Health and crime and criminal justice

Colleagues in the department are working at the interface of the sociology of health and crime and criminal justice (HCCJ).

Legal highs

Our initial studies explored NPS use prior to the recent UK legislation change. Influenced by the concept of ‘assemblages of context’ initial qualitative research has argued that NPS use emerges and is sustained by way of complex assemblages of physical and nonphysical, distant and proximate and individual and social factors which come together at specific places and at specific times.

The early findings suggest that – even with legislation change- drivers for NPS consumption will remain. Regulation will alter patterns of NPS use but will not eliminate them. This reinforces the need to consider social and environmental factors which influence choices to use drugs and alcohol and features of the immediate social contexts in which substance use occurs.

Read Karen Bullock's profile.

Mental wellbeing in prison

The current analysis draws on a nationally representative, longitudinal study of prisoners from across all 139 Prisons in England and Wales.

This enables us to explore psychological wellbeing across the entire prison estate, linking changes in mental health to experiences of prison, prison interventions, and outcomes on release from prison. Using multilevel growth curve models we directly examine the potential impact of prison context, examining how the role of psychological wellbeing is influenced by the broader prison regime in which individual offenders are situated.

This significantly advances our understandings of the role that psychological wellbeing has as a mechanism through which prisoners experiences of prison, and the interventions they receive throughout their sentence, impacts on their chances of reoffending and other outcomes when released. 

Read Daniel McCarthy's profile.