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Research Centres and Groups


Research Centres

 The Institute hosts the following Research Centres:

Centre for Analytic Criminology

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The Centre for Analytic Criminology aims to advance, through theory development and empirical testing, a general, dynamic and mechanism-based explanation of crime and its causes to inform effective crime prevention policies and practices.

Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice

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The Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice aims to:

  • Bring together research interests relating to community sanctions (with a European and international as well as a national focus), gender, crime and justice
  • Develop the links between criminal justice and social justice
  • Give students and colleagues working in these broad areas a clear identity.

Jerry Lee Centre for Experimental Criminology

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The Jerry Lee Centre conducts and synthesizes randomized controlled trials of policing, criminal justice and crime prevention programmes, in tandem with training doctoral and post-doctoral students the methods and practices of experiments in crime and justice.  The Centre is also undertaking new experiments on a variety of innovations for preventing serious crime, including homicide.

Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics

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The Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics brings together leading philosophers, criminologists, and criminal-law theorists to explore ethical and philosophical issues in criminal law and criminal justice.  The Centre’s mission is to ensure that criminal justice research and theory remains in constant dialogue with the best thinking in the fields of ethics, political philosophy and jurisprudence.

Prisons Research Centre

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The Prisons Research Centre aims to provide a stimulating research environment in which they investigate:

  • how prisons operate, socially, morally and operationally,
  • how they are experienced,
  • and the relationship between these moral and social qualities, and their effects.

Violence Research Centre

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The Violence Research Centre aims to conduct rigorous interdisciplinary research on the causes, prevention and consequences of interpersonal violence in a variety of settings. It takes an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on theoretical approaches and empirical findings from criminology, psychology, biology, political science, sociology and history.

Research Groups

The Institute also hosts the following Research Groups:

Comparative Penology Group 

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The Comparative Penology Group are working on a five year project titled: 'Penal policy making and the prisoner experience: a comparative analysis'.  The research is based in England & Wales, and Norway, and involves four inter-related studies of (a) penal policy making and the penal field (b) the experience of entry into and release from custody (c) the daily experiences of female prisoners and imprisoned sex offenders, and (d) prisoners in the most secure parts of each jurisdiction's prison system.

Socio-Legal Group

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The Cambridge Socio-Legal Group is an interdisciplinary discussion forum promoting debate on topical socio-legal issues and empirical research methodology. It is affiliated with several departments across the University, including the Faculty of Law, the Institute of Criminology, the Centre for Family Research and Physiology, Development & Neuroscience (PDN).