson protesters. Journal of Crime and Justice, 39(1), 210-229.

Owusu-Bempah, A., Kanters, S., Druyts, E., Muldoon, K. A., Farquhar, J.W., & Mills, E.J. (2014). Life Years Lost To Incarceration: Inequities Between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Canadians. BMC Public Health, 14, 585-591.

Owusu-Bempah, A., & Wortley, S. (2014). Race, Crime, and Criminal Justice in Canada. In S. Bucerius & M. Tonry (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook on Race, Ethnicity, Crime, and Immigration. New York: Oxford University Press.

Owusu-Bempah, A. (2014). Cannabis Impaired Driving: An Evaluation of Current Modes of Detection. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 56(2), 219-240.

Wortley, S. & Owusu-Bempah, A. (2012). Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Criminal Justice in Canada. In A. Kalunta-Crumpton (Ed.) Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Criminal Justice in the Americas. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Millar, P., & Owusu-Bempah, A. (2011). Whitewashing Criminal Justice in Canada: Preventing Research Through Data Suppression. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 26(3), 653-661.

Wortley, S., & Owusu-Bempah, A. (2011). The Usual Suspects: Police Stop and Search Practices in Canada. Policing and Society, 21(4), 395-407. Reprinted in Weber, L., & Bowling, B. (Eds.) (2012). Stop and Search: Police Power in Global Context. London: Routledge.

Wortley, S., & Owusu-Bempah, A. (2011). Criminal Justice and the Experience of Blacks in Canada. In B. Perry (Ed.) Diversity, Crime, and Justice in Canada. New York: Oxford University Press.

Owusu-Bempah, A., & Millar, P. (2010). Research Note: Revisiting the Collection of “Justice Statistics by Race” in Canada. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, 25(1), 97-104.

Wortley, S., & Owusu-Bempah, A. (2009). Unequal Before the Law: Immigrant and Racial Minority Perceptions of the Canadian Criminal Justice System. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 10(4), 447-473.


Ph.D., M.A., University of Toronto
B.A., Carleton