Dr. Alex Sutherland

Research Associate


Dr Alex Sutherland is a senior researcher at RAND Europe with a background in sociology and criminology. He works on a range of topics in criminal justice, education and social policy using a range of quantitative methods. His recent projects have looked at school exclusion, deaths in custody, measuring deprivation in English schools, RCTs of police body worn cameras, and new interventions in schools. Prior to joining RAND, Alex spent three years teaching quantitative methods at the University of Cambridge. His wider interests are in violence prevention, community cohesion and methods.


  • BA (Hons.) Sociology, University of Exeter.
  • MSc. (Econ.) Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Wales, Cardiff.
  • D. Phil. in Sociology at Nuffield College and the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford.

Alex took up the post of Research Methods Teaching Associate for the Social Sciences' Research Methods Centre (SSRMC – formerly the Joint Schools') in 2010. He teaches courses in quantitative methods to graduate students from a range of disciplines across the university and coordinates the quantitative methods provision in the SSRMC programme. Further details about the SSRMC programme can be found here. Prior to arriving in Cambridge, Alex worked for several years as a researcher at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, before completing his D.Phil. in Sociology (entitled 'Adolescent Substance Use'), also at Oxford. In addition, Alex was the managing editor of the European Journal of Criminology 2006-2011, and has undertaken a number of consultancy projects, most notably the recent Juvenile Cohort Study, which was joint-funded by the Ministry of Justice and Youth Justice Board.

Outside of the teaching and application of quantitative methods, Alex's research interests lie in criminology and criminal justice, specifically: assessing theories of crime, understanding/improving risk management in criminal justice and substance use by adolescents. His current research projects relate to collective efficacy and violence in London; the treatment effects of school exclusion; football and domestic violence; and evaluating the impact of a re-housing programme for women prisoners.

SSRMC Courses Taught

  • Fundamentals in applied statistics
  • Bivariate association
  • Linear regression
  • Regression diagnostics
  • Logistic regression
  • Multilevel modelling
  • Causation in the social sciences (with Joe Murray, Psychiatry) (new for 2013/14)
  • Introduction to Stata
  • Introduction to SPSS

Working Papers


  • (Forthcoming) Brunton-Smith, I., Jackson, J. and Sutherland, A. Bridging Structure and Perception: On the Neighbourhood Ecology of Beliefs and Worries about Violent Crime, British Journal of Criminology.
  • (Forthcoming) Sutherland, A., Brunton-Smith, I. and Jackson, J. Collective efficacy, deprivation and violence in London. Accepted for publication in the British Journal of Criminology.
  • 2012 Brunton-Smith, I., Sutherland, A. and Jackson, J. 'The role of neighbourhoods in shaping crime and perceptions of crime', in Maarten van Ham (ed.) Neighbourhood effects or neighbourhood based problems? A policy context. London: Springer.
  • 2012 Sutherland, A. Is parental socio-economic status related to the initiation of substance abuse by young people in an English city? An event history analysis, Social Science & Medicine, 74: 1053-1061. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.12.026
  • 2009 Baker, K. and Sutherland, A. (eds) Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements and Youth Justice. Bristol: Policy Press. (1 sole authored chapter, 2 co-authored).
  • 2009 Sutherland, A. ‘The ‘scaled approach’ in youth justice: Fools rush in…’, Youth Justice: An International Journal, 9(1): 44-60.
  • 2008 Sutherland, A. and Jones, S. MAPPA and Youth Justice: An Exploration of Youth Offending Team engagement with Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements. Youth Justice Board: London.
  • 2007 Sutherland, A., Taylor, E., Gray, E., Merrington, S. and Roberts, C. Piloting 12-month ISSP – Evaluation and research findings. Youth Justice Board: London.
  • 2007 Cooper, K., Sutherland, A. and Roberts, C. KYPE: The Final Report. Youth Justice Board: London. Available online
  • 2006 Sutherland, A. Baker, K. and Merrington, S. Youth Rehabilitation Order: an exploration of practice in four YOTs prior to revisions to National Standards. Youth Justice Board: London (Confidential).
  • 2006 Sutherland, A. et al. The Role of Risk and Protective Factors. Youth Justice Board: London.
  • 2004 Moore, R. et al. ISSP: the initial report. Youth Justice Board: London.

Book Reviews

  • 2011 Waiton, S. The Politics of Antisocial Behaviour: Amoral panics. London: Routledge. Forthcoming in Criminology & Criminal Justice.
  • 2005 Ungar, M. Nurturing hidden resilience in troubled youth. London: University of Toronto Press. British Journal of Criminology, 45(6): 980-982.