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.


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. 

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.