Anthony Doob

Professor Emeritus, C.M., FRSC

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Punishment policy
  • Courts
  • Youth justice


Ongoing & Future Research

Since 2003, I have been exploring, in collaboration with Cheryl Webster at the University of Ottawa, the stability and the changes in criminal justice policies in Canada. Since at least the mid-20th century, Canada enjoyed a relatively stable rate of imprisonment of adult offenders even though there were quite dramatic changes in the rates of reported crime and the laws governing punishment. In addition, I have maintained my interest in the youth justice system, the operation of the courts, and in the bail system in Canada.  Since 2019, I have been a member of two panels appointed by the Minister of Public Safety Canada to examine the implementation of Canada’s new solitary confinement regime in federal penitentiaries. 

Recent publications

  • Four separate reports (written with Jane B. Sprott, 2020-2021) on Correctional Service Canada’s “Structured Intervention Units” (solitary confinement).
  • Webster, Cheryl Marie and Anthony Doob (2020). Principles and Politics: Sentencing and Imprisonment Policy in Canada. In David Cole & Julian Roberts Sentencing in Canada. (Irwin Law, 2020).
  • Webster, Cheryl Marie, Jane B. Sprott and Anthony N. Doob (2019). The Will to Change: Lessons from Canada’s Successful Decarceration of Youth. Law & Society Review. 53(4), 1092–1131.
  • Webster, Cheryl Marie and Anthony N. Doob (2019). Missed Opportunities: A Postmortem on Canada’s Experience with the Conditional Sentence. Law and Contemporary Problems, 82(1), 163-197.
  • Webster, Cheryl Marie and Anthony N. Doob (2018). Penal Optimism:  Understanding American Mass Imprisonment from a Canadian Perspective. In Kevin Reitz (ed.) American Exceptionalism in Crime and Punishment.  New York: Oxford University Press. (Pages 121-180)
  • Doob, Anthony N. and Cheryl Marie Webster (2016). Weathering the Storm?  Testing Longstanding Canadian Sentencing Policy in the 21st Century. Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, 45, 359-418.  (Michael Tonry, editor)
  • Webster, Cheryl Marie and Anthony N. Doob (2015). American Punitiveness ‘Canadian Style’: Cultural Values and Canadian Punishment Policy. Punishment & Society 17(3), 299-321.
  • Murphy, Yoko, Jane B. Sprott, and Anthony N. Doob (2015). Pardoning people who once offended. Criminal Law Quarterly, 62, 209-225.
  • Doob, Anthony N. and Cheryl Marie Webster (2014). Creating the Will to Change: The Challenges of Decarceration in the United States. Criminology & Public Policy, 13(4), 547-559. 
  • Doob, Anthony N., Cheryl Marie Webster, and Allan Manson (2014). Zombie Parole: The Withering of Conditional Release in Canada. Criminal Law Quarterly, 61(3), 301-328.
  • Sprott, Jane B. and Anthony N. Doob (2014). Confidence in the Police: Variation Across Groups Classified as Visible Minorities. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 56(3), 367-379.
  • Webster, Cheryl Marie and Anthony N. Doob (2014). Penal Reform ‘Canadian Style’: Fiscal Responsibility and Decarceration in Alberta, Canada. Punishment & Society, 16(1), 3-31.


A.B. (Harvard University)
PhD (Psychology, Stanford University)