Research Interests

Research Themes

I have research interests in a number of fields relating to the history of crime and justice including juvenile delinquents and their treatment by the courts; gender, crime and justice; changing attitudes to violence; the summary courts and past forms of restorative justice; penal change and the early history of the juvenile reformatory; the courts as law makers. I also work on poverty and social inequality, on the narratives of the poor, on the magistrates’ courts and the poor,  and on the making of identity amongst the poor. The areas I have written about most in the last few years are homicide rates and the geography of murder, the history of ethnic minorities and justice in Britain, and newspaper reporting of crime and justice issues. The core period I work on is 1680-1850 and the main research grants that have facilitated my work have been - £50,000 for ESRC funded research project on ‘Youth, Crime and the Coming of Modernity’ which was part of their ‘Crime and Social Order’ Research Initiative. (1994-96);  £10,400 for AHRB research leave for project on ‘Crime and Law in the Age of Reform. The Central/Local State and Judicial Change 1750-1850’. (2000-01); ESRC award of £78,000 for a project on Ethnicity, crime and justice in England 1700-1825 (2008); AHRC award with Dr John Carter Wood of£98,400 for a project on ‘Police, Press, Public and the Celebrity Female Victim in Britain 1926-1930’.  

Current Research Projects

I am currently involved in helping to research four programmes called ‘The Voices of the Old Bailey’ which we will be recording in late spring 2011 for broadcasting in the Summer.

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