Prof Richard Sparks

Associate Director, SCCJR

Professor of Criminology

University of Edinburgh


Richard Sparks, a founding co-director of SCCJR, is Professor of Criminology at the University of Edinburgh. He was formerly Professor of Criminology at Keele University and in his early career also worked at the Open University and the University of Cambridge.

His main research interests lie in the sociology of punishment (especially imprisonment); penal politics; and public responses to crime and punishment. Recent research projects have included an account (with Marion Smith and Evi Girling) of nine-year old children’s conversations about justice and punishment and (with Elaine Crawley) a study of older men in English prisons. Richard is the author of Television and the Drama of Crime (1992) and co-author (with Tony Bottoms and Will Hay) of Prisons and the Problem of Order (1996) and (with Evi Girling and Ian Loader) of Crime and Social Change in Middle England (2000). He has also co-edited (with David Garland) Criminology and Social Theory (2000), (with Tim Hope) Crime, Risk and Insecurity (2000) and (with Tim Newburn) Criminal Justice and Political Cultures (2004).

He is a member of the editorial boards of several journals including Punishment & Society and the Sociological Review.


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University of Edinburgh

School of Law
University of Edinburgh
Old College,South Bridge

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