Photo of Dr Gwen Robinson

Dr Gwen Robinson

Position: Reader in Criminal Justice
Email Address:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6863
Room No: CLG4
Feedback and Consultation Availability: Please see sign up sheet on my office door

Academic Profile

I studied psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Sussex, and went on to complete an MSc in Applied Social Studies and a Diploma in Social Work at the University of Oxford, specialising in probation practice. After working as a researcher at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminological Research, I completed a PhD at the University of Wales, Swansea. My thesis examined the changing contours of probation practice and in particular the influence of risk assessment technologies on the rehabilitation and management of offenders.

In the last 15 years I have been involved in a number of empirical research projects and have published in the areas of: offender rehabilitation and management; community sanctions/penalties; and restorative justice. I initially came to work in the School of Law in 2002 as a member of a large research team which conducted a major evaluation of Restorative Justice schemes for the Home Office/Ministry of Justice (led by Joanna Shapland). The book Restorative Justice in Practice: Evaluating What Works for Victims and Offenders (with Joanna Shapland and Angela Sorsby) was published by Routledge in 2011 and provides an account of that study and its findings. I am also co-editor (with Fergus McNeill) of Community Punishment: European Perspectives (Routledge 2016) and co-author (with Peter Raynor) of Rehabilitation, Crime and Justice (Palgrave Macmillan 2009).

My current research is examining the role of probation workers in court settings, and I have recently completed a project (with Lol Burke and Matthew Millings) on the part-privatisation of the probation service.


  • PhD, University of Wales, Swansea
  • MSc Applied Social Studies and Diploma in Social Work, University of Oxford
  • BA (Hons) Psychology, University of Sussex

Teaching and Learning

All of my teaching is in the field of criminal justice and restorative justice, and in areas in which I have research and/or practical experience as well as theoretical knowledge. In all of my teaching I endeavour to incorporate aspects of ‘real world’ issues and controversies, through activities such as debates and documentary screenings.

The modules I teach are:

Undergraduate Postgraduate and MA
Punishment and Penal Policy (Convenor) Restorative Justice (Convenor)
Rehabilitation of Offenders (Convenor) Issues in Restorative Justice (Convenor)
Restorative Justice Issues in Comparative Penology 

Research Interests

  • Community sanctions/penalties
  • Offender rehabilitation and management
  • Probation Practice

Member of the Centre for Criminological Research research cluster.

Areas of Research Supervision

  • Community sanctions/penalties and their administration
  • Offender management and rehabilitation
  • Restorative Justice

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • Robinson, G. (November 2016) ‘Patrolling the borders of risk: the new bifurcation of probation services in England & Wales’, American Society of Criminology Annual Conference, New Orleans.
  • Millings, M., Burke, L. & Robinson, G. (March 2016) ‘Probation in the public and private sectors: the case of England & Wales’, COST Action on Offender Supervision in Europe Final International Conference, Free University of Brussels, Belgium.
  • Robinson, G. (February 2016) ‘Transforming Rehabilitation and the institutionalisation of risk: critical reflections’, Probation Practitioner Forum, Liverpool John Moores University.
  • Robinson, G., Burke, L. & Millings, M. (June 2015) ‘Probation identities in transition: a case study in one CRC’, European Society of Criminology Working Group on Community Sanctions and Measures, Annual Seminar, School of Law, University of Sheffield.
  • McNeill, F. & Robinson, G. (April 2015) ‘The dynamics of compliance with supervision’, COST Action 1106 international conference on compliance, enforcement and breach. Athens, 17-18 April.

Key Projects/Grants

Title/Description: Devolving Probation Services
Awarding Body: ESRC
People Involved: Gwen Robinson: with Matthew Millings and Lol Burke (Liverpool John Moores University)
Years Funded for: 2014-2015
Title/Description: Quality in Probation Service
Awarding Body: Ministry of Justice/NOMS
People Involved: Joanna Shapland (PI), Tony Bottoms, Stephen Farrall, Fergus McNeill
Years Funded for: 2010-2012
Title/Description: Evaluation of 3 Restorative Justice Schemes
Awarding Body: Home Office/Ministry of Justice
People Involved: Research team led by Joanna Shapland
Years Funded for: 2002-2007

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • Member of Editorial Advisory Group, British Journal of Criminology
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
  • Editorial Board Member, Probation Journal
  • Co-chair of European Society of Criminology Working Group on Community Sanctions
  • Management Committee member and co-leader of a Working Group on Practising Offender Supervision, COST Action 1106 Offender Supervision in Europe (2012-2016)
  • International Network of Researchers on Individual Supervision in Probation (CREDOS)

Key Publications

Journal articles


  • Robinson GJ (2016) Patrolling the Borders of Risk: The new Bifurcation of Probation Services in England & Wales In Bosworth M, Hoyle C & Zedner L (Ed.), Changing Contours of Criminal Justice Oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

  • Robinson G & McNeill F (Ed.) (2015) Community Punishment: European Perspectives. London: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download