The impact of Criminology: Swansea researchers win 2013 Howard League Research Medal

Professor Kevin Haines and Dr Stephen Case (pictured below) from Swansea University’s Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology have been named as joint winners of the 2013 Howard League Research Medal, for their work on the Swansea Bureau youth diversion scheme.

Prof Kevin HainesDr Stephen Case

The Swansea team, who are based within the University’s School of Law, share the medal with Edinburgh University researchers Professors Lesley McAra and Susan McVie, for their work on the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime.

The medal, which is awarded in memory of Lord Parmoor, celebrates excellence and impact of research into penal issues.  It will be presented at the Howard League for Penal Reform's President's annual summer wine reception on Thursday, July 4, held on the Terrace of the House of Commons, at the Palace of Westminster.

Professor Haines said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this award and for the recognition it brings to our research and to the work of Swansea Youth Offending Service.

“We are also delighted to share this award with colleagues from Edinburgh University, whose work we admire.”

Professor Haines and Dr Case’s winning research is entitled The Swansea Bureau: A partnership model of diversion from the Youth Justice System.

The Swansea Bureau diversionary scheme was established through a partnership approach between Swansea Youth Offending Team, South-Wales Police and supported by the wider Community Safety Partnership.

The Bureau works with young people admitting a first offence; assessing their needs following arrest and convening a decision-making panel that includes the young person and their family to establish appropriate actions.

The Bureau ‘normalises’ offending (treating it as everyday youthful behaviour) and promotes prosocial behaviour, children’s rights and parental/family involvement.

Since the Bureau began, statistics indicate annual decreases in: numbers of first-time offenders, first-time entrants into the Youth Justice System and formal outcomes (Reprimand, Final Warning, Prosecution), alongside increases in the numbers of Informal Actions (diversion).

The Bureau has received widespread positive qualitative feedback from stakeholders and Professor Haines and Dr Case’s research, and its impact on young people, crime and the local community, has also been recently featured in the Academy of Social Sciences' 'Making the Case' series.