Professor Neal Hazel

School of Health and Society

Photo of Professor Neal Hazel

Contact Details

Allerton Building L518

Please email for an appointment.


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Current positions

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 

Other Relevant Info

  • Neal has undertaken substantial research consultancy, including advising policymakers both home and overseas, and training practitioners. Projects have included:
  •  Advising adult probation services on a desistance-informed rehabilitation model (2018-) 
  • Advising overseas governments on a more child-focused/rights approach to custody (2014-16) 
  • Secondment to HM Inspectorate of Probation as HM Deputy Chief Inspector (2015-16)
  • Secondment to the HMIP inspection of youth resettlement (2013-14) 
  • Social research methods training (2012-13)