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Institute of Criminology



Michael Rice grew up on a council estate in rural Norfolk. He was the first member of his family to pursue higher (or indeed secondary) education, and the first pupil from his school to go to Oxford, where he began his undergraduate career as a lawyer. He then worked for the Survey Research Centre at the London School of Economics. Subsequently, with funding from the Joseph Rowntree Trust, he directed a successful planning law reform campaign, and for a time he was Will Hutton's gardener. Later, at Westminster, he was employed as a researcher on education and health. While in a government-sponsored post as parliamentary liaison officer for the haemoglobinopathy advocacy groups, he became one of the founders of the group now known as the Genetic Alliance. Before arriving in Cambridge as a mature graduate student he was active in local politics in north London, taking particular interest in housing and the built environment. For his ESRC-sponsored doctoral enquiry into prisoners’ reading attainments he spent over two hundred days - but no nights - behind bars; the enquiry was supplemented by two bolt-on studies commissioned by the Home Office. After graduation, he worked for Nacro's Crime and Social Policy section, beginning with an evaluation of ten ‘community safety’ schemes in an inner-London borough. In recent years, he has taught courses on crime and deviance, sentencing policy, statistical analysis and survey research methods to graduate and undergraduate students. He also maintains interests in neuroscience and moral philosophy.

Michael has supervised MPhil dissertations on various criminological topics, including drug policy in The Netherlands, the surveillance of political protestors in Hong Kong, police corruption, terrorism, hate crime with reference to both ethnic and sexual minorities, juror decision-making, prosecutorial practice in Ghana, child witnesses in criminal trials, white-collar crime, muti-related murder in South Africa, sex offender registration, the August 2011 riots and moral panic in England, the punishment of psychopaths, the death penalty in Malaysia, the legal representation of mentally-ill offenders, the experiences of female officers in male prisons, ‘stop and frisk’ in New York, the case for differentiated treatment of older prisoners, Foucauldian perspectives on sexual violence, the criminalisation of harm-doing, the motivations and experiences of first-time users of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists ('Spice') in prison, and judicial perspectives on the sentencing of historic sex offenders.

Some of Michael's writings can be found on the website.

Affiliated Lecturer
Dr. Michael  Rice