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Criminology — Overview

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For more detailed information about our work in this area, see also the dedicated Centre for Criminology website

This theme contains two subjects, namely: Criminology and Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology

News

Reconciliation and Forgiveness symposium

photo of Rachel Condry

Rachel Condry, Associate Professor in Criminology, was in Finland at the beginning of June to give an invited paper to a symposium organised by Professor Martha Nussbaum (University of Chicago) and the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki […]

Attention Oxford Criminology Alumni!

Oxford Criminology will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016 […]

The Criminal Case Review Commission's response to wrongfully convicted asylum seekers

Dr Mai Sato, a Research Officer from the Centre for Criminology, has been awarded a grant from the Fell Fund in order to continue her work as an early career researcher into the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) reviews possible miscarriages of justice […]

Mounted police units 'boost public trust'

Researchers have measured the value of mounted police units in the UK […]

Inside Immigration Detention

In September 2014 Mary Bosworth published the first national study of life in Britain’s immigration removal centres (IRCs) […]

Dr Mai Sato - Young Criminologist Award

Dr Mai Sato was awarded the Young Criminologist Award 2014 for her book "The Death Penalty in Japan: Will the Public Tolerate Abolition?" The Award ceremony took place on 18 October 2014 at the 41st Japanese Association of Sociological Criminology Conference in Kyoto […]

Discussion Groups

These self-sustaining groups are an essential part of the life of our graduate school. They are organised in some cases by graduate students and in others by Faculty members and meet regularly during term, typically over a sandwich lunch, when one of the group presents work in progress or introduces a discussion of a particular issue or new case. They may also encompass guest speakers from the faculty and beyond.

Criminology Discussion Group

Publications

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Showing 5 of the most recent publications
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2015

E Antrobus, B Bradford, K Murphy and E Sergeant, 'Community norms, procedural justice and the public’s perceptions of police legitimacy' (2015) 31 Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 151 [...]

DOI: 10.1177/1043986214568840

A significant body of research has demonstrated the importance of procedurally fair policing in fostering citizens’ feelings of obligation to obey the police. A handful of recent studies have begun to explore the role of community processes within this relationship. They show perceptions of police use of procedural justice, and their consequences can vary according to community context. The present study utilizes data collected within a randomized controlled trial of procedural justice in policing, the Queensland Community Engagement Trial (QCET). We find perceived community norms about obeying the police are strongly associated with individuals’ own feelings of obligation to obey police. Moreover, this relationship holds net of individual assessments of police. Second, procedurally just policing appears to have a greater effect on the obligation to obey police for those who believe others in their community feel less obligated to obey the police. Results demonstrate that one’s ties to the community can therefore moderate the associations between procedural justice and the obligation to obey police. The findings are interpreted within a social-psychological framework.


S MacQueen and B Bradford, 'Enhancing public trust and police legitimacy during road traffic encounters: results from a randomized controlled trial in Scotland' (2015) Journal of Experimental Criminology [...]

DOI: 10.1007/s11292-015-9240-0

Objectives This paper reports results from the Scottish Community Engagement Trial (ScotCET), devised to replicate the Queensland Community Trial (QCET). ScotCET was an RCT that tested the effects of ‘procedurally just’ policing on public trust and police legitimacy Methods A block-randomised (matched pairs) design, with pretest and posttest measures, was implemented in the context of road policing in Scotland. Participants were drivers stopped by police in December and January 2013/14 as part of Police Scotland’s ‘Festive Road Safety Campaign’. The experimental intervention comprised a checklist of key messages to include in routine roadside vehicle stops, and a leaflet for officers to give to drivers. Analysis proceeds via random effects regression models predicting latent variable measures of trust, satisfaction and legitimacy Results Contrary to expectations, the intervention did not improve trust and legitimacy; rather, trust in the officers who made the stop, and satisfaction with their conduct, fell in the test sites, relative to the controls, after implementation of the intervention. The intervention had no significant effect on general trust in the police, nor on police legitimacy Conclusions Results demonstrate the difficulty in translating experimental interventions across policing contexts, and challenge the notion that public perceptions may be improved through a simple, additive approach to the delivery and communication of procedural justice.


I Loader, B Goold and A Thumala, 'Grudge Spending: The Interplay between Markets and Culture in the Purchase of Security' (2015) 65 The Sociological Review [...]

In the paper, we use data from an English study of security consumption, and recent work in the cultural sociology of markets, to illustrate the way in which moral and social commitments shape and often constrain decisions about how, or indeed whether, individuals and organizations enter markets for protection. Three main claims are proffered. We suggest, firstly, that the purchase of security commodities is a mundane, non-conspicuous mode of consumption that typically exists outside of the paraphernalia of consumer culture – a form of grudge spending. Secondly, we demonstrate that security consumption is weighed against other commitments that individuals and organizations have and is often kept in check by these competing considerations. We find, thirdly, that the prospect of consuming security prompts people to consider the relations that obtain between security objects and other things that they morally or aesthetically value, and to reflect on what the buying and selling of security signals about the condition and likely futures of their society. These points are illustrated using the examples of organisational consumption and gated communities. In respect of each case, we tease out the evaluative judgments that condition and constrain the purchase of security amongst organisations and individuals and argue that they open up some important but neglected questions to do with the moral economy of security.


B Bradford, K Hohl, J Jackson and S MacQueen, 'Obeying the rules of the road' (2015) 31 Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 171 [...]

DOI: 10.1177/1043986214568833

Why do people comply with traffic laws and regulations? Road traffic policing tends to be premised on the idea that people comply when they are presented with a credible risk of sanction in the event of non-compliance. Such an instrumental model of compliance contrasts with the normative account offered by procedural justice theory, in which compliance is encouraged by legitimate legal authorities. Comparing these two accounts, we find evidence that both instrumental and normative factors explain variance in motorists’ self-reported propensity to offend. Extending the standard procedural justice account, we also find that it is social identity—not legitimacy—that forms the “bridge” linking procedural fairness and compliance, at least according to a definition of legitimacy that combines felt obligation and moral endorsement. Fair treatment at the hands of police officers seems to enhance identification with the social group the police represent, and in turn, identification seems to motivate adherence to rules (laws) governing social behavior. These findings have implications not only for understandings of legal compliance but also for our understanding of why procedural justice motivates compliance and the role of procedural justice in promoting social cohesion.


R Hood and C Hoyle, 'Progress Made for Worldwide Abolition of Death Penalty' (2015) 6 International Affairs Forum 8

Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Postgraduate

MSc

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Please visit the course pages on the Centre for Criminology's dedicated website.

Criminology and Criminal Justice (Research Methods)

Please visit the course pages on the Centre for Criminology's dedicated website.


People

Criminology teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

Rachel Condry: Associate Professor of Criminology

in conjunction with:

Andrew Ashworth, QC: Emeritus Emeritus Vinerian Professor of English Law
Mary Bosworth: Professor of Criminology
Carolyn Hoyle: Professor of Criminology
Ian Loader: Professor of Criminology
Julian Roberts: Professor of Criminology
Lucia Zedner: Professor of Criminal Justice

Also working in this field, but not involved in its teaching programme:

Roger Hood: Retired. Formerly
Leila Ullrich: Research Officer
Federico Varese:

Graduate students working in this field:

Clara Feliciati: DPhil Law student
Arushi Garg: MPhil Law student
Alice Gerlach: DPhil Criminology student
George Mawhinney: DPhil Law student
Marion Vannier: DPhil Criminology student
Kate West: DPhil Criminology student

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Criminology and Criminal Justice

News

The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective. Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle

The 5th edition of Hood & Hoyle's The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective was published on 8 January 2015, and launched in the House of Lords on 13 January at an event hosted by Baroness Vivien Stern and the All Party Parliamentary Group Against the Death Penalty […]

Annual Roger Hood Public Lecture - Friday 5th June 2015

Annual Roger Hood Public Lecture - Friday 5th June 2015

Prisons and the problem of trust: contrasting approaches to risk, radicalisation and personal growth in two high security prisons

Professor Alison Liebling, University of Cambridge

Friday 5 June, 2015, 5pm, Lecture Theatre, Manor Road building

This lecture describes a newly emerging form of imprisonment in high security prisons […]

Discussion Groups

These self-sustaining groups are an essential part of the life of our graduate school. They are organised in some cases by graduate students and in others by Faculty members and meet regularly during term, typically over a sandwich lunch, when one of the group presents work in progress or introduces a discussion of a particular issue or new case. They may also encompass guest speakers from the faculty and beyond.

Police and Policing Research Discussion Group

Publications

Showing five recent publications sorted by year, then title  [change this]

Showing 5 of the most recent publications
Change to sort them by title | name | type OR
Show All 95 | Selected publications

2016

I Loader and B Bradford, 'Police, Crime and Order: The Case of Stop and Search' in B Bradford B Jauregui I Loader J Steinberg (ed), The SAGE Handbook of Global Policing (Sage 2016) [...]

In this chapter we revisit and extend discussion about the relation of the police to the key political concepts of ‘crime’ and ‘order’ using the case of the police power of stop and search/frisk. We select this power as a case study because its exercise is laden with implications for how we understand the overarching purpose of the police and seek to control and govern police work. Using evidence on the social and spatial distribution of stop and search from several jurisdictions, we contest two legitimating fictions about this power – that it is a tool of crime detection and that it can be subject to effective legal regulation. The evidence, we argue, suggests that stop and search is about control and the assertion of order and the effort to do this implicates not only ‘fighting crime’ but also regulating and disciplining populations based on who they are, not how they behave. Given this, we argue, stop and search is best understood as an aspect of The Police Power recently theorized by Markus Dubber (2005) – a potentially limitless, uncontrollable, extra-legal power to do what is necessary to monitor and control marginal populations. In conclusion, we spell out the regulatory implications of understanding stop and search in these terms.


B Bradford , B Jauregui, I Loader and J Steinberg (eds), The SAGE Handbook of Global Policing (Sage 2016)

2015

J Roberts (ed), Exploring Sentencing. Empirical and Normative Aspects of Legal Punishment in England and Wales. (Palgrave 2015) (forthcoming)

I Loader, 'Foreword: Towards what kind of Global Policing Studies?' in J Beek, M Gopfert, O Owen and J Steinberg (eds), Police in Africa: The Street Level View (London: Hurst 2015)

M Bosworth and Turnbull, Sarah, 'Immigration Detention and the Expansion of Penal Power in the UK' in K. Reiter and A. Koenig. (eds), Extreme Punishment (Palgrave 2015)

Courses

The courses we offer in this field are:

Undergraduate

FHS - Final Year (Phase III)

The degree is awarded on the basis of nine final examinations at the end of the three-year course (or four years in the case of Law with Law Studies in Europe) and (for students who began the course in October 2011 or later) an essay in Jurisprudence written over the summer vacation at the end of the second year. Note: the Jurisprudence exam at the end of the third year is correspondingly shorter. This phase of the Final Honour School includes the first and second term of the final year; the Final Examinations are taken in the third term of the final year.

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Why are criminal laws made? Why are they broken? How do we, and how should we, react to the breaking of criminal laws? These three questions are the stuff of criminology. They also occupy a central and controversial place in public and political debates about the condition and future of contemporary liberal democratic societies. This course provides students with the chance to study them in depth.
Criminology and Criminal Justice offers students an opportunity to study crime and the ways in which it is dealt with by the criminal justice system. It enables students to explore the nature of crime and its control by examining the issues at stake using the resources of legal, penal and social theory. It also offers students the chance to think about crime as a social phenomenon and to explore using criminological research and analysis how criminal justice and penal systems operate in practice.

The course is structured as follows: 18 lectures as well four classes and tutorials

Lectures, classes and tutorials are provided by several academics from the Law Faculty who are also members of the Centre for Criminology.

More information about the Centre for Criminology, including the All Souls Criminology Seminar Series, can be found on the Centre's website.

Diploma in Legal Studies

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Why are criminal laws made? Why are they broken? How do we, and how should we, react to the breaking of criminal laws? These three questions are the stuff of criminology. They also occupy a central and controversial place in public and political debates about the condition and future of contemporary liberal democratic societies. This course provides students with the chance to study them in depth.
Criminology and Criminal Justice offers students an opportunity to study crime and the ways in which it is dealt with by the criminal justice system. It enables students to explore the nature of crime and its control by examining the issues at stake using the resources of legal, penal and social theory. It also offers students the chance to think about crime as a social phenomenon and to explore using criminological research and analysis how criminal justice and penal systems operate in practice.

The course is structured as follows: 18 lectures as well four classes and tutorials

Lectures, classes and tutorials are provided by several academics from the Law Faculty who are also members of the Centre for Criminology.

More information about the Centre for Criminology, including the All Souls Criminology Seminar Series, can be found on the Centre's website.

Postgraduate

BCL

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from common-law backgrounds

Punishment, Security and the State

The proposed course aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the theoretical underpinnings, justifications, and contemporary practices of punishment and security. The subject is approached from criminological, socio-legal, philosophical, and historical perspectives. The course explores the role of the state in the exercise of its most coercive functions against individual citizens – whether punishing those found guilty of criminal wrongdoing or taking security measures against those deemed to pose a risk to the safety of the public and the nation.

In Michaelmas Term it will focus on ‘why we punish’ by examining major debates in penal theory concerning the justification and rationale for punishment (not least desert theory and its critics, communicative and consequentialist theories). The second half of the term will consider ‘how we punish’ by exploring diverse social, economic and political aspects of punishment and examining whether it is possible to do justice to difference.

In Hilary Term the focus will shift from punishment to the pursuit of security and critically examine what is meant by security (whether, for example, as pursuit, commodity, or public good). Successive seminars will consider whether the growth of markets in private security and the development of communal and personal security provision evidence the fragmentation or dispersal of state power. They will go on to examine exercises in state sovereignty in the name of risk management, counterterrorism, and migration and border control. These reassertions of state power permit significant intrusions into individual freedom and the deployment of exceptional measures and the course will address important questions about the limits of legality and the balancing of liberty and security.

In Trinity Term two final seminars will provide an opportunity for critical reflection and engagement with issues raised throughout the course. The first will examine the case for ‘civilizing security’ and consider how security should be pursued, distributed, and governed and by whom; the second returns to the question of punishment to explore the notion of penal excess and the case for penal moderation.

The course will be taught by 12 seminars and 4 tutorials spread across Michaelmas and Hilary Terms (six seminars and two tutorials in each) with 2 further summative seminars in Trinity providing an opportunity for critical reflection on the whole course. The standard exam for the BCL (ie, 3 hour closed book) will be set.

The focus of teaching will be the weekly seminar which all those taking the course are required to attend. Students will be expected to read and think about the assigned materials in advance of the seminar. The seminar will be introduced by a Faculty member, followed by discussion, usually based around a set of questions distributed in advance. In addition the Centre for Criminology organizes seminars during the academic year at which distinguished invited speakers discuss current research or major issues of policy. This programme is advertised on the Centre's website and all students are encouraged to attend.

MJur

Our taught postgraduate programme, designed to serve outstanding law students from civil law backgrounds.

Punishment, Security and the State

The proposed course aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the theoretical underpinnings, justifications, and contemporary practices of punishment and security. The subject is approached from criminological, socio-legal, philosophical, and historical perspectives. The course explores the role of the state in the exercise of its most coercive functions against individual citizens – whether punishing those found guilty of criminal wrongdoing or taking security measures against those deemed to pose a risk to the safety of the public and the nation.

In Michaelmas Term it will focus on ‘why we punish’ by examining major debates in penal theory concerning the justification and rationale for punishment (not least desert theory and its critics, communicative and consequentialist theories). The second half of the term will consider ‘how we punish’ by exploring diverse social, economic and political aspects of punishment and examining whether it is possible to do justice to difference.

In Hilary Term the focus will shift from punishment to the pursuit of security and critically examine what is meant by security (whether, for example, as pursuit, commodity, or public good). Successive seminars will consider whether the growth of markets in private security and the development of communal and personal security provision evidence the fragmentation or dispersal of state power. They will go on to examine exercises in state sovereignty in the name of risk management, counterterrorism, and migration and border control. These reassertions of state power permit significant intrusions into individual freedom and the deployment of exceptional measures and the course will address important questions about the limits of legality and the balancing of liberty and security.

In Trinity Term two final seminars will provide an opportunity for critical reflection and engagement with issues raised throughout the course. The first will examine the case for ‘civilizing security’ and consider how security should be pursued, distributed, and governed and by whom; the second returns to the question of punishment to explore the notion of penal excess and the case for penal moderation.

The course will be taught by 12 seminars and 4 tutorials spread across Michaelmas and Hilary Terms (six seminars and two tutorials in each) with 2 further summative seminars in Trinity providing an opportunity for critical reflection on the whole course. The standard exam for the BCL (ie, 3 hour closed book) will be set.

The focus of teaching will be the weekly seminar which all those taking the course are required to attend. Students will be expected to read and think about the assigned materials in advance of the seminar. The seminar will be introduced by a Faculty member, followed by discussion, usually based around a set of questions distributed in advance. In addition the Centre for Criminology organizes seminars during the academic year at which distinguished invited speakers discuss current research or major issues of policy. This programme is advertised on the Centre's website and all students are encouraged to attend.


People

Criminology and Criminal Justice teaching is organized by a Subject Group convened by:

Julian Roberts: Professor of Criminology

in conjunction with:

Andrew Ashworth, QC: Emeritus Emeritus Vinerian Professor of English Law
Mary Bosworth: Professor of Criminology
Rachel Condry: Associate Professor of Criminology
Carolyn Hoyle: Professor of Criminology
Liora Lazarus: Associate Professor of Law
Ian Loader: Professor of Criminology
Natasha Simonsen: Lecturer in Law, New College
Lucia Zedner: Professor of Criminal Justice

assisted by:

George Mawhinney: DPhil Law student

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