Researcher in Focus: Professor Barry Godfrey

Posted on: 5 January 2018 by Nick Jones in 2018 Posts

Barry Godfrey
Professor Barry Godfrey

Barry Godfrey is Professor of Social Justice at the School of Law and Social Justice, part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Barry has been with the University for seven years, and over that time he has helped to develop research in the history of crime, sentencing, and life-course criminology. Having carried out ESRC and Leverhulme Trust funded-work on the effectiveness of habitual offender legislation on the lives of habitual offenders, he then led the AHRC’s flagship 'Digital Panopticon'.

Barry said that “colleagues at Liverpool were tremendously helpful in co-ordinating a very large collaboration between five universities, twenty researchers and doctoral researchers, and external partners such as The National Archives and The Howard League.” 

The Digital Panopticon concludes in March 2018 having produced a free-to-use website containing cradle-to-grave biographical and biometric data on 90,000 people sentenced at the Old Bailey between 1750 and 1920. The website is a wonderful resource for students, genealogists, professional historians and criminologists. The website is already being used by students in the UK, Australia, and the United States. Research findings have been widely reported in the media, and are beginning to inform NGOs, prison reformers, and policy-makers.

Barry is a member of ICRU, the Risk and Insecurity Network, and Liverpool Digital and his work makes valuable contributions to the University's Heritage research theme. Barry also collaborates with colleagues in the School of Law and Social Justice, the History Department, and the Faculty of Health. He is CI on an AHRC project led by Professor Charles Forsdick on Dark Tourism, and is PI on Australian and Canadian research council funded projects on prisons, dark tourism, and historic biometric data.

Recently the Digital Panopticon has collaborated with the London Metropolitan Archives to produce an exhibition running until May 2018. In March 2018 the Digital Panopticon and forensic archaeologists and artists from Liverpool John Moores University are holding a photographic exhibition at Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral. Everyone is welcome to come along!