Our research

Centre for Criminal Justice Studies

Our research | School of Law | University of Leeds

The Centre promotes an active and flourishing academic environment for teaching and research. As well as promoting empirically rich research, it is committed to fostering sustained and meaningful collaborations with policy-makers and practitioners to investigate shared concerns and to explore new approaches to current issues in criminal justice and public policy.

The Centre’s research programme is oriented to four longstanding areas of excellence: 

  • Criminal law and criminal justice processes
    • The Centre has long pioneered research on diverse aspects of criminal law and criminal justice processes. The Centre’s expertise ranges across national and international criminal justice, including medico-legal death investigation, prosecution, trial procedure, jury decision-making, sentencing, post-sentencing procedures, probation, legal professionals and legal narratives. 
  • Policing, security and governance
    • The Centre has a reputation for world-leading research on policing, security and governance. Its research encompasses social, historical and political dimensions of policing, and extends to behavioural regulation, crime and justice policy, transnational policing and security, and policing futures. 
  • Transformations in crime and patterns of offending
    • The Centre has a rich tradition of research on contemporary transformations in crime and enduring patterns of offending. Today, the Centre’s expertise extends to border crimes, kidnapping, money laundering and fraud, and to diverse strategies of regulation, crime prevention and violence reduction.
  • Innovative approaches to criminology and criminal justice
    • Researchers in the Centre harness a wide range of approaches to research in an interdisciplinary context, spanning qualitative and quantitative methodologies and including comparative, historical, evaluative, participatory and co-produced research designs. Members of the Centre have developed original theoretical frameworks, pioneered innovative empirical methods and analytic strategies, and utilised new forms of data to illuminate crime and criminal justice.

External Funding 

The Centre’s research strength is reflected in its strong record of external grant capture, including prestigious awards from the European Union, AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, European Commission, Newton Fund, Nuffield Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, HEFCE, Home Office, National Probation Service, ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Future Centre, and N8 Policing Research Partnership.