Wendy graduated from North London Polytechnic in Applied Social Studies and Social Work. Her first career was in the probation service where she undertook a variety of roles – generic team management, prison probation work, bail hostel management, teaching and training new entrants. From 1994 to 1997 she worked for the European Parliament as a researcher.
She moved into academic work in 2003, completing her PhD in 2008. She has worked at several universities including Hertfordshire, Middlesex, London Metropolitan and Leicester. She came to University of Westminster as Reader in Criminology in 2021.
With an orientation to the criminal justice area Wendy has maintained a strong network among practitioners especially in the probation service and associated voluntary sector organisations.
Wendy's current research areas include comparative probation studies, privatisation and criminal justice, risk management and dangerous offenders, and the use of Photovoice methods in research with offenders/practitioners/marginalised people. She has published extensively in these areas.
As a member of the European Community Punishment Research Group she was involved in a major research project for COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) to develop a network on ‘Offender Supervision in Europe’. She has undertaken funded research in Germany, India and Ireland examining different aspects of the criminal justice system. In England she has been involved in funded research into women’s experiences of prison; gang formation and family influences; mentally disordered offenders; child abuse and violent offenders; youth justice. Her most recent research funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust has investigated the effectiveness of the UK sex offender register in its third decade (2019-2023).
Her current focus is the use of visual methods to enhance insight into probation practice and foster positive change in offenders and other marginalised people through deeper engagement via new creative techniques such as Photovoice. For more details of this work see this link to a funded research project undertaken with support from the Howard League for Penal Reform and a lecture on the topic is available here. She has also published a book in 2022 with Routledge on “Applied Photovoice in Criminal Justice Research”
Wendy has been/is involved in the supervision of PhDs in the following areas:
· Comparative criminal justice systems and prisons
· Women in prison, mentally disordered offenders in prison, prison cultures
· Prison architecture, prison environments
· Probation and risk assessment
· Violent offenders and public protection
· Practitioner cultures (policing and probation)
· Privatisation in criminal justice