School of Sociology and Social Policy

Image of Melanie Jordan

Melanie Jordan

Associate Professor in Criminology, Faculty of Social Sciences



Dr Mel Jordan is interested in scholarship across, very broadly defined: time, waiting, subjugation, and self-sovereignty.

Teaching Summary

Research and teaching interests:

Criminology: Theoretical criminology; Penology philosophy and practice; Sociology of deviance and criminological theories of deviance; Victimology; Crime and social dimensions; Sociology of prisons and incarceration; Prison culture(s); Ventriloquist populism, media, politics, and the criminal justice system; Sociological research in the justice system (e.g. ethnographic work in prisons); The criminal justice system workforce; Crimes of the powerful and white collar crime; Sex crime and approaches to sexual offenders; Offending behaviours and morality; Private prisons and immigration removal centres; Female prisoners; Vulnerable prisoners (e.g. sexual offenders); Policing, probation, and community sentences; Prison abolition and recidivism approaches; Liaison and diversion away from the criminal justice system; Reducing the cycle of re-offending and related community work; Institutionalisation theory and penal settings; Historical and current prison architecture; State corporal punishment and morality; The social and health profile of offenders; Crime and mental illness; Offender health: prevention, promotion, and treatment; Prison healthcare; Personality disordered offenders and offenders with learning/intellectual disability.

Medical Sociology: Medical sociology and anthropology (esp. historical and current custodial settings); Healthcare provision and receipt experiences and environments (esp. penal/forensic sites); The sociology of illness and healthcare (esp. regarding offenders and recidivism link); Sociology of health professions/relationships (esp. prison staff-NHS prison staff relations).

Social Science Research: Method and methodology theory plus data collection/construction discussions; Epistemology debates re. quantitative and qualitative knowledge; Research with vulnerable participants and research ethics considerations.

Selected Publications

Future Research

Past & Present PGRs:

Dr Edward J. Wright

PhD title: From Rookie to Rocky? On Modernity, Identity and White Collar Boxing.

Dr Ian Hamilton

PhD Title: Employment of Prisoners with Mental Health Problems. The PhD is looking at the effectiveness of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) for offenders with mental health problems.

Dr Emma Joyes

PhD Title: Creative Practice as Mutual Recovery explored within Forensic Mental Health.

Prof. Eddie Kane

Prof. Lynn Saunders

The thesis explores the experiences and expectations of people who have been convicted of sexual offences leaving prison and their return to the community. It also explores the approaches of Offender Managers in dealing with the risks and challenges of this group of ex-offenders.

Dr Anthony Salla

PhD title: A Critical Race Study on Non-Statutory Early Intervention Services for Young Racialised People

This research is funded by the ESRC. This study utilises Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a theoretical, methodological and analytical framework to explore the lived experience of young people, racialised as Black, in non-statutory mental health services.

Oscar O'Mara

Title of PhD project: Balancing security and rehabilitation in a prison environment ~ Theory and Practice

Supervisors: Dr Melanie Jordan and Dr Nicola Carr

This research is supported by HMPPS. It seeks to explore the balance and conflict between prison security and rehabilitation in theory and practice on the frontline of the prison service. The research will involve fieldwork in prison establishments and promote the voice of stakeholders and their experiences.

Mike Harmson

Thesis Abstract:

This thesis explores the digital and social media knowledge and training of police officers who investigate online Child Sexual Exploitation Material (CSEM) offending. The training and digital and social media knowledge of those who work within online sexual crime investigation has been largely overlooked. When exploring online CSEM offending, current and existing literature has often focused on police cybercrime investigation overall, including fraud, harassment and stalking. Appropriately, this thesis attempts to fill some of the gaps in the knowledge regarding police training related to online CSEM investigation and recommendations for future policy and practice. The study employs a constructionist ontological position and an interpretivist epistemology using a convergent mixed-method approach. The study involves two stages. Stage one of this study is comprised of semi-structured interviews with front-line police officers and civilian staff working within online sexual crimes investigation. In total, 11 participants were interviewed. Data were collected and then transcribed using approved university transcription software. The data were then coded and analysed using a process of thematic analysis. During stage two, quantitative data were explored using existing data from the Internet Watch Foundation. The data were coded and analysed using a thematic analysis of specific themes related to online CSEM offending and the risk to children. The resultant findings suggest that the training and knowledge of police officers working in online sexual crime investigations are inconsistent with the serious nature of their roles and responsibilities. Other findings suggest that there is a need for police leadership to adopt learning theories to enable policing organisations to retain and share knowledge with academics and practitioners on new offending behaviours identified. Additionally, there is a need for formal accreditation for officers working in online CSEM investigations and a consistent approach to their training and knowledge sharing. Officers working in online CSEM investigation also have a responsibility to engage in self-directed learning and continuing personal development regarding new knowledge related to the changing nature of social media and the digital platforms used for online CSEM offending. Regarding the data analysis from the Internet Watch Foundation. Findings suggest that online technology companies are now the primary responders to online CSEM offending, much younger children than previously known are at risk of sharing self-generated image content, and more children from Western backgrounds are at an increased risk of online live-stream sexual abuse. Finally, online CSEM offenders are now offending across all spectrums of child sexual abuse, including, sexualised grooming, possession of indecent images, physical contact offending and online sexualised chat.

Stuart Carroll

PhD candidate in Social Policy focusing on public health and COVID-19 pandemic. Research title = Science and The State: The Role of Politics and Policy in the Procurement of Covid-19 Vaccines in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Sara Hyde

Sara Hyde worked in and around prisons for over a decade prior to starting her PhD at Nottingham. She has a MA in Theatre from QMUL, within which she specialised in theatre in criminal justice settings. Sara's PhD explores the experiences of prison healthcare staff regarding prisoner self-harm and suicide. Her research interests are: prison health, prison staff, deaths in custody, lived experience in prison research, women in prison, arts in criminal justice settings.

Internal Examiner examples: Dr Jack Tomlin; Dr Zoe Robinson.

External Examiner examples: UCL in 2023.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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