Dr Wendy Fitzgibbon

Dr Wendy FitzgibbonReader in Criminology

Contact details

Personal details

I graduated from North London Polytechnic in Applied Social Studies and Social Work. My first career was in the probation service where I undertook a variety of roles – generic team management, prison probation work, bail hostel management, teaching and training new entrants. From 1994 to 1997 I took a career break, working for the European Parliament supervising researchers working with Latin American and Asian refugees, also writing research reports on the Mercosur Trade Agreement and trans-global oil industries.

I moved into academic work in 2003, completing my PhD in 2008.  I have worked at several universities including Hertfordshire, De Montfort, Middlesex, London Metropolitan and came to Leicester in 2016 as Reader in Criminology.

With an orientation to the criminal justice area I have maintained a strong network among practitioners especially in the probation service and associated voluntary sector organisations, establishing forums enabling interchange between practitioners and academics. The London Practitioner Forum, which I chaired from 2012 until my move to Leicester, held regular discussion panels on topics such as probation privatisation, human trafficking, child sexual abuse, gangs and families.


  • Applied Criminology (Undergraduate)
  • Punishment & Rehabilitation (Undergraduate)
  • CJ Professionals (Postgraduate)
  • Rethinking Punishment & Rehabilitation (Postgraduate)

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Lead in a mentoring group
  • Involved in the Coaching Academy as a qualified coach
  • Postgraduate Personal Tutor


  • Comparative probation studies
  • Privatisation and criminal justice
  • Risk management
  • Photovoice methods

As a member of the European Community Punishment Research Group I was involved in a major research project for COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) to develop a network on ‘Offender Supervision in Europe’. I co-authored the report on England and Wales which has been published online (see publications). In total 23 European countries are involved in this network.

I have collaborated with Queens University, Belfast in a comparative study of Youth Justice Cultures in Ireland, Northern Ireland and England and Wales, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

I have also undertaken funded research in Germany, India and Ireland examining different aspects of the criminal justice system. In England I've been involved in funded research into women’s experiences of prison; gang formation and family influences; mentally disordered offenders; child abuse and violent offenders (see publications).


  • Comparative criminal justice systems
  • Women in prison, mentally disordered offenders in prison, prison cultures
  • Prison architecture, prison environments
  • Probation and risk assessment
  • Violent offenders and public protection
  • Practitioner cultures (policing and probation)
  • Privatisation in criminal justice


Fitzgibbon W. and Lea J. (2020) Privatising Justice: The Security Industry, War and Crime Control London: Pluto Press https://www.plutobooks.com/9780745399232/privatising-justice/

Healy D. and Fitzgibbon W. (2019) ‘Different Ways of Seeing: Exploring audience reactions to images of probation supervision’ Qualitative Social Work https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325019845426

Healy D. and Fitzgibbon W. (2018) Supervisible: Using photo-elicitation to explore the lived experience of offender supervision. SAGE Research Methods Cases.doi:10.4135/9781526441393

Fitzgibbon W. (2018) Photovoice and lived experiences of probation supervision: Using visual images to understand the experiences of service users.Probation Quarterly December (10) 27-35

Fitzgibbon W. (2018). 'Crime Prevention and the Media'. In M. Tenca & E. Ortiz (Eds.), Handbook on Crime Prevention and Community Safety for Latin America. Buenas Aires: Ediciones Didot. (published in Spanish)

Fitzgibbon W. and Stengel, C. (2017). Women's voices made visible: Photovoice in visual criminology. Punishment and SocietyVol 6 379-393. DOI: 10.1177/1462474517700137

FItzgibbon W. (2017). Riots and Protest in Europe. In S. Isaacs (Ed.), European Social Problems. (Abingdon: Routledge).

Fitzgibbon W., Graebsch, C. and McNeill, F. (2017). 'Pervasive Punishment: The Shadow of Penal Supervision' in M. Brown and E. Carrabine (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology. (Abingdon: Routledge).

Fitzgibbon W. and Lea J. (2017) Privatization and coercion: The question of legitimacy Theoretical Criminology DOI: 1362480617707952.

Fitzgibbon W. and Healy D. (2017) ) ' Lives and Spaces: Photovoice and Offender Supervision in Ireland and England' . Criminology and Criminal Justice DOI: 10.1177/1748895817739665

Fitzgibbon W. (2016) Probation, Privatisation and Perceptions of Risk. in M. Vanstone and  Phillip Preistley (eds) Probation and Politics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan., pp. 159–176.

Fitzgibbon W. (2016) Probation, Risk and the Power of the Media. in C. Trotter,  G. McIvor and F. McNeill  (eds) Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Criminal Justice, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan., pp. 158–178.

Fitzgibbon W. (2016) ‘Innovation and privatisation in the probation service in England and Wales’ British Journal of Community Justice Vol 14 (1) 71-77

Sauvant A.,  Fitzgibbon W.  and Nurse A., (2016) 'Be afraid, be very afraid of … the environmental activist?' Ideological war, coercive justice and Orwellian dystopia. in G. Potter, A. Nurse, & M. Hall (Eds.), The Geography of Environmental Crime. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hamilton C. Fitzgibbon W. and Carr N. (2016)  'Punishment, Youth Justice and Cultural Contingency: Towards a Balanced Approach'. Youth Justice

Fitzgibbon W. and Lea J. (2014) 'Defending probation: Beyond privatisation and security' European Journal of Probation April 2014 6: 24 – 41

Share this page:

Contact Details

The School of Criminology
152-154 Upper New Walk

T: +44 (0)116 252 2458
E: criminology@le.ac.uk


AccessAble logo

The University of Leicester is committed to equal access to our facilities. DisabledGo has a detailed accessibility guide for 152-154 Upper New Walk.

read the blog
Search the Criminology site