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The Crime and Criminal Justice Research Group has many high impact research interests

The Crime and Criminal Justice Research Group (CCJR) has a number of high impact research interests. Here are examples of some current high profile research.

Youth Justice

Kerry Baker has been advising the Youth Justice Board on the development of a new assessment framework to be used by Youth Offending Teams and secure establishments across England and Wales. If implemented, this will represent a significant development in approaches to how young offenders are assessed with the inclusion of new theoretical perspectives on desistance from offending and a greater emphasis on practitioners' skills and professional decision-making.

Contact: Dr Kerry Baker

Independent Commission on the Future of Policing

The commission's overarching objective is to examine the roles and responsibilities of the police service in England and Wales in the 21st Century.  In doing so, it will examine the application of the Peelian principles of policing to contemporary methods, including reducing crime and increasing community confidence. Led by Lord Stevens and working in collaboration with external colleagues, Marisa Silvestri is currently reporting to the commission on how to improve gender representation within the police service.

Contact: Dr Marisa Silvestri, email

The Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium (GCCRC)

The consortium is a network of scholars who conduct research into cannabis cultivation, with a particular focus on how domestic cultivation in nations traditionally dependent on importing cannabis alters national and international markets. The consortium is currently working on a cross-national study of domestic cannabis cultivators. 

Women Exiting Prostitution

This research is formed from a partnership with Eaves Housing and Prof Roger Matthews from the University of Kent. Funded by the National Lottery, LSBU academic Helen Easton is involved in a project to assess the effectiveness of different intervention designed to support women who want to leave prostitution, including those working on-street, off-street and those trafficked into prostitution.

The research aims to:

  • explore the nature, scope and efficacy of existing approaches to exiting prostitution
  • expand the evidence base of effective interventions in order to benefit women seeking to leave prostitution by improving professional, political and social understanding of the experiences, needs and expectations of women involved in prostitution
  • develop an effective working protocol for practitioners to assist women involved in prostitution to exit in order to promote a sustainable, nationwide framework of good practice

The Experiences of Women Trafficked into Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Scotland

This work, commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights, conducts research that examines the views and experiences of victims trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation in Scotland. This research was part of the evidence-gathering activities to inform the EHRC's Inquiry into Human Trafficking in Scotland (report published in November 2011). The research was intended to ensure that the direct experiences and voices of victims and their needs were considered as a key input to the evidence gathered and findings of the Inquiry.

Human Trafficking in Peru

Working alongside the leading NGO Capital Human y Social Alternativo in Lima Peru, this project explores the trafficking of people from the Andean community (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Columbia) to Europe.  Led by Ruth Van Dyke, findings from the study were drawn upon in the The Prelude to Human Trafficking: Vulnerable spaces for Andean migrants in the European Union, Lima: Capital Human y Social Alternativo by Mirada Ciudadana with Ruth Van Dyke (2009).

Subsequent work has explored the absence of Andeans in the trafficking literature and is developed through an investigation into the policing of human trafficking. Funded by the British Embassy Findings were delivered in a series of events and a keynote address on good practice in policing at a conference on human trafficking in the Palacio Municipal in Lima, Peru (September 2011).

Evaluation of the INSPIRE Women's Project in Belfast

Commissioned by the Northern Ireland Office, this project evaluates the work of the Inspire Women's Project in Belfast. While the number of women offenders in Northern Ireland is relatively small compared to the number of men, it is recognised that responding to women's offending will have an impact on targets to reduce reoffending both now and in the future.

Women offenders in Northern Ireland have similar experiences and needs to those of their counterparts in England and Wales and Scotland, that is, they face a range of vulnerabilities in relation to their health and wellbeing, family relationships, children and addictions. A significant proportion have also experienced serious and sustained violence or sexual violence either as adults or children.

Established in response to the Corston Report (2007) INSPIRE aimed to ensure that gender specific provision was available for women offenders in Northern Ireland following increasing awareness that the needs of women and men in the criminal justice system are different and that equality of outcomes is not necessarily achieved by equality of treatment.

Conditional Cautions: Evaluation of the women specific condition pilot

Commissioned by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (Ministry of Justice) this evaluation forms part of the evidence about 'what works' with women offenders. In order to break the cycle of repeat offending and custody the Corston Report (2007) advocated the greater use of diversionary measures for low-level, low-risk women offenders. More specifically it called for a woman-centred approach and the further development of Together Women (TW) centres to serve as a point of diversion from court and prosecution and as a wider resource for women in general.

In September 2008 a new condition known as the women specific condition was developed for dealing with low-level, low-risk women offenders as part of the existing conditional caution scheme. This report presents the findings of the evaluation of the pilot of the conditional cautioning scheme referral of low-level, low-risk women offenders to Together Women (TW) centres between 1 September 2008 and 28 February 2009.

Contact: Dr Marisa Silvestri, email

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