The Brian Williams Prize

How to nominate

The Brian Williams Prize was established to honour the memory of Dr. Brian Williams, Professor of Community Justice and Victimology at De Montfort University, who was a member of the BSC Executive Committee at the time of his death in 2007.  The prize reflects the desire of the British Society of Criminology to encourage and recognise the achievements of new members of the criminology profession, and is awarded to the author of a criminological article, who is a “new” scholar, published in a refereed academic journal.

As Professor of Community Justice and Victimology Brian Williams had made many valuable contributions to criminological scholarship over the years. Those that signalled the import and raised the awareness of issues relating to victimisation mean that his books never make their way back onto my bookshelves. They remain oft used and well-thumbed on my desk as I suspect they do on many others. The Brian Williams Prize, established to honour his memory, is part of the legacy that keeps his values about community justice and victimology alive amongst the criminological community today. Former colleague Dr Pam Davies, Northumbria University and chair of the BSC Victims Network.

Brian Williams, Professor at de Montfort University, possessed all the best qualities of a colleague and friend: hugely principled, very supportive, and genuinely collegiate. If he could help, he would. Never locked inside the ivory towers, he did work that reflected his principles of social justice with real practical implications. His untimely death was a huge loss to the wider criminological community as well as his family and friends and it is fitting that the society offers this prize in his name. Professor Sandra Walklate, Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology, University of Liverpool.

Previous Winners

There was no award in 2023.

The BSC Brian Williams Prize 2022

The winner of the 2022 award was Richard Martin for ‘Righting the Police: How do officers make sense of human rights?’ Richard Martin is an Assistant Professor of Law, LSE Law School, Department of Law, London School of Economics and Political Science. Richard conducts socio-legal and doctrinal research at the intersection of criminal justice, human rights and public law.

The BSC Brian Williams Prize 2020

The winning author in 2020 is Louise Brangan for her article: Civilizing Imprisonment: The Limits of Scottish Penal Exceptionalism published in the British Journal of Criminology. Louise Brangan is a Lecturer in Criminology in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling. She completed her PhD in Criminology at the University of Edinburgh in 2017.

The BSC Brian Williams Prize 2019

This year’s winner is Matthew Tidmarsh, for his article: Transforming Rehabilitation: Probation practice, architecture and the art of distributions published in the BSC journal Criminology, Crime & Justice.

Not awarded in 2017

The Brian Williams Prize 2016

Thomas RaymenThis year’s winner was Thomas Raymen, for his new, insightful theoretical contribution in the British Journal of Criminology (2015) ‘Designing-in Crime by Designing-Out the Social? Situational Crime Prevention and the Intensification of Harmful Subjectivities’. The article was praised by judges for its originality, and clearly is in keeping with his development as a criminologist thus far.

Thomas’ PhD thesis has been considering the burgeoning criminological area of ‘deviant leisure’ which has seen him conducting a two-year participatory ethnography of the cultural lifestyle sports of parkour and freerunning to explore the contradictions in the nexus between deviance and leisure and how they manifest in the spatial context. That work clearly proves some of the inspiration for his article which fuses insights from the theoretical strands of cultural criminology and ultra-realist criminology through a critical interrogation of the normalisation of harm in commodified forms of leisure. However his winning article is also an original and much broader theoretical consideration of situational crime prevention strategies that will no doubt be widely read and cited in coming years.

Previous Winners:

Diarmaid Harkin2015 Diarmaid Harkin ‘The police and punishment: Understanding the pains of policing’ in Theoretical Criminology

2014 no award (sadly no articles were submitted)

2013: Ron Dudai for ‘Informers and the Transition in Northern Ireland‘ BRIT. J. CRIMINOL. (2012) 52, 32–54 and Alisa Stevens ‘I am the person now I was always meant to be’: Identity reconstruction and narrative reframing in therapeutic community prisons’ Criminology & Criminal Justice 12(5) 527–547

2012: Iain Brennan ‘In Vino Silentium? Individual Situational and Alcohol Related’  Violence and Victims, 26, 191–207

2011: Cheryl Lawther of St Andrew’s University for “‘’Securing’ the past: Policing and the Contest over Truth in Northern Ireland” published in BRIT. J. CRIMINOL. (2010) 50, 455–473.

2010: No award

2009: Helen Wells The Techno-Fix Versus The Fair Cop: Procedural (In) Justice And Automated Speed Limit Enforcement British Journal of Criminology

2008: Joint winners. Claire Dwyer ‘Risk, Politics and ‘scientification’ of political judgement’, British Journal of Criminology, Stephen Case “Questioning the ‘evidence’ of risk that underpins evidence-led youth justice interventions Youth Justice (Vol 7 (2), 91-106)