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Criminology, like many other disciplines in the social sciences, is characterized by high levels of ethnocentrism and Northern bias that generally excludes the production and transference of scholarship from the Global South and the Caribbean is not exempted from this ethnocentric and Northern bias. Once the centre of colonialism and power, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean are now located on the periphery. SIDS in the Caribbean possess unique development challenges, including, but not limited to, restricted diversification, limited resources, susceptibility to natural disasters, remoteness, and isolation. Developmental challenges also extend into the sphere of knowledge production and transference in criminology as academic thoughts on criminology (and criminal justice) in the region are often coerced into seeking validation from the Global North, despite obvious differences in culture, legal traditions, crimes, and crime control. Instructively, the need for Northern validation of Caribbean scholarship on criminology is not new and has always posed a challenge for the development of criminology in the region and led to Ken Pryce’s (1976) call for a Caribbean criminology. According to Pryce (1976), a Caribbean criminology was needed to rectify the Northern bias by problematizing criminological knowledge production and incorporating marginalized perspectives from scholars in the Caribbean due to the region’s distinct uniqueness. Despite considerable advances in the field of criminology in the Caribbean since the start of the 21st Century, the growth of a Caribbean criminology is not as advanced when compared to that in North America and Europe. As a result, this lecture will examine the state of criminology in the Caribbean by highlighting major challenges that confront Caribbean criminologists, for example, data collection, knowledge production, research, teaching, and theorizing. The presenter will also discusses the opportunities afforded in a Caribbean context as well as directions for the future of a Caribbean criminology.
Dr. Wendell C. Wallace is a Criminologist who lectures in Criminology and Criminal Justice at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. He is also a qualified Attorney at law in Trinidad and Tobago as well as in England and Wales. Dr. Wallace is a practicing Mediator with the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago. His research focuses on policing, violence (domestic and school), criminal justice reforms and gangs. He is the author/editor of four book and over twenty journal articles and has received two international awards for his research. Presently, Dr. Wallace is conducting global research on men as victims of abuse in intimate relationship as well as local research examining the public perception of men’s experiences with domestic violence victimization. Dr. Wallace has a passion for charitable work, reading and home gardening.