School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law
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Maggie Leese

Senior Lecturer in Criminology & Criminal Justice

Maggie Leese

About Maggie Leese

Maggie’s early career was originally in nursing and social work. She started her first academic post at the University of Wolverhampton in 2005. Maggie completed a PhD, examining the experience of young mothers who were at risk of social exclusion and involvement in the criminal justice system. She also gained an MA Criminology and Criminal Justice (Distinction) at Keele University.

Research interests and activities

Maggie's research interests include, vulnerable groups within the criminal justice system, with a focus on children and young people, learning difficulty, mental illness and personality disorders. Her recent research has focused on policing and mental health, the experience of personality disordered offenders within secure psychiatric hospitals and the provision of gender-specific support services for female prisoners. Maggie is also interested in how the label of 'dangerous offender' influences sentencing - this is an area that she will be developing further over the coming year.

Research projects & external funding

2016-2017 An investigation into gender-specific services in a women’s prison. Completed July 2017

2015-2016 An investigation into patient’s experience of multi-disciplinary ward meetings in a low to mediumsecure hospital, complete in December 2016.

2015-2016 An investigation into mental health in police custody, commissioned by West Midlands Police, completed: February 2016.

2015-2016 Evaluation of Inter-professional Learning, Leeds Beckett University.

2013-2014 Evaluation of young offenders’ health and well-being of children and young people within the Scottish Children’s Hearing System with the University of Wolverhampton.


2013-2014 Evaluation of play@home for NHS Scotland.


2010-2011 Consultation project on the provision of Childcare within the West Midlands with Walsall Local Authority.


2007-2009 Every Child Matters, cross-university project/Curriculum design for Integrated Children’s Services.

External roles and professional activities

Peer reviewer for the Journal of Criminal Psychology

Peer reviewer for the Journal of Policing & Society.

Member of British Society of Criminology

Graduate Member of British Psychological Society

Member of the Howard League for Penal Reform

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Prison and Offender Research in Social Care and Health Network

External research collaborations

2015-2016 Research Consultant for Mental Health Crisis Intervention study - Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

2009-2012 Children’s Workforce Development Council evaluation of Early Years Professional status longitudinal study advisory group.

2008-2010 Member of the CWDC Qualifications Panel.

2007-2010 Integrated Services for Children, Young People and Families Expert Group.

2006-2007 Evaluation Working Party – Children’s Centre Derby.

Learning and teaching interests

Youth Justice
Research Methods
Policing & Mental Health


Leese, M. & Russell, S. (2017). Mental health, vulnerability and risk in police custody. Journal of Adult Protection. DOI 10.1108/JAP-03-2017-0006.


Leese, M. (2017). Patient experience of the MDT meeting: Exploring communication and decision-making on a secure personality disorder unit. Leeds Beckett University.


Leese, M. (2016). Engaging on the ‘front-line’: Exploring how family support teams construct meaning in their work with young mothers. Child & Family Social Work.Article first published online: 22nd November 2016.


Leese, M. (2016). Mental health and policing: A perspective from the ‘front-line’ of police custody. Research Report.


Leese, M. (2016). The bumpy road to ‘becoming’: Capturing the stories that teenage mothers told about their journey into motherhood. Child & Family Social Work, 21(4), pp.521-529. Article first published online: 6thAugust 2014.


Leese, M. (2013). Zoe's story: Exploring the complexity of ‘help-providing’ and ‘help-receiving’ relationships on the ‘front-line’ of family support. Child Care in Practice, 19(4), pp.340-354.


Leese, M. (2011). Foucault: Implications for multi-agency working in the changing landscape of children’s services. In Waller, T., Whitmarsh, J. & Clarke, K. (eds.) Making sense of theory and practice in early childhood: The power of ideas. Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp.144-157.


Leese, M. (2010). Bridging the gap: Supporting student transition into higher education. Journal of Further & Higher Education, 34(2), pp.239-251.


Leese, M. (2009). ‘Out of class - out of mind?’ The use of a virtual learning environment to encourage student engagement in out of class activities. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(1), pp.70-77.