Welcome to Issue No. 15 of the Victims of Crime Research Digest! The Power of Collaboration, now the recurring theme of National Victims and Survivors Week, remains as relevant as ever. We know that the pandemic has made the work of victim services providers, the courts, and indeed, all public institutions more challenging. The criminal justice system itself is a shared responsibility between the federal, provincial and territorial governments with different players, such as municipal police services, all playing significant roles; many of us have had to learn new ways to collaborate effectively.

As usual, we are proud to share a broad sampling of research undertaken or supported by the Department of Justice. Collaboration strengthens our research efforts and ultimately, the results they yield. The Digest begins with an article about dogs supporting victims and witnesses throughout the criminal justice process, with a focus on dogs in the courtroom. In our second article, we bring you timely research from Algonquin College Professor Benjamin Roebuck and his collaborators on the impact of COVID-19 on victim services providers and their well-being. The next article is a short summary of a review of Ontario’s Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program, which is administered by BOOST & Child and Youth Advocacy Centre. Then Marie Manikis, Associate Professor in McGill University’s Faculty of Law, updates us on case law related to victim and community impact statements. Our final article provides an update on restitution, the numbers of orders made and the provincial programs that are in place to support victims in the enforcement of orders.

As always, we hope you enjoy reading the Digest and welcome your feedback.

Susan McDonald
Principal Researcher
Research and Statistics Division

Stephanie Bouchard
Director and Senior Legal Counsel
Policy Centre for Victim Issues