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Michele Peterson-Badali

Michele Peterson-Badali
Associate Dean, Research, International & Innovation, OISE

phone: (416) 978-0937
email: m.petersonbadali@utoronto.ca

Applied Psychology and Human Development

Dean's Office

Research Overview

Dr. Michele Peterson-Badali is currently serving as OISEs Associate Dean, Research, International & Innovation.

Her research focuses on childrens and adolescents knowledge, reasoning, perceptions, and experiences of the youth justice system, their understanding of rights, and their evolving legal capacities. One of the guiding principles of her research program over the past 25 years has been to provide an evidence basis for Canadian youth justice policy and practice. Past research has examined adolescents understanding of due process rights; youths knowledge of Canadian youth justice legislation; perceptions and experiences of peer violence in youth custody settings; and parental involvement in the youth justice system. Current research addresses effective rehabilitation for justice-involved youth in the context of the risk-need-responsivity framework, including a focus on Indigenous youth; and the role of mental health issues in youth justice system involvement. In addition to scholarly dissemination of her work, Dr. Peterson-Badali is actively engaged in bringing her research findings into the spheres of public policy and practice; she has conducted research and provided policy consultation for the federal Department of Justice, provided consultation and training to various youth courts and probation offices, and served as an expert witness for the provincial advocate for children and youth.

Academic History

PhD University of Toronto 1990 Applied Psychology
M.A. University of Toronto 1985 Psychology
B.A. York University 1983 Psychology

Teaching Overview

Graduate Courses Taught:

Introduction to Psychological Assessment of School-aged Children
Psychoeducational Assessment
Ethical Issues in Applied Psychology
Children Psychology and the Law

Representative Publications

Davis, K., Peterson-Badali, M., & Skilling, T. (2016). Findings from a youth mental health court: A theoretical and qualitative analysis. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2016.02.003

Lockwood, I. & Peterson-Badali, M. (2016, September). The relationship between risk, criminogenic need, and recidivism for Indigenous justice-involved youth: A comparative, mixed-methods investigation. Final report submitted to the Aboriginal Justice Directorate, Department of Justice Canada.

Davis, K., Peterson-Badali, M., Weagant, B., & Skilling, T. (2015). A process evaluation of Toronto’s first youth mental health court. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 57(2), 159-188. doi:10.3138/cjccj.2014.E10

Haqanee, Z., Peterson-Badali, M., & Skilling, T. (2015). Making "what works" work: Examining probation officers' experiences addressing the criminogenic needs of juvenile offenders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 54(1), 37-59. DOI: 10.1080/10509674.2014.980485

McCormick, S., Peterson-Badali, M., & Skilling, T. A. (2015). Mental Health and Justice System Involvement: A Conceptual Analysis of the Literature. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 21 (2), 213-225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/law0000033

Peterson-Badali, M., McCormick, S., Vitopoulos, N., Davis, K., & Haqanee, Z., & Skilling, T. (2015). Mental health in the context of Canada’s youth justice system. Canadian Criminal Law Review, 19, 1-20.

Peterson-Badali, M., Skilling, T., & Haqanee, Z. (2015). Examining implementation of risk assessment in case management for youth in the justice system. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(3), 304-320. DOI: 10.1177/0093854814549595

Research Grants and Contracts


Principal Investigator: M. Peterson-Badali; Co-investigators: Tracey Skilling, CAMH; Carla Cesaroni, UOIT; Chris Mushquash, Lakehead. Collaborator: Fred Schmidt, Childrens Centre Thunder Bay.

Meeting the Needs of Aboriginal Justice-involved Youth in the Context of Community Sentencing.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant


Duration: March 2015-March 2020

Principal Investigator: M. Peterson-Badali; Co-investigator, Ilana Lockwood

The relationship between risk, criminogenic need, and recidivism for Aboriginal justice-involved youth: A comparative, mixed-methods investigation

Department of Justice, Canada


Duration: April 2016-March 2017


Principal Investigator: C. Cesaroni, UOIT; Co-investigator: M. Peterson-Badali.

A Comparative Study of Incarcerated Young Adults in Scotland and Canada

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Insight Grant


Duration: April 2015-March 2018