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Professor Hazel Kemshall

Job: Professor of Community and Criminal Justice

Faculty: Health and Life Sciences

School/department: School of Applied Social Sciences

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH.

T: +44 (0) 116 257 7717




Personal profile

Hazel Kemshall is currently Professor of Community and Criminal Justice at De Montfort University. She has research interests in risk assessment and management of offenders, effective work in multi-agency public protection, and implementing effective practice with high risk offenders. She has completed research for the Economic and Social Research Council, the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, the Scottish Government, and the Risk Management Authority.

She both teaches and consults extensively on public protection and high risk offenders, including training for MAPPA chairs and panel members in England and Scotland, for Police Services and Probation Trusts.

She has numerous publications on risk, including 'Understanding Risk in Criminal Justice' (2003, Open University Press). She has completed three evaluations of multi-agency public protection panels for the Home Office (2001, 2005, 2007), and has researched polygraph use with sex offenders, and evaluated the public disclosure pilots in England and Wales.

She is the lead author of the CD ‘Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource’ for the English and Welsh National Offender Management Service, and for the ‘Assessment and Management of Risk’ CD in Scotland for the Risk Management Authority. She was recently appointed to the Parole Board Review Committee. Her most recent book, Understanding the Community Management of High Risk Offenders, was published by the Open University in 2008.

Hazel is currently part of an EU DAPHNE funded project to develop learning materials for use by practitioners in assessing high risk victims of domestic violence in 11 European countries.

Key research outputs

  1. Currently Head of Research for EU funded investigation into: ‘Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals’.
  2.  Co-applicant on ‘Community Engagement and partnership working with sex offenders network’, Leverhulme grant,
  3. Three evaluations of the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements in England and Wales; review of risk assessment tools and MAPPA arrangements in Scotland; evaluation of the Sex Offender Public Disclosure Pilots in England.

  4. Currently co leader of an ESRC Knowledge Exchange Network on ‘Sex Offender Public Disclosure - Learning from the UK pilots and international research’, (ES/J01251/1), with UWE and Cardiff Universities.

Research interests/expertise

Research interests include risk assessment and management of offenders, effective work in multi-agency public protection, and implementing effective practice with offenders.

Sex Offender Disclosure Schemes, Polygraph use with Sex Offenders, effective management of high risk offenders, and Third Sector responses to high risk offenders. Effective risk communication with the public. Effective multi-agency responses to violence and domestic abuse, including training for police officers.

Research completed for the Economic and Social Research Council, the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Risk Management Authority Scotland, and the Scottish Government.

Currently a partner in the European Union DAPHNE funded WAVE PROTECT 11 project developing training materials, guidance and procedures on combating domestic abuse for use by criminal justice and women’s aid workers across Europe. The project covers some 45 countries.

Expertise includes process evaluations, qualitative methods, multi modal approaches to research, case studies, appreciative inquiry, and focus group work.

Projects have included:

  • Evaluation of Child Sex Offender Disclosure Pilots, (Home Office), with Wood, Westwood et al
  • Polygraph use with sex offenders (MoJ) with Wood and Westwood
  • Evaluation of the Social Contexts and Responses to Risk (SCARR) ESRC network
  • Evaluations of multi-agency public protection panels for the Home Office (with Wood, Mackenzie, Bailey and Yates 2005, Wood and Kemshall 2007)
  • Pathways into and out of crime for young people under an ESRC network (with Boeck and Fleming).

Areas of teaching

  • MA Public Protection and High Risk Offenders
  • MA Managing the Practice of Risk.


  • BA Hons Sociology, Durham
  • MA Social Work, Birmingham
  • Certificate of Qualification in Social Work, Birmingham
  • PhD, De Montfort.

Courses taught

  • MA Public Protection and High Risk Offenders
  • MA Managing the Practice of Risk

Membership of external committees

  • Chair of the Risk Management Plan Approval Committee for Orders for Lifelong Restriction, Scotland
  • Member of the Advisory Panel on Close Supervision Centres and High Security Estate, HMPS
  • Parole Board Review Committee
  • Offender Engagement Advisory Group, National Offender Management Service
  • Board Member, Risk Management Authority, Scotland
  • Board Member, Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust
  • Member, National Offender Management Service Accreditation Panel.

External Examiner:

  • Masters in Social Work, Cardiff University, 2007-2010
  • Masters in Criminal Justice Social Work, Edinburgh, 2006-2009
  • BA in Social Work, University of Western Scotland, 2008-2011.

Forthcoming events

  • Presentation of research findings, final conference ‘SOMEC Serious Offending by Mobile European Criminals’, The Hague, Netherlands, November 2014 (see: .
  • Managing Sex Offenders in the UK: Challenges for Policy and Practice; Kemshall and McCartan, ATSA conference, 2014.
  • Online debates forCommunity Engagement and partnership working with sex offenders network’,
  • Key note presentation: ‘Why we should consider the evidence?’ at Risk Management Authority Annual Conference, ‘Which way now? New directions in evidence based and gender informed practice’. Dunblane Hydro Hotel, 5-6 March 2012.
  • Key note presentation at: Second International Symposium ‘Decisions, Assessment, Risk and Evidence in Social Work’, University of Ulster, 2-3 July 2012.

Conference attendance

Conferences for 2009 to 2013.

Hudson, K., McCartan, K. and Kemshall, H. (2013) The Knowledge Exchange Network on Sex Offender Public Disclosure- Learning from the UK pilots and International Research. National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers Annual Conference, September 2013.

McCartan, K. and Kemshall, H. (2013) Evaluating circles of support and accountability: developing good practice.  Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers Conference, Chicago, October 2013.

Kemshall, H. (2013) Improving Risk Management in MAPPA: The Four Pillars of Risk Management. Keynote presentation, Cumbria MAPPA Annual Event, October 2nd, Penrith.

Kemshall, H. (2013) Improving Risk Management in MAPPA: The Four Pillars of Risk Management. Keynote presentation, Lancashire MAPPA Annual Event, Lancashire Police Headquarters, November 11th, Preston.

Keynote presentation: ‘Best practice in the community management of high risk offenders’. For the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), National Public Protection Conference, Chase Hotel, Cheltenham. 12-13 October  2009.

Risk, Protection and Community’. Presentation in the School of Social Sciences, Risk Seminar Series, Cardiff University, Wales, 17 November 2009.

Public Services in the 2010s: Prosperity, Austerity and Recovery. ESRC Public Services Programme. Seminar discussion. Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, 11 December 2009.

Risk and Housing of Sex Offenders’. Presentation to Probation Foundation of Finland (Kriminaalihuollon Tukisaatio), Helsinki, Finland, 28 January 2010.

Best Practice in the Community Management of Sex Offenders’. Sex Offenders, Punish, Help, Change, or Control? Newport Centre for Criminal and Community Justice, University of Wales, Newport, 29 April 2010.

Improving the Quality of MAPPA’. Northumbria MAPPA, Northumbria Police HQ, Ponteland, 5-6 May 2010.

Risks, Rights and Justice’. A Working in Partnership Seminar: Principles and Values in Multi-Agency Risk Management. Risk Management Authority Conference, The Hub, ‘Violent Offenders, Risk Assessment.

Violent Offenders- Risk Management’; for Violent Offenders and the public protection arrangements conference. Northern Ireland Police Service, Public Protection Arrangements, Belfast, N. Ireland, 20-21 May 2010.

Contesting Risk: Empirical challenges to risk theorising’, Round Table discussion, British Criminology Conference, 11-14 July 2010, Leicester University.

Risk management of perpetrators: Good Practice lessons from MAPPA’. Keynote to 3rd expert group meeting, EU-DAPHNE 111, Project PROTECT1. Novotel, Bristol, 27-28 October 2010.

Reducing risk: integration or aversion? Risk assessment, management and the use of IPP in England and Wales’. Keynote address to: Managing Risk and Re-integration. 4th Annual Conference, The Scottish Association for the Study of Offending (SASO), 19-20 November 2010. Dunblane Hydro Hotel, Dunblane.

BSA Risk Study Group Conference: Risk, Policy and Decision Making. Public Disclosure About Sex Offenders: Does the public want to know? 12 April 2011. City University London. 

Sex Offender Public Disclosure: Learning from the UK Pilots and International Research’. Welsh Centre for Criminal and Social Justice, Violence Network, 11 May 2011, Gregynog. Kieran McCartan and Hazel Kemshall.

Polygraph Disclosure Study’, For ‘Law, Crime and Lying - and Lie Detection’ Seminar, Centre for Law, Crime and Justice, Strathclyde University, 25 May 2011.

Consultancy work

  • Consultant to the Public Protection Arrangements Northern Ireland.
  • Improving Risk Management Planning for Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements, National Offender Management Service, 2014.
  • Extensive training of probation staff and police officers, including West Midlands Police; Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust; West Mercia Police.
  • Development of the ‘Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource’ for National Offender Management Service, 2005, 2008, 2011.
  • Development of the ‘Assessment and Management of Risk' CD rom for Risk Management Authority Scotland, 2008, 2010.

Externally funded research grants information

Polygraph Disclosure Project, Ministry of Justice, 2008-09, £50,004.

Evaluation of Public Disclosure Pilots, Home Office (CSOR), 2009-2010, £148,000.

Evaluation of the Social Contexts and Responses to Risk (SCARR) Network, 2009, ESRC, £20,000.

Development of FRAME risk assessment and management training disc, Risk Management Authority, Scotland 2010, £35,000.

Update of NOMS risk of harm guidance and training resource, 2010-2012, £64,000, National Offender Management Service.

Dissemination of FRAME, Risk Management Authority, Scotland, £15,000.

PROTECT 11: Capacity Building in Risk Assessment and Safety Management to project high risk victims of domestic violence and femicide. Partner 10 in the Women Against Violence in Europe (WAVE) Network. Funded by the DAPHNE Programme, European Union Funding.

All as PI.

Professional esteem indicators

Editorial Board, British Journal of Social Work, 2005-2008.
Editorial Board: Health, Risk and Society, current.
Member of ESRC Peer Review College.
Visiting Professor, University of West of England.

Case studies

Impact of ‘Evaluation of Child Sex Offender Public Disclosure Pilots’ considerable, with media impact (appended – P3); impact statement from Police (appended); and led to national roll-out of the scheme in 2010.

‘Risk of Harm Guidance and Training Resource’ CD rom for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is used by all 35 probation trusts, police services in England, Wales; and the prison service.

‘Assessment and Management of the Risk of Harm’ (RMA, Scotland) is used by social workers, police and prisons in Scotland, currently to be updated as FRAME.