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Steve undertakes research on identity, justice and citizenship in relation to people who have been responsible for or harmed by crime or injustice. Most of his research involves discursive social psychological methods or evaluation research methods. His research is intended to enhance our understanding of issues of identity and citizenship in relation to justice and injustice, and explore the ethics and effectiveness of responses to crime, with the purpose of improving society’s response to those who have caused or been harmed by crime or injustice. My four main areas of research interest are: 1) criminal justice social work; 2) restorative justice; 3) refugee integration; 4) hate crime.

Recent publications

Kirkwood, S. (2021). A practice framework for restorative justice. Aggression and Violent Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2021.101688

Mullins, E. & Kirkwood, S. (2021). Co-authoring desistance narratives: Analysing interactions in groupwork for addressing sexual offending. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 21, 316-333. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1748895819863101

Kirkwood, S. (2021). ‘A wee kick up the arse’: Mentoring, motivation and desistance from crime. Criminology and Criminal Justice. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F17488958211043691



University of Edinburgh


Chrystal Macmillan Building,
15a George Square,

Research Themes

Research Methods and Criminological Theory

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions

September 2021

Written Evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Criminal Justice Committee

This paper was prepared by Dr Hannah Graham, University of Stirling, Dr Steve Kirkwood, University of Edinburgh, Professor Margaret Malloch, […]

Evaluation of the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund

The aim of this evaluation was to assess the extent to which the Public Social Partnerships model delivers effective mentoring […]

No Projects Available

15th February 2016

Mentoring helps cut reoffending, SCCJR researchers find

Video Available

Just About . . . Covid & Criminal Justice

18th August 2021