I am sociologist and writer working as a Reader in Sociology and Law at the University of Bristol, UK. I teach critical courses in the areas of criminology, zemiology, criminal justice and the sociology of law to law, sociology and political science students.
I have researched and written extensively on the concept of “miscarriages of justice” including how they are defined and measured; how they are caused; how they might be challenged, remedied and/or prevented; and, how those responsible might be held accountable.
A particular focus of my work is on the concept of “innocence” and how it how it relates or does not relate to the concepts of “miscarriages of justice”, “legal innocence” and the factually innocent status of alleged victims of wrongful conviction and imprisonment; whether the causation of miscarriages of justice and/or wrongful convictions was intentional or unintentional; and, how the myriad forms of harm (social, psychological, physical and financial) are experienced by primary and secondary victims of miscarriages of justice and/or wrongful convictions.
My major publications are: The Innocent and the Criminal Justice System (2013); Rethinking Miscarriages of Justice: Beyond the tip of the iceberg (2007); and, The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Hope for the Innocent? (Editor, 2009). In addition, I have over 50 further publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, edited book collections, professional journals, broadsheet newspapers and official reports, many of which are freely available on this website.
I am committed to public engagement and have appeared/been cited over a hundred times in the media on a range of criminal justice issues, including for BBC 1, BBC Panorama, BBC Rough Justice, BBC News 24, ITV, GMTV, HTV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, The Telegraph, as well as for newspapers and radio programmes in Norway, Armenia, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) defines the ‘impact of academic research’ as ‘an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’. In terms of the impact of my research, I have been invited to consult with Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and criminal justice system policy makers at home and abroad and to give presentations to a host of other specialist conferences and events. This includes giving oral evidence on my research to the UK Parliamentary Justice Committee, two invited presentations in the UK House of Commons, an invited presentation to the US. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., as well as several other invited consultations and conference papers in the United States, China, Armenia, Italy, Norway and several in Ireland. I have also given more than 40 invited presentations on issues relating to my academic research to professional, public and third sector conferences in the UK.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. Research is assessed every 6 or 7 years. The REF 2014 was the first exercise to assess the impact of research outside of academia. Almost 7,000 Impact Case Studies were submitted to REF 2014 by universities in the UK. My work was submitted by the University of Bristol as an Impact Case Study, ‘Innocence: assisting victims of wrongful imprisonment’, and was one of three which collectively were ranked as 2nd in the UK by the Sociology Panel.
I have received a number of awards and prizes for my work, including the following:
- Bristol Law Society Annual Pro Bono Award – Winner 
- Attorney General’s Pro Bono Awards – Highly Commended 
- University of Bristol Public Engagement Award – Winner 
- Inaugural Michael Young Prize – Runner-Up 
- Inaugural Radical Statistics Critical Essay Prize – Runner-up 
- Evelyn Miller-Barstow Prize for Undergraduate Sociology – Winner 
Important note: As this is my personal website, any and all views expressed here are mine and do not represent those of my employer.