CSJ our research

Criminal & social justice Our research

Here we provide an overview of the areas of research in which we are actively engaged, providing some examples of related projects.

For details of individuals’ research and publications, please click on that person’s name under ‘Meet the Team/Who We Are’.

Our areas of research

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Crime & desistance

Pathways into and out of crime; youth transitions; the dynamics of co-offending: peer groups and gangs; relational contexts of crime and desistance; gender, crime and desistance; supporting desistance: policy implications and practice innovations. 

Related projects:

Noblett, Jo:  Prison Officers’ Perceptions of their role in the Rehabilitation and Desistance support for prisoners,  how it reconciles with their primary function of security and care and, how they are prepared and supported by the prison administration for this role.  PhD.

Weaver, Beth: Offending and Desistance: The Importance of Social Relations. PhD

Fraser, A and Weaver, B The Dynamics of Co-Offending in Scotland: An Initial Study Sociology Research Incentivisation Funds, University of Glasgow

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Risk, regulation & reintegration

Multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) – youth and criminal justice; risk assessment and management; reintegration and risk: change and control, desistance from sex offending.

Related Projects:

Barry, M., Weaver, B., Kemshall H., Change or Control: An Exploration of the Management of High Risk Offenders under MAPPA: London Probation Trust Weaver, Beth: Quality 

CYCJ: Current risk practice across Scotland in relation to preventing or reducing the risk of violence in children and young people, areas of good practice and development needs.  Scottish Government

CYCJ: Young people’s perceptions and experiences of risk management. Scottish Government. 

Weaver, B., Quality Assurance Measures for Risk Practice Risk Management Authority Scotland.

International prisons

International prisons, imprisonment & re-entry

Institutional cultures and governance structures; violence and victimisation in penal institutions; prisoner and through-the-gate councils; throughcare in youth and criminal justice.

Related Projects:

Barry M, Weaver B, Schmidt, B Liddle M, Meek R, Renshaw J, Maruna S., Impact Evaluation: Custody to Community Voice: User Voice/Nesta

Haw, Sally; Little, Gavin;  Croft, Rowan; Jelen-Sanchez, Alenka; Fernandez, Fernando; Piacentini, Laura;  Braga Francisco, Aruan; de Souza e Silva ,Jailson; Barboza, Jorge Luiz (2018-2020) Right to Health in Prisons in Scotland and Brazil.  AHRC-MRC Global Public Health Partnership.

Piacentini, Laura; Slade, G; Trochev, Alexei and Omelchencko, Elena. (2018-2021) In the Gulag’s Shadow: Producing, Consuming and Perceiving Prisons in the former Soviet Union. ESRC

Piacentini, Laura. (2015-2018) Towards a Sociology of Rights Consciousness Amongst Russian Prisoners. Leverhulme.

Punishment & penal practices

Evidence-based practices and effective supervision in early intervention, diversion, community and post-release supervision; experiences of punishment; consent, compliance and cooperation in community supervision.

Related Projects:

Barry M., Weaver, B., Piacentini, L., and Moodie, K.,: Regulating Justice: The Dynamics of Compliance and Breach in CJSW in Scotland. ESRC,

Gillon, F., The role of multi-agency early intervention projects in diverting young people from crime. PhD

Weaver, B., and Armstrong, S., User Views of Punishment. Unfunded.

Co-production in community justice

User Involvement, personalisation and co-production; through-the-gate social cooperative and social enterprise structures of employment; mutual aid and peer support groups; participatory and asset/strengths-based practices in youth and criminal justice.

Related Projects:

Weaver, B.  Co-producing Desistance from Crime: The Role of Social Cooperative Structures of Employment. ESRC 

Weaver, B Co-producing desistance? An exploration of the dynamics and effects of a mutual aid group of former prisoners. North Ayrshire Council 

Weaver, B, Lightowler, C and Moodie, K User Engagement: A pan-Ayrshire project. South West Scotland Community Justice Authority 

Children, young people & crime & justice

Youth transitions; the interconnections between residential child care, youth offending and youth justice; victimisation and offending; young people’s use of technologies and the technological divide. 

Related Projects:

CYCJ: Residential Childcare and Criminalisation. Scottish Government 

CYCJ: Bullying and violence among children. Scottish Government 

CYCJ: Responses to high risk of harm: young people in secure care in Scotland. Scottish Government.

Death, bereavement, grief and loss

The impacts, effects and dynamics of loss, grief and trauma; bereavement and imprisonment; death and dying in prison.

Related Projects: 

Vaswani, N. Loss and bereavement among young men in custody. Unfunded

Vaswani, N, Paul, S, Papadodimitraki, Y, Our Lives With Others: An Evaluation of Trauma, Bereavement and Loss Developments. The Robertson Trust

Vaswani, N. Trauma, bereavement and loss among women in prison. Barnardo’s.

Gender and criminal justice

Gender-based violence; women, girls and crime; women and justice; women’s community justice centres.

Related Projects:

Weaver B and Lightowler C., Coproducing Community Justice: Tomorrow’s Women. Glasgow City Council.

Weaver, B.,  Lightowler, C and Nugent, B. Developing And Designing The Women And Family Centre Programme. Robertson Trust.

Weaver, B, Lightowler C, and Gillon, F., Evaluation of the Women's Centre Programme, Robertson Trust

Prisons, families and communties

The impacts of imprisonment on families and relationships; imprisonment, family contact and community ties; children’s rights; siblings and imprisonment; prisons, families and legitimacy; communities, citizenship and criminal justice contact; policy, practice and community development.

Related Projects:

Jardine, C.  Corners of Community: Exploring the role of the “Outside” in prison life

Jardine, C.  Constructing Family in the Context of Imprisonment: a study of prisoners and their families in Scotland

Deacon K., Families – Inside Prison and Out: Young People’s Experiences of Familial Imprisonment

Mercer, S., The Experience of Individuals and Families Bereaved through the Death of a Relative in Scottish Prisons.

We're involved, in various ways, in SCCJR, a world leading research centre and CYCJ, a national knowledge exchange centre.

Discover more about Criminal & Social Justice

We accept PhD applications in Criminology, Social Work and Social Policy. To find out more please contact Kat Smith