• Room 01.024 - Sociology and Social Work

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Imprisonment, criminology, crime, prison, criminological psychology, penal reform, reducing reoffending and desistance, as well as social media crimes.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Imprisonment, effects of imprisonment, prison-based parenting programmes, penal reform, penal policy, desistance, reintegration, conflict, criminological psychology and social media related crimes. 

Research Statement

My research background is in criminological psychology and imprisonment. Criminological psychology involves understanding why people engage in crime, how society reacts to and manages criminal behaviour and how individuals begin to leave behind a criminal career. In recent years, I have been involved in investigating the outcomes people experience in prison, penal policy and prison-based parenting programmes. Additionally, I have examined the experiences of those with complex needs, how the imprisonment of parents/caregivers may affect children and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the challenges involved in dealing with social media related crimes. I have also been involved in projects assessing how a history of conflict may affect penal reform, desistance and reintegration.  

I have supervised a number of PhD students and would encourage prospective PhD students to contact me to discuss their proposals.

Current PhD Students

Elliot Bowden - Media Representations of Deaths in Prison: A Critical Analysis. 

Kelly Huie - Self-disclosure on Snapchat.

Karen Johnson - Developing a measure of desistance self-narrative.

Daniel McFadden - Imprisoned adult men with mental illness in Northern Ireland: The role of social support in recovery.

Kirsten McGregor - Assessing the feasibility and viability of Restorative Justice interventions for serious sexual offending. 

Sinead Meade – Effects of prison work in the Irish Prison Service.

Past PhD Students

Abdullah Al Habsi - Cyber security on social media: The self-disclosure of sensitive private information and risk of online blackmail on WhatsApp in Oman.

Keira Flanagan - Unlocking potential and learning to desist: Exploring the transformation of a Young Offenders Centre into a Secure College.

Aimee Muirhead - Behind Closed Doors: A study of cell-sharing, wellbeing and coping in prison.

Shane Bell - Doing desistance in divided neighbourhoods: The role of conflict affected neighbourhoods.

Lauren Hogg – The impact of state intervention on the work of community-based restorative justice projects in Northern Ireland.

Annemarie Millar - Policing incidents of domestic abuse involving children: Children's and police officers' experience.

Julie Harris - Initiations and transitions to and from injecting drug use and heroin use.


Introducing Criminology (CRM1001)

Punishment, Penal Policy and Prison (CRM3001)

Psychological Perspectives on Crime (CRM3005)

Educational Qualifications

BA in Psychology, University College Dublin

MSc in Forensic Psychology, University of Kent

PhD in Criminology, University of Cambridge

Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching, Queen's University Belfast


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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