Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe

Director of the Institute

Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Director of the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice; Director of the Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Centre; Joint Convenor: CAMMIGRES (Cambridge Migration Research Network)

Fellow of Pembroke College.


Loraine Gelsthorpe is Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. And a Fellow and Tutor for Graduate Affairs at Pembroke College. She is also Director of the Institute, Director of Graduate Education for the Institute, and Director of a research centre within also: the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice. Beyond this she is Co-convenor of the University wide multi-disciplinary Cambridge Migration Research Network (CAMMIGRES). She also sits on various University Committees including the General Board Education Committee and the Board of Graduate Studies. Loraine has wide interests in the links between criminal justice and social justice, looking at race, gender and social exclusion, women and sentencing, and at the effectiveness of youth and community penalties in particular. She also has a strong interest in research methodologies and research ethics.

Loraine has lived in Cambridge since the early 1980s when she came to do an M.Phil in Criminology, though the call of a Ph.D was stronger than a return to a social work career. After the Ph.D she had a number of post-doc appointments at Lancaster, UCNW (Bangor) and at the LSE, which involved work with the Metropolitan Police and London boroughs on diversion from prosecution, men's prisons in the midlands, and race and gender issues in pre-sentence reports respectively. She began working for the University of Cambridge in 1991. Professor Gelsthorpe sits on various government Advisory Committees, was deputy chair of the 2014 REF exercise (Social Policy panel), and is immediate past President of the British Society of Criminology. She chairs the European Society of Criminology Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice Working Group.

Professor Gelsthorpe is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was an 11+ failure and increasingly sees a need to speak out about this - to encourage others whose own routes in higher education may not be traditional. Loraine is a psychoanalytical psychotherapist in her 'spare time', and a trustee of Pembroke House, a community centre in Walworth, South London, and Women's Break Out:

Publications include several books, the most recent of which is Research Ethics in Criminology: Dilemmas, Issues and Solutions

Edited by Malcolm Cowburn,Loraine R Gelsthorpe, Azrini Wahidin published by Routledge, 2016, as well as some 180 journal articles, book chapters and reports (some of which are listed below)

Also of interest is Loraine's article entitled Equal and Different in the Scottish Justice Matters Journal: Women and Justice, Are We Making Progress? As noted by the Thematic Editor for this edition, Anne Pinkman, 'collectively these articles have provided evidence of the substantial progress made over the past 5 years in working with women who become involved in the criminal justice system, and of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in both diverting women from coming into the criminal justice system and for those involved.'


Professor Gelsthorpe is happy to disuccs the following possibilities:

  • What works with women offenders?
  • Pre-sentence reports: old and new; their content, value and use
  • The supervision of offenders in the community
  • Resettlement issues in the community
  • The criminalization of migrants
  • Diversion from the court
  • Deaths under criminal justice supervision in the community
  • Human trafficking issues
  • Decision-making in the criminal justice system
  • The development of criminal justice policy since the 1950s
  • Any other topic broadly relating to Community, Gender and Social Justice

The following publications may be of interest

Research Topics

M.Phil students (and prospective Ph.D students) are welcome to talk to Loraine about research dissertations on the following topics:

  • What works with women (systematic review)
  • An evaluation of NEXUS which is a Cambridge based support initiative for offenders with mild mental health problems (research needs to start in October 2013 and there are research opportunities for two students)
  • Pre-sentence reports: old and new; their content, value and use
  • The supervision of women law-breakers
  • Human Trafficking issues
  • Decision-making in the criminal justice system
  • Any other topic relating to Community, Gender and Social Justice (including youth justice)