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School of Health and Society

Professor Neal Hazel

Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice


Neal has led more than 25 funded research projects in youth justice, inclusion and family support. He has designed 24 teaching modules at both postgraduate and undergraduate level, and directed two university research centres. Neal specialises in providing useful research-informed messages for students, policymakers/ practitioners and the third sector. In 201 8, he was appointed by the Secretary of State as a Board member of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, responsible for overseeing the youth justice system. He is the former HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Probation for England and Wales.


Neal currently leads the following modules:

Crime, Conflict and Society (Level 4) 

Probation and Rehabilitation (Levels 5/6)


He also contributes to the following modules:

 Criminal Justice and Human Rights (Level 4) 

Violence in Society (Levels 5/6) 

Prisons and Punishment (Levels 5/6) 

Understanding Criminology (Level 4)


Neal also supervises a number of research and dissertation students.

Research Interests

Neal has been involved in 38 funded research projects, including: the first national studies of parenting in poverty (Dept of Health) and parental violence (ESRC); the national evaluation of the main youth custodial order (YJB); and two cross-national comparisons of youth justice (Scottish Government, YJB).

His recent Beyond Youth Custody programme developed a desistance-informed framework for resettlement after custody (, with Nacro, ARCS, Beds Uni). Current projects are applying this framework to broader youth justice and adult probation.

Neal is writing a book on the history of youth justice (Routledge). Other recent research areas include youth engagement and marginalised groups.

Qualifications and Memberships

2005 PGCHE Higher Education Practice and Research (from University of Salford).

1999 PhD Social Policy (from University of Stirling).

"A helping hand?": Young people's perceptions of adults' use of physical force in discipline on children

1995 MSc Applied Social Research (Distinction) (from University of Stirling).

Dissertation: "Seen and heard?": An examinaton of methods for collecting data from children and young people

1993 BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (First Class) (from Universiy of Stirling).

Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society


Selected publications:

Hazel N and Bateman T (2015) Young people’s stress after release from custody London: Beyond Youth Custody/Nacro

Bateman T and Hazel N (2014) The resettlement of girls and young women: Evidence from research London: Beyond Youth Custody/Nacro

Bateman T and Hazel N (2013)  Engaging young people in resettlement: Research report London: Beyond Youth Custody/Nacro (

Bateman T, Hazel N and Wright S (2013) Resettlement of young people leaving custody: Lessons from the literature  London: Beyond Youth Custody/Nacro (

Hazel N, Wright S, Liddle M, Renshaw J and Gray P (2013) Evaluation of the North West Resettlement Consortium: Final Report  London: Ministry of Justice (

Hazel N and Clark A (2013) Negotiating doorstep access: Door-to-door survey researchers’ strategies to obtain participation International Journal of Social Research Methodology 16, 4, 307-321

Hazel N and Liddle M (2012) Resettlement in England and Wales: Key policy and practice messages from research  London: Youth Justice Board

Hazel N (2008) Cross-national comparison of youth justice. London: Youth Justice Board

Ghate D and Hazel N (2008) Patterns of need and support: priority groups for policy and practice attention.  In Buchanan A (ed) Social Work: Major Themes in Health and Social Welfare (vol 2, p149-157)

Hazel N, Ghate D, Creighton S, Field J and Finch S (2003) 'Violence against children: Thresholds of acceptance for physical punishment in a normative study of parents, children and discipline'  In Stanko, E. The Meanings of Violence  London: Routledge Publishers

Ghate D and Hazel N (2002) Parenting in poor environments: stress, support and coping.  London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Ghate D, Shaw C and Hazel N (2000) Engaging fathers in preventive services: fathers and family centres.  York: YPS

Hallett C and Hazel N  (1998)  The Children’s Hearings system in context: A review of international trends in juvenile justice and care and protection systems.  Edinburgh: The Stationery Office / Scottish Office