Crime and Harm: Challenges of social and global justice?
Conf poster

7-9 July, 2021

The BSC and The Open University collaborated on this fully online conference. Over 200 presenters from around the world presented in real-time, plus there was a range of Network events and a full social programme throughout both evenings (all timings are in BST).


Information for Delegates

The conference is now ended.

Book of Abstracts (pdf)

The programme and other delegate information – including plenary details, poster images and abstracts, and details of publisher activities – was available to delegates only on this password protected page.


Plenary Speakers


Sandra Walklate – Sandra is the President of the British Society of Criminology and is currently engaged in researching policy responses to intimate partner violence with colleagues in the U.K. connected with the N8PRP and colleagues in Australia as part of the Monash University Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre. She will be addressing the postgraduate delegates at the start of the 2021 conferemce.

Jonathan IlanSenior Lecturer in Criminology, City University of London. Jonathan will be presenting to the Postgraduate conference on: Decoding Drill: The Criminalisation of UK Rap Music and the potential for Harm-producing Policing.

Plenary Photo
From top right clockwise: Professor Prabha Unnithan (Colorado State University); Professor Katheryn Russell Brown (Levin College of Law); Professor Louise Westmarland (The Open University); Professor Azrini Wahidin (The University of Warwick)

Tanya WyattProfessor of Criminology at Northumbria University. Tanya is a green criminologist specialising in wildlife crime and trafficking, and non-human animal abuse & welfare.

Lois Presser – Professor of Sociology and Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, University of Tennessee, USA, Lois Presser studies and teaches in areas of culture, discourse, narrative, and harm.  She is author of numerous publications including Been a Heavy Life; Why We Harm; Inside Story: How Narratives Drive Mass Harm; and co-editor of Narrative Criminology: Understanding Stories of Crime and The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology

Molly DragiewiczAssociate Professor at Griffith University. Molly will be presenting on: How children are involved in technology-facilitated coercive control.

Kate Fitz-Gibbon– Professor at Monash University, Gendered Harms

Prabha Unnithan – Professor at Colorado State University, Reflecting on Criminal Justice in the Context of Black Lives Matter

Plenary speakers
From bottom right clockwise: Professor Kerry Carrington (Queensland University of Technology); Dr Leon Moosavi (University of Liverpool); Professor Tanya Wyatt (Northumbria University); Professor Louise Westmarland (The Open University)

Katheryn Russell-Brown – Professor at Levin College of Law, Reflecting on Criminal Justice in the Context of Black Lives Matter

Leon Moosavi – Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool, Decolonisation: exploring the decolonisation of the wider discipline of criminology

Kerry Carrington– Research Professor in the QUT Centre for Justice, Decolonisation: exploring the decolonisation of the wider discipline of criminology


Sandra Walklate, Nigel South, James Messerschmidt, Azrini Wahidin

Special Edition of Criminology and Criminal Justicejournal cover

A special edition of Criminology and Criminal Justice, curated by The Open University team led by Steve Conway, is available (free to view) and for three months after the conference.

The articles contained within this virtual edition of Criminology and Criminal Justice have been selected for three reasons.  Firstly, all are outstanding examples of scholarly work published within the journal in the 12 years preceding the conference.  Secondly, each can be understood as resonating with one or more of the plenary panels of this year’s conference.  Finally, each article provides new potential avenues for exploration and ways of approaching research, which may help scholars address the fundamental question which functions as this year’s conference theme. 

Guns, crime and social order in the West Indies
Biko Agozino, Ben Bowling, Elizabeth Ward and Godfrey St Bernard; Volume 9 Issue 3 (2009).

The place of ‘race’ in understanding immigration control and the detention of foreign nationals
Hindpal Singh Bhui; Volume 16 Issue 3 (2016)

‘Responding to hate crime: Escalating problems, continued failings’
Neil Chakraborti; Volume 18 Issue 4 (2018)

‘Seeing’ gender, war and terror
Sandra Walklate; Volume 18 Issue 5 (2018).

‘From severe to routine labour exploitation: The case of migrant workers in the UK food industry’
Jon Davis; Volume 19 Issue 3 (2019)

Queer utopias and queer criminology
Lynne Copson and Avi Boukli; Volume 20 Issue 5 (2020)

‘It all started here, and it all ends here too’: Homosexual criminalisation and the queer politics of apology’
Curtis Redd and Emma K Russell; Volume 20 Issue 5 (2020).

“Every time I tell my story I learn something new”: Voice and inclusion in research with Black women with histories of substance use and incarceration
Alana J Gunn, Melissa Hardesty, Nicole Overstreet and Scyatta Wallace; OnlineFirst before print (2021).


Mike HoughOutstanding Achievement Award

This award celebrates outstanding contributions made to the discipline and in 2021 is awarded to Professor Mike Hough.

The British Society of Criminology is proud to announce that it is awarding its Outstanding Achievement Award 2021 to Professor Mike Hough, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Policy, Birkbeck, University of London, in recognition of his long contribution to bringing academic and policy research together.

Professor Hough founded one of the major UK centres for academic policy research on criminal justice – the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research – and directed it for more than 20 years.   Before moving to academia in 1994, he was a senior researcher in the Home Office for twenty years, co-designing the British Crime Survey in 1981.  He was President of the British Society of Criminology from 2008 until 2011.  Professor Hough’s research interests have been many and varied, from policing and public perceptions of crime and punishment, crime measurement and crime trends, and drug-related crime; to sentencing, the rehabilitation of offenders, desistance theory, restorative justice and procedural justice theory. He has around 300 publications.

Professor Hough worked with the Prison Reform Trust on the growth of imprisonment, on sentencing and sentencing guidelines, on children in custody and on the unfairness of the indeterminate sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection.

Among his many achievements is fostering collaboration between British and other European criminologists.  He has worked on a series of large-scale international projects: two EU partnerships on trust in justice and legitimacy (Euro-Justis and Fiducia); testing a new variant of procedural justice theory using the European Social Survey; and codesigning the third sweep of the International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD3).

President of the BSC Professor Sandra Walklate said:

“It is with the greatest of pleasure for me personally to endorse the society’s recognition of Mike’s stellar contribution to the discipline and the work of the society in this way. His achievements and international stature speak strongly to the ongoing importance and presence of British criminology on the global stage’.

Presentation by Loraine Gelsthorpe (opens as a pdf)

Acceptance from Professor Mike Hough (opens as a pdf)


Book coverCriminology Book Prize

Award of the book prize
Clockwise from left: Dr David Maguire (Director for the Prison Reform Trust’s Building Futures); Professor James Treadwell (Staffordshire University) and Dr Tony Murphy (The Open University)


(sponsored by Routledge Publishing)

David Maguire is Director for the Prison Reform Trust’s Building Futures Programme, a five-year programme for those that have served 10 or more years in prison. As a researcher at Oxford University and University College London, UK, he has extensive experience leading on prison-based projects, collecting data on the vulnerabilities facing those in prison and widely disseminating these findings to impact change.


Post-graduate Research Poster Prize SAGE logo

The British Society of Criminology Postgraduate Committee organise a research poster exhibition displayed during the annual conference.

The winning entry was from Alison Hutchinson, who wins a prize from SAGE. The award team said they were impressed with how she incorporated the conference themes throughout her poster, which was accessible and aesthetically pleasing. Also commended by the award team was Ndiweteko.J. Nghishitende, whose poster was accessible, and visually pleasing.

Thumbnails are here of the selected entries (please click to enlarge)

A Fishy business: Space for species justice in global wildlife economies?AHutchinson BSC 2021

Alison Hutchinson –

With the dependence on fisheries for nutrition and employment increasing globally, marine species are under increasing pressure from over-exploitation. That they remain primarily defined as food and commodities, rather than as wildlife is testament to their position within global governance structures. Drawing from a green criminological, non-speciesist framework, I question how issues of species justice can be elevated within both conservation and trade discussions. To do this, I present three cases on commercially exploited marine species: 1. the minke whale, 2. the queen conch, and 3. the Atlantic bluefin tuna. I discuss how conservation and trade bodies, namely CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), incorporates concerns for marine species and prioritises the preservation of some wildlife over others. By focussing on the value systems that support the variable conservation and commodification of marine species, it is possible to better understand how attitudes surrounding harm and victimhood can act to perpetuate global inequalities and the marginalisation of both non-human animals and people.


The Intergenerational Experience of Racialised Policing of Black People

Bisola Akintoye –

Empire, belonging and social control characterise the experiences of criminalisation and policing of black people in the UK. Taking an intersectional critical race theory approach to policing, I will explore the racialised experiences of policing across generations, emerging in the post-colonial context of generations of the ‘othering’ of immigrants and people of colour. Negative police experiences may be transmitted to children both directly and vicariously, creating narratives and framing of the police. These cultural narratives are part of the ‘arsenal of strategies’ developed to live cope racialised policing and the experiences of community elders impact descendants through cultural storytelling and warnings. Amidst this emerges survival strategies, black cultural capital and modes of resilience. The policing of black people can be considered an extension of the longstanding problematic experience of ethnic minority communities. I intend to consider these experiences through the prism of intergenerationality and the enduring legacy of racialised policing. With my research, I aim to provide insight into interactions of identity, gender, class, consciousness, personhood, belonging and community across generations that arise within the historical legacy of criminalisation and policing of black people and communities.



Exploring collaborative practice within Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion

Jo Wells –

Organisational culture steers practice and must create an effect when there is a collaboration between different agencies. The national roll-out of CJLDS is near completion, yet little is known about how practice in these partnerships operates. This exploration of Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion schemes (CJLDS), where collaboration between health and criminal justice agencies takes place in police custody suites, gives insight into how interprofessional cultures operate in practice. The study has thus far collected interview data from 18 custody staff in a partnership between a county police authority and a local National Health Trust. Themes were identified in the data before a further Foucauldian discourse analysis was emplolyed. Further research will analyse secondary data in the form of monitoring statistics collected by the partnership.

Initial findings indicate that the culture in police custody is reactive and dominated by risk adversity, led by a deep fear of being held liable for any harm to, or death of, detainees while Liaison and Diversion teams identify social marginalisation in police suspects and aspire to mitigate it.  The joint practice ultimately responds to custodial culture and priorities and implies a challenge for such partnership models to achieve the stated aims and outcomes of the CJLDS.

Psychology Poster

Psychological Autopsy: a possible innovative revision of the MAPI

Franco Posa, Valeria Rondinelli, Jessica Leone and Francesco Mora –

The purpose of this research is to propose an innovative technique of Psychological Autopsy. In comparison with the classic MAPI our technique is structured on each single case adapting the interview according to the environmental circumstances and to the social-cultural characteristics of the examined subject and, not as last, the kind of gun used in the criminal event. According to us this way of Psychological Autopsy, improving the interviewee confidence and compliance, allows to get information that could escape to a standardized investigation. In one of the cold case that we have studied, this technique of Psychological Autopsy has allowed to get some biological material, coming from the crime scene, that had been secretly hidden from the subject for over 50 years.

Stories from the Drug Court: A Qualitative Exploration of Care and ControlALoughery BSC 2021

Amy Loughery –

This poster will outline the theoretical background, the policy background, the relevant literature, the methods, and brief findings from the observational period of a PhD project on the dually therapeutic and criminal justice orientation of Drug Courts. Firstly, the theoretical backdrop to the study, and the way in which both structuralist and symbolic interactionist perspectives are considered to elucidate the way in which this project seeks to capture the “minutae of Social interaction” and human behaviour within a structural context of intensive social control. These themes are continued into the policy section, which considers the way in which Drug Courts have developed, as both an example of policy transfer from the United States and an increased emphasis on judicial control, and an attempt to incorporate harm reduction principles within criminal justice frameworks; culminating in the governments plan to trial new Drug Courts in the U.K. the literature background is then considered, with particular emphasis on the shortage of U.K. based research versus the wealth of research on US drug courts, and the emphasis on quantitative research rather than that which seeks to explore people’s experiences of such interventions. The methods utilised in this project will then be outlined, which include: observations, semi structured narrative interviews with professionals, and documentary analysis. The final section of this poster gives a brief outline of the emergent findings from the observational period of the study, drawing upon quotations from drug court hearings, which suggest tensions in the construction of DC participants and the extent to which they are constructed as both worthy of help or in need of help and also beyond help, and responsible for their own addiction or infantilised to the point where they have no agency over it.

NNghishitende BSC 2021

The impact of constructing ‘modern slavery’ as a problem of (transnational) organised crime on the long-term trajectories of survivors in the United Kingdom.

Ndiweteko J. Nghishitende –

The UK has adopted and prioritised a criminal law enforcement response to modern slavery, over a response that prioritises victims and victim support. The criminal approach attributes exploitation to criminal networks, which individualises modern slavery and conceals how the UK’s restrictive migration policies fuel vulnerability and exploitation of certain migrants. Prioritising the criminal approach means that survivors’ human rights are not prioritised, and as a result, support has been ineffective. This is detrimental to the long-term trajectories of survivors as it affects their wider moving on processes. This research aims to investigate, as part of various other factors, the implications of prioritising criminalisation on the long-term trajectories of women and children survivors of modern slavery in the UK. It will be informed by the lived experiences of survivors and those who work with them in a system that is hostile towards them through semi-structured interviews. This poster will briefly illustrate the development of modern slavery policy in the UK and show how criminalisation, especially prosecutions and restrictive migration policy has been prioritised to the detriment of victims. It will re-iterate that survivor’s wider moving on processes need emphasis and should be a key priority in the UK’s anti-modern slavery policy.

The management of people serving life sentences in Ireland: A multidisciplinary modelAFlynn poster

Anna Flynn –

Aligning with Council of Europe recommendations, the Irish Prison Psychology Service and the Probation Service developed a model of sentence management for people serving life sentences (PSLS), applicable to those sentenced after 01/04/2017. The model involves early multidisciplinary assessment, engagement, and sentence planning rather than delaying sentence management until the first Parole Board review at year seven.

This research explores the management of PSLS sentenced before and after 01/04/2017. It comprises four interrelated phases and adopts a cross-sectional mixed methods design, facilitating in-depth exploration of the experiences of PSLS at different sentence stages (early/middle/late).

Phase-1 is a review of the literature on life imprisonment. Phase-2 is an analysis of data collected from the Prisoner Information Management System. Phase-3 and Phase-4 are qualitative studies of the management of PSLS sentenced before and after 01/04/2017 respectively. Phase-3 comprises PSLS sentenced before 01/04/2017 in different sentence stages (early/middle/late). Phase-4 comprises PSLS sentenced after 01/04/2017. This enables comparisons between the experiences of PSLS in the early/middle/late stages, and between the experiences of PSLS sentenced before and after 01/04/2017.

Findings will support the successful implementation and further development of the model, and the customisation of sentence plans to the early/middle/late stages of a life sentence.

SOrswell posterEx-Prisoners with Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Ex-prisoner’s Perceptions of Prison Behaviour Programmes

Stephanie Orswell –

This doctoral project is investigating the attitudes and opinions ex-prisoners with neurodevelopmental disorders have of offender behaviour programmes. It seeks to explore whether people with lived experiences of these programmes believe they are suitable and accessible for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and to compare any different gendered experiences. The research is being conducted through remote, semi-structured interviews with former prisoners. Three themes have emerged so far in the on-going work. Firstly, participants felt there was no consideration of neurodiversity during the development of the programmes. Secondly, the attitudes of the facilitators running the programmes and their lack of understanding of different neurodevelopmental disorders negatively affected the participants’ experiences and takeaways from the programmes. Thirdly, a greater attention to neurodiversity is strongly needed in prisons and justice system as a whole.

Blog article

Tony Murphy and Keir Irwin-Rogers from The Open University have written a blog article about the conference. Entitled ‘Crime and Harm: Challenges of Social and Global Justice?’ it looks ahead to the annual BSC conference at the Open University. It will be followed after the conference by another article, to reflect upon the key messages and next steps, so please do look out for that.

Entertainment poster

Henry Priestman and Les GloverWednesday

7.00 – Happy half hour

7.30pm – Quiz

8.30pmHenry Priestman and Les Glover– from three million albums with The Christians, plus a career which included his band Yachts supporting the Sex Pistols in ’77, and The Who on European Tour in ‘79, via a top five single for Mark Owen, soundtracks for James Bond/Xbox, BBC’s Wildlife on One, Natural World, writing/production duties with the likes of singer/songwriters Amy Wadge, Mel C and 10cc’s Graham Gouldman, Henry is joined by his current writing/singing partner Les Glover to entertain the 2021 BSC conference delegates. Henry and Les will be singing a mix of music from hits such as ‘Ideal World‘ to new material, interspersed with good humoured banter and opportunities for audience participation. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a drink and prepare to be entertained.

9.30pm – Virtual bar




7.15pm – ‘Crim Dine With Me’

A la carte dining with a difference – you bring the food and drink, and we will reserve your tables and match you with like minded foodies. Just specify your food style and we’ll ensure you have an entertaining discussion around the table.


8.15pm – Paul Fowler, Magician and Mind ReaderPaul Fowler

Paul is an award-winning professional providing virtual entertainment.

Paul has created the perfect blend of live virtual magic & mind reading. He will share his incredible virtual skills; leave you constantly guessing and will create memories that will last for years to come.

You can view Paul’s Virtual Magician showreel here.

Visit Paul Fowler’s main site here:

Alex Steele9.15pm – Alex Steele Jazz
Alex Steele is a jazz pianist, composer and recording artist. He performs as a solo artist, and with his trio and quartet, at venues and festivals throughout the world. In the pre-pandemic world, Alex’s work took him across Europe, the USA, Asia, Africa and South America, where he has ongoing collaborations with many inspirational international performers. Many of Alex’s concerts over the last 15 months have been virtual, enabling diverse audiences from around the world to come together, and enjoy music which is livestreamed from Alex’s home studio at the bottom of his garden! No matter where he is, virtual or otherwise, you can always expect a treat of dynamic musicianship, and beautifully crafted melodies and harmonies. Alex always pays homage to the songs of the great jazz pianists Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, and many others, who have inspired him along his own musical journey. Expect similar delights at this evening’s livestreamed performance. It’s live. It’s interactive. He takes requests!

When he’s not performing, Alex works as a consultant, coach and academic, in the field of organisational development. He is a visiting professor, associate and partner with a range of international business schools, universities and organisational development practices around the world, including London Business School and Ashridge Executive Education. Alex is well-known for his experiential learning programmes, where he explore insights into improvisational mindsets and behaviours, which can be applied within teams and organisations.

10.15pm – Virtual bar

Papers from the British Criminology Conference

An Online Journal Published by the British Society of Criminology since 1995

ISSN 1759-0043

If you are presenting a paper at this year’s conference the British Society of Criminology would welcome submissions to the next edition of the online journal based on your conference presentation.  We welcome contributions from Plenary Papers, Panel Papers and Postgraduate Papers.  All submissions are peer-reviewed.

The final deadline for submissions is September 9, 2021.

The journal will be published in December.

The journal is available free at: publications page.

Please submit your paper via email to

The small print

Only papers presented at this year’s British Society of Criminology annual conference will be accepted for review. Please indicate the category of paper (plenary, panel, or postgraduate paper). Papers must be written in English and will not have been published already, nor will they be under consideration elsewhere.  All papers are reviewed anonymously by at least two referees.  Each paper should come with a separate cover sheet containing: the title of the paper; word count; author’s full name; affiliation; email address; institutional address; telephone and fax number; an abstract of 100-150 words; up to 5 key words; and a brief biographical note of 25-50 words.  The maximum length is 6000 words, including notes and references but we encourage shorter papers to also submit.  Articles must be submitted electronically to the BSC in Microsoft Word (or compatible format), typed in double spacing throughout, and with generous margins on all sides. Use font Arial, 12. Spacing should be 1.5.  UK spellings should be used. A maximum of three orders of heading can be used. Essential notes should be kept to a minimum. These should be indicated by superscript numbers in the text, and presented at the end of the text.  Lengthy quotations should be kept to a minimum. If over 40 words these should be indented, with shorter quotes kept within the body of the text indicated by quotation marks. Where possible, the page number for each quote should be indicated.  Tables and Figures should be clearly presented and labelled. Sources and explanatory notes should be included if appropriate. Poor quality artwork will be rejected.  Papers should be carefully checked for errors before submission.  Authors are responsible to the accuracy of quotations and references, and for obtaining permissions and copyright clearances if appropriate.  The Harvard-style referencing system is used within the text – see the SAGE guide for more details:


Open University Conference Organising Committee: Tony Murphy (Chair); Louise Westmarland (Deputy); Lynne Copson; Avi Boukli; Matthew Jones; Steve Conway; Deborah Drake; David Turner; Lystra Hagley-Dickinson; Julia Downes.