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Neil Boyd

Professor and Associate Director, School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University

Neil Boyd is a Professor and Associate Director of the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, educated in psychology at the University of Western Ontario and in law at Osgoode Hall Law School.

He is a previous Director of the School of Criminology and the author of seven books and many academic articles. He is a frequent media commentator on subjects related to law and criminology.

His most recent book, A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and the Fight for its Future, was co-authored with Senator Larry Campbell and journalist Lori Culbert. The book was short-listed for the Donner Prize, and was the winner of the George Ryga Award for social awareness in literature.

Fort McMurray Is Safer Than You Think

The truth is that the crime rate in Wood Buffalo, for almost all kinds of crime, is below Alberta averages, and often below Canadian norms as well. The rate of all forms of property crime is below national and provincial averages, and the rate of all forms of violent crime is below Alberta averages.
03/05/2014 12:21 EST
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6 Reasons BC's Pot Laws Need to Change

Common political views on cannabis control have always painted as a federal responsibility, but it can be resolved at the provincial level. A moratorium on the enforcement of simple possession of cannabis would be an entirely reasonable initiative, clearly supported by a majority of the province's citizens.
05/10/2013 12:04 EDT

Reflections on the Rule of Law

"I don't believe in much," my friend Bob said not long ago, "but I do believe in the rule of law." And so it is with me as well. Forget the remote possibility of various rulers in the sky and elsewher...
01/15/2013 05:21 EST

Is Everyone in the Marijuana Debate High?

We are having a conversation about how we should regulate the consumption of cannabis at the same time we have a government that not only seeks to retain criminalization and the possibility of imprisonment for adults who possess the drug, but is also bringing a new strategy to the table: imprisoning thousands of cultivators.
03/01/2012 11:36 EST

steven pinker's book on violence

Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of our Nature is a remarkable book, extolling science as a mechanism for understanding issues that are all too often shrouded in unstated moralities, and highly questionable empirical assumptions. Pinker is simply assessing what the evidence is telling us about violence in the world today.
01/16/2012 12:09 EST

Debating the Crime Bill? Fix the Prisons First

The Conservative government is intent upon increasing inmate populations in both federal and provincial correctional centres. It is particularly tragic that, if only by neglect, they are willing to risk the health and safety of both correctional officers and inmates in order to accomplish their goals.
12/05/2011 12:25 EST

The Conservatives' Crime Bill: Mean, But Not Lean

We all want more social safety, but these initiatives won't get us there. Instead, the Conservatives are prepared to spend billions on policies that have long been discredited, and have no hope of any tangible return on investment.
10/11/2011 08:45 EDT

Young Men in Groups: Reflections on the Vancouver Riot

Last Wednesday night a part of our culture was reeling out of control, returning to what we see among chimpanzees in the wild. At its worst this kind of group violence can turn to genocide, and we cannot be so complacent as to believe that we are immune from such possibilities.
06/21/2011 08:11 EDT