Brief Biography

Stephen is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada.

 Prior to joining Saint Mary’s University in 2003, Stephen worked as a researcher and policy analyst in the Drugs and Major Crimes Section of the Solicitor General of Canada in Ottawa, (now Public Safety Canada), was the Coordinator of a crime prevention/community policing office in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood of Vancouver, and was a researcher and analyst with KPMG Investigation and Security in Toronto.

His areas of interest include organized, crime prevention, policing and law enforcement and community development. His research projects have included studies into money laundering, contraband smuggling, fraud, marine port security, and innovative approaches to combating organized crime.

He has consulted with the federal government on numerous research projects and has also provide expert testimony in criminal cases, Charter cases and government administrative hearings.

 He has also work extensively at the local level, conducting research into and implementing community development and crime prevention programs in poor, inner-city communities.  

Stephen was a member of the Halifax Mayor’s Roundtable on Violence in 2008 and 2014.

He was the recipient of a $380,000 grant from the Canadian government to research, implement, and evaluate SMU PALS, a comprehensive developmental program for disadvantaged children (ages 5 to 12), based on the principles of crime prevention through social development. He has also developed SMART (the Saint Mary’s Academic Resilience Team), a recidivism prevention program that provides tutoring and mentoring services to at-risk youth (ages 13 to 18) to help them graduate from high school and enter a post-secondary institution.

Stephen is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and books, including the best-selling true crime non-fiction book, Iced: The Story of Organized Crime in Canada.

Stephen has a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia, a M.Sc. in International Development from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Political Science from Carleton University.

He lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia with his wife Meg Townsend and daughter Evangeline.