Institute of Social Justice and Crime

Abstract of hand in a fist with rainbow paint and wire

The Institute for Social Justice and Crime is an intellectual and operational vehicle at the University of Suffolk for conducting applied research in social science, humanities and its cognate fields.


The Institute for Social Justice and Crime takes an ambitious and collaborative approach, engaging in transformational research to tackle complex issues through an intersectional lens, expanding academic, policy and practice knowledge. The Institute’s research will further develop knowledge of multi-agency practices to improve their service to the community, increase public safety and to facilitate social justice. Interdisciplinary, mixed and creative methodologies are key to the Institute’s approach to research. The Institute for Social Justice and Crime provides a nurturing research culture where all researchers are valued and mentored to ensure they achieve their potential, whilst prioritising everyone’s health and wellbeing.


The Institute for Social Justice and Crime is committed to addressing the social issues which act as barriers to an equitable and inclusivesociety with an emphasis on the experiences of vulnerable and marginalised groups. Fundamentally, the Institute seeks to make the world amore equal and just place in line with, and going beyond, the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Areas of Expertise

The Institute for Social Justice and Crime has several areas of core expertise: domestic abuse, online harms, sexual violence, policing, theorising (social justice), complex systems change, gangs and criminal exploitation.

We also have emerging areas of expertise in wellbeing, digital justice and activism, digital and food poverty, access to justice, gender and sexuality, racial justice, epistemic injustice, children, young people, childhoods and education as an axis of inequality, veterans, socially-just and future-making practices, locally and globally and trauma informed practice.

We are interested in all research that reflects our principles of equity, intersectionality, inclusivity, wellbeing, and transformational change.

How we work

The key principles that guide how we work are set out below, this is a non-exhaustive list and will evolve as the institute develops. 

  • We will remember that we are good researchers, who produce useful research, who are flexible and creative and deliver high quality products.
  • Difficult conversations are inevitable at times, we approach this with a positive mindset assuming the best of others and giving the benefit of the doubt.
  • Confidentiality and respect are essential to our working practices.
  • Work-life balance is a priority for our team and everyone we work with and will always be prioritised.
  • We will celebrate and enjoy our successes and those of our collaborators.
  • Researcher wellbeing is a primary consideration, and active steps will be taken in all our work to ensure that it is addressed.
  • The strategic development of the Institute is all our responsibility and will be kept under review.
  • We agree to work together as a collegiate team.  

We take a collaborative, strengths based and trauma informed approach to all our endeavours. For us this means starting from the recognition that everyone involved in, or who has a stake in, our projects, including researchers, funders/commissioners, collaborators, research participants and community members, has their own unique perspective, experiences, capacities, and vulnerabilities that should be respected. To foster equal participation and partnerships, we will:

  • Be transparent and trustworthy, equitably sharing information and knowledge.
  • Work in a collaborative and consultative way.
  • Tailor our approach to producing and sharing knowledge to empower people with a range of experiences and viewpoints to contribute, creating 'research that matters' (i.e. research that speaks to the needs and interests of community members). 
Looking up at the James Hehir Building

Introduction to the Institute

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Research Fellows

Our People

Professor Miranda Horvath

Professor Horvath is a leading international researcher in the field of forensic psychology, specifically Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).

Miranda Horvath staff profile photo

Lindsey Redgwell

Lindsey supports the Institute for Social Justice & Crime providing administration and project management support to research projects across the institute.

Lindsey Redgwell staff profile photo

Lucy Williamson

Lucy supports the Research Directorate team at the University of Suffolk, providing administrative support for the Research Institutes.

Lucy Williamson staff profile photo

Dr Olumide Adisa

Olumide is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Justice and Crime, University of Suffolk and Co-Investigator, VISION at City University.

Dr Katherine Allen

Dr Katherine Allen is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Social Justice and Crime at the University of Suffolk.

Katherine Allen staff profile photo

Dr Megan Hermolle

Megan Hermolle is a Research Fellow with research interests in law, feminism and crime.

Photo of Megan Research Fellow

Dr Linda Maguire

Dr Linda Maguire is an Associate Professor and the Deputy Director of the Institute for Social Justice and Crime (ISJC).

  • Ioana Crivatu
    • Title: Factors Prompting Decisions to Disengage from Multiple Perpetrator Rape: A Mixed-methods Study
    • Description: The project investigates multiple perpetrator rape (i.e., sexual offending involving at least two people). It focusses specifically on the individuals within the group who do not sexually participate alongside other(s) but are nonetheless present or involved in other capacities. Drawing on psychological and criminological theories and utilising a mixed-methods design, the research aims to uncover the individual(s)’ actions, decision-making process and the factors contributing to them.
  • Arianna Barbin
    • Title: Policing sex offences: UK officers’ insights on specialism.
    • Description: In recent years, there has been increasing interest to address how the police handle sex offences. Despite this, academic research is frequently limited to government surveys on victim experience and satisfaction with police work. Several campaigns, interventions and projects have been initiated to understand why the conviction rate for rape and other sexual offences remains minimal despite the overall increase in reports. This PhD aims at closing some of the gaps around the topic, focusing on the officers’ perspective of what they think they are doing when they are working in contact with the public. Moreover, their ideas of the advantages and barriers of implementing specialism within police forces will be considered to inform future policies and legislation. A range of academic and policing tools will be used to map how specialism evolved throughout the years, what it implies, and how much police officers in England and Wales value specialist knowledge as a tool to repair victims’ expectations and dissatisfaction.
  • Olga Khokhlova 
    • Working title: Perception of Marital Rape: the role of level of resistance, sexual deprivation, and jealousy.
    • Description: Marital rape remains a taboo subject in many cultures, with several countries lacking specific legislation to address the issue for both perpetrators and victims. This research project seeks to deepen our understanding of perceptions of marital rape across different cultural contexts. By comparing perspectives from regions such as South Asia, the MENA region, and Western and Eastern Europe, the project aims to uncover cross-cultural differences in these perceptions. We are particularly interested in exploring factors that have not been extensively studied, such as the perpetrator's jealousy, sexual deprivation, and the victim's level of resistance. Employing a mixed-methods design, this study aspires to advance our understanding of these dynamics to develop more effective and culturally appropriate interventions.

  • Ngozi Headley-Fulani
    • Title:  To What Extent Does Creative Arts and Mandatory Cultural Competency Training Improve Reporting of Domestic or Sexual Abuse Experienced by UK Based Black African and Caribbean Heritage Women and Can This Approach Promote Positive System Change.
    • Description: Black women are less likely to receive adequate support when affected by abuse. This research uses autoethnography as part of a mixed-methods study to investigate the various reasons why Black African and Caribbean women who have been victims of domestic or/and sexual abuse are purportedly underreporting such crimes to agencies such as police, and other Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector agencies. This research further looks at how creative arts, (storytelling, musical lyrics, films, etc) and mandatory cultural competency training, by ‘for and by’ services (such as Sistah Space) could ameliorate the experiences of reporting abuse and bring positive outcomes for Black abuse survivors. By taking a look at East London Councils, the police and government agencies, Ngozi will examine how specialist training, may solve the issues of Black women underreporting.  

  • Dr Kari Davies – Visiting Senior Fellow in Social Justice and Crime 

Childhood Remixed is an online journal promoting the interdisciplinary study of children and childhoods. The editorial team is Dr Sarah Richards, Dr Sarah Coombs and Dr Marianna Stella.

It is collated and edited by the Centre for the Study of Children and Childhood (CSCC). The Centre for the Study of Children and Childhoods (CSCC) is devoted to the exploration and research of children and childhoods. It is an interdisciplinary centre that acts as a catalyst and facilitator for research, education and training, policy development, media engagement and community awareness.

Events and News

Upcoming events and the latest news within the Institute for Social Justice and Crime.

Find out more
Speakers at the Institute Launch Event on 5th October 2022
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Get in Touch

If you would like more information on our research or to explore collaborative opportunities, please do get in touch with the Institute Director, Prof Miranda Horvath on