The Voluntary Sector in Criminal Justice: Setting the Research Agenda

Monday 5 -Tuesday 6 June 2017

Venue: Bartolomé House, Winter Street, Sheffield, UK, S3 7ND

The Penal Voluntary Sector Book CoverGiven that voluntary organisations are increasingly implicated in criminal justice but have attracted little scholarship, Dr Philippa Tomczak (Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow, University of Sheffield Centre for Criminological Research, Author of The Penal Voluntary Sector) is launching the new international, multidisciplinary voluntary sector in criminal justice research network for academics, practitioners and policymakers. The network is championed by Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms (Universities of Cambridge and Sheffield) and Professor Joanna Shapland (University of Sheffield). Philippa is assisted by Dr David Thompson (University of Sheffield).

The network will be launched at this workshop, which aims to bring delegates from academia, practice and policy together to talk about their research needs, and establish the 'state of the art' in criminal justice voluntary sector research, paying particular attention to:

  • identifying needs and gaps in the research capacity of academics, practitioners and policymakers
  • voluntary sector governance, regulation and safeguarding in commissioning, contractual and informal service delivery relationships with statutory agencies
  • the effects of contractual provisions in shaping voluntary organisations' activities
  • the range and adequacy of theoretical and methodological tools used in criminal justice voluntary sector research, and the ethics of such research.

We are delighted to acknowledge generous financial support from the British Academy (Rising Star Engagement Award) and the Socio-Legal Studies Association (Seminar Competition). The British Academy has kindly enabled the attendance of Dr Sarah Armstrong and ten early career scholars. The Socio-Legal Studies Association has kindly enabled the attendance of the international keynote speakers. Dr Philippa Tomczak is supported by the Leverhulme Trust (Early Career Fellowship).

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Dr Sarah Armstrong (Sociology Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow)
  • Nathan Dick (Head of Policy and Communications at Clinks)
  • Anita Dockley (Research Director, The Howard League for Penal Reform)
  • Professor Michael Hallett (Professor of Criminology, University of North Florida)
  • Dr Emma Hughes (Criminology Department Chair, California State University, Fresno, USA)
  • Professor Martine Herzog- Evans (Professor at the University of Reims, France)
  • Dr Rob Macmillan (Research Fellow, Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Adam White (Senior Lecturer, University of Sheffield)

If you have any questions, or require further information please contact Philippa Tomczak (

Participate in the mentoring and engagement schemes

Mentoring schemes - Applications are sought from international early career scholars (PhD students and those upto 5 years post PhD confirmation, based in countries other than the UK) to participate in a tailored mentoring scheme. Applications are also sought from practitioners to participate in a specialist engagement scheme. Please see the tabs on the right hand side of this page for more information.

If you have any questions, or require further information please contact Philippa Tomczak (

Registration for this conference has now closed. 

Read more about this event and CRIMVOL (The international criminal justice voluntary sector research network) here

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