Ros Burnett

Research Associate


Dr Ros Burnett is a Research Associate, formerly Reader in Criminology, at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, which she joined in 1990 after gaining her doctorate at Oxford (DPhil in Social Psychology). Before then she was a Probation Officer. Her specialist research interests are: rehabilitation and desistance from crime; and wrongful allegations of child abuse and sexual offences.

She has collaborated in numerous research projects on offender recidivism, desistance from crime, and youth justice, and has contributed to the teaching and supervision of postgraduate students.  She was Head of the Probation Studies Unit which flourished during the 1990s in developing evidence-based justice (reviewed in What Works in Probation and Youth Justice, Burnett and Roberts, eds). With David Faulkner she co-authored Where Next for Criminal Justice? (The Policy Press, 2011).

Her later work has focused on potential errors and miscarriages of justice, specifically relating to claims of innocence by people accused of sexual abuse.  Her book: Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse (Burnett, ed ) is published by Oxford University Press (September 2016). Her recent work with Naomi-Ellen Speechley, 'Robbed of Everything': The Voices of Former Prisoners Maintaining Innocence though Convicted of Sexual Offences, and of their Relatives (FACT: Falsely Accused Carers, Teachers and other professionals 2021) reports on a subsidiary study to the Centre‚Äôs 2016 report, The Impact of Being Wrongly Accused of Abuse in Occupations of Trust: Victims Voices, (Carolyn Hoyle, Naomi-Ellen Speechley, Ros Burnett).


Research Interests

False allegations and miscarriages of Justice; Investigation of allegations of sexual offences and child abuse; Ex-offender reintegration and desistance from crime; Older prisoners. 


Research projects & programmes

Centre for Criminology Miscarriages of Justice