Photo of Professor Joanna Shapland

Professor Joanna Shapland

Position: Edward Bramley Professor of Criminal Justice
Email Address:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6712


  • M.A., D.Phil. (Oxon)
  • Dip. Criminol. (Cantab)
  • Chartered Forensic Psychologist

Teaching and Learning

My research interests feed directly into my teaching. At undergraduate level, I teach an optional course on Restorative Justice, which draws from our major national evaluation of three big restorative justice schemes in England, as well as my work for the EU on restorative justice trends worldwide. I also lecture on research methods, in Introducing Criminological Research, with a focus on the methods and skills needed to evaluate criminal justice initiatives – we have undertaken large numbers of evaluations for the UK government. I lecture on Responding to Crime on victims, restorative justice and how countries have introduced initiatives to meet victims' needs. At postgraduate level, the module Responding to Crime in Europe looks at how different European countries are meeting the challenges of responding to crime, through prosecution and crime prevention, as well as their services for victims. I also teach on a new course training police civilian investigators investigating vulnerabilities in crime

The modules I teach are:

Undergraduate Postgraduate and MA
Introducing Criminological Research (Convenor) Responding to Crime in Europe (Convenor)
Restorative Justice (Convenor) Investigating Vulnerabilities Crime (Convenor of some modules)
Situating Crime (co-Convenor)
Responding to Crime
Responding to Crime and Victimisation
Criminal Law and Justice

Research Interests

My research interests span victimisation and victimology, restorative justice, business and crime, the informal economy, desistance, crime prevention and social control, and comparative criminal justice.

Currently, I am engaged in research for the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) on what is quality in probation supervision, as well as continuing to analyse our work on how offenders stop committing offences (desistance). I am also writing about worldwide trends in restorative justice, as well as a project on restorative policing in three police forces in England

Director of the Centre for Criminological Research (University Research Centre)
Member of the Centre for Well-Being in Public Policy (University Research Centre)
Member of CRISP – the centre for research on the informal economy

Areas of Research Supervision

  • Criminal justice
  • Victimisation, victimology and victims in the criminal justice system
  • Restorative justice
  • Business and crime
  • Offending, desistance and offending careers

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • Shapland, J. (2017) ‘Restorative justice: the research evidence and implications for Scotland’, invited keynote presentation to practitioners for ‘Public dialogues on restorative justice and Scotland’, Scottish Universities Insight Institute, Glasgow, 13 March 2017.
  • Shapland, J., Crawford, A., Gray, E. and Burn, D. (2016) ‘Developing restorative justice in policing in England’, invited presentation to N8 Policing Research Partnership Steering Group meeting, Radisson Blu Hotel, Leeds, 20 January 2017.
  • Shapland, J. (2016) ‘Offenders and victims – what do they want from justice?’, invited keynote paper to conference on ‘Narrowing the disconnect: the ethics of supporting desistance from crime’, Cork Alliance, 15-16 September 2016, to senior practitioners, service users and politicians, Cork, Ireland.
  • Shapland, J. (2016) ‘Interactions between agency and social structures in early desistance in young adults: findings from the Sheffield Desistance Study’, invited keynote paper to conference on ‘Desistance-Processes among Young Offenders following Judicial Interventions’, Max-Planck Institute, Freiburg-i-Br., Germany, 31 March – 1 April 2016.
  • Shapland, J. (2016) ‘Restorative justice – the evidence and what now?’, invited keynote presentation to Rotherham Restorative Justice Showcase event, organised by the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, New York Stadium, Rotherham, 9 March 2016.
  • Shapland, J. (2016) ‘Restorative justice – possible futures in England and Wales’, invited keynote presentation to Social Market Foundation, London, 21 January 2016, to audience of policy makers and practitioners.
  • Shapland, J. (2015) ‘Restorative justice and relation to criminal offences: working with the police and courts’, keynote presentation to the conference on ‘Restorative practices and justice: Leeds – towards a restorative city’, University of Leeds, 6 November 2015.

Key Projects/Grants

Title/Description: keep Developing restorative policing: using the evidence base to inform the delivery of restorative justice and improve engagement with victims
The research is looking at current provision of restorative justice to adult and young offenders in three police forces, both by police officers themselves and through referral to voluntary sector restorative justice providers, council community panels and Youth Offending Teams. Drawing also on comparisons with Northern Ireland and Belgium, the results have led to consultation with the forces to introduce initiatives to increase the quality and quantity of restorative justice, particularly to meet victim needs.
Awarding Body: Police Knowledge Fund (Home Office, HEFCE and College of Policing
People Involved: Joanna Shapland and Emily Gray (University of Sheffield), Adam Crawford and Daniel Burn (University of Leeds)
Years Funded for:20150-0201 2015-2017
Amount: Approx. £337,000
Title/Description: keep Evaluation of Restorative Justice Schemes (Crime Reduction Programme)
The project, directed by Professor Shapland, has evaluated three schemes, Justice Research Consortium, REMEDI and CONNECT, which were funded by the Ministry of Justice to run restorative justice schemes dealing with offenders within the criminal justice process. The schemes included both adult and juvenile offenders and worked at all stages of criminal justice from pre-court to prison and probation sentences, using both conferencing and mediation. The evaluation has followed the implementation of the schemes, interviewing offenders and victims, observing conferences, and looking at reconviction. It has fed directly into the government’s 2010-11 consultation paper and plans for the criminal justice system.
Awarding Body: Home Office/Ministry of Justice
People Involved: Joanna Shapland (with Anne Atkinson, Helen Atkinson, Emily Colledge, James Dignan, Jeremy Hibbert, Marie Howes, Jennifer Johnstone, Gwen Robinson, and Angela Sorsby, together with Becca Chapman and Rachel Pennant of the Home Office, and NFO Europe Social Research)
Years Funded for: 01/08/2001 to 30/06/2007
Amount: Approx. £1,300,000
Title/Description: The Young Adult Desistance Study of the ESRC Cambridge Network on the Social Contexts of Paths in Crime (SCOPIC)
The main aim of the SCOPIC research network is to achieve a better understanding of pathways in and out of crime as a result of interactions between individual characteristics and behavioural contexts, and to assist in the development of improved public policies reducing criminality and enhancing individuals' life chances, particularly in disadvantaged urban areas. SCOPIC, which was co-ordinated by the University of Cambridge (director, P-O Wikstrom), involved four UK sites, the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Huddersfield and King's College London, as well as collaborating North American and European sites. The Sheffield study, directed by Tony Bottoms and Joanna Shapland, is a longitudinal study of desistance by young adult offenders, selected from a probation based sample and followed for four years.
Awarding Body: ESRC and subsequently The Leverhulme Trust
People Involved: Anthony Bottoms and Joanna Shapland (with Helen Atkinson, Andrew Costello, Deirdre Healy, Deborah Holmes and Grant Muir)
Years Funded for: 01/10/2002 to date
Amount: Approx. £417,000

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • Outstanding achievement award, British Society of Criminology, 2013
  • Executive Editor, International Review of Victimology

Key Publications


  • Shapland J, Robinson G & Sorsby A (2011) Restorative Justice in Practice. London: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

  • Shapland J, Farrall S & Bottoms A (Eds.) (2016) Global Perspectives on Desistance: Reviewing what we know and looking to the future. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Saitta P, Shapland J & Verhage A (Eds.) (2013) Getting by or getting rich? The formal, informal and criminal economies in a globalised world. The Hague: Eleven. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shapland J & Ponsaers P (Ed.) (2009) The informal economy and connections with organised crime: the impact of national social and economic policies. The Hague: Boom. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles