Dr Wendy Fitzgibbon

Dr Wendy FitzgibbonReader in Criminology

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5768
  • Email: dwf5@le.ac.uk
  • Office: Room 2.10, 2nd floor, 154 Upper New Walk

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.

I'm alsio the University's Deputy Director of Education: Student Experience and Department Representative for International Strategy.


  • Punishment and Rehabilitation: (second year undergraduate core module)
  • Working in Criminal Justice: (second year undergraduate core module)
  • Penology: (postgraduate Master's core module)

Office hours

By appointment.


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


  • 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

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Contact Details

The Friars
154 Upper New Walk

T: +44 (0)116 252 3946/2458
F: +44 (0)116 252 5788
E: criminology@le.ac.uk


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