I am cross-appointed to the Departments of Criminology and Psychology, and my academic background is primarily based in training as an experimental forensic psychologist. I am appointed to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and currently serve as the Graduate Coordinator for the Criminology MA program.
I received my MA (2004) and PhD (2010) in forensic psychology and law from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia. I received my BA (Hons) in psychology from Carleton University in my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario (2001).
Prior to joining Laurier, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Ontario (2010) where I contributed to the Mental Health Commission of Canada National Research Team on the At Home/Chez Soi Research Demonstration Project on Mental Health and Homelessness.
I conduct nationally and provincially funded research focused on police interactions with people in mental health crisis. My program of work investigates the effectiveness of police de-escalation and crisis response training models, the use of co-response models, and police decision-making during encounters with citizens in mental health crises. I also explore how people with lived experience of mental illness and family carers experience and perceive police encounters during crisis. I am currently leading and working in partnership on a number of research initiatives to develop, produce and test de-escalation and crisis intervention training for frontline police officers using high fidelity, immersive virtual reality simulations.
I have been awarded funding from national bodies (SSHRC, NSERC), received provincial and community funding. I was recognized with a Merit Award for Research Excellence in 2017 and 2020 from Laurier.
The following are a selection of funded research projects that I have been involved in:
Lavoie, J. (Principal Investigator) Virtual Reality-based Mental Health Crisis Response Training (VR MHCRT) Curriculum. Research Contract. This is an industry-partnership initiative with Ryerson University and Lumeto, 2021-2022, $3,165,300
Lachman, R. Khan, N. Alvarez, N., & Lavoie, J. (Co-Applicant) COVID-19 and Using Virtual Reality Scenarios to Safely Train Police in Mental Health Crisis Response. Ontario Centres of Excellence Grant, 2020-2021, $20,000
Khan, N., Lachman, R., Alvarez, N., Lavoie, J. (Co-Applicant). COVID-19 and Efficacy of Using Virtual Reality Scenarios to Safely Train Officer in Mental Health Crisis Response, with Dark Slope Studios Inc. NSERC Alliance Grant, 2020-2021, $50,000
Lavoie, J., Alvarez, N., & Kandil, Y. (Principal Investigator). Training Police to Respond to People in Mental Health Crisis: A Scenario-Based Training Curriculum and Evaluation Framework, Research Contract, 2019-2021, $300,000
Alvarez, N., Kandil, Y., & Lavoie, J. (Co-Investigator). Scenario Training to Improve Interactions between Police and Individuals in Mental Crisis: Impacts and Efficacy, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant, 2017-2021 $310,950.
Popham, J., Lavoie, J. (Co-Applicant). Big Data in Cities: Barriers and Benefits, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connection Grant, 2017-2018, $24,800
Lavoie, J., Sanders, C., Schulenberg, J., & Huey, L. (Principal Investigator). Exploring Police Responses to Citizens in Mental Crisis (Social Science and Humanities Research Council Insight Development Grant, 2015-2017, $56,253
I am willing to supervise graduate students using quantitative or mixed methods to explore the nexus between criminology and mental health, as well as policing, de-escalation, and forensic psychology topics.
My research lab is currently full for the 2021-2022 academic year.