BSC Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Network


The Women Crime and Criminal Justice Network has its own website –

Gemma Birkett –

Podcast – Listen to this podcast where Marian Duggan discusses the Network, its work and its aims for the future.

Crime, victimisation and control are profoundly gendered issues. Since the 1970s, research has documented the significance of gendered inequalities as they affect women as offenders/lawbreakers, victims and criminal justice professionals. Such scholarship is also underpinned by feminist theory and politics and seeks to document and challenge gendered inequality, especially in relation to criminal justice institutions. The network exists to support scholarship on women, crime and criminal justice, and to foster research of the highest standard. In addition to promoting scholarship on women, crime and criminal justice, the network also aims to support women as criminological scholars.

The specific aims of the network are:

  • To foster research and scholarship of the highest quality on the subject of women, crime and criminal justice, nationally and internationally.
  • To promote scholarship on women, crime and criminal justice within the network, the British Society of Criminology and in public debate.
  • To engage policy makers and practitioners to ensure that cutting edge research can inform decision-making and practice within government and non-governmental organisations.
  • To support the career development of its members, cognisant that challenges faced by women are also cross cut with other social inequalities (for example, ethnicity, sexuality, and age).

BSC WCCJN Prize 2022

We were delighted to award the WCCJ Network prize to Gemma Ahearne for her article ‘Criminologist or criminal? Liminal spaces as the site for auto/biography’. Ahearne uses her article to speak candidly about her own involvement in the sex industry, her connections to organised crime, and her experience of victimisation, trauma and criminalisation. Ahearne’s position as an ‘insider researcher’ provides a unique platform to criticise criminology for its historical devaluing and de-centring of such voices. Reviewers felt that Ahearne’s valuable contribution ‘stands in contrast to a field which remains androcentric and often romanticises violent masculine subjects’, and that Ahearne is ‘disrupt[ing] the status quo and challen[ging] the structural inequalities of the discipline by voicing her truth’. Ahearne shows that women’s auto/biographies matter and should be central to the discipline of criminology.

BSC WCCJN Paper Prize 2021 

We are pleased to announce the winning paper for 2021 is:
Jennifer Fleetwood, Judith Aldridge & Caroline Chatwin (2020) Gendering research on online illegal drug markets, Addiction Research & Theory, 28:6, 457-466.
(Further details coming soon)

The WCCJN steering committee would like to thank Sage for kindly sponsoring this prize again in 2021.

Further details can be found on our website

WCCJN Prize 2020

The winner of the WCCJN Paper Prize 2020 is Dr Alexandra Fanghanel:

Fanghanel, A. (2020). Asking for it: BDSM sexual practice and the trouble of consent. Sexualities, 23(3), 269–286.

A (blended and edited, to avoid repetition) synopsis of the reviewers’ comments are:

This is a really interesting article on a significantly under-researched area, which ably synthesises a range of literature in providing the broader context for the investigation. Fanghanel evaluates the concepts of consent, trust and risk – and the critical grey area in between – in relation to BDSM practices through her case study of 40 kinkers. Drawing on interviews conducted with a diverse sample of participants, the paper does a really good job of adding complexity to an otherwise well-established body of work on ‘consent’. Her findings, written with a detailed level of analysis and commentary, reveal the tensions between negotiating ‘consent violators’ and nurturing an important sense of community ethic. Ultimately, Fanghanel asks us to consider the concept of consent using a more nuanced lens. It is a really well written piece of work.


Podcast – Listen to this podcast where Marian Duggan discusses the Network, its work and its aims for the future.

Connecting Criminologists Interviews

Get to know your favourite scholars through our Connecting Criminologists project!

We’re pairing up academics to chat about what informs and sustains their research interests, along with anything else they fancy discussing. These are then edited for clarity and uploaded onto our Vimeo site. Watch the interviews here:

If you’d like to take part in this innovative project, please contact Marian Duggan.

Forthcoming Events

Please see the BSC members’ bulletin for forthcoming events.

Previous Events

BSC Criminology Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Network, BSC Policing Network, City University and the University of Essex’s Centre for Criminology, one-day conference: Police Misconduct and Violence Against Women and Girls: Exploring Research and Practice – 17 May 2023.

Evidence from a series of police reviews and inquiries in recent years has revealed serious and systemic misogyny and violence against women and girls in policing. Both police culture, and police vetting, misconduct, and disciplinary practices have been identified as contributing to this situation. Despite the intense recent media attention on issues of police misconduct in England, the way these practices work and the opportunities, challenges and barriers to their improvement remain poorly understood. As the government launches a review of disciplinary procedures in policing and the College of Policing prepares to launch its new Code of Police Ethics, this event brings police researchers, stakeholders and practitioners together to explore these issues, share knowledge in the field, and ultimately shape a research agenda for the future.

Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Network and BSC Victims Network one-day conference on perpetrators of violence against women. 

9.30am-4pm, 21 October 2022.  City University, London.

Keynote speakers:

• Dr Michael Flood (Queensland University of Technology (QUT) (Research)

• Jo Todd, CEO Respect (Practice)

Over the last four decades, significant attention has been paid to men’s violence against women and girls. Much of this has focused on victimisation – studying the prevalence, nature, impacts and consequences of violence against women – which has informed legislative reform and policy implementation with the aim of preventing VAWG and improving criminal justice and support outcomes for survivors. This has informed, and been informed by, feminist theory and research, and Victimology as a specific sub-discipline of Criminology.

By contrast, perpetrators of violence against women and girls have been understudied, perhaps with the exception of child sex offenders where research has been most concentrated. The evidence gaps in relation to perpetrators have recently been acknowledged by the UK Government who have commissioned research and pilot projects on perpetrators of domestic violence to inform the wider Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy and forthcoming Domestic Abuse Act (2021) which acknowledges the need to focus on perpetrators both in terms of prevention and responding to violence against women. In Europe, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly has highlighted the importance of focusing on perpetrators of VAWG and called for member states to enhance knowledge to inform perpetrator programmes and prevention work. Over the last decade there has been some research on perpetrator programmes (Kelly and Westmarland, 2014) but this remains fairly limited. Moreover, emerging research on working with men and boys has attested to the importance of conducting work with men generally, as well as those already known as perpetrators (Burrell, 2018; 2019) but there remain significant gaps in this area.


WCCJN Critical Conversations in Gender and Criminology Annual Event 2021
Criminological Identities / Identity Criminologies
Wednesday 8th December 2021, 2 – 6pm

Online Symposium

Interrogations and explorations of identity in criminology have yielded a great depth of insight and
understanding through analyses of identity (re)formation among (ex)offenders; explorations of
identity-based victimisation; variable policing practices and identity bias; and disciplinary debates
between ‘identity politics’ versus a ‘politics of identity’. These issues, coupled with a growth in
researchers’ own reflective assessments of how their power, politics, and positionality influences
their perspectives, illustrate how criminology is currently replete with considerations not only of
identity, but also its influence and its importance.

Building on these discussions, this event explores the presence and place of identity in criminology
more broadly. Taking a reflective and reflexive approach, we aim to examine how identity shapes
criminological research and teaching in overt and covert manners. In seeking to better understand
how a focus on identity can inform and sustain disciplinary diversity, we invite members to share
their thoughts, research, insights, and experiences to help us the explore the nuances of identity and

The event will comprise of two main segments: an invited plenary speaker session followed by an
innovative, interactive session in which WCCJN members are warmly invited to present a short,
‘pitch-like’ presentation in the style of a Pecha Kucha (instructions to follow) on any of the following
(or related) topics:

• Intersectional and intersecting identities around women, crime and criminal justice.
• Exploring the gendered criminological researcher / scholar identity.
• Examining personal and professional boundaries around identity: what is inferred / shared /
concealed / augmented.
• How identity shapes criminological activists and allies.
• Addressing issues of ‘identity politics’ in research and the classroom.
• Mainstreaming intersectionality and intersectional approaches within criminological
• Embodying and embedding diversity in teaching, research and practice.
• Gendered experiences of promoting and performing transformative criminology.
• Examining identity’s role in criminological authenticity, visibility, representation.
• Gendering identity and emotion / emotional labour in criminology.
• Situating identity criminology within wider structures of power.
• Acknowledging and engaging with the purpose of our criminological work.
• Unpacking criminologists’ experiences of being victims of crime.
• Creating dynamic classrooms in light of the above factors.

Future events are announced in the BSC bi-monthly bulletin.

Gendering Green Criminology
November 26, 2020
Co-hosted by the British Society of Criminology Women Crime and Criminal Justice Network and the Green Criminology Research Network

How can feminism engage meaningfully with environmental harm? Why should those concerned about environmental harm also be concerned with issues of gender? This one-day conference joins feminism, gender studies, and green criminology, to explore the intersections between gender, environmental, non-human animal, and wildlife crimes and harms.

Event held via Zoom Twitter hashtag #GenderGreenCrim


  • Dr Stephen Burrell (Durham University) — The climate crisis and men’s violence: Exploring the connections between masculinities and environmental harm
  • Dr Ana Leite (Durham University) — Conspiracy theories, feelings of threat, and attitudes towards animals and the environment
  • Dr Francis Masse (Northumbria University) — Gendered dimensions of wildlife crime
  • Professor Kay Peggs (Kingston University) — Veganism, crime and consuming animals
  • Dr Corey Wrenn (University of Kent) — Vegan feminist activism then and now
  • Professor Tanya Wyatt (Northumbria University) — Gender and environmental harm

This event was rescheduled from April 2020


Event flyerCritical Conversations on Criminology and Gender: Innovations in Research

April 12, 2019

Inspired by burgeoning developments in creative and innovative methodologies in criminology, the third annual WCCJN ‘Critical Conversations on Criminology and Gender’ event explored contemporary and  innovative ways of doing and communicating criminological research via visual methods, arts and documents and the positioning of the researcher therein.

Since its inception, researching women in criminology has demanded careful and critical attention to issues of power and politics. This event continued this critical tradition by tackling questions such as: how can we make research that is meaningful? How can research representations contest marginalisation, stigmatisation and injustice? How can innovative and creative approaches to research help us better capture intransigent concepts like justice or harm?

See website for further details

Download pdf of flyer here

BSC Conference, July 2018
The WCCJ Network prize was awarded to Wendy Fitzgibbon and Camille Stengel for their paper:

Fitzgibbon, W., & Stengel, C. M. (2018). Women’s voices made visible: Photovoice in visual criminology. Punishment & Society20(4), 411–431.

May 1, 2018
Women Criminology & Criminal Justice: Practitioners Victims & Criminalised

BSC Postgraduate Committee in association with BSC Women Crime and Criminal Justice Network, Tuesday, 1 May 2018 from 11:00 to 17:00 (BST), London, United Kingdom

April 30, 2018
This one day conference on ‘Women as Victim-Offenders: Negotiating the Paradox’  was part of our Critical Conversations in Criminology and Gender series.

This conference provided a space for academics and practitioners working with women offenders to discuss and negotiate the paradox of victimization and offending. This was a free event and was open to both members and non-members of the WCCJN.

BSC Conference, July 2017
The WCCJ Network prize was awarded to Anastasia Chamberlen  for her paper:

Chamberlen, A. (2016). Embodying prison pain: Women’s experiences of self-injury in prison and the emotions of punishment. Theoretical Criminology20(2), 205–219.

Members only event

WCCJN – 8th May Flyer

Joining and staying in touch

Membership of the network is open to anyone interested in making women visible in the criminal justice system and within the discipline of Criminology.

We have a website, please give us a visit –

The WCCJ JISCmail list provides information about forthcoming events and facilitates discussion amongst Network members and we are beginning a termly newsletter to showcase WCCJ members’ activities. Content will include news on recent publications, research projects and events which members may be involved with. Each newsletter will also feature a spotlight on a member of the network highlighting their research and background. In addition, we are also open to suggestions for other types of content. If you have anything that you’d like to contribute please email:

Contact the Network

Gemma Birkett –

Websites of interest

Voices of Feminism (US-based site) –
The Women’s Room