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A Message from the Director of the Institute of Criminology

last modified Dec 01, 2019 04:32 PM

It is with great sadness that the Institute of Criminology acknowledges the deaths of both Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt who were killed in the course of events on and near London Bridge, whilst participating in a Learning Together event organised by the Institute.


Saskia’s warm disposition and extraordinary intellectual creativity was combined with a strong belief that people who have committed criminal offences should have opportunities for rehabilitation. Though she completed her MPhil in Criminology in 2018, her determination to make an enduring and positive impact on society in everything she did led her to stay in contact with the Learning Together community.   They valued her contributions enormously and were inspired by her determination to push towards the good. 


All of us at the Institute will miss Jack’s quiet humour and rigorous intellect. His determined belief in rehabilitation inspired him to join the Institute as a staff member to work in the Learning Together research team after completing his MPhil in Criminology in 2017. Jack’s passion for social and criminal justice was infectious. He was deeply creative and courageously engaged with the world, advocating for a politics of love. He worked tirelessly in dark places to pull towards the light.


We are grateful to other members of the Learning Together community who bravely risked their own lives to hold off the attacker until the police arrived. These men included Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation staff and several people who have spent time in prison. They worked together, selflessly, to bring an end to this tragedy and to save further lives.


Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends, and colleagues and students at the Institute and University more widely who were at the event, as well as others who were there and who have been affected and injured.


Thank you for all the messages of support.


Professor Loraine R Gelsthorpe

Director, Institute of Criminology

University of Cambridge