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We sponsor research to bring about change in how women and girls are dealt with in the criminal justice system

Our supervisors

Our academic supervisors are drawn from across the UK 

Every practitioner who becomes a fellow is assigned an academic supervisor, who we match with them according to their research interests to encourage as much synergy as possible.

Meet some of our supervisors.

They are listed below by year with the most recent appointments at the top of the list.


Our fellows

Image of Professor Monica McWilliams

Professor Monica McWilliams - supervisor 2017-18

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Monica McWilliams is an Emeritus Professor in the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University.

Research: she has recently completed a longtitudinal research study on intimate partner violence in Northern Ireland and has published extensively on the impact of political conflict on domestic violence.

She is  a former Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. 

Prof Lucy Baldwin

Professor Lucy Baldwin - supervisor 2017-18 and 2022-23

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Dr Lucy Baldwin recently retired as an associate professor at Durham University, however, she continues to be anactivist researcher and criminal justice consultant. She is currently working across multiple research projects.

Lucy has worked in criminal and social justice for over 30 years being a qualified social worker and probation officer. Lucy has worked both in the community, in courts and in prison. She has published widely on the topic of maternal imprisonment and her most recent publications are ‘Motherhood in and After Prison: The Impact of Maternal Imprisonment’  (2022) and Pregnancy and New Motherhood in Prison, 2023, (with Dr Laura Abbott).    She has presented nationally and internationally on the importance of working positively and compassionately with mothers in criminal and social justice systems, and has worked with criminal justice partners to design, develop and deliver resources for criminalised mothers and. She has also designed and delivered multiple training resources for staff working with mothers across the criminal justice system, and has designed the ‘Motherhood Charter’, which provides a set of minimum standards as a framework for working with imprisoned mothers.  Her research has, and continues to, influenc[ed] policy and practice, at local and national levels in the UK. Lucy was invited to provide evidence from my research to the research Female Offender Strategy, the Female Focussed Farmer Review (2019) and the Joint Human rights Committee Inquiry into Maternal Imprisonment (2020). 

Image of supervisor, Dr Rachel Condry

Dr Rachel Condry - supervisor 2016-17

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Rachel Condry is an Associate Professor of Criminology and a Fellow of St Hilda's College at the University of Oxford. She has previously been a lecturer in criminology at the University of Surrey, and a lecturer and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the London School of Economics. Her work focuses broadly on the intersections between crime and the family. She has carried out research projects on the families of serious offenders, prisoners’ families, parenting expertise in youth justice, and adolescent to parent violence. Rachel is the author of Families Shamed: The Consequences of Crime for Relatives of Serious Offenders (Willan, 2007).

Rachel has recently completed a three year ESRC-funded research study, with Caroline Miles, on adolescent to parent violence in the UK. The findings of the study are published in a number of journal articles and a book. More information about the study can be found here:  She worked with the UK government and a number of other experts to produce the first UK policy guidance on adolescent to parent violence.

Rachel is also currently working on the topic of prisoners’ families and developing a network of international researchers working in this field. She is a member of the British Society of Criminology and is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology, the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, and the ESRC’s Peer Review College. 

Image of supervisor Dr Gilly Sharpe

Dr Gillian Sharpe - supervisor 2016-17

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Gilly Sharpe is a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Sheffield. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, after working for several years in the voluntary sector and as a qualified social worker in a youth offending team.

Research:  Gilly’s research and writing focuses on youth justice, gender, punishment and criminalisation, as well as youth transitions and desistance from crime. Her books include Offending Girls: Youth Women and Youth Justice (Routledge, 2012) and Criminal Careers in Transition (with S. Farrall, B. Hunter and A. Calverley, Oxford University Press, 2014). She is currently working on a new book based on a longitudinal study of young women with a history of criminalisation.

Beyond academic life Gilly spends most of her time trying to keep up with two very small sons.


Image of supervisor Dr Kesia Reeve

Dr Kesia Reeve - supervisor 2016-17

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Kesia Reeve is a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University where she coordinates the Housing Research Team. Kesia has been undertaking research in the field of Housing Studies for nearly 20 years, during which time she has delivered and managed more than 40 research projects, many with an explicit policy and practice focus.

Research interests: much of Kesia's research activity has focused on groups experiencing housing disadvantage but her specific area of interest is homelessness, with a focus on those who are particularly marginalised. She is interested in the way in which institutional practice, national policy and legislation shape the experiences and housing trajectories of homeless people.  Her homelessness research portfolio has included projects focused on homeless women, rough sleepers, offenders, people with mental ill health, street sex workers, drug users, people with a history of violence, young people with chaotic lives, squatters, and 'hidden' homeless people. She has just completed studies exploring the impact of benefit sanctions on homeless people, and the difficulties homeless people have accessing the private rented sector. Most of her research makes use of forms of qualitative and biographical methods. Kesia has authored numerous policy and research reports as well as academic articles and book chapters.

Image of supevisor, Dr Charlotte Knight

Dr Charlotte Knight - supervisor 2016-17

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Charlotte Knight was a principle lecturer in community and criminal justice at De Montfort University Leicester, involved in developing, managing and teaching on programmes for probation and police officers, criminology undergraduate degrees and post-graduate programmes.  Her previous employment was as a probation officer and manager.

She is currently a research associate at De Montfort University and has continued to write and undertake research in developing a European probation curriculum and evaluation of probation practice in Europe. 

Research: Her particular research interests include emotional literacy in probation practice, and diversity in criminal justice.  Research methods used have been primarily qualitative with a focus on the interaction between researcher and subject and an interest in voices that are often silenced or not heard.  Her books include Emotional Literacy in Criminal Justice (Palgrave, 2014) and LGBT people and the Criminal Justice System (with Wilson, K., Palgrave 2016)

Image of academic supervisor Dr Julia Wardhaugh

Dr Julia Wardhaugh - supervisor 2015-16

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Julia Wardhaugh is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Bangor University, United Kingdom. Her research interests include rural and urban crime and deviance in South Asia, sexuality and social regulation in North Africa and the criminalization of street homelessness in urban and rural Britain.

She teaches on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Criminology and Criminal Justice, and she has supervised a number of doctoral students in the field of comparative criminology.   She is currently Deputy Head of the School of Social Sciences and Director of Postgraduate Research Studies.

Research:  Her research interests in recent years have been focused around the regulation of urban and rural spaces. Past research projects have included the criminalization of urban and rural homelessness in Britain, and an ethnographic study of crime and deviance in an Indian village.

Her current research focus is on the regulation of urban spaces in South Asia and North Africa, and specific concerns include begging and other marginal social identities and activities. Research methods adopted are qualitative and ethnographic, including unobtrusive observation of begging encounters in urban space and a visual ethnographic approach to studying the regulation of sexuality in post-Revolutionary Tunisia. 

Photo of supervisor, Prof Jo Phoenix

Prof Jo Phoenix - supervisor 2014-15 and 2015-16

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Jo Phoenix joined the Open University as Chair in Criminology in August 2016. She began her academic life as an Open University Tutor on D310 and D315 in the mid-1990s and while she was doing her PhD. From there, she was a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Middlesex from 1998 - 2000. Following that, she moved to the University of Bath until 2007. In 2007, she was employed as a Reader in Criminology at Durham University and was made Professor in 2010. She spent the last 4 years of her time at Durham University being first Deputy Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health (Queens Campus) before becoming the Dean of Queens Campus. In 2013, she left Durham University for the University of Leicester where she did a short stint as Head of Department. 

Her current research interests include gender, sexualities and justice, youth justice and punishment, the production of criminological knowledge and research ethics. These general interests have meant that she has studied and written about a wide variety of subjects including managerialism and ethics in the production of criminological knowledge, prostitution, prostitution policy reform, child sexual exploitation, sex and its regulation, youth penality and youth justice practice and policy. She has been and remains particularly interested in understanding the changing conditions in which (some) women and (some) young people are criminalised and punished as well as the challenges facing those who work with them. More recently she has become interested in thinking through issues of justice in relation to age and in relation to sexualities. 

Image of Academic Supervisor Prof Malcolm Cowburn

Prof Malcolm Cowburn - supervisor 2014-15

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Malcolm Cowburn is an Emeritus Professor of Applied Social Science at Sheffield Hallam University. He also holds Honorary and Visiting Chairs in Criminology at Exeter and Plymouth Universities. Having worked as a Probation Officer for twelve years and then managed a therapy unit for sexually abused young people, Malcolm is interested in the impacts that practitioner research can have upon policy and practice. 

His areas of research interest are: interpersonal violence, particularly sexual violence, prisons particularly focusing on issues of culture and diversity, and research ethics.  Malcolm’s research is qualitative and he is interested in exploring the relationships between sociological and psychological accounts of crime and people that commit crime.  Further information about his publications (1) and (2)

Image of supervisor Dr Nicola Carr

Dr Nicola Carr - supervisor 2014-15

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Nicola Carr is a Lecturer in Criminology in Queen’s University Belfast. She is professionally qualified as a Probation Officer and previously worked in a youth offending team.

Her main research interests are in the areas of youth justice, probation and community sanctions and she has researched and published on these topics.

With colleagues she is currently working on a number of research projects including a study funded by the British Academy on young people’s experiences of paramilitary violence in their communities.

She is also a member of the COST Action on Offender Supervision in Europe. 

Abstract Griffins image in place of photo

Deborah Drake - supervisor 2014-15

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Deborah Drake is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at The Open University. She previously completed her PhD at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge and her master’s and undergraduate degrees at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. 

She writes and has done research on men’s imprisonment and punishment, but has also conducted research in prisons for young people and on the resettlement of prisoners after long-term custody.  She maintains an interest in prisons and punishment, but her current research focus is on non-criminal justice community action initiatives and voluntary sector services.  Her books include: Prisons, Punishment and the Pursuit of Security (Palgrave, 2012) and The Palgrave Handbook on Prison Ethnography (with R. Earle and J. Sloan, Palgrave, 2015). 

She is a board member of the Harm and Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC)  – the cross-disciplinary criminology research centre at The Open University and is currently a member of the steering group for the Reclaim Justice Network (RJN) which is collaboration of individuals, groups, campaigners, activists, trade unionists, practitioners and researchers and people most directly affected by criminal justice systems, who are working together to radically reduce the size and scope of criminal justice systems and to build effective and socially just alternatives.