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Personal profile


Introducing Criminology (CRM1001).
Punishment, Penal Policy and Prisons (CRM3001).
Psychological Perspectives on Crime (CRM3005). 


Research Interests

Identity, violence, imprisonment, shame, masculinity, penal reform, reintegration, desistance, criminological psychology and restorative justice.


Research Statement

My interests include criminological psychology and imprisonment. Criminological psychology involves understanding why people engage in crime, how society reacts to and manages criminal behaviour and how individuals began to leave behind a criminal career. In particular, I am interested in issues such as violence, identity, shame, masculinity, imprisonment, conflict, restorative justice and penal reform. My PhD thesis was entitled “Prisoner Confrontations: The Role of Shame, Masculinity and Respect” and investigated why some prisoners were more likely to engage in prisoner-on-prisoner violence than others. Since then, I have been involved in a number of research projects examining the service and support needs of young people on remand, fear of crime, equality and disciplinary processes in prison, parental imprisonment, the experiences of vulnerable individuals in the criminal justice system and the penal reform programme in Northern Ireland.


Please feel free to contact me to discuss possible research ideas. 


Current PhD Students

Sinead Meade – Effects of Prison Work in the Irish Prison Service.

Keira Flanagan - The Potential Effects of Educational and Vocational Programmes on the Desistance Process in Imprisoned Young People.

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.

Mark Williams - The Detection and Prevention of Inappropriate and Criminal Behaviour in Social Media.

Abdullah Al Habsi - A cross-national study of WhatsApp users in Oman: Motivations for self-disclosure and risk of blackmail.



Past PhD Students

Lauren Hogg – The Impact of State Intervention on the Work of Community-Based Restorative Justice Projects in Northern Ireland.


Annemarie Millar - Police Response and Understanding of Incidents of Domestic Abuse Involvement Children and Young People.



BA (Hons) Psychology, University College Dublin.
MSc in Forensic Psychology, University of Kent at Canterbury.
PhD in Criminology, University of Cambridge.
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Educational Teaching, Queen's University Belfast


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Michelle Butler is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 7 Similar Profiles
correctional institution Social Sciences
Prisons Medicine & Life Sciences
justice Social Sciences
Prisoners Medicine & Life Sciences
prisoner Social Sciences
Violence Medicine & Life Sciences
violence Social Sciences
imprisonment Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2019

Research Output 2004 2019

Open Access
Family Relations

Explaining Disparities in Prisoner Outcomes.

Butler, M., Kelly, D. & McNamee, C., Apr 2019, Queens University Belfast.

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Imprisoned Fathers: Responding to a Growing Concern

Flynn, C. & Butler, M., 2019, Routledge. 118 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

mental illness
social media


Nominated for QUB PhD Supervisory Excellence Award 2016

Michelle Butler (Recipient), 13 Apr 2016

Prize: Other distinction

Nominated for QUB PhD Supervisory Excellence Award 2018

Michelle Butler (Recipient), 25 Apr 2018

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Activities 2009 2019

European Society of Criminology Working Group on Prison Life and Effects of Imprisonment

Michelle Butler (Participant)
28 Mar 201929 Mar 2019

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

PhD External Examiner

Michelle Butler (Examiner)
03 Jan 2019

Activity: Examination typesPhD external examination

University of West Bohemia

Michelle Butler (Presenter)
04 Mar 201908 Mar 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

Using the voluntary sector to support children and families with complex needs – what are the benefits and risks

Andrew Percy (Keynote speaker), Michelle Butler (Advisor), Aisling McLaughlin (Advisor), David Hayes (Advisor)
23 Oct 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Child Care in Practice (Journal)

Michelle Butler (Peer reviewer)

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

Press / Media


Policing Incidents of Domestic Abuse Involving Children: Children’s and Police Officers’ Experiences

Author: Millar, A., 2019

Supervisor: Butler, M. (Supervisor), Devaney, J. (Supervisor), Serisier, T. (Supervisor), Butler, M. (Supervisor) & Corr, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy