Reimagining Human Services Delivery – Keynote Address by Devon Clunis [2023-11-15]

The human experience is complex. Yet, throughout the history of responding to those in conflict with the law, we have applied a simplistic, isolationist mindset, resulting in detrimental impacts on our individual and collective human experience. It is time to reimagine our approach to achieve better outcomes. What if we adopted a symbiotic outlook to delivering human services to those in conflict with the law? Too often, fulfilling the needs of an individual rests with one part of the system when in fact, it requires contributions from various players within the Justice and Human Services ecosystem. When we fail to collaborate and take into account our shared responsibility for a holistic outcome for the individual, we fail the entire system and ultimately fail in achieving our purpose. How we treat those in conflict with the law has collateral impacts on various areas of society and directly affects our collective human experience. This presentation will focus on changing our perspectives on leadership, justice and law enforcement and aligning our purpose with what we do daily.

Keynote address to the 2023 HSJCC Virtual Conference on November 15, 2023 by Devon Clunis.

Devon is a highly motivated, passionate, results-driven, leader with a reputation for professionalism, personal integrity, team/community leadership, and practical problem-solving.

Devon served 29 years in The Winnipeg Police Service, retiring as Chief of Police in 2016. He was the first Black Chief of Police in Canada. Devon led a transformative change in policing in Winnipeg centred on “service” to the community by transitioning from a reactive enforcement model to a proactive, community health-centred model. This model is viewed internationally as the most effective way forward for policing.

Devon retired in 2016 and started Clunis Consulting while partnering with a U.S. consulting firm, the Matrix Consulting Group. Devon is a strong advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion and co-authored two children’s books, The Little Boy from Jamaica, and The Little Girl from Osoyoos, with his wife, Pearlene. Both books speak to the value of addressing contemporary social issues collaboratively and constructively.

In the aftermath of the George Floyd event in the spring of 2020, Devon was an outspoken international commentator on the need to move forward with constructive dialogue. The Government of Ontario invited Devon to serve as The Inspector General of Policing and establish The Inspectorate of Policing, the first of its kind in Canada, in the fall of 2020.

After establishing the Inspectorate of Policing, Devon returned to the consulting world in January 2022, focusing his efforts on addressing the growing social challenges facing policing and community relationships.

Devon and his wife Pearlene recently celebrated 31 years of marriage. They have two adult daughters and one grandson.


Randy Schwartz, Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Law Division, Ministry of the Attorney General

Reimagining Human Services Delivery – Devon Clunis – 2023-11-15 – YouTube