10th September 2016

Welcome to the SCCJR blog! We are excited to share through this news of our research, our people and our impact working towards just societies.

This year marks SCCJR’s 10th anniversary, and we have had a season of events showcasing workshops, speakers and research that celebrate this. Most of this, and much more, is captured in the SCCJR 2016 Annual Report.

The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research was founded ten years ago as an initiative to pool criminological research expertise and create collaboration across multiple universities. .Today, SCCJR includes 30 academics and more than 60 PhD students based at four universities working in Scotland, and engaging internationally

Our celebrations culminated in a day-long event at the University of Glasgow offering an opportunity to reflect on the work of the Centre so far and the directions it might take in the next ten years. The event was divided into three parts.

In the morning, our community of PhD students was at the centre of attention, with students designing roundtables on issues of importance to them. These sessions featured academic and student commentators to facilitate interactive conversations on:

  • Doing and Thinking Theory in Criminology
  • Doing Justice: Where does morality fit in criminology?
  • Moving Criminology off the ‘Street’: Alternative sites of engagement
  • Activism and Academia: Where does the balance lie?

In the afternoon, SCCJR staff and students were joined by policy makers, third sector organisations, artists, agency leaders, activists, practitioners and additional academics in workshops to discuss and debate important shared questions:

  • What Evidence Is Good? Quality issues and methodological choices in policy relevant research
  • What Good Is Evidence? The usefulness and impact of research to support justice
  • Accessing Justice, Accessing the Academy: Whose and how much accountability, transparency and democracy?
  • Partnerships: Mutual benefit or unilateral exploitation

10th event.jpg

In the evening, Prof Mary Bosworth (Oxford and Monash Universities) delivered the SCCJR keynote lecture, ‘Rethinking punishment in an age of mass mobility: Administrative power in immigration detention’.

At the end of a very full day, and with some time to reflect on it, I am left inspired and impressed by the work of SCCJR’s founding directors (Michele Burman, University of Glasgow; Richard Sparks, University of Edinburgh; Gill McIvor, University of Stirling; and Jackie Tombs, formerly University of Stirling and Glasgow Caledonian University)  in creating and building a space over a decade in which we can work closely with others to figure out what justice means and how, through relationships with a range of people and groups, we might work towards it.

As we move into SCCJR’s next decade, the new leaders of the Centre will hope to carry on this work, supporting the highest quality research and engagement to do so. The issue of justice arises as a core concern at the heart of so many issues shaping our world today, from migration to inequality, from health to education. Please check back to see how we are participating in these and other areas and let us know your thoughts!

Sarah Armstrong, SCCJR Director