Prof. Paula Maurutto

Paula Maurutto

Associate Professor Sociology
Office Location:
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga , ON
L5L 1C6

Professor Paula Maurutto’s current project explores legal innovations in Canadian specialized courts, with a particular focus on domestic violence, Aboriginal, mental health, community/wellness and drug courts in six jurisdictions across Canada.  The project focuses on how legal practices such as bail, sentencing, and case processing have collectively changed as a consequence of the hybrid approaches used in various specialized courts.  The study goes beyond a mere analysis of therapeutic justice to address how multiple frameworks such as cultural, feminist, and racial knowledge combine to shape specialized courts and legal practices. The project also focuses on how the development of these courts alters the penal field and is changing the nature of punishment.  Recently Professor Maurutto and her colleague, Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat received a 4-year SSHRC Insight grant to continue this study.  The project has resulted in publications for academic and practitioner audiences, as well as invited lectures to the Ontario Crown Attorney Association, the National Conference on Aboriginal Criminal Justice, The National Judicial Institute and Osgood Hall Law School. A recent article entitled “Sifting and Targeted forms of Penal Governance: Bail, punishment and specialized courts,” was published in the journal Theoretical Criminology.

Professor Maurutto has worked extensively on the increased use of risk-based technologies in the field of punishment and penal management.  Her work has paid particular attention to how risk/need classification combines actuarial logics with other established criminal justice practices (i.e. incapacitative and rehabilitation) to create new patterns of penal governance. This work has sought to highlight the inequalities that are obscured and perpetuated by these statistical actuarial practices and the policies they engender.  This work has led to several publications, most recently, an article with K. Hannah-Moffat entitled “Restructuring pre-sentence reports: Race, risk and the PSR,” which appeared in the journal Punishment and Society and another with S. Turnbull entitled, “Negotiated Risk: Actuarial Illusions and Discretion in Probation,” published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society.


Criminology, Law and Society
Current Courses: 
SOC205H5, SOC316H5, SOC405H5
Ph.D. (York University)