Crime and Social Justice research area

research area The Crime and Social Justice research group draw on a range of inter-disciplinary areas to explore and drive forward critical understandings of crime and social justice. The group has expertise in a broad range of areas including: policing and securities; prisoner education and resettlement; cybercrime; gender and crime; welfare practices; sexual violence and victimisation; transphobic hate crime; religion, race and domestic abuse; youth justice; and human rights and the law. Our research aims to become a key driver of knowledge exchange and information sharing between academics, practitioners, activists and policy-makers and to have real life impact for those who engage with the criminal justice system.

Crime and Social Justice members contribute to the MA Criminology and MA Criminological Psychology.

Members

Current research

  • Gender and the place of girls in gangs and the role of Christian resettlement prison chaplains in supporting ex-offenders in the community.
  • The 'custody-treatment dilemma' and ‘role-conflict' through a focus on the day to day interactions between prison staff and offenders, with a particular focus on examining prison staff reactions where offenders report experiencing some kind of pain.
  • Martial arts and self-defence culture and its relationship with the argument that constant media coverage of crime and public debate about ‘security’ has created a culture of anxiety or insecurity that permeates both social and personal life.
  • Gender, sexuality, victimisation, sex work and sexual violence
  • Policing and organisational culture, with a particular focus on conceptual and occupational contexts relating to those coming into contact with agents of the criminal justice system, as well as the agents themselves from an operational and experiential perspective.
  • Women ex-prisoners’ experiences of prison based education (PBE) through their reflections with a specific focus on what role prison based education plays in changed identities and what value is afforded to PBE in the context of the women’s resettlement.  
  • Conceptual and material dimensions of organisational identities within criminal justice including: diversity agendas in policing; the experiences of senior policewomen; critical diversities in criminal justice and the language of police leadership.

PhD Supervision

We welcome informal enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in our specialist areas. Employing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and drawing upon different theoretical traditions, we have particular expertise in: policing & securities; prisoner education and resettlement; cybercrime; gender and crime; welfare practices; sexual violence and victimisation; transphobic hate crime; religion, race and domestic abuse; youth justice; human rights and the law. To find out more about doctoral study in the Department of Criminology and Sociology contact our Postgraduate Co-ordinator Prof Vron Ware.

Merlinda Bajo, doctoral researcher profile


My name is Merlinda Bajo and I’m a PhD student at in the Department of Criminology and Sociology undertaking a doctoral study on Migrants and Desistance. Despite a broad literature now available on offenders and their processes of desistance from crime, my own work suggests that there is something distinctive about the positioning of migrants in contemporary society that has a significant bearing on the ways in which they negotiate their pathways out of crime.


I was pretty much a typical teenager; a dreamer, a fighter, questioning everything, unsatisfied by ordinary matters, people and things.  And it was during these years that my yearning to make sense of and understand individual motivation within a criminological frame began to develop more strongly. In my mind, I quickly came to view individuals’ motivations to commit crime and desist as forming part of a bigger criminological puzzle.


My background is in Law and Social Policy having studied first at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) leading me to a career in the Probation Service, working with a range of partners in law and penology. My desire to continue with my study culminated in undertaking the MA in Criminology at Kingston. It was here that the criminological puzzle and its various pieces and possible formations began to fall into place. The support of lecturers and their particular approach were an inspiration that led me on to my current doctoral studies.


So, here I am, trying to make sense of the remaining pieces of the puzzle as I investigate the experiences of migrant offenders and their processes of desistance from crime. As a student here, I’ve had the opportunity to teach criminology to undergraduate students, something that I have found really fulfilling and has built a greater appreciation within me that everyone has their different interests - their own criminological puzzles. I’m studying and working in a supportive environment in which every step of my doctoral journey contributes and further stimulates my unlimited intellectual curiosity.

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