The University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business is partnering with the John Howard Society of Ontario to share expertise, conduct research, and explore educational opportunities.
The two have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize and expand on the relationship between the school and the society, a not-for-profit organization that works toward effective, just, and humane responses to crime and its causes.
That relationship began with professor Kemi Anazodo sharing her expertise in employment reintegration for people who have had contact with the criminal justice system. The new partnership will allow other faculty members to collaborate on research, help the society with program offerings, and give students expanded learning opportunities.
“I’m very pleased to announce this partnership which will allow us to further share our unique expertise and resources in a spirit of mutual collaboration,” said Mitch Fields, dean of the Odette School of Business.
“At its heart, the purpose of this partnership is for the Odette School of Business to work with the John Howard Society of Ontario to improve second-chance initiatives and fair-chance opportunities for justice-involved persons. At Odette, we pride ourselves on creating socially responsible business and organizational leaders.”
The John Howard Society of Ontario delivers programs and services that build key life skills, support families, and allow people leaving incarceration to achieve a more productive future.
Its Centre of Research and Policy specializes in bridging the gap between analysis and front-line service delivery, said Reza Ahmadi, director of research and evaluation.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Odette School of Business and continue collaborating with the incredible faculty on important evidence-based applied research,” Ahmadi said.
The John Howard Society has championed the Fair Chances Campaign, forming a coalition of businesses and organizations committed to ensuring Canadians with criminal records can find employment and become contributing members of society. About four million Canadians — one in nine — have a criminal record. Police records checks often pose a systemic barrier to employment.
UWindsor researchers can lend expertise to the campaign. Dr. Anazodo, who specializes in organizational behaviour and human resources, is conducting research with the John Howard Society on employer perspectives on hiring people who have been involved in the criminal justice system.