School of Social and Political Science

Criminal justice


Our research on criminal justice explores the following questions:

  • How can professionals intervene in effective ways to address domestic abuse and violence?
  • How can imprisoned fathers and their children maintain a caring relationship?
  • How do criminal justice social workers support people to stop offending?  
  • What does restorative justice offer for those who have committed or been harmed by crime?
  • How do social workers build effective working relationships in how they talk with people who have offended?
  • How is risk constructed in the interactions between social workers and people who have offended on community sentences?

Research themes

Our team works in the following research themes:

  • restorative justice
  • imprisoned parents
  • preventing recidivism and re-offending
  • criminal justice social work
  • family violence
Research staff and PHD students

PhD students

Additional information

Recent research on criminal justice includes Steve Kirkwood and Eve Mullins work on addressing sexual offending, Rania Hamad and Steve Kirkwood’s research on restorative justice in criminal justice social work and probation services, Rania Hamad’s work on people who commit hate crimes, and John Devaney’s work on prison-based parenting programmes.

  • (Kirkwood, S.) Vocational Pathways for Prisoners. Consultant with The Libertie Project Limited and Prof Bill Whyte. Exploring the nature of combined vocational and academic education for people in prison, focusing on pathways to employment. Funded by the European Social Fund. March 2019 – April 2020
  • (Devaney, J.) 2020-2022 A feasibility trial of a prison-based parenting programme (Families Matter). Funded by the Nuffield Foundation


Related people and projects