Prof Fergus McNeill

Associate Director, SCCJR

Professor of Criminology and Social Work

University of Glasgow


Fergus McNeill is Professor of Criminology and Social Work at the University of Glasgow where he works in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and in Sociology. Prior to becoming an academic in 1998, Fergus worked for a number of years in residential drug rehabilitation and as a criminal justice social worker.

His many research projects and publications have examined institutions, cultures and practices of punishment and rehabilitation and questions about their reform. He recently led a pioneering ESRC funded project,‘Discovering Desistance’, which developed dialogue between academics, practitioners and ex-offenders about how criminal justice can better support people to leave crime behind and influenced policy and practice development in many countries. Between 2012 and 2016, he chaired an EU funded research network on ‘Offender Supervision in Europe’ which involved about 80 researchers from across 23 jurisdictions.

As well as researching, teaching and writing, Fergus has been involved in providing consultancy advice and support to governments and criminal justice organizations in many jurisdictions around the world. Between 2011-2014, he was appointed by the Cabinet Secretary as Chair of the Scottish Advisory Panel on Offender Rehabilitation. He is a Trustee, Council or Board Member of several charities including Faith in Communities Scotland, the Scottish Association for the Study of Offending and Vox Liminis. He also served recently as a member of the Poverty Truth Commission and was Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Research Advisory Group.

Fergus has co-written or co-edited several books; the most recent are ‘Reimagining Rehabilitation: Beyond the Individual’ (with Lol Burke and Steve Collett, published by Routledge in 2018) and ‘Pervasive Punishment: Making sense of mass supervision’, which is his first sole-authored monograph and was published by Emerald in 2018.

Currently Fergus is leading ‘Distant Voices: Coming Home’, a major 3-year Economic and Social Research Council/Arts and Humanities Research Council research project exploring reintegration after punishment.



University of Glasgow

Ivy Lodge
University of Glasgow
63 Gibson Street

Related Publications

Related News and Events