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Dr Lystra Hagley-Dickinson

Profile summary

Professional biography

I am Regional Academic (Staff Tutor), Lecturer in Criminology and Chair of Racial Justice working group in the Department of Social Policy and Criminology, School of Global Studies and Social Sciences. I gained my PhD at The University of Birmingham under the supervision of Professor Maureen Cain. After working in various criminal justice roles at Her Majesty Prison Service (HMPS), West Midland Probation Service, Birmingham City Council and the University of Birmingham, Northampton  University, The University of the West Indies and Plymouth Marjon University, I joined The Open University.

Professional and Academic Affiliations include: 

Senator The Open University

The British Society of Criminology (Director and Trustee; Chair of the Post graduate Committee, 2003-2011)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

 Director and Trustee to the Bishop of Exeter Diocese Council and Diocesan Synod

WHEN - Women in Higher Education Network Higher Education Academy - 100BWPN Programme

Diocese Exeter Parish (Fordor Valley), Parish Safeguarding Officer

Vice-Chair / Company Director (2003-2011) of SIFA/ Fireside a voluntary sector company that provides service to young people suffering from alcohol abuse and homelessness.

Company Director and Board Member of CLINKS,(2002-2011) supporting at the national level non-governmental agencies working with prisons.

Board of Governors (2010-2012) (Curriculum, Performance and Management) – Northamptonshire England CE Primary School

 Rainsbrook Young Offenders Training Centre Community Forum HMPS (2009-2011.

Research interests

My research centres and scholarship focuses predominantly on reducing social inequalities and promoting social justice for minority ethnic groups specifically in the Criminal Justice System and in the wider society, both nationally and internationally. My research falls under four themes: Prisons and Prisoner Rehabilitation; Race, Gender and Crime; Equality Diversity and Inclusion; and Caribbean  Criminologies. Relatedly, I am dedicated to and passionate about the development of policies and strategies that affect Black and ethnic minorities higher education, both in recruitment and the promotion of academic leadership in Higher Education. I strive to foreground these aims in my research, teaching and scholarship.

Current Reserch projects inlcude:

Two Open Societal Chllenges Projects:  The effect of ethnicity in the courtroom ( and Existential Dis/Connections (


Publications in Press

‘Educational leadership: The way forward to reducing offending amongst incarcerated juveniles’ (with L. Archer-Thomas, M. and Seepersad, R (2024/25) In Journal of Small State Territories SST 7(1), May 2024, Available at

Flavour of Publications

Hagley-Dickinson, L.  ‘An offer of standpoint: law and ethics’, Ethics, Religion and Philosophy Journal, IAFOR-Japan, Volume 3 Issue 2. 2017, ISSN-2187-0624.

Hagley-Dickinson, L.  (2011) Imprisonment in Trinidad and Tobago, Germany, VDM Publishers.

Hagley-Dickinson, L. (2010) ‘Rape and Murder –but no crisis: an overview of Crime and Criminal Justice in St Vincent and the Grenadines’ in Sung, H and Stamatel, J. (Eds) (2010),  Crime and Punishment around the World, Vol.2,. pp. 300-3007, ABC-CLIO, LLC, California, USA.

Hagley-Dickinson, L.  (2010) ‘Montserrat’s Criminal Justice’ in Sung, H and Stamatel, J. (Eds) Crime and Punishment around the World, Vol.2, pp. 230 -238. ABC-CLIO, LLC, California, USA. (1223 papers mention these papers)

Hagley-Dickinson, L. (2010) ‘The degree attainment of BME students: student and staff Perceptions’, Higher Education Academy (HEA), with Pilkington, A., Armstrong, S., and Horton, J.

Hucklesby, A and Hagley-Dickinson, L. (2007) Resettlement of Offenders, Willan Publishers

Hagley-Dickinson, L. (1996) ‘How the Inside Affects the Outside: prisoners and survivors in Trinidad and Tobago’, Caribbean Quarterly, Vol. 42:2-3, 1996 pp.131-157.

Hagley-Dickinson, L. (1994) ‘Imprisonment in Trinidad and Tobago from 1935 -1990: Policy, Practice and Prisoners’ Experiences’. Caribbean Journal , April 1994. St. Augustine, Dept. Sociology UWI.

Hagley-Dickinson, L. (1993) ‘Crime and Structural Adjustment in Trinidad and Tobago: On the Exercise of Judicial Discretion Caribbean Affairs (January-March) 1993 6:1:1993 pp.147-154.1997.



Teaching interests

I joined the OU as a practising criminologist of over 20 years, having taught in Online and Distance Learning (ODL) for the past 8 years. I have experience both as an academic and criminal justice professional worker and of the systems and structures of crime. My passion is for the teaching, learning and researching the phenomenon.  At my entry as a working part-time student to the discipline I wanted to abolish prisons! But this continues to be work in progress? Shaped by feminist theorising and a Howard Becker directed academic career which always asks the ethical question “whose side I am on”?  These have influenced my job roles in several directorships in professional bodies and voluntary organisations and my championing of the issues of disparity of treatment of the Disabled and Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority persons in the criminal justice system. I have also worked in Her Majesty's Prison Service, Probation Service, Community Safety Partnerships and undertaken research into prison administration and alternatives to custody.  My career has been underpinned by a focus on criminology, teaching and learning combined with strategic leadership, management and mentoring staff and students in HE. 

I have supervised PhD students who have successfully managed to complete the task.  I have consulted and published on the effects of imprisonment and prisoner resettlement from my work in Brussels, Birmingham, Northampton, Leuven, Ireland, the United States, Canada and the West Indies.  My career comprises with overlap: 7 years in civic project planning and management, 11 years in criminal justice and now 14 years in HE, teaching, leadership and management. I am a Second Examiner at The University of the West Indies Open Campus (UWIOC) for its Ed.D in Education Leadership and Management and Solent Southampton’s Criminology and Law programmes.  My most recent roles are as Associate Professor of Law and Criminology and Head of Department of Social Sciences at Plymouth Marjon and Visiting Adjunct Professor at UWIOC where I taught and managed teaching in the ODL environments.  It is in this area of ODL teaching and learning and in the discipline criminology that I would like to continue to contribute and so the OU offers the ideal opportunity. 


Educational leadership : reducing offending amongst incarcerated juveniles in Antigua and Barbuda (2024-05)
Hagley-Dickinson, Lystra
Small States and Territories, 7(1) (pp. 59-74)

An Offer of Standpoint to Social Work, Ethics and Law (2017)
Hagley-Dickinson, Lystra
IAFOR Journal of Ethics, Religion & Philosophy, Volume 3(2)