I am a senior lecturer in criminology in the School of Social Sciences. My PhD research explored former male prisoners' experiences of self-change; focusing on 'what it is like to live with the ex-offender status' & how this is negotiated in everyday life, when considering both the negative & positive implications attached to the term. Post PhD, my research has focussed on prisoner resettlement. Most of this research has involved me working as a research consultant for a variety of voluntary sector organisations working in the field of criminal justice.
Whilst I am based in criminology, my academic background is psychology i.e. BSc Psychology and MSc Cognitive Neuropsychology, and my PhD research was Criminology/social psychology in nature.
I teach on a variety of criminology modules, and have a broad knowledge of the subject area, however, my areas of specialism are; research methods, psychology and crime, prisons and desistance. Much of my teaching is informed by my research and by my work in the voluntary sector.
Current projects include:
Working Men's College (WMC) offender transition learning group
The main focus of this project is the part learning can play in improving 'offenders' transition from prison into the community, and therefore the role learning can play in reducing reoffending. The emphasis is on education and how it can provide this cohort with better skills, be a source of motivation, provide them with a time structure and a different social milieu. The project has two phases; a pre-release phase where the provision of educational taster courses and personalized guidance is provided in prison. The second phase is a continuation of this where on release the former prisoner is integrated into existing classes at the WMC; the rationale being that they will be provided with a positive milieu. Additionally, the project has an evaluative component, where the effectiveness of this initiative is assessed over time. My role in the project is central, including being on the advisory panel, involvement in the projects evaluation and more generally involvement in it's the planning and delivery.
The project has a high profile advisory group, including leading academics from the Institute of Education (directors of the Centre for Education in the Criminal justice system), educational practitioners in prison, senior members of the WMC, and senior prison staff.
British Convict Criminology (BCC) www.convictcriminology.org/bcc
I am one of the three founder members of BCC which officially formed in July 2011. I have, and am playing a leading role in the development of this academic group in the UK. BCC is an emerging theoretical perspective (originating in the US) led by ex-convict/non convict academics. The group takes a critical perspective to existing criminal justice issues. Our work (in its early stages) challenges current (mis)representations of crime, prisons and former convicts.
This work includes collaborative research, policy work & mentoring amongst other things. Primarily the focus of are projects are prisoner education and/or education and the role it can play in reducing re-offending, and more broadly speaking, the relationship between education and desistance from crime.