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

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.


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.

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