Centre for Empirical Legal Studies


UCL Laws: Centre for Empirical Legal Studies

Elaine Genders   ELAINE GENDERS
BSocSc, Mphil (Cantab.)
Reader in Criminology

contact details:
phone: +44 (0)20 7679 1462 | internal: x21462
email: e.genders@ucl.ac.uk

Elaine Genders is a Reader in Criminology. She joined the Faculty in 1990, having spent the previous ten years from 1980 to 1990 as a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminological Research, where she conducted major research (funded by the Home Office to a total of over £500,000) into Crown Court sentencing, women in prison, race relations in prison. HMP Grendon: a therapeutic community prison, and violent crime. She remains an Associate member of University of Oxford Centre for Criminological Research, and is a Member of the British Society of Criminology; Howard League for Penal Reform; National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders; Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, and Friends of Grendon Prison.

Elaine has given official evidence to Lord Justice Woolf's Inquiry into Prison Disturbances (1990) (written and oral evidence) (Report published 1991) and the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice (1992) (written evidence) (Report published 1993). She served as a member of the Home Office Working Party on devising standards and specifications for the setting up of a new therapeutic prison and from 1996-2003 was appointed as Special Consultant to the Home Office on devising specifications and evaluating bids for the procurement the therapeutic community element of HMP Dovegate under the government’s DCMF initiative; and was a specialist invitee to meetings of the Middle Management Advisory Group on the Development of the Therapeutic Community at West Hill (now moved to HMP Send) from 2002-4. She currently serves as the Ministry of Justice Independent Representative on the Advisory Committee on the Development of the Therapeutic Regime at HMP Dovegate and as a member of the Advisory Panel on the Regime at HMP Grendon Underwood. She has also been the cold reviewer (part of the auditing of the Audit Commission procedure) of two Audit Commission Reports on the Government’s performance in relation to imprisonment.

She has published widely on Criminology, has presented many papers at conferences, at the Home Office and at leading universities; and is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Law in Context.

Elaine's research interests are in Crime and Criminal Justice issues, including:

  • Prisons: organization, culture, regimes, therapeutic communities
  • Race, gender and criminal justice
  • Violent crime
  • The interface of criminology and criminal law
  • The history of ideas - literary representations of crime, metaphysics and criminological theory

She is currently researching in the fields of prison privatisation; prison therapeutic communities; and women in prison.



  • Grendon: A Study of a Therapeutic Prison (Oxford University Press 1995) (with Elaine Player);
  • Race Relations in Prisons (Oxford University Press 1989) (with Elaine Player);

Journal Articles and Book Chapters include:

  • Genders, E. and Player, E. (2007) The Commercial Context of Criminal Justice: Prison Privatisation and the Perversion of Purpose, Criminal Law Review, July
  • Genders, E. and Player, E. (2004) 'Grendon: A Therapeutic Community in Prison' in J. Lees, N.Manning, D.Menzies & N.Morant (eds) A Culture of Enquiry: Research Evidence and the Therapeutic Community (Jessica Kingsley)
  • Genders, E. (2003) 'Prison Privatisation, Performance Targets & Value for Money? Fundamental Fallacies and the Perversion of Purpose' in The Key, May
  • Genders, E. (2003) 'Privatisation & Innovation - Rhetoric & Reality: The Development of a Therapeutic Community Prison' in the Howard Journal 42(2)
  • Genders, E. (2002) 'Legitimacy, Accountability & Private Prisons' in Punishment & Society Vol 4(3)
  • Genders, E. and Player, E. (2000). ‘Therapeutic Achievements at Grendon’ in J. Shine (ed) A Compilation of Grendon Research. Aylesbury, HMP Grendon Underwood, pp109-130
  • Genders, E. (1999) ‘Reform of the Offences Against the Person Act: Lessons from the Law in Action’ Criminal Law Review, September
  • Genders, E. and Morrison, S. (1996) 'When Violence is the Norm' in N. Walker (ed.) Dangerous People (Blackstone Press)
  • Genders, E. and Player, E. (1994) 'Race Relations in Prison: The Dynamics of Discrimination' in I. Gwynedd-Jones (ed) Social Policy, Crime and Punishment (University of Wales Press)
  • Genders, E. and Player, E. (l993) 'Rehabilitation in Prisons: A study of Grendon Underwood' Current Legal Problems. vol. 46 pp. 235-256
  • Genders, E. and Player, E. (1990) 'Women Lifers:Assessing the Experience' in American Prison Journal - Special Issue on Long Term incarceration and Inmates, Summer 1990, pp.46-57
  • Genders, E. and Player, E. (1987) 'Women in Prison: The Treatment, the Control and the Experience', in P. Carlen and A. Worrall eds. Gender, Crime & Justice (Open University Press)
  • Genders, E and Player, E. (1986) 'Womens Imprisonment: The Effects of Youth Custody' in British Journal of Crimonology, October
  • Ashworth, A., Genders, E., Mansfield, G., Peay, J., Player, E (l984) Sentencing in the Crown Court . Oxford Centre for Criminological Research, Occasional Paper No. l0.

Current Teaching
Crime & Criminal Justice
Criminal Law

Prison Studies
Gender Law and the State
Post Graduate Research Forum (Research methods)

PhD Supervision
Elaine welcomes approaches from prospective doctoral students; her areas of expertise are prisons; therapeutic communities; various forms of crime e.g. violent crime, race & crime / criminal justice, women & crime / criminal justice; theoretical criminology/theories of crime.

This page last modified 23 January, 2014 by Laws Webmaster