IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Centre for Education and Criminal Justice

A knowledge hub for practitioners, policymakers and researchers to collaborate and deliver best practice and evidence in the field.

Co-Directors: Professor John Vorhaus and Dr Keri Wong

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Our centre has an exclusive focus on education and the criminal justice system. We are a knowledge hub for practitioners, policymakers and researchers to collaborate on collecting, improving and disseminating the best and most promising evidence and practice in the field. 

We engage with: 

  • education in a broad sense - formal, informal and non-formal education, training and learning   
  • the life course as a whole - a developmental approach to understanding the relationship between education, offending and desistance  
  • rights and justice - the rights of prisoners as citizens and learners entitled to high-quality and diverse learning opportunities.

The centre was formerly known as Centre for Education in the Criminal Justice System (CECJS).

About us



Advisory group 

  • Jane Hurry, Emeritus Professor 
  • Dave Maguire, Prison Reform Trust 
  • Lynne Rogers, Reader in Education, Co-Director of the Centre for Post-14 Education and Work 
  • Anita Wilson, Prison Ethnographer.

Honorary affiliated advisors

  • Andreas Aresti, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Westminster
  • Angela Herbert, Director of Inside Out Transformational Coaching Solutions.

We have benefited from the generous support from:

  • British Academy 
  • CfBT 
  • City and Guilds Centre for Skills Development 
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) / National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) 
  • Department for Education and Skills 
  • Higher Education Funding Council 
  • Mary Kinross Charitable Trust 
  • The Bell Foundation 
  • The National Offender Management Service  
  • PWC 
  • Sir John Cass's Foundation 
  • UKRI Research England 
  • Youth Justice Board 
  • 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust


Research and development

We are a national hub for practitioners, policymakers and researchers, promoting, developing and disseminating best practice in education and training in criminal justice settings. We work with national networks including the Prisoner Learning Alliance, Education and Training Foundation - Offender Learning, and the Open University Educating Criminals Centre.  

Our centre hosts a biennial international conference at IOE, highlighting research and best practice, and identifying areas for future research, development and policy. 

We also provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) materials for practitioners working with prisoners and offenders in the community.

In addition, we conduct primary research, secondary data analysis and reviews of evidence. Our remit includes children and young people at-risk of offending, and people in prison, serving community sentences or who are re-settling in the community after serving a prison sentence.

Ongoing projects 


We are a teaching hub for undergraduate and postgraduate students interested in education within the criminal justice system.

For undergraduate students we offer a module introduction to Criminal Journeys, exploring views on what constitutes crime, how people become involved in the criminal justice system and what that involvement looks like.

  • Lenoir, R., & Wong, K. K. Y. (2023). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people from black and mixed ethnic groups’ mental health in West London: a qualitative study. BMJ open, 13(5), e071903
  • Maguire, D. 2021. Male, Failed, Jailed. Palgrave McMillan.  
  • Wong, K. K. Y., Francesconi, M., & Flouri, E. (2021). Internalizing and externalizing problems across childhood and psychotic-like experiences in young-adulthood: The role of developmental period. Schizophrenia Research, 231, 108-114. 
  • Portnoy, J., Bedoya, A., & Wong, K. K. Y. (2021). Child Externalizing and Internalizing Behavior and Parental Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic. UCL Open: Environment Preprint. 
  • Wong, K. K. Y. (2020). Schizophrenia and Crime. Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, 4575-4580. 
  • Vorhaus, J. (2021). Bringing People Down: Degrading Treatment and Punishment. New Criminal Law Review. 24.3: 433-466.   
  • Intensive English and maths provision in prisons: pilot evaluation in 6 prisons, with NIACE, for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) 
  • Hurry, J., Lawrence, P., Wilson, A., & Plant, J. (2013). Evaluation of 'Write to be Heard", a project on writing in prison, commissioned by National Offender management Service (NOMS), led by the Arts Alliance 
  • Rogers, L., Simonot, M., & Nartey, A. (2014). Prison Educators: Professionalism Against the Odds (PDF). London: UCU. 
  • Analysis of youth offenders' occupational identities and its relationship to subsequent offending patterns 
  • An assessment of the English and maths skills levels of prisoners in England 
  • Martin Luther King "Now is the time" - His Dream to Influence Education Today by Angela Herbert 
  • Vorhaus, J. (2014). Prisoners’ right to education. London Review of Education. 12.2: 162-174. 
  • Rogers, L. (2016) Disengagement from Education. London: Trentham Books IOE Press. 
  • Hurry, J. and Rogers, L. Eds (2014) Education, training and employment in prison and post-release. Special Edition, London Review of Education, 12(2).  
  • Rogers, L., Hurry, J., Simonot, M., & Wilson, A. (2014) The aspirations and realities of prison education for under-25s in the London area, London Review of Education, 12(2), 184–196.

To find out more about our researchers and publications go to:  

Blue-Sky Thinking seminar recordings

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