Omar Khan

Departmental Lecturer


Omar led the Equality & Diversity departments at HMP Wormwood Scrubs and HMP Latchmere House before moving into international criminal justice reform. He has evaluated several projects for UN departments and also facilitated training on UN standards. Omar taught criminology at the University of Westminster for the four years previous to joining Oxford.

Recent projects have included:

  • Research: Places of Deprivation of Liberty and Gender on behalf of OSCE/DCAF/UN Women (available in 5 languages)
  • Research: Understanding Police response and perceptions of mental health incidents on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Staffordshire
  • Training: UN Bangkok Rules & Nelson Mandela Rules with Prison and Probation staff in Kenya
  • Evaluation: A gender-sensitive approach to community sanctions in Kenya
  • Evaluation: UNICEF’s pretrial diversion programme for juveniles in Zimbabwe

Other notable work:
Omar successfully led Penal Reform International’s tri-country project to improve community-based alternatives to prison in East Africa and reconceptualised the model for engagement based on the evidence. He previously lived in Uganda, successfully winning and implementing justice projects for an NGO and later conducted research on pretrial detention for the International Centre for Prison Studies.


Omar teaches on the MSc Course on the following modules:

  • Criminological Theories & Criminal Justice (Core module x2)
  • Race and Gender
  • Theorizing Punishment
  • Prisons
  • Research Design & Data Collection


Omar is also the creator and host of Justice Focus, an interview-based criminology podcast, which highlights exciting new work of academics and criminal justice practitioners. Episodes are available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and many other providers.  



Research Interests

Omar’s research focuses on how coloniality informs criminological thinking and practice. He is currently investigating how legacies of empire influence judicial decision-making at the pre-trial stage in Brazil. Omar also works on gender-responsive projects within criminal justice settings.

Research projects & programmes

Centre for Criminology