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Professor Helen Johnston

Professor in Criminology

Faculty and Department

  • Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education
  • School of Education and Social Sciences

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

Gendered prison work: female prison officers in the local prison system, 1877-1939

Johnston, H. (2014). Gendered prison work: female prison officers in the local prison system, 1877-1939. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 53(2), 193-212. https://doi.org/10.1111/hojo.12043

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

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)

Current PhD supervisions

Rachel Dixon-Goodall, Expert Evidence in Cases of Infanticide, 1688-1955

Marion Wilson, Grief and Bereavement in Prison

Alicia Kidd, Conflict and Contemporary Slavery

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

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