26th March 2020

Dear friends and colleagues,

This is a challenging time for all of us. All of our staff are now working remotely and adjusting to new workloads alongside caring responsibilities. Much of our day-to-day research has been temporarily suspended as we adapt to life under lockdown.

Yet issues of crime, justice and harm have not disappeared. Though there are early reports of reductions in crime, and a significant reduction in the number of court cases, other parts of the criminal justice system have been placed under intense pressure (this new blog, by SCCJR’s Cara Jardine, focuses on the impact of the virus on Scotland’s prisons). At the same time, unprecedented surveillance measures have been implemented throughout the world, leading to sustained questions from civil rights organisations. In this brave new world, critical and rigorous research remains as vital as ever.

Just as we are adapting our research, so too are working practices evolving. As our worlds shrink into households, it is becoming clear that we will need each other more than ever. Virtual communication platforms are enabling meetings and learning to occur in remarkable new ways, and we are working hard to thinking about how the resources of SCCJR – as a community, network and source of support – might be mobilised to maintain connections when we most need it. For now, those of you home-schooling might be interested in our Learning Resources for Schools written for Modern Studies pupils.

Subject to new working arrangements, we want to assure you that we are here, we are available and we will continue to provide a critical voice on Scottish crime and justice. You can get in touch through our social media platforms, website, or email (a list of staff and relevant contacts via our website).

We will be in touch again soon but in the meantime we would like to send you all warmth, solidarity and fortitude during these difficult times.


Dr Alistair Fraser
Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research