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Professor Jo Phoenix

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Chair in Criminology
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Social Policy & Criminology
  • jo.phoenix

Professional biography

I joined the Open University as Chair in Criminology in August 2016. I began my academic life as an Open University Tutor on D310 and D315 in the mid-1990s and while I was doing my PhD. From there, I was a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Middlesex from 1998 - 2000. Following that, I moved to the University of Bath until 2007. In 2007, I was employed as a Reader in Criminology at Durham University and was made Professor in 2010. I spent the last 4 years of my time at Durham University being first Deputy Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health (Queens Campus) before becoming the Dean of Queens Campus. In 2013, I left Durham University for the University of Leicester where I did a short stint as Head of Department. 

Research interests

My current research interests include gender, sexualities and justice, youth justice and punishment, the production of criminological knowledge and research ethics. These general interests have meant that I have studied and written about a wide variety of subjects including managerialism and ethics in the production of criminological knowledge, prostitution, prostitution policy reform, child sexual exploitation, sex and its regulation, youth penality and youth justice practice and policy. I have been and remain particularly interested in understanding the changing conditions in which (some) women and (some) young people are criminalised and punished as well as the challenges facing those who work with them. More recently I have become interested in thinking through issues of justice in relation to age and in relation to sexualities. 


Teaching interests

I currently chair the presentation of DD212 (Understanding Criminological Theory). 

Over the course of my twenty years as an academic, I have taught a very wide range of subjects including: History of Crime and Punishment, Criminological Theories, the Sociology of Crime and Deviance, of Punishment and of Criminal Justice Policy, Youth Justice, Feminist Criminology, Research Methods, Understanding Criminology and Introduction to Criminological Theory. 

I particularly enjoy the challenges of teaching complex conceptual and theoretical debates and approaches to students.