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Working Title of PhD: Exploring the meaning and practice of community and justice in Scottish penal reform and beyond

Year commenced PhD study: 2019             

Institution/Organisation: University of Glasgow

Funding Source (if any): Joint Glasgow/Edinburgh PhD Studentship                            

Full or part-time: Full-time

PhD Supervisors: Prof Sarah Armstrong (Glasgow) and Prof Richard Sparks (Edinburgh)

Synopsis of PhD
Community justice in Scotland has come to refer, not only to community sentencing and supervision, but increasingly to a broad strategy of community engagement, development, and service provision out-with the criminal justice system. This expansive narrative invites much broader scrutiny and discussion of community justice policy and discourse. In light of the resurgence of interest in transformational change to penal systems, this research asks: how are the concepts of ‘community’ and ‘justice’ understood and used, how do narratives of community justice reflect public sector reform, penal reform and structural inequality, and how is community justice conceptualised and realised beyond the Scottish criminal justice system? The empirical research combines documentary analysis and interviews with key actors involved in community justice and community organising.



University of Glasgow


Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
School of Social and Political Sciences
University of Glasgow
Ivy Lodge
63 Gibson Street
G12 8LR

Research Themes

Punishment, Citizenship and Communities


Is Anybody Out There? Prison Activism & Abolition in Scotland 1972-1987

This briefing reviews the work of organisations and groups engaged in radical and abolitionist campaigns for prisoner rights, and resistance […]

No Projects Available

13th February 2024

SCCJR Funding Announcement