Sarah Anderson

PhD Student


Working Title of PhD: Exploring the relationship between recovery from complex trauma and desistance from offending

Year commenced PhD study: 2014

Institution/Organisation: University of Glasgow

Funding Source: ESRC and Dr June Milligan Postgraduate Student Scholarship

Full or part-time: Full-time

PhD Supervisors: Professor Fergus McNeill (SCCJR) and Professor Sally Wyke (Institute of Health and Wellbeing)


Sarah’s project involved men with experiences of trauma which have been compounded across the life course to understand how these experiences affect people’s attempts to desist from entrenched patterns of offending. It employed an adapted biographical narrative approach incorporating the use of creative methods (‘collage as inquiry’). The project offers an interdisciplinary attempt to explore and develop key insights from two fields, mental health and criminology, with the aim of improving practice in both.

Relevant publications:

Schinkel, M., Atkinson, C. and Anderson, S. (2018) Well-Kent Faces’: Policing Persistent Offenders and the Possibilities for Desistance. British Journal of Criminology.

Anderson, S. and McNeill, F. (2019) Desistance and cognitive transformations. In: Farrington, D. P., Kazemian, L. and Piquero, A. R. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook on Developmental and Life-Course Criminology. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190201371 (In Press)

Anderson, S. (2016) The value of ‘bearing witness’ to desistance, Probation Journal. Vol 63 (4), pp. 408-424 [open access version] *WINNER of Probation Journal Best Paper Prize 2016

Van Roeyen, S., Anderson, S. and Vanderplasschen, W. (2016) Desistance in drug-using offenders: A narrative review . European Journal of Criminology.

Clark, M., Cornes, M., Manthorpe, J., Hennessy, C. and Anderson, S. (2015) ‘Releasing the grip of managerial domination: the role of communities of practice in tackling multiple exclusion homelessness.’ Journal of Integrated Care. Vol 23 (5), pp. 287-301

Cornes, M., Manthorpe, J., Hennessy, C., Anderson, S., Clark, M. and Scanlon, C. (2014) ‘Not just a talking shop: practitioner perspectives on how communities of practice work to improve outcomes for people experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness.’ Journal of Interprofessional Care. Vol 28 (6), pp. 541-546

Corner, J., Anderson, S., Lankshear, I., Lankshear, A., Senior, J., Shaw, J. and Taylor, P.J. (2014) ‘Offenders and alleged offenders with mental disorder in non-medical settings’. In Gunn, J. and Taylor, P. (eds) Forensic Psychiatry: Clinical, Legal and Ethical Issues, Second Edition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, pp. 619-657

Anderson, SE, Hennessy, C, Cornes M and Manthorpe J (2013) ‘Developing inter-disciplinary and inter-agency networks: reflections on a “community of practice” approach’. Advances in Dual Diagnosis 6(3), 132-144

Anderson, S., Dickie, E., and Parker, C. (2013) Street Talk: An evaluation of a counselling service for women involved in street based prostitution and victims of trafficking. London: Revolving Doors. Available:

Anderson, S. (2012) New and innovative approaches to supporting people with complex needs’. London: Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Available:

Anderson, S. and Cairns, C. (2011) ‘The social care needs of short-sentence prisoners’. Durham: North East Public Health Observatory. Available:

Anderson, S. (2011) Complex Responses: Understanding poor frontline responses to adults with multiple needs. London: Revolving Doors Agency. Available:

Anderson, S. (2011) ‘A way through the woods: opening pathways to mental health care for women with multiple needs.’ Advances in Dual Diagnosis. Vol 6(3), pp. 132-144



The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
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