Dr Jennifer Fleetwood

Lecturer in Criminology

Contact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5768
  • Email: jf209@le.ac.uk
  • Office: Room 2.12 2nd floor
    154 Upper New Walk
  • Office Hours: By appointment.


Jennifer joined the University of Leicester in July 2013. Before that she worked at the University of Kent. Her PhD (University of Edinburgh) was on women in the international cocaine trade which will be published by Palgrave in 2014 (read the article on drug mules). Her background is in sociology and her interests in gender led to researching women’s offending, as drug mules and also as drug dealers. She is a member of the Nordic Narrative Network, and her chapter on women’s narratives will feature in the forthcoming collection Narrative Criminology, edited by Lois Presser and Sveinung Sandberg (NYU Press) Jennifer's other main research interests are feminist criminology, narrative criminology and qualitative research methods, especially ethnography.

Along with colleagues in the department (Dr Clare Gunby and Dr Rebecca Barnes) Jennifer has also been awarded central College funding (£2,000) to help set up, and develop, a gender and justice research group.

Research Interests

Drug mules, women’s offending, gender and feminism in criminology, narrative criminology, ethnography, feminist research methods, cultural criminology, drugs and drug policy.

Current Research

My research interests centre on women, drugs, offending and justice. I have recently completed a British Academy funded research project on women crack cocaine dealers. At present, I am pursuing two threads of research: 1. the usefulness of narrative criminological theory for explaining women's offending and 2. the impact of the new sentencing guidelines in England and Wales on sentences for drug importation, especially mules.

PhD Supervision

I am currently co-supervising two PhD research projects, one on the law and drug mules, and the second on women drug users and harm reduction in Hungary.  I would be interested in supervising projects on:

  • Women’s offending
  • Narrative criminology
  • Drugs and drug policy
  • Sentencing and drugs offences
  • Projects involving ethnography and feminist research methods


Most Recent Publications

Sandberg, S. and Fleetwood, J. (2016) Street talk and Bourdieusian criminology: Bringing narrative to field theory, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Fleetwood, J. (2016) Fleetwood, J. (2016). Narrative habitus: Thinking through structure/agency in the narratives of offenders. Crime, Media, Culture, 12 (2): 173-192.

Fleetwood, J (2015) A narrative approach to women’s law breaking, Feminist criminology, online advance, http://fcx.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/07/01/1557085115591998.abstract

Fleetwood, J., Radcliffe, P., and Stevens, A., (2015) Shorter sentences for drug mules: The early impact of the sentencing guidelines in England and Wales, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09687637.2015.1011607?journalCode=dep

Fleetwood, J (2015) ‘Sentencing Reform for drug trafficking in England and Wales’, IDPC Briefing paper, International Drug policy consortium, April

Stengel, C. and Fleetwood, J (2014) ‘Developing drug policy: Gender Matters’, GDPO situational analysis, Cardiff: Global Drug Policy Observatory.  http://idpc.net/publications/2014/10/developing-drug-policy-gender-matters

Fleetwood, J (2014) Drug Mules: women in the international cocaine trade (link http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=631463

Fleetwood, J (2014) ‘Keeping out of trouble: women crack cocaine dealers in England’ European Journal of Criminology Vol, 11(1). http://euc.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/06/28/1477370813491177.abstract

Fleetwood, J (2013) ‘Five myths about drug mules and the death penalty’, The Conversation, 2nd September, https://theconversation.com/five-myths-about-drug-mules-and-the-death-penalty-17706

Fleetwood, J (2013) ‘Peru drugs bust: When an airport arrest turns into a lurid sideshow’ The Independent, 14th August, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/peru-drugs-bust-when-an-airport-arrest-turns-into-a-lurid-sideshow-8761800.html

Fleetwood, J (2013) ‘Executing drug mules is inhumane. It’s also pointless’, The Independent, 23rd of January. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/grandmother-lindsay-sandifords-cocaine-sentence-executing-drug-mules-is-inhumane-its-also-pointless-8463367.html

Fleetwood, J (2013) ‘Why are drug mules sentences as if they were drug barons?’ The Independent, 20th December. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-case-of-lindsay-sandiford-in-bali-why-are-drug-mules-are-sentenced-as-if-they-were-drug-barons-8427027.html

Fleetwood, J (2011) 'Five Kilos: Penalties and Practice in the International Cocaine Trade' British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 51 (2), pp 375-393.

Fleetwood, J and Haas, N U (2011) ‘Gendering the agenda: women drug mules in Resolution 52/1 of the Commission of Narcotic Drugs at the United Nations’, Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 11 (4), pp.194-204.

Full listing of publications

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