Jessamy Bloom

Jessamy Bloom

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Personal Details

Jessamy is a part-time PhD candidate in the School of Criminology. She completed her Undergraduate degree in Law and Criminology LLB at the University of Leicester, graduating with a First Class Honours in 2017, and went on to complete her Master’s in Crime, Justice and Psychology MSc with the School of Criminology, with a Distinction and Best Dissertation Prize, in 2018. During her degrees, she was involved in Pro Bono work as a Team Leader in the University of Leicester Miscarriages of Justice Project, and Liaison Officer of the Amicus Charity Society.

Since graduating, Jessamy has worked in criminal defence, and currently works as a Research Officer in Crime and Policing Analysis. Jessamy’s research interests are in mental health and the law, and how this intersects in the Criminal Justice System.

This includes the relationship between mental health and crime, the treatment of mentally disordered offenders in criminal justice settings, and mental health and criminal capacity as defences in criminal law.

PhD Research

Jessamy’s doctoral research explores the Insanity defence to criminal offences in England and Wales, and the factors influencing juror decision-making in Insanity trials. The current M’Naghten Rules defence, which has remained in place since 1843, has received frequent academic criticism and a 2013 Law Commission Discussion Paper highlighting concerns and offering recommendations for reform, which have largely been ignored. There is evidence to suggest that use of the defence is increasing, providing a rationale for research into the application of the defence in England and Wales. Additionally, research into juror decision-making factors linked to the Insanity defence has been inconsistent and inconclusive, and has primarily taken place outside of England and Wales, where the defence and requirements differ.

This research will use data from the criminal justice system in England and Wales to build an understanding of the offences and demographics of Insanity acquittees. This will aid in the design of trials for mock juror research to determine the legal and extra-legal factors which may influence the acceptance of an Insanity plea in England and Wales. This could have an impact on how theories of criminal responsibility are applied to the insanity defence, and also practical considerations for both mentally disordered offenders and others lacking criminal responsibility in the criminal justice system, both in the UK and worldwide.

Jessamy is being supervised by Professor Lisa Smith and Dr Emma Sleath.

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Contact Details

The School of Criminology
152-154 Upper New Walk
Leicester
LE1 7QA
UK

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

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