Professor Elizabeth Weaver

Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

I'm a Professor of Criminal and Social Justice in the School of Social Work and Social Policy, specialising in Criminology and Criminal Justice Social Work. I teach on both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in social work and also supervise PhD student in Social Work, Criminology and Public Health I am also Associate Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR), and an appointed member of the Scottish Advisory Panel on Offender Rehabilitation (SAPOR).

I am actively engaged in a number of research networks, research projects and knowledge exchange activities with specific interests in desistance, user involvement and co-production and the use of through-the-prison-gate social cooperative structures of employment. All of my research has an applied focus on penal reform.


Has expertise in:

    • Desistance from crime
    • Re-entry and social reintegration
    • User involvement and co-production
    • The role of social cooperatives in supporting desistance and reintegration
    • Prisons, Parole and Community based sentences

Prizes and awards

HaSS Faculty Impact Prize for Outstanding Impact for Society
British Society of Criminology Book Prize 2016
Best Article Award 2014
Research Medal 2011 The Howard League for Penal Reform

More prizes and awards


Citizenship on probation : understanding the labour market exclusion of criminalised people in Scotland
Weaver Beth, Jardine Cara
Probation Journal Vol 69, pp. 296-317 (2022)
Coproducing justice in carceral contexts : user voice prison councils as a model of epistemic participation
Weaver Beth
Prison Service Journal Vol 262, pp. 18-26 (2022)
Designing Socially Just Institutions for 18-25-year-olds : Final Report
Vaswani Nina, McAra Marianne, Smith Madeline, Lightowler Claire, Weaver Beth, McCulloch Trish, Fernandes Fernando, Fletcher Grace, Kerracher Ruth
The social dynamics of group-offending
Weaver Beth, Fraser Alistair
Theoretical Criminology Vol 26, pp. 264-284 (2021)
The Collateral Consequences of Criminal Records
Christensen E, Jardine C, Kennedy A, Mabon K, Taylor E, Weaver B
Exploring and explaining non-compliance with community supervision
Weaver Beth, Piacentini Laura, Moodie Kristina, Barry Monica
British Journal of Criminology Vol 61, pp. 434-455 (2021)

More publications


My teaching interests include criminology, law and penal policy for criminal justice social work; penology and penal change; the dynamics of community supervision, rehabilitation and desistance; risk assessment and risk management in criminal justice.

Research interests

My research activities are principally concerned with desistance from crime, the regulation and governance of the community supervision of people involved in the criminal justice system and the management of those classified as high risk.

I am particularly interested in the role of social relations in the onset, maintenance and conclusion of criminal careers, specifically how people's relationships with and to friends, families and communities shape and influence their offending trajectories and the implications of this for penal policy and practice. My doctoral research in this field has led to further projects examining the outcomes of mutual aid based group work and the role of through-the-prison-gate social cooperative structures of employment in processes of desistance and social reintegration, the latter of which is funded through the ESRC Future Research Leaders scheme.

Professional activities

Coproducing Justice: The Role and Contribution of Social Cooperatives in Supporting Desistance and Social Integration
The Collateral Consequences of Criminal Records
Evidence of Redemption: Employing People with Conviction: The Impact, The Issue, The Evidence
(Beyond) Employability in Scotland: Coproducing Justice
Inclusive Justice: Coproducing Change (East Dunbartonshire)
Resilience Learning Partnership, Inaugural Annual Lecture

More professional activities


Measuring Justice
Weaver, Beth (Principal Investigator)
15-Jan-2018 - 14-Jan-2019
Weaver, Beth (Principal Investigator) Lightowler, Claire (Co-investigator)
14-Jan-2017 - 14-Jan-2019
Reimagining Justice
Weaver, Beth (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2017
User Engagement Project for Community Justice Ayrshire
Weaver, Beth (Principal Investigator) Lightowler, Claire (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2018
Criminal Justice Managers Training
Weaver, Beth (Principal Investigator) Dyer, Fiona (Co-investigator)
06-Jan-2016 - 17-Jan-2016
Developing and designing the women and family centre programme: exploring effectiveness and sharing learning
Weaver, Beth (Principal Investigator) Lightowler, Claire (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016

More projects