New Beginnings

An exploration of crime, offending, and research. That’s the tagline of this blog and that’s what I hope to use this blog as a platform for.

What is crime? Why do people offend? Do prisons work? What is the relationship between research and policy? Just a handful of the questions I hope to engage with, an understanding of each query affects to our lives as citizens. Policies are made based on an understanding of these questions. Our actions and beliefs are governed by an understanding of these questions. People’s lives are affected by someone else’s understanding of these questions. But how did these understandings come about? Are based in fact are these understandings? Is it even possible for these understandings to be based in fact?

I firmly believe that one of the most powerful tools that a criminologist has is their voice. This is true for many fields and professions, but I’m a criminologist, so we’re going to stick with criminology here. I loved to talk to people about my field and my research, just as I love to hear and learn from others. Consequently, it is my hope that this blog can be a platform for challenging each other. Many of my colleagues have expressed that one of the most important callings they’ve felt as a criminologist is to engage with the public. It is important that we listen to people’s concerns and experiences. It is also important that we address any misconceptions and share what we know about crime, offending, and research. This is one reason the field of public criminology (Loader and Sparks) developed.

Having spent the last two days at the Social Media Knowledge Exchange (SMKE) conference at held at CRASSH here in Cambridge, I feel a bit more prepared to jump into this mad world of blogging. There’s a lot to learn, but I’m excited to take on the challenge and dive in head first. Fortunately, I feel like I’ve been given some floaties by some much more experienced folk. I owe a massive thank you to Puffles, Helen Webster, Mark Murphy, and the crew at the SMKE conference for their wisdom and encouragement.

Oh, and Happy 4th of July!

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