I joined the HSC Youth Justice team in July 2008. Before that I worked throughout the late 1980s and the 1990s as a youth justice worker in the London Borough of Lambeth, where I also completed a part-time Masters degree in Criminology at Middlesex University Centre for Criminology. My dissertation considered the prospects for restorative justice in the youth justice system of England and Wales and, in 2000, I joined the Public Policy Research Unit at Goldsmiths College to work on the National Evaluation of introduction of Referrral Orders into the youth justice system.
After that, at the London School of Economics I worked with Professor Tim Newburn on an evaluation of the use of visual recordings of police suspect interviews and then secured a fixed term teaching contract at the University of Surrey Sociology Dept, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate criminology.
In 2006 I started teaching with the Open University as an Associate Lecturer in Region 13 (D315), and also taught criminology courses as a visiting lecturer at the LSE, City University and Westminster.
Immediately before joining the OU I spent two years working full-time with Dr Coretta Phillips (LSE) on an ethnographic research project examining men's ethnic and social identities in prison. I have published widely from this research and in 2014 completed my PhD by Publication in the Dept. of Social Policy and Criminology, here at The Open University.
In 2011 I helped to establish British Convict Criminology, a group modelled on a similar group in the USA that supports and encourages ex-prisoners who are active in criminology. The group has established mentor support for prisoners studying criminology. I have published articles on the subject and my book, Convict Criminology - Inside and Out, was published in June 2016 by Policy Press. You can take a closer look here: http://policypress.co.uk/convict-criminology
I maintain a variety of research interests around youth justice. In 2015 I completed, with my OU colleague Wayne Taylor, an evaluation of the Milton Keynes Enterpise Mentors project, funded by The Cabinet Office Vulnerable and Deprived Young People's Fund. In general terms my interests cluster around gender, race and racism, crime and social justice. More specifically these include interests in
prison research, penality and masculinities.
Every year since 2011 I have organised Convict Criminology panels at the British Society of Criminology annual conference. These provide 'user' and 'experience' perspectives on aspects of criminal justice, prison life and research and criminology.
I have been involved in establishing Convict Criminology as a group of academics that helps people with first hand experience of criminal justice and penal sanctions to develop critical perspectives on criminology. The group has been provided with some web-space on the US Convict Criminology website. Here you can find out a bit more about the project, and read my article from the 2011 British Society of Criminology conference.
Youth Justice, obviously enough, but with particular reference to the idea of the research practitioner, restorative justice, prisons, penality, criminological and social theory
I have particpated in consultations and workshops about race and ethnicity with prisoners in HMP Grendon. I facilitiated workshops in Belfast with ex-prisoners to help provide prisoner perspectives on the review of the Northern Irealand criminal justice system.
I've presented papers on my research to the American Society of Criminology, the Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology and the Inter-University Conference in Croatia.
|International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)||Centre||Faculty of Social Sciences|
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Lead||01/Apr/2016||31/Jul/2017||ISRF Independent Social Research Foundation|
The project focuses on the perspectives of men who have been imprisoned and gone on to become criminologists. It challenges conventional disciplinary boundaries and is both radical and innovative in foregrounding the perspectives of the small number of academics who can combine first hand experiences of imprisonment with theorisation of crime and punishment – convict criminologists. It asks whether these unusual combinations of prison experience and criminology can tell us something new about the role of imprisonment in society, the lives of prisoners (and academics), the experience of imprisonment and the prospects of rehabilitation. Historically, as criminology has grown police officers, probation staff, social workers and prison officers have contributed positively to the discipline, and benefitted from studying it. People from these professional backgrounds have successfully made the transition to careers in criminology, but recently something else has happened. Ex-convicts are making the journey into criminology. How does an ex-convict study crime and punishment and make sense of their personal experience? What research questions does an ex-convict have about prisons, punishment and rehabilitation? How do they teach criminology differently? Do they research prison and prisoners differently? Ethnographic pioneer, Bronislaw Malinowski sums up the epistemological thesis of the proposal: ‘In order to explain a cultural product it is necessary to know it. And to know it, in matters of thought and emotion, is to have experienced it.’ Imprisonment is much studied by criminologists, but rarely experienced directly. This research changes that.
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Lead||01/Mar/2016||31/Mar/2018||The Howard League for Penal Reform|
A small scale evaluation of a 3-year youth participation project launched by the Howard League for Penal Reform. The evaluation will assess how project objectives are met and work collaboratively with the Howard League to develop its potential. The youth participation project delivers an advice line for young people in custody and seeks to develop other innovatory and incidental services to promote young people’s awareness of their rights in the youth justice system.