UCL Faculty of Laws

Ms Elaine Genders

Ms Elaine Genders

Reader in Criminology

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Oct 1990

Research summary

My research interests are in Crime and Criminal Justice issues, including: prisons: organization, culture, rights, regimes, therapeutic communities; race, gender and criminal justice; violent crime; the interface of criminology and criminal law; and the history of ideas - literary representations of crime, metaphysics and criminological theory. I am currently researching in the fields of prison privatisation; prison therapeutic communities; women in prison; and risk, rights & rehabilitation.

Teaching summary

Undergraduate: Criminology, Crime and Criminal Justice Research Paper, Criminal Law

Graduate: Prison Ideology, Policy and Law, Gender Law and the State, Law in the Real World

PhD Supervision: I welcome approaches from prospective doctoral students; my 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. I am currently supervising post graduate research students undertaking research on: domestic violence, masculinities, symbolic interactionism and liminality; senseless violence; and restorative justice in the prison setting.


University of Oxford
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 1989
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Philosophy | 1980


I joined the Faculty in 1990, having spent ten years as a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminological Research, where I 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. I am 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; Friends of Grendon Prison; and Corston Independent Funders Coalition.
I have 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). I have 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. I currently serve as the Ministry of Justice Independent Representative on the Advisory Committee on the Development of the Therapeutic Regime at HMP Dovegate; as specialist research advisor on the Consultative Committee on the Therapeutic Community at HMP Send and as a member of the Advisory Panel on the Regime at HMP Grendon Underwood. I have 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.
I have published widely on Criminology, have presented many papers at conferences, at the Home Office (MOJ) and at leading universities. I am a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Law in Context; act as an ESRC reviewer; and serve on the Research Advisory Group for the Howard League for Penal Reform.