Dr Laura Bainbridge

Dr Laura Bainbridge


I joined the School of Law as a Lecturer in Criminal Justice in January 2020, having previously been employed as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. I completed my PhD in Social Policy at the University of York in 2017, and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am the founder and chair of the UK Compulsory Sobriety Network – a network that brings together policy-makers, practitioners, academics, voluntary sector representatives and technology manufacturers to explore the latest thinking and evidence around the practice of mandating offenders to a period of enforced alcohol abstinence.

I sit on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Social Policy. I am also a member of the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Research Advisory Group, and the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit’s Advisory Group.

As an impact-focussed researcher, I have successfully disseminated my findings to UK government ministers, civil servants, Members of Parliament and Police and Crime Commissioners. At the international level, I have been invited to share my insights with crime and justice practitioners located in the United States, Canada, Poland and Belgium, and have acted as an advisor to the Australian Government’s Behavioural Insights Team.


  • Deputy Director - Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
  • Director of Employability (Criminal Justice)

Research interests

My scholarly interests lie at the nexus between social policy, criminology and political science. I specialise in violence reduction and the multi-level processes in which policies and programmes ‘travel’ across the globe.

I am currently leading on two studies. The first explores the benefits and hazards of mandating domestic violence perpetrators to a period of compulsory sobriety, while the second is an N8 PRP funded project dedicated to understanding and preventing County Lines ‘cuckooing’ victimisation.

I am also a Co-Investigator for the ESRC Vulnerability and Policing Futures Research Centre.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Social Policy
  • MA Social Policy
  • BA (Hons) Politics

Professional memberships

  • British Society of Criminology
  • European Society of Criminology
  • Social Policy Association
  • Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Drinking Studies Network
  • Tracking People Network
  • UK Compulsory Sobriety Network

Student education

I currently teach on undergraduate and postgraduate modules and supervise undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>