Partnerships and links

There are well-established links between the Department of Criminology and a variety of external bodies, including police forces, charities, pressure groups and criminal justice agencies.

These close relationships underpin the academic work undertaken in the Department and also enable academic staff to disseminate their professional expertise in the classroom.

Criminology students benefit from our partnerships and from the diverse range of visiting lecturers and guest speakers who visit the Department.

We have strategic partnerships with the following organisations and institutions:

HMP Grendon

We work closely with high security prison HMP Grendon, taking part in a unique annual debate there.

Students gain valuable insight into the workings of this prison, the only one in the UK that works as a therapeutic community, and are able to talk to the prisoners over lunch.

Professor Michael Brookes, Director of Therapeutic Communities, is a visiting professor at Birmingham City University. A respected consultant chartered forensic psychologist, he is keen to develop cross-institution links and build on his work in the education sector.

Professor Brookes regularly attends conferences and delivers research papers about this work and research that has been undertaken at the prison.

Howard League for Penal Reform

The School of Social Sciences has a lively Howard League Student Society where members can get involved in raising issues and promoting the work of the penal reform charity. Criminology students at Birmingham City University are encouraged to join the Howard League.

Prisoners’ families

Members of our criminology team have worked on the Action for Prisoners' Families (APF) advisory committee. The APF supports the development of services, promotes good practice, provides information and raises awareness of the impact of imprisonment on children and families.

Harm reduction

Morag MacDonald is working on a project entitled Training Criminal Justice Professionals in Harm Reduction Services for Vulnerable Groups (TCJP). This three-year European Commission project involves partners in Germany, Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia and aims to improve training for professionals working in the criminal justice system with problematic drug users.

It is specifically aimed at the implementation of harm reduction programmes for vulnerable groups, eg prisoners, to prevent transmission of infectious diseases including HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis.

Morag also supported a survey of women’s prisons in the WHO HIPP countries, working in partnership with WHO and the Women’s Interest Group. Data from the survey was presented to the WHO conference in the Ukraine in November 2008.

English Prisons Today

Professor David Wilson chairs the Commission On English Prisons Today, and in that capacity has made official visits to Scotland, New York and Norway.

Future partnerships

We are developing new partnerships with leading organisations in the West Midlands and plan to develop initial training courses for a sector of the criminal justice profession – watch this space for details!