Research Abstract

Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms

Emeritus Professor, based in the Institute

Research Abstract

His principal current research is a longitudinal study of about 100 persistent young adult male offenders, analysing the extent to which they begin to desist from crime over a 3-4 year period. This is being conducted at Sheffield University with Professor Joanna Shapland and others. It is funded by the ESRC as part of the SCOPIC research network. The fieldwork is completed and the research is now being written up for publication.

Recent and current work in socio-spatial criminology includes the chapter on this topic in the fourth edition of theOxford Handbook of Criminology (Oxford University Press 2007), and some small current empirical studies in Sheffield.

In theoretical criminology, Professor Bottoms has a particular interest in issues relating to social order and legal compliance. His publications in this field include the following:

  • R. Sparks, A.E. Bottoms and W. Hay (1996) Prisons and the Problem of Order, Clarendon Press.
  • A. von Hirsch, A.E. Bottoms, E. Burney and P-O. Wikström (1999) Criminal Deterrence and Sentence Severity, Hart Publishing.
  • A.E. Bottoms (2001) ‘Compliance and Community Penalties’ in A.E. Bottoms, L. Gelsthorpe and S. Rex (Eds)Community Penalties: Change and Challenges, Willan Publishing.
  • A.E. Bottoms (2002) ‘Morality, Crime, Compliance and Public Policy’ in A.E. Bottoms and M. Tonry (Eds) Ideology, Crime and Criminal Justice, Willan Publishing.
  • A.E. Bottoms (2003) ‘Theoretical Reflections on the Evaluation of a Penal Policy Initiative’ in L. Zedner and A. Ashworth (Eds) The Criminological Foundations of Penal Policy, Oxford University Press (theoretical analysis of a policy initiative on incentives in prisons).
  • A.E.Bottoms (2006) ‘Incivilities, Offence and Social Order in Residential Communities’, in A. von Hirsch and A. Simester (Eds) Incivilities: Regulating Offensive Behaviour, Hart Publishing.

Professor Bottoms was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1997, and he received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2001 for his services to the criminal justice system. Queen’s University, Belfast conferred on him an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2003. In 2007, he received the European Criminology Award from the European Society of Criminology for lifetime achievements in criminology.

Professor Bottoms has a strong interest in the relevance of criminology to the practical dimensions of criminal justice. When he was Director of the Institute of Criminology, he pioneered the Institute’s Master of Studies (M.St.) courses for senior police officers and correctional personnel. He has also, on a number of occasions, acted as an adviser to official bodies, most recently as a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee for its inquiry into the Northern Ireland Prison Service (2007).