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Professor Helen Johnston

Professor of Criminology

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • Department of Criminology and Sociology

Summary

Helen Johnston is an expert in the history of crime and punishment from 1750. She has undertaken extensive research on local prisons, convict prisons and licensing/early release mechanisms.

She has researched the experiences of both prisoners and staff and the evolution of prison architecture.

She is also interested in crime and criminal justice heritage and the preservation, presentation and dissemination of crime heritage in museums, archives and heritage sites.

She has been Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator on a range of funded research projects supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the British Academy.

Book Chapter

On Licence: Understanding punishment, recidivism and desistance in penal policy, 1853-1945

Cox, D., Godfrey, B., Johnston, H., & Turner, J. (2014). On Licence: Understanding punishment, recidivism and desistance in penal policy, 1853-1945. In V. Miller, & J. Campbell (Eds.), Transnational Penal Cultures: New Perspectives on Discipline, Punishment and Desistance, 184-201. Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

‘‘I am afraid she is perfectly responsible for her actions and is simply wicked’: Reconstructing the criminal career of Julia Hyland

Johnston, H., Godfrey, B., & Turner, J. (2016). ‘‘I am afraid she is perfectly responsible for her actions and is simply wicked’: Reconstructing the criminal career of Julia Hyland. In D. Nash, & A. Kilday (Eds.), Law, Crime and Deviance since 1700: Micro Studies in the History of Crime, 209-225. Bloomsbury Publishing

Punishment: Incarceration and the death penalty

Johnston, H. (2018). Punishment: Incarceration and the death penalty. In D. Nash, & A. Kilday (Eds.), Murder and Mayhem: Crime in Twentieth Century Britain, 243-270. Palgrave Macmillan

Journal Article

Female prisoners, aftercare and release : residential provision and support in late nineteenth century England

Johnston, H., & Turner, J. (2015). Female prisoners, aftercare and release : residential provision and support in late nineteenth century England. British journal of community justice : BJCJ, 13(3), 35-50

Imprisoned mothers in Victorian England, 1853–1900: Motherhood, identity and the convict prison

Johnston, H. (2019). Imprisoned mothers in Victorian England, 1853–1900: Motherhood, identity and the convict prison. Criminology & criminal Justice, 19(2), 215-231. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818757833

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

English Prisons at War: Imprisonment during national crisis

Funder

The Leverhulme Trust

Grant

£53,877.00

Started

1 September 2019

Status

Ongoing

Project

Our Criminal Past: Our Criminal Ancestors

Funder

AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council

Grant

£68,299.00

Started

11 May 2017

Status

Complete

Project

'Invalids', Disability and the Modern Prison

Funder

British Academy

Grant

£5,255.00

Started

1 May 2018

Status

Ongoing

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome applications in the fields of punishment, penal policy and contemporary imprisonment as well as studies on the history of crime, policing and punishment.

Completed PhDs:

Maria De Angelis (2012), Trafficking and Prostitution: Victimhood and Agency (with Dr Majella Kilkey)

Samson Chan (2013), Colonial Penality: A Case Study of Hong Kong Penal Policy, 1945-1997 (with Professor Peter Young)

William Davies (2015), The Pains of Imprisonment and Resettlement for Short Term Prisoners (with Professor Peter Young)

Helen Nichols (2016), Adult Male Prisoners Experiences of Education (with Professor Gerry Johnstone)

Rachel Dixon-Goodall (2017) Expert Evidence in Cases of Infanticide, 1688-1955 (with Tony Ward).

Alicia Kidd (2018) Conflict and Contemporary Slavery (with Simon Green).

Marion Wilson (2019) Grief and Bereavement in Prison (with Liz Walker).

Rhiannon Pickin (2019) Emotions, Perceptions and Responses to Crime and Penal Heritage (AHRC Heritage Consortium with Leeds Beckett University, with Heather Shore).

Lucie Wade, Juvenile Crime, Punishment and Reform in the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1856-1914 (AHRC Heritage Consortium with Leeds Beckett University).

Julie Brumby, Reformatory and Industrial School Training Ships (NECAH with Leeds Beckett University).