The Division of Community and Criminal Justice includes staff with nationally recognised expertise in probation, policing, applied criminology and community and criminal justice. The division is one of the strongest in this field nationally and has also developed an international profile.
Our areas of research include:
- Understanding risk
- Assessment and management of risk
- Prisons and prisoners
- Probation and offender management
- Criminal justice
- Young offenders and youth justice
- Offender interventions, including education
- Domestic Violence and Abuse
- Diversity, crime and criminal justice
- Mentally disordered offenders
- Offenders' perspectives and perceptions
- International and comparative perspectives
- Crime prevention and community safety
- Victims of crime
- Restorative justice
Our research skills include:
- Qualitative research approaches
- Basic quantitative research approaches
- Multi-method research
- Participative research
- Researching hard to reach groups
- Ethics and research governance
- Consultations and development work
- training on research methods
Substantial government contracts have been awarded to develop training materials linked to these research interests, such as the assessment and management of risk, probation curriculum development and working with mentally disordered offenders. The Unit also receives research funding from Research Councils, national and local government departments, youth offending teams, national and local charities and a range of other sources.
Almost all members of staff are active in research, but our research leaders are Hazel Kemshall|, Rob Canton|, Jean Hine|, and Victoria Knight|. Staff are keen to discuss research possibilities in all aspects of criminal and community justice.
Our Project Pages:
- Circles of Support and Accountability (2012- ongoing) with the University of Western England and Matrix Evidence, led by Professor Hazel Kemshall and funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- 4SWEEP (2012-ongoing) with several universities in other countries, led by Professor Rob Canton, to research into probation training in Europe and to develop a curriculum.
- ISTEP (2011 – 2013) led by Professor Rob Canton, with universities in the Netherlands and Romania and the Ministries of Justice of several countries, to support an EU Framework decision on the transfer of offenders under community supervision.
- Outside Chances (2010-2011), led by Professor Rob Canton and Jean Hine with Joanna Welford. With City and Guilds, Centre for Skills Development, research into educational services for offenders under community supervision.
- An Evaluation of Restorative Approaches in Children’s Residential Care Settings Across Leicestershire (2007-2010)- led by Dr Victoria Knight with Jean Hine, Kaushika Patel and Kath Wilson for Leicestershire Youth Offending Service. This project observed the introduction of a restorative approaches model to residential settings with a view to limiting and preventing the criminalisation of looked after children. Overall, this intervention helped to reduce the numbers of young people entering the criminal justice system and equip residential staff with additional skills to look after young people in their care.
- A Study to Identify How 16 + Young Offenders across Leicestershire Engage with Education, Training or Employment (ETE) (2009-2010)- led by Dr Victoria Knight for Leicestershire Youth Offending Service. This project examined the relationships between engagement in education, training and employment and a range of factors including offending and conviction data and measures of identified risks (ASSET framework).
The study demonstrated that young people who are disengaged or NEET can experience a number of barriers that prevent meaningful engagement. The findings from this study has assisted Leicestershire Youth Offending Service to identify young people at risk of becoming NEET and work with them on a number of issues to facilitate better ETE engagement.