Tuesday, 13 December 2011

"Did you actually read my article?" The 5 Species of Journal Reviewers

Oh, the joys of peer-reviewed journals. I myself can give some hilarious and ludicrous examples where you start to doubt the usefulness and fairness of some reviews. Professor Robert A. Giacalone (Temple University) has written an article about his experiences:  The 5 Species of Journal Reviewers. Let us know what your experiences are!

"Yet it is the nasty reviewer that many of us like the most because her vitriol is usually accompanied by an outright rejection, which means that we will not have to respond to the comments. We will not have to degrade ourselves by agreeing with her and "fixing" it. We will not need to mollify her lack of humanity with changes that will likely make the paper worse rather than better.
I just try not to think about how those reviewers must be treating their students."

Thanks to Amy for pointing us to this article!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Should academics blog?

This blog post about whether academics should engage in the blogosphere is an interesting one. Personally I think it's an invaluable way of academics engaging with the public, breaking out of the ivory tower that we get accused of residing in, getting new ideas which helps mine and other's research and putting forward tentative ones for discussion. What do others think?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

IoC alumnus Nathan Muwereza joins Gateway Challenge with his African Community Team Support

Nathan Muwereza, an IoC-alumnus and now doing his Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg, is also active founder of the African Community Team Support, a non-profit organisation in his home country Uganda, that wants to restore and empower victims of injustices such as war, rape and domestic violence, but also school dropout and forced marriage. By providing them with training in professions such as hairdressing, horticulture, and nursery school education they create opportunities to earn their own income and build their own economically independent lives. Furthermore, once they earn their own income, they contribute to training others so that they can sustain this empowerment an increase the number of people reached.

ACTS have now been accepted by GlobalGiving UK to participate in its Gateway Challenge, a fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations in which they get the chance to compete for bonus funding prizes. 
To pass the Challenge, they must raise £2,000 from 50 donors between the 21st November and the 21st December. If they meet this target, they will get a permanent spot on GlobalGiving UK’s fundraising website, where they have the opportunity to benefit from corporate relationships, exposure to a new donor network, and access to dozens of online fundraising, support and training tools. In addition, they could earn up to £2,000 in bonus prizes if they raise the most money and get the highest number of donors!

Click here for more information about the project and to donate. If everyone reading this blog would give £12, it would be possible for ACTS to reach their benchmark of £2000 (based on the blog stats!). Most of all, it would allow them to do more of their valuable work. 

As Nathan writes 'anything given by anybody will be a great help to us in this challenge. 
"One candle lit will help light several others" So help light other candles for us wherever you are.'

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

This is our story: book on human trafficking

Wendi Adelson, who writes a blog about human trafficking, has written a book about this topic: This is our story. Wendi studied for an MPhil in International Relations at Cambridge and now works as an attorney with the Center for Advancement of Human Rights at Florida State University. She has written the book as a way to communicate her clients' stories to the general public while protecting their confidentiality.

It's currently available on Kindle, but should soon be on paper as well. For more information on ordering the paperback version, contact Wendi. I haven't read it, but the reviews on amazon are extremely positive.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The exercise of discretion in the probation service and Bottoms’ model of compliance

Jake writes about compliance in probation in the Early Career Academics Network Bulletin of the Howard League for Penal Reform. He concludes that "although the move towards compliance was seen positively by offender managers and there is evidence of them exercising discretion after a period of very limited discretion, the fact that the move thus far has been set within a managerialist framework means that the kind of compliance achieved is short-termist and might work against normative compliance as proposed by Bottoms."

Managing references

Do you ever feel disorganized? Don’t know which paper you found so useful earlier? Do you dread the prospect of adding the reference list at the end of your paper or thesis? I felt like that last year. Then someone pointed me to this really useful program, called Mendeley. It helps you manage your pdfs and references and it really pays off if you start using it as early as possible.

Here is why I recommend it:

It’s FREE! (as opposed to EndNote, for example)

It has a lot of useful functions, including a pdf-viewer, the option to mark documents as ‘favorite’, ‘read’ or ‘unread’, or ‘needing review’

It can often extract the reference information from a pdf, such as author, title, year, etc. (Though I recommend reviewing the information of each article when you add it)

Your library is synchronized to an online storage space. When I bought a new laptop, I only had to re-install Mendeley and all my papers were there!

With a Word-plugin, you add citations and when you’re done, you can generate the bibliography with a click of the mouse, matching your preferred citation style! When I’ve done that, I copy the bibliography to WordPad, so that I can make changes (funny things happen when I try doing that in Word) and then I copy it back to Word

In addition there are online features, like groups and paper recommendations based on your library. It’s also useful for collaboration apparently, although I haven’t tried that myself.
That’s not to say that it’s a perfect program yet – they are working to make it better and compared to a year ago, it has improved a lot. Luckily you get the updates for free, and the developers welcome any feedback!

It’s worth trying out this program to see how it can help you. If you have any questions you can e-mail me (efjcv2 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk), since I’m a Mendeley advisor (volunteer position, I have no commercial motivations to promote it!)

On Saturday 29 October at noon, I will be in the Clare Hall meeting room to give a brief demonstration of the program and provide some tips based on my own experience. This would be a good opportunity to ask questions. I would also like to invite people who have used other programs, or anyone who has tips on managing articles and references. Let’s help each other out!

For more information, you can check:

http://www.mendeley.com/compare-mendeley/ (A comparison of Mendeley to other reference managers)

http://www.mendeley.com/features/ (An overview of Mendeley’s features)

http://www.mendeley.com/download-mendeley-desktop/?_section=footer (Here you can download Mendeley!)

Happy writing!

Perception of Science: in popular culture vs. actual science

What do you think of science and how does that stroke with the public perception? Wonderful comic

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Festival of Ideas: does prison work?

Next Tuesday the Festival of Ideas starts with several events, including two that are particularly relevant for us as criminologists! Hopefully there will be many of us to get involved in the debates:

036 Does prison work?
Friday 21 October, 6:00PM - 7:15PM
How can institutionalisation be prevented, are there effective alternatives to prison and what circumstances discourage repeat offending?
Speakers include Jennifer Rubin from RAND, John Podmore, Offender Health, Department of Health; Charles Young from the London Anti-Crime Education Service, Professor Larry Sherman, Institute of Criminology and the chair, Professor Hugh Wilmott from the Judge Business School.

071 How to stay out of prison
Saturday 22 October, 12:30PM - 1:30PM
Is it possible to deter people from crime? The London Anti-Crime Education Service gives a presentation of its work including a mock-up prison cell and talks by mentors who work with young people.
Charles Young from the innovative London Anti-Crime Education Service demonstrates the brutal reality of life in prison and how he and his mentors deter young people from committing crime with the aid of a pop-up prison cell.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization, dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States, released their new report, No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration. It presents evidence to demonstrate that incarcerating children does not work:
Youth prisons do not reduce future offending, they waste taxpayer dollars, and they frequently expose youth to dangerous and abusive conditions. The report also shows that many states have substantially reduced their juvenile correctional facility populations in recent years, and it finds that these states have seen no resulting increase in juvenile crime or violence. Finally, the report highlights successful reform efforts from several states and provides recommendations for how states can reduce juvenile incarceration rates and redesign their juvenile correction systems to better serve young people and the public.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Offender Desistance Policing and Operation Turning Point in West Midlands

A new randomised control is about to start in the West Midlands. It is designed to test whether prosecution in the courts or a police managed contract to desist from offending will produce better and more cost effective reductions in offending behaviour. Offenders whom the police have decided to charge and put before the court, but who have no prior convictions, will be randomly assigned to prosecution or a "turning point" contract. For the latter group, there will be a very quick, same day, conversation with a trained police officer from the Offender Management team, which is aimed to explore the main reasons for the offending behaviour and arrive at a 'contract' to be signed by the offender. The contract will always have 2 key conditions attached - re-offending behaviour or failure to comply with the agreed conditions of the contract will always attract immediate prosecution for the original offence. Other conditions could include voluntary curfews, drug or alcohol treatment referrals, restorative justice processes and many more. Contracts will last for no more than 4 months. The Cambridge team - Peter Neyroud, Barak Ariel and Professor Lawrence Sherman - will be measuring the cost effectiveness of the approach and the level of crime harm from the treatment and control group over the following 2 years. The trial is linked to a wider programme which is also seeking to introduce a crime harm index as a triage tool in the custody process with the aim that lower risk offenders can be considered for alternatives to court sanctions, allowing Police and other criminal justice agencies to focus on the high harm few who pose greater risks. The Cambridge Stats Lab is supporting the team in the development of this part of the programme using a large sample of data which has been obtained from the Police National Computer. The whole programme is supported by the Monument Trust.
Peter Neyroud

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Jake Phillips publishes about target, audit and risk assessment cultures in the probation service

This article traces the rise of managerialism in the probation service in England and Wales before exploring the impact of these changes through reference to in-depth observation and interviews in probation. The article considers how national standards affect practice; how audits feature and their impact on accountability; and how the use of risk assessment tools are perceived and resisted in two probation teams in England Wales. The article then turns to changes implemented by the Coalition Government and highlights some tensions between managerialist occupational cultures in probation and what might occur in the near future.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sytske Besemer publishes in Journal of Quantitative Criminology about specialisation in intergenerational transmission.

Sytske's article entitled "Specialized Versus Versatile Intergenerational Transmission of Violence: A New Approach to Studying Intergenerational Transmission from Violent Versus Non-Violent Fathers: Latent Class Analysis" has recently been published online in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.
The paper investigates whether fathers who have been convicted of a violent offense transmit criminal and violent behavior more strongly than fathers who were convicted, but never for violence. First, a more traditional approach was taken where offending fathers were divided into two groups based on whether they had a violence conviction. Secondly, Latent Class Analysis (LCA) was performed to identify two classes of fathers, one of which was characterized as violent. Sons of fathers in this class had a higher risk of violent convictions compared with sons whose fathers were in the other class.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Best 50 Criminology Blogs

Forensic Science has created a list of their favourite criminology blogs. Below you can find their top 5 and what they write about it. Moreover, our blog features in their list as well!

General Blog of Crime: Ignore any thoughts of generality that may come up in your head when thinking about this blog. The graduate students who contribute well-wrought pieces to this site are incredibly in tune to the specifics of their criminological insights. The site is only general in that a myriad of topics that fall under the criminology umbrella are discussed and dissected here. The site balances nicely between contemporary crime stories and historical episodes of violence.
Why We Love It: An excellent blog example of a few graduate students passionate about criminology who write incisively on the subject.

CrimLaw: Readers will find little personal information about the blogger of this prolific and expansive page. Instead, they'll have to pull out a few forensic tools of their own by reading this writer's postings that are analytical but not too brainy. Even criminology newbies won't find themselves falling behind with the comprehensive material on offer here. The blog focuses a good deal on the state of Virginia, but readers everywhere will enjoy the site's appealing take on crime and the law.
Why We Love It: A super-factual Virginia-based criminal blog that provides readers with rich analysis of crime in both the state and around the world.

Women in Crime: Lady killers and femme fatales need not apply to contribute to this all-female blog. The women here all stand on the upright side of the law and provide cogent and thoughtful opinions on all sectors of the criminological environment. The writers boast a diversity of backgrounds: Some are current or former defense attorneys, others claim healthy careers as crime authors, and still more are criminal profiles and private investigators. Proof that though it's a man's world, women know best how to keep it in check.
Why We Love It: The ladies show the fellas how proper criminology writing is done: with heart, a big brain, and an appetite for justice.

Neurological Correlates: This is the perfect blog for anyone insatiable about uncovering the ins and outs of the human psyche, disturbances to which often lead to a life led in crime and violence. This site concentrates on what makes tick the brains of psychopaths and narcissists, among other prototypes of dysfunctional behavior. The writers then take the further step and clarify brain connections to criminal activity and violent tendency. A great site that helps you figure out the "why" after the "what" and "how" are known.
Why We Love It: This blog goes beyond a typical whodunit page and focuses on why it all took place in the first place.

The Innocence Project: There's more to the field of criminology than studying the minds of those who commit foul deeds. The science also delves into understanding the complexities of what happens when those so-called evildoers are discovered to have been themselves fouled. The law has consistently incarcerated incorrectly and unceremoniously scores of people who were simply caught in poor circumstances. This blog serves as a cleanser to the criminology blog scene, helping to make it right when the law does wrong.
Why We Love It: This blog does justice to the wrongfully jailed and helps to keep the criminology community accountable.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Criminal rehabilitation: a spotlight on Europe

On the Cambridge University homepage, Johann Koehler talks about how a 'soft on crime' approach might be the way forward to break the cycle that 'career criminals' are in. Read the full article here.

Friday, 9 September 2011


Office Hours - conversations with top social scientists about their research and the social world - have recorded an interview with Megan Comfort, who conducted etnographic research in a Californian prison on intimate relationships and wrote the book Doing Time Together about it. She talks about the women who visit their partners in prison. Interesting! Here's the podcast.

About the book:
"By quadrupling the number of people behind bars in two decades, the United States has become the world leader in incarceration. Much has been written on the men who make up the vast majority of the nation’s two million inmates. But what of the women they leave behind? Doing Time Together vividly details the ways that prisons shape and infiltrate the lives of women with husbands, fianc├ęs, and boyfriends on the inside.

Megan Comfort spent years getting to know women visiting men at San Quentin State Prison, observing how their romantic relationships drew them into contact with the penitentiary. Tangling with the prison’s intrusive scrutiny and rigid rules turns these women into “quasi-inmates,” eroding the boundary between home and prison and altering their sense of intimacy, love, and justice. Yet Comfort also finds that with social welfare weakened, prisons are the most powerful public institutions available to women struggling to overcome untreated social ills and sustain relationships with marginalized men. As a result, they express great ambivalence about the prison and the control it exerts over their daily lives.

An illuminating analysis of women caught in the shadow of America’s massive prison system, Comfort’s book will be essential for anyone concerned with the consequences of our punitive culture.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

24/7 isn't the only way: A healthy work–life balance can enhance research

A commentary in Nature describes exactly what I (and I know some others here too) think about a work-life balance: 24/7 isn't the only way: A healthy work–life balance can enhance research.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

RISE Youth has won the Emerge Community Prize Competition

RISE Youth, the program matching court-involved young people with adult coaches, led by Baillie Aaron and Daniel Marshall, has won the Emerge Community Prize Competition - They are extremely grateful to you for voting, and so happy to win. This is another big leap forward for them as they look to implement RISE Youth in the near future. They are building the website, and will be going through the charity registration process very soon. For now, they will enjoy the moment of winning the community prize!

"Over the last month, you - our community - have helped one of our teams get a little help on the way to success: Over 750 people put in their votes to decide which of the Emerge Fellows should receive the £1000 Emerge Community Prize. We are excited to announce today that you chose a lucky winner: RISE Youth, led by Baillie Aaron and Daniel Marshall, two entrepreneurs from Cambridge University. Congratulations to a great team!"

Congratulations and keep going like this Baillie and Daniel!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Prison Law Blog: the current state of American prisons

I wanted to let you know about the interesting Prison Law Blog, maintained and written by Sara Mayeux, a graduate of Stanford Law School and U.S. history Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University. She mainly writes about the state of the prison and prisoners in California and other states in the U.S. and gives an insight in the conditions of American prisons by discussing news items and legal decisions concerning prisons.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Gradschool (9-11 September): useful experience!

There are still places available for the September GRADschool, 9th - 11th September.

GRADSchool is a residential ‘crash course’ in personal development; looking at who you are, where you might go and how to make the most of the skills you've acquired during your PhD.

It’s a tried and tested programme, having been run across the UK for over 40 years, and fully supported by the UK Research Councils. For example,

The AHRC strongly encourages its funded doctoral students to participate in one of the workshops organised by the Research Councils’ GRADschools Programme.” (AHRC, ‘Research Training Framework’, Autumn 2009)

However, GRADschool is open to all PhD students in Cambridge from the second year of your PhD onwards.

Matt, from the development office writes: "On a personal note, I attended a GRADSchool during my own studies and it was fantastic, re-charging my batteries for my PhD, and shaping my career. But don’t take my word for it (as they say), below are two testimonials from students who attended the last Cambridge GRADSchool."

"Thank you for giving us this wonderful opportunity to develop ourselves. Thank you for believing in us and devoting all the time and effort!" - PhD student on April 2011 GRADschool in Cambridge

"Loved it! It’s the best thing I have done in a long while! I know I am going to take the experiences with me for life. I did things I never thought I would do in public...and I surprised myself!" - PhD student on April 2011 GRADschool in Cambridge.

To find out more and book a place, click on the website:

A few of us went to the last gradschool in April and found it useful, fun and a good experience, so we can recommend going!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Esther van Ginneken in Dutch newspaper NRC Next

Esther van Ginneken, Ph.D. student at the IoC, has written an opinion article in the Dutch newspaper NRC Next which was published on Friday 8 July 2011. Since most of the readers of this blog probably will not be able to read Dutch, I will give a brief overview of what she has written and why she wrote the article.

The Dutch Secretary of Justice continues to introduce proposals for tougher punishments, such as minimum prison sentences for repeat offenders. With these proposals he wants to answer to public demands for more punitive sentencing. However, sentencing in the Netherlands has already become more punitive over the last ten years, and is certainly not lenient when compared to other European countries. Furthermore, the public's knowledge about actual sentencing practices may be limited.

Esther's article briefly describes some of the impact of a prison sentence, and it explains that longer prison sentences may be counterproductive. The article recommends that more attention needs to be paid to alternative punishments, and to restorative justice in particular. It is argued that politicians should focus less on populist rhetoric and more on understanding and addressing the causes of crime.

Well done Esther for making criminological knowledge and the results of academic research known to the public!

Also, if you do want to read the original article, contact Esther!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

RISE has won 'Cambridge University Entrepreneurs £5000 Award' and wants your help

Daniel Marshall and Baillie Aaron, Ph.D. respectively MPhil student at the Institute of Criminology have won another prize, the 'Cambridge University Entrepreneurs £5000 Award' and were national finalists in the 'Mckinsey students in society 2011 competition', for their not-for-profit social enterprise: 'RISE'; a coaching programme which provides adult role models to institutionalised young people. See this link for a report!
Due to this success, and building on previous awards, they have received increased interest from businesses, practitioners, academics, entrepreneurs, and other interested parties to invest and support the implementation of the programme. If anyone is interested in getting involved in anyway, or finding out more, please contact Daniel (djm210) or Baillie (bfa21), thank you.

They would also like your help!
1. Please - take 5 SECONDS and VOTE for their organisation, RISE - help us win £1,000 to start a mentorship organisation for young people in custody. This will attract a lot of attention from all over the world, so your vote is really important to us. (Feel free to forward this link to everyone you know / post on facebook / twitter...)

2. If you could spare just 2 minutes to complete the survey (only 3 names this time!) we would really appreciate it! Your ranking of the names will help us choose the ultimate winner!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


This year the third annual Postgraduate Criminology Conference will be held at the University of Edinburgh Law School on September 15th and 16th 2011. In order for postgraduates from across Europe to engage in discussion about emerging research interests in criminology, we would encourage submission on papers from across this broad field. This can range from insights into unique methodological approaches to theoretical discussion of crime in society today. As in previous years, this conference will include themed panel sessions of student papers, as well as plenary speeches and expert panels on postgraduate issues. We hope that this will provide an ideal forum to meet other postgraduate criminology students and to gain an insight into research taking place across Europe today.

If you wish to present a paper at this conference or have any questions, please send the following to this email address: edphdconference@gmail.com

* Your name
* Your university / institution
* Your year of study
* Your paper title
* An abstract of no longer than 500 words
* Your email address

*The deadline for this Call for Papers is FRIDAY 8th JULY 2011*

For more information on accommodation etc, please refer to this website:


This will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

All the best,
Gemma Flynn and Christine Haddow.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Tony Bottoms talks about desistance in the Sheffield Study

Last week the Dutch Society for Criminology (NVK- Nederlandse Vereniging voor Kriminologie) held their annual conference and invited our own professor Sir Anthony Bottoms to give a keynote lecture on desistance. He gave an interesting presentation about results found with the Sheffield Desistance Study. People who are interested, can read an interview with him on the website of Crimelink, a magazine about crime and safety.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Amy publishes her meta-analysis of Cross-national predictors of crime

Talking about good writing, Amy Nivette has published another paper! Her article entitled 'Cross-National Predictors of Crime: A Meta-Analysis' has been published in the most recent issue of Homicide Studies. Well done Amy!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Bad Writing and Bad Thinking: useful article!

Thanks to Amy who pointed us towards this article about (how to avoid) bad writing. A useful reminder how not to fall into these habits. Interestingly, Rachel Toor, an assistant professor of creative writing at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, refers to George Orwell's Politics and the English Language. I remember one PhD seminar about writing, where we were also advised to read this piece by Orwell. Thanks to Amy I am now reminded and will go read it!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Post-doctoral research fellowship at Oxford

The Howard League for Penal Reform is supporting its second post-doctoral fellowship at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. It is a fixed term one year part-time fellowship. The fellowship is awarded in memory of Lord Parmoor.

Closing date for applications is midday 15th July with interviews in Oxford on 27th July 2011.

More information about the fellowship and how to apply can be found at: http://www.howardleague.org/post-graduate-opportunities/

I would be grateful if you could circulate this opportunity to your colleagues and/or students.

Many thanks

Anita Dockley

Research Director
The Howard League for Penal Reform
1 Ardleigh Road
N1 4HS
Tel: 020 7249 7373
Direct line: 0207-2417871
Fax: 020 7249 7788
Follow the Howard League on Twitter http://twitter.com/TheHowardLeague
Follow our criminal justice stories on Delicious http://delicious.com/TheHowardLeague
Sign up to our monthly e-bulletin http://www.howardleague.org/ebulletin-sign-up/
Charity No. 251926 Company limited by guarantee No. 898514

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Survival of the fittest

Thinking outside the box. Gangsta rappers give an alternative explanation of crime (and teenage pregnancy): crime as evolutionary behaviour.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Cambridge Space-Time

This time not just a comic about PhD life, but some work by my always creative housemate Gillean Denny. Gill is also studying for a Phd, not in Criminology, but in Architecture, and currently writing up and I wanted to share her project for today with you!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Amy Nivette publishes yet another paper!

Amy has published a paper in the most recent number of the British Journal of Criminology, titled Violence in non-state societies

The abstract: "Anthropological sources on non-state, tribal societies offer a wealth of evidence on violence that can expand the spatial and temporal gaze of criminological research. Reviewing this literature allows for a more comparative analysis of patterns of violence and challenges contemporary notions of social change and order. This paper provides an overview of the most relevant anthropological evidence on patterns of violence in non-state societies. Specifically, trends and overall levels of violence, age and sex patterns as well as social and environmental factors are reviewed in order to determine whether contemporary concepts and patterns of violence are universal or culturally specific. The findings presented here indicate that violence in non-state societies is a ubiquitous but culturally varying phenomenon used by males and may be related to interdependent social organizations and networks of exchange."

Congratulations Amy!

Jobs: assistant professor Leiden University

Interested in spreading your wings?

The Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology of Leiden University is looking for:
a) an assistant professor (UD)
and something for the future:
b) an associate professor (UHD)
Please click the link to view these vacancies.

It seems like the vacancies are currently only in Dutch, but they should be in English. Summarising, it's an assistant professor job at Leiden University, they want you to teach to undergraduate and master students and do your own research.
Also, they want you to speak and write English fluently!

If you're interested and need more translation, let me know!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Comic: PhD and life in general

Yet another cartoon from PhD Comics to remind us to not forget the rest of the world and our life while doing a PhD!

Jake Phillips keynote speaker at conference: Approaches to Social Problems and Community Safety & Cohesion

Jake Phillips, Ph.D. student at the Institute of Criminology, will give a talk about " Offender Managers and the Rehabilitation Revolution: implications for implementation" at the Newport Centre for Criminal and Community Justice Conference on “Approaches to Social Problems and Community Safety & Cohesion". Jake's dissertation research is on The Rehabilitative Ideal in the Probation Service. He is looking at the Probation Service in the context of recent policy changes, focussing on practitioner's use of, or opinions towards, rehabilitation, discretion, compliance, managerialism and risk management. The Ph.D. uses a mix of ethnographic work in a probation office, semi-structured interviews with staff and analysis of policy documents and political rhetoric. Jake's presentation follows from his Ph.D. research. The half-day conference will be held in Newport, Wales on Wednesday 18 May 2011.
Date: Wednesday 18 May 2011
Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm (Half-day Conference)
Location: Caerleon Campus Boardroom, University of Wales, Newport

Friday, 25 March 2011

Useful website for post-docs: Humanities and Social Sciences Postdocs 2010-2011

I was pointed towards this extremely useful website with a collection of 'Humanities and Social Sciences Postdocs 2010-2011'. I realise that for many the deadline has passed for the next academic year, but it's still useful as a collection of possibilities and I assume (hope!) there will be an updated for post docs starting in the academic year 2012-2013.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Amy Nivette publishes in Theoretical Criminology about Adler's theory of low crime

Amy Nivette, Ph.D. Student at the Institute of Criminology, recently published an article, titled 'Old theories and new approaches: Evaluating Freda Adler's theory of low crime and its implications for criminology' in Theoretical Criminology. Congratulations Amy!

The abstract of the paper:
Many years ago, Freda Adler (1983) sought to explain the full variation of crime rates through the notion of synnomie. Although Adler’s research was incomplete and somewhat flawed, it drew attention to low crime societies as the subject of criminological research. In this article I critically revisit Adler’s ideas in order to encourage a more methodologically rigorous approach to researching low crime societies. The main issues this article addresses are the assumption of ‘low’ crime and the meaning this label entails, the implications of ‘norm cohesion’ and the need for an alternative approach when studying ‘low’ crime. I conclude with implications for criminological research in the hope that this will invite future inquiry into matters that lie outside the traditional criminological gaze.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Daniel and Baillie accepted as fellows of the Oxford University Emerge Social Venture Lab

Following our earlier post about Daniel Marshall and Baillie Aaron, we can announce more good news. They have also been successfully accepted as Fellows of the Oxford University Emerge Social Venture Lab.

Well done!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

New Research Prize: The Howard League Research Medal

The Howard League for Penal Reform is seeking to celebrate the work of academics and researchers whose work offers genuine new insights into the penal system through the introduction of its Research Medal.

We are committed to supporting new thinking and radical researchers who want to make an impact and change penal policy and practice through high quality research. The Research Medal will celebrate high quality research that has succeeded, or can demonstrate that it has the potential, to have an impact on non-academic audiences.

The winner of the Research Medal will receive a prize of £1,000. In addition the recipient will be asked to present an aspect of their research at an event in central London on 14th June 2011.

The deadline for entries is 4th April 2011.  Find out more about the Research Medal and how to enter here.

Please forward this email to your friends and colleagues.

I look forward to receiving your entry.

Best wishes

Anita Dockley
Research Director

Monday, 7 February 2011

Criminology Students Daniel Marshall and Baillie Aaron win Entrepreneurs prize!

Daniel Marshall and Baillie Aaron, Ph.D. respectively MPhil student at the Institute of Criminology have won an award for the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE) 1k challenge for their proposal for RISE, a mentoring scheme for institutionalized youn people in the UK RISE’s mission is to provide court-involved young people with opportunities for role modelling, inspiration, success, and enrichment through its coaching program. Studies have consistently shown that at-risk young people benefit tremendously from ongoing mentorship relationships. The RISE program is based on empirically-tested best practices and provides adult coaches for youth in custody, commencing during their sentence and extending through to their community re-entry. RISE’s annual operational cost is £123,000, relative to the £160,000 per annum cost of keeping one youth in a secure training centre. With recidivism rates of approximately 75%, RISE is expected to produce significant fiscal savings and social impact.”


Thursday, 27 January 2011

The relationship between caffeine, sleep and productiveness in a PhD

I am currently doing loads of analyses with 2x2 tables, so this PhD comic came exactly at the right time:

Monday, 17 January 2011

Submission deadline 16th World Congress - Japan approaching: 31 January 5pm Japan time

Following our earlier post about the  16th World Congress of the International Society for Criminology in Japan from 5-9 August 2011; the deadline for abstract submission is fastly approaching. Abstracts are imited to 200 words and should describe the general theme, and where relevant, the methods and results. 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Article by student at Institute of Criminology: relationship between parental imprisonment and offspring offending in England and the Netherlands

Sytske Besemer, a Ph.D candidate at the Institute of Criminology, has published an article in the British Journal of Criminology that she co-authored with Victor van der Geest (NSCR), Joseph Murray, Catrien Bijleveld (NSCR), and David Farrington. The article is based on research in England and the Netherlands. They investigated parental imprisonment and offspring offending and differences between the countries on this topic. 

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Criminology

The JTPC has advertised a call for papers from graduates for a special issue to be published in March this year. Deadlines for submission is 1 February 2012. More details here: