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Personal Statement

I'm a Professor of Criminal and Social Justice in the School of Social Work and Social Policy, specialising in Criminology and Criminal Justice Social Work. I teach on both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in social work and also supervise PhD student in Social Work, Criminology and Public Health I am also Associate Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR), and an appointed member of the Scottish Advisory Panel on Offender Rehabilitation (SAPOR).

I am actively engaged in a number of research networks, research projects and knowledge exchange activities with specific interests in desistance, user involvement and co-production and the use of through-the-prison-gate social cooperative structures of employment. All of my research has an applied focus on penal reform.

Research Interests

My research activities are principally concerned with desistance from crime, the regulation and governance of the community supervision of people involved in the criminal justice system and the management of those classified as high risk.

I am particularly interested in the role of social relations in the onset, maintenance and conclusion of criminal careers, specifically how people's relationships with and to friends, families and communities shape and influence their offending trajectories and the implications of this for penal policy and practice. My doctoral research in this field has led to further projects examining the outcomes of mutual aid based group work and the role of through-the-prison-gate social cooperative structures of employment in processes of desistance and social reintegration, the latter of which is funded through the ESRC Future Research Leaders scheme.

Expertise & Capabilities

  • Desistance from crime
  • Re-entry and social reintegration
  • User involvement and co-production
  • The role of social cooperatives in supporting desistance and reintegration
  • Prisons, Parole and Community based sentences

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests include criminology, law and penal policy for criminal justice social work; penology and penal change; the dynamics of community supervision, rehabilitation and desistance; risk assessment and risk management in criminal justice.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The Story of the Del: From Delinquency to Desistance, University of Strathclyde

Award Date: 1 Jan 2013

Master of Arts, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995


  • Desistance
  • Co-production
  • Service User Involvement
  • Social Cooperatives
  • Criminal Justice social work
  • Criminology
  • Reintegration
  • Social Relations
  • Penology


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