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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

Annual Roger Hood Lecture: Friday 23rd May

The Centre for Criminology welcomed Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat to give this year's Annual Roger Hood Public Lecture […]

Centre for Criminology

Building on the successful inaugural open day last year, this year the Centre has arranged an open day to showcase research and career opportunities outside the University sector […]

Roger Hood Annual Public Lecture 2014

Friday 23 May 17:00 - Manor Road Building Lecture Theatre

Moving targets: Reputational Risk, rights and accountability in punishment - Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat,

This lecture will comment on how institutional concerns about prevention, reputational risk and human rights have produced forms of accountability that facilitate persistent, systemic problems […]

Leverhulme International Network on External Border Control

photo of Mary BosworthThe Centre for Criminology is pleased to announce the Leverhulme International Network on External Border Control lead by Mary Bosworth […]

Investigating Adolescent Violence towards Parents

photo of Rachel Condry

Rachel Condry (University Lecturer at the Centre for Criminology and a Fellow of St Hilda's College) has recently conducted a three-year research project on adolescent-to-parent violence funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) […]

Making and Breaking Barriers: Assessing the value of mounted police units in the UK

Ben Bradford has been awarded a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to research mounted police in the UK, the 12 month project, which is being run in conjunction with RAND and the Association of Chief Police Officers, starts in October 2013 […]

Professor Carolyn Hoyle

photo of Carolyn Hoyle

Professor Carolyn Hoyle has been awarded a £110,338 Research Grant from The Leverhulme Trust to conduct a two-year project on 'Last Resorts: Decisions and Discretion at the Criminal Cases Review Commission' […]

The Roger Hood Public Lecture 23 May 2013

photo of Andrew Ashworth

Criminology has had a home in Oxford for over fifty years and has thrived under the leadership of Professor Roger Hood since 1973, first as an independent unit within the University and, since 1991 as an integral department of the Faculty of Law […]

ESRC-funded seminar series on immigration detention

Mary Bosworth is part of an interdisciplinary team from the Universities of Oxford, York, Birmingham, Lancaster and Exeter who have been granted funds from the ESRC to hold a seminar series entitled 'Exploring Everyday Practice and Resistance in Immigration Detention' […]

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

Showing selected publications sorted by type, then year, author, title  [change this]

Showing key publications in this field, as selected by the author
Change to sort them by year | title | name OR
Show All 304 | Recent publications

Journal Articles

2013

R Condry and Caroline Miles, 'Adolescent to Parent Violence: Framing and Mapping a Hidden Problem' (2013) Criminology and Criminal Justice (forthcoming) [...]

DOI: 10.1177/1748895813500155

Adolescent to parent violence is virtually absent from policing, youth justice and domestic violence policy, despite being widely recognized by practitioners in those fields. It is under-researched and rarely appears in criminological discussions of family or youth violence. This article presents the first UK analysis of cases of adolescent to parent violence reported to the police. We analyse victim, offender and incident characteristics from 1892 cases reported to the Metropolitan Police in 2009–2010, most of which involved violence against the person or criminal damage in the home. Our findings reveal that adolescent to parent violence is a gendered phenomenon: 87 per cent of suspects were male and 77 per cent of victims were female. We argue that the absence of adolescent to parent violence from criminological discourse must be addressed if criminology is to have a thorough understanding of family violence in all its forms.


K Bullock and R Condry, 'Responding to denial, minimization and blame in correctional settings: The ‘real world’ implications of offender neutralizations' (2013) 10 European Journal of Criminology 572 [...]

DOI: 10.1177/1477370813475391

This article examines ‘real-world’ implications of offender neutralizations. Drawing on empirical evidence derived from a study of the operation of community-based cognitive-behavioural programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence, it focuses on the implications, for offenders, of displaying neutralizations in correctional treatment settings. This article draws attention to the complex relationship between neutralization and correctional group work practice. First, it demonstrates that neutralization of offending does not always have the negative implications for offenders that have been assumed by some commentators. Neutralization may not preclude enrolment on to a correctional programme, is not always challenged in a confrontational way by practitioners and does not automatically result in suspension and the application of more punitive criminal sanctions. Second, the article demonstrates the difficulties that practitioners and participants face in tackling neutralizations in this context. Our findings suggest a need to rethink the central role that neutralizations play in aspects of contemporary criminal justice practice.


I Loader, B Goold and A Thumala, 'The Banality of Security: The Curious Case of Surveillance Cameras' (2013) 53 British Journal of Criminology 977 [...]

Why do certain security goods become banal (while others do not)? Under what conditions does banality occur and with what effects? In this paper we answer these questions by examining the story of closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) in Britain. We consider the lessons to be learned from CCTV’s rapid – but puzzling - transformation from novelty to ubiquity, and what the banal properties of CCTV tell us about the social meanings of surveillance and security. We begin by revisiting and reinterpreting the historical process through which camera surveillance has diffused across the British landscape, focussing on the key developments that encoded CCTV in certain dominant meanings (around its effectiveness, for example) and pulled the cultural rug out from under alternative or oppositional discourses. Drawing upon interviews with those who produce and consume CCTV, we tease out and discuss the family of meanings that can lead one justifiably to describe CCTV as a banal good. We then examine some frontiers of this process and consider whether novel forms of camera surveillance (such as domestic CCTV systems) may press up against the limits of banality in ways that risk unsettling security practices whose social value and utility have come to be taken for granted. In conclusion, we reflect on some wider implications of banal security and its limits.


ISBN: 0007-0955

2012

J Jackson and others, 'Why do People Comply with the Law?: Legitimacy and the Influence of Legal Institutions' (2012) 52 British Journal of Criminology [...]

DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azs032

This paper extends Tyler’s procedural justice model of public compliance with the law. Analysing data from a national probability sample of adults in England and Wales, we present a new conceptualization of legitimacy based on not just the recognition of power, but also the justification of power. We find that people accept the police’s right to dictate appropriate behaviour not only when they feel a duty to obey officers, but also when they believe that the institution acts according to a shared moral purpose with citizens. Highlighting a number of different routes by which institutions can influence citizen behaviour, our broader normative model provides a better framework for explaining why people are willing to comply with the law.


ISBN: 0007-0955

R Condry and C Miles, 'Adolescent to parent violence and youth justice in England and Wales' (2012) 11 Social Policy & Society 241 [...]

DOI: 10.1017/S1474746411000601

Adolescent to parent violence is a problem which remains largely unarticulated within youth justice policy literature and academic discourse in England and Wales. This article presents research evidence suggesting that adolescent to parent violence is a significant problem which needs to be clearly addressed in the youth justice policy agenda. Although it is widely recognised by practitioners and regularly encountered in their work, there is a ‘silence’ at the policy level and a lack of appropriate support services or responses. The article considers reasons for the absence of adolescent to parent violence in youth justice policy and argues for the importance of recognising and defining the problem and for the development of appropriate responses.


ISBN: 1474-7464

2011

M Bosworth and E Kaufman, 'Foreigners in a Carceral Age: Immigration and Imprisonment in the U.S.' (2011) 22 Stanford Law & Policy Review 101

B Bradford, 'Convergence not divergence? Trends and trajectories in public contact and confidence in the police' (2011) 51 The British Journal of Criminology 179 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azq078

Public trust and confidence are vital to the police function. There has been much comment and debate about the apparent decline in confidence in the British police since the 1950s, most frequently evidenced by data from the British Crime Survey (BCS). Yet, there has been relatively little in-depth interrogation of the data at the heart of the discussion. Pooling data from 11 sweeps of the BCS (1984 to 2005/06), this paper shows a homogenization over time in trends in trust and confidence and experiences of encounters with the police. This pattern is found across both age and ethnicity, and can also be identified in other variables. The story that emerges therefore differs from analyses that emphasize the increasingly diffuse and variable nature of public experiences of the police.


ISBN: 0007-0955

B Bradford, 'Voice neutrality and respect: Use of Victim Support services procedural fairness and confidence in the Criminal Justice System' (2011) Criminology and Criminal Justice [...]

DOI: 10.1177/1748895811408832

Public confidence in the criminal justice system (CJS) is a topic of perennial concern across the United Kingdom, particularly in light of the relatively low levels of confidence reported in the British Crime Survey (BCS) and elsewhere. Recent work on policing has stressed that the experience of procedural fairness is an important influence on ‘user-satisfaction’, trust and legitimacy. Yet it is unclear whether this emphasis on fairness applies to the CJS as a whole, which many might see as primarily there to manage — and punish — offenders as efficiently as possible. This article reports on analysis of the BCS that suggests contact with Victim Support is linked to more favourable views of the fairness of the CJS and to higher levels of confidence in its effectiveness. By providing victims with voice and a sense that someone is listening to and taking their concerns seriously, contact with VS seems to be linked to more favourable overall assessments of the CJS. A space is therefore opened up for approaches to enhancing public confidence that do not rely on ever more punitive policies, or on the arguably Sisyphean task of convincing the public that extant policies are punitive enough.


ISBN: 1748-8958

2010

K Hohl, B Bradford and EA Stanko, 'Influencing trust and confidence in the London Metropolitan Police: results from an experiment testing the effect of leaflet-drops on public opinion' (2010) 50 The British Journal of Criminology 491 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azq005

Enhancing trust and confidence has moved to the centre of policing policy in England and Wales. The association between direct encounters with police officers and confidence in the police is well-established. But is it possible for the police to increase confidence among the general population including those people who do not routinely come into direct contact with police officers? This paper presents the findings from a quasi-randomised experiment conducted on population representative samples in seven London wards that assessed the impact of a leaflet drop on public perceptions of policing. The results provide strong evidence of an improvement in overall confidence, and in perceptions of police–community engagement, specifically. The leaflets also appear to have had a buffering effect against declines in public assessments of police effectiveness. The findings support the idea that public trust and confidence can be enhanced by direct police communication of this type.


ISBN: 0007-0955

I Loader, B Goold and A Thumala, 'Consuming Security?: Tools for a Sociology of Security Consumption' (2010) 14 Theoretical Criminology 3 [...]

How does our understanding of private security alter if we treat security consumption as consumption? In this paper, we set out the parameters of a project which strives – theoretically and empirically – to do just this. We begin with a reminder that private security necessarily entails acts of buying and selling, and by indicating how the sociology of consumption may illuminate this central – but overlooked – fact about the phenomenon. We then develop a framework for investigating security consumption. This focuses attention on individual acts of shopping; practices of organizational security that individuals indirectly consume; and social and political arrangements that may prompt the consumption of, or themselves be consumed by, security. This way of seeing, we contend, calls for greater comparative enquiry into the conditions under which markets for security commodities flourish or founder, and close analysis of the social meanings and trajectories of different security goods. By way of illustration we focus on four such categories of good – those we term commonplace, failed, novel and securitized. The overarching claim of the paper is that the study of private security currently stands in need of greater conceptual and empirical scrutiny of what is going on when ‘security’ is consumed.


ISBN: 1362-4806

I Loader, 'For penal moderation: Notes towards a public philosophy of punishment' (2010) 14 Theoretical Criminology 349

I Loader, 'Is it NICE? The Appeal, Limits and Promise of Translating a Health Innovation into Criminal Justice ' (2010) 63 Current Legal Problems 72

2009

B Bradford, J Jackson and EA Stanko, 'Contact and confidence: Revisiting the impact of public encounters with the police' (2009) 19 Policing and Society 20

J Jackson and B Bradford, 'Crime, policing and the moral order: On the expressive nature of public confidence in policing' (2009) 60 The British Journal of Sociology 493

R Hood and C Hoyle, 'Abolishing the Death Penalty Worldwide: The Impact of a New Dynamic?' (2009) 38 Crime and Justice: A Review of Research 1

2008

M Bosworth, 'Border Control and the Limits of the Sovereign State' (2008) 17 Social and Legal Studies 199

M Bosworth and M Guild, 'Governing through migration control: Security and Citizenship in Britain' (2008) 48 The British Journal of Criminology 703

C Hoyle, 'Will She Be Safe? A Critical Analysis of Risk Assessment inDomestic Violence Cases' (2008) 30 Children and Youth Services Review 323

Books

2010

M Bosworth, Explaining U.S. Imprisonment (Sage Publications 2010)

C Cunneen and C Hoyle, Debating Restorative Justice (Hart Publishing 2010)

I Loader and R Sparks, Public Criminology? (Routledge 2010)

2008

J Roberts, Punishing Persistent Offenders (Oxford University Press 2008)

Chapters

2010

R Condry, 'Appreciating the Broad Reach of Serious Crime and the Interpretive Power of Claims to Secondary Victimization' in David Downes, Dick Hobbs and Tim Newburn (eds), The Eternal Recurrence of Crime and Control: Essays in Honour of Paul Rock (Clarendon: Oxford 2010)

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:

Mary Bosworth: Reader in Criminology
Carolyn Hoyle: Professor of Criminology
Ian Loader: Professor of Criminology
David Nelken: Visiting Professor
Julian Roberts: Professor of Criminology
Lucia Zedner: Professor of Criminal Justice

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

Clara Feliciati: DPhil Law student
Roger Hood: Emeritus Professor of Criminology and Fellow of All Souls College, and former Director of the Centre for Criminological Research
George Mawhinney: DPhil Law student
Michelle Miao: Howard League Fellow in Criminology
Leila Ullrich: DPhil Criminology student
Marion Vannier: DPhil Criminology student
Federico Varese: Professor of Criminology
Kate West: DPhil Criminology student

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Criminology and Criminal Justice

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 selected publications sorted by type, then year, author, title  [change this]

Showing key publications in this field, as selected by the author
Change to sort them by year | title | name OR
Show All 80 | Recent publications

Books

2014

Andrew Ashworth and L Zedner, Preventive Justice ( 2014)

2008

A Ashworth and L H Zedner, Defending the Criminal Law: Reflections on the Changing Character of Crime, Procedure and Sanctions (2, Criminal Law and Philosophy 2008) [...]

DOI: 10.1007/s11572-007-9033-2

Re-assessment of the trend away from traditional criminal law and criminal procedure, and re-assertion of the normative significance of criminal law principles and protections.


ISBN: 1871-9791

Chapters

2012

L Zedner, 'Erring on the side of safety: Risk assessment, expert knowledge, and the criminal court' in I Dennis & GR Sullivan (eds), Seeking Security: Pre-empting the Commission of Criminal Harms (Hart Publishing 2012)

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 and penal systems. 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: 22 lectures – 10 each in Michaelmas and Hilary terms, and two revision lectures on current controversies in criminal justice in Trinity Term; four classes and four tutorials (two of each in Michaelmas and Hilary Term).

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 and penal systems. 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: 22 lectures – 10 each in Michaelmas and Hilary terms, and two revision lectures on current controversies in criminal justice in Trinity Term; four classes and four tutorials (two of each in Michaelmas and Hilary Term).

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:

Mary Bosworth: Reader in 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: Stipendiary Lecturer in Law, St Annes College
Lucia Zedner: Professor of Criminal Justice

assisted by:

George Mawhinney: DPhil Law student

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