Our academics are collaboratively engaged with national research councils and local institutions. Read some of our reports listed below:


2 Howard League for Penal Reform-Making Youth Justice reports featuring maps

Making Youth Justice: Local penal cultures and differential outcomes – lessons and prospects for policy and practice

Research Report by Professor Barry Goldson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Liverpool, and Dr Damon Briggs, Head of Curriculum at Frontline.

The report is underpinned by detailed quantitative and qualitative research showing that youth justice is ‘made’ not only by national legislative and policy frameworks but also by practices that are operationalised at Youth Offending Service/Local Authority Area-level. In this sense, the otherwise discrete jurisdiction of England and Wales is, in effect, stratified and segmented via local penal cultures that give rise to differential outcomes (particularly when measured in terms of rates of custodial detention). The report illustrates such differential outcomes and provides incisive insights into how they come about. It provides vital lessons and prospects for policy and practice.

Contextual culpability: How drinking and social context impact upon sentencing of violence

Research Report by Dr Carly Lightowlers (University of Liverpool), Dr Jose Pina-Sánchez (University of Leeds) and Dr Emma Watkins (University of Roehampton)

The role intoxication plays in offending behaviour is the subject of complex and contentious debates concerning blame and culpability in the eyes of the law (see Ashworth, 2015; Dingwall, 2006; Sinclair-House, 2018). Sentencing guidelines identify intoxication as an aggravating factor (Sentencing Council, 2011), However, there is little clarity on how this ought to be applied and in which settings, as such sentencers are left to determine the ‘appropriate mix’ of sentencing considerations. However, this potentially introduces unwarranted disparities and bias in sentencing outcomes.

The Role of Deprivation and Alcohol Availability in Shaping Trends in Violent Crime

Research Report by Dr Carly Lightowlers (University of Liverpool), Dr Jose Pina-Sánchez and Fiona McLaughlin (University of Leeds)

It is well established that alcohol availability impacts violent crime. However, less is known about whether that impact is experienced uniformly across different areas. Here we make use of longitudinal police data to examine inequalities in violent crime across small level geography (LSOAs) for the whole of England, and the impact of deprivation and alcohol availability on the observed trends in recorded violent crime. 

Scrabble tiles spelling out 'Stay Home' plus thumbnails of working papers

The Shadow Pandemic

Working Papers by Prof Barry Godfrey, Prof Sandra Walklate and Dr Jane Richardson

The UN named the gendered consequences of COVID-19 isolation restrictions as ‘The Shadow Pandemic… “a perfect storm for controlling, violent behaviour behind closed doors.”.

Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology academics have been researching into the effects of national lockdowns and social distancing restrictions. You can read about their work in the School of Law and Social Justice's special focus on Coronavirus Research. Here, Barry, Sandra and Jane have also gathered together a series of related working papers from partners and colleagues around the world including reports from Queensland and Victoria, Australia.