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Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe

Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe

Director of the Institute of Criminology

Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Co-convenor and Director of The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

Director of the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice

Director of the Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

Fellow of Pembroke College.


Loraine Gelsthorpe is Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. And a Fellow and Tutor for Graduate Affairs at Pembroke College. She is also Director of the Institute, Director of Graduate Education for the Institute, and Director of a research centre within also: the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice. Beyond this she is Co-convenor of the University wide multi-disciplinary Cambridge Migration Research Network (CAMMIGRES). She also sits on various University Committees including the General Board Education Committee and the Board of Graduate Studies. Loraine has wide interests in the links between criminal justice and social justice, looking at race, gender and social exclusion, women and sentencing, and at the effectiveness of youth and community penalties in particular. She also has a strong interest in research methodologies and research ethics.

Loraine has lived in Cambridge since the early 1980s when she came to do an M.Phil in Criminology, though the call of a Ph.D was stronger than a return to a social work career. After the Ph.D she had a number of post-doc appointments at Lancaster, UCNW (Bangor) and at the LSE, which involved work with the Metropolitan Police and London boroughs on diversion from prosecution, men's prisons in the midlands, and race and gender issues in pre-sentence reports respectively. She began working for the University of Cambridge in 1991. Professor Gelsthorpe sits on various government Advisory Committees, was deputy chair of the 2014 REF exercise (Social Policy panel), and is immediate past President of the British Society of Criminology. She chairs the European Society of Criminology Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice Working Group.

Professor Gelsthorpe is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was an 11+ failure and increasingly sees a need to speak out about this - to encourage others whose own routes in higher education may not be traditional. Loraine is a psychoanalytical psychotherapist in her 'spare time', and a trustee of Pembroke House, a community centre in Walworth, South London, and Women's Break Out:

Publications include several books, the most recent of which is Research Ethics in Criminology: Dilemmas, Issues and Solutions

Edited by Malcolm Cowburn,Loraine R Gelsthorpe, Azrini Wahidin published by Routledge, 2016, as well as some 180 journal articles, book chapters and reports.

Research Interests

  • Interested in the processes of criminalisation of women trafficked into the UK, and criminal justice system responses
  • Use of the National Referral Mechanism and compliance with European conventions
  • Criminalisation and detention of asylum seekers.