Researchers at UCD


Ian O'Donnell

Full Professor

School Of Law
Sutherland School of Law
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7164121


Ian O'Donnell joined the School of Law at University College Dublin in 2000 and became Professor of Criminology in 2006. He completed a six-year term as Director of the UCD Institute of Criminology in December 2010.

Previously, Professor O'Donnell was Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust (1997-2000), Research Officer at the Oxford University Centre for Criminological Research (1992-1997), and Research Assistant at the University of London (1989-1992). During his time in England he served as a member of the Board of Visitors for HMP Pentonville and as a Magistrate on the Oxford bench.
Professor O'Donnell is an Adjunct Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford; a Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society; a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; a Member of the Academia Europaea; and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

His most recent books (both published by Oxford University Press) are Justice, Mercy, and Caprice: Clemency and the Death Penalty in Ireland (2017) and Prisoners, Solitude, and Time (2014).



Piers Beirne, Ian O'Donnell, Janine Janssen (2018) Murdering Animals: Writings on Theriocide, Homicide and Nonspeciesist Criminology. Basingstoke: Palgrave. [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2017) Justice, Mercy, and Caprice: Clemency and the Death Penalty in Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available Online [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2014) Prisoners, Solitude, and Time. UK: Oxford University Press. Available Online [Details]
Eoin O'Sullivan & Ian O'Donnell (2012) Coercive Confinement in Ireland: Patients, Prisoners and Penitents. UK: MUP. Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell & Claire Milner; (2007) Child Pornography, Crime Computers & Society. UK: Routledge. Available Online [Details]
Kilcommins, S., O'Donnell, I., O'Sullivan, E. and Vaughan, B.; (2005) Crime, Punishment and the Search for Order in Ireland. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. Available Online [Details]
Edgar, K., ODonnell, I. and Martin, C. ; (2003) Prison Violence: The Dynamics of Conflict, Fear and Power. UK: Routledge. Available Online [Details]
ODonnell, I and OSullivan, E ; (2001) Crime Control in Ireland: The Politics of Intolerance. Cork: Cork University Press. Available Online [Details]

Book Chapters

Ian O'Donnell (2018) 'Psychological survival in isolation: Tussling with time on death row' In: H. Toch, J. Acker and V. Bonventre (eds). Living on Death Row: The Psychology of Waiting to Die. Washington DC: American Psychological Association. [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2017) 'Coercive confinement' In: J. Turner, P. Taylor, S. Morlay and K. Corteen (eds). A Companion to the History of Crime and Criminal Justice. Bristol: Policy Press. , pp.37-39 [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2017) 'Solitary confinement' In: J. Turner, P. Taylor, S. Morlay and K. Corteen (eds). A Companion to the History of Crime and Criminal Justice. Bristol: Policy Press. , pp.243-246 [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2017) 'Capital punishment in Ireland' In: J. Turner, P. Taylor, S. Morlay and K. Corteen (eds). A Companion to the History of Crime and Criminal Justice. Bristol: Policy Press. , pp.31-33 [Details]
Mark Finnane and Ian O'Donnell (2017) 'Crime and Punishment' In: E. Biagini and M.E. Daly (eds). The Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. , pp.363-382 [Details]
Diarmuid Griffin and Ian O'Donnell (2016) 'Confusingly compliant with the ECHR: The Release of Life Sentence Prisoners in Ireland' In: Dirk van Zyl Smit and Catherine Appleton (eds). Life Imprisonment and Human Rights. Oxford: Hart. , pp.267-286 Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2016) 'Prisoner coping and adaptation' In: Mary Bosworth, Carolyn Hoyle, and Lucia Zedner (eds). Changing Contours of Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press. , pp.169-181 Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2016) 'The aims of imprisonment' In: Yvonne Jewkes, Jamie Bennett, Ben Crewe (eds). Handbook on Prisons. London: Routledge. , pp.39-54 Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Nolan, B., Whelan. C. T., Calvert, E., Fahey, T., Healy, D., Mulcahy, A., Maitre, B., Norris, M., O'Donnell, I. and Winston, M. (2014) 'Ireland : Inequality and its Impacts in Bust & Boom' In: Nolan, B., Salverda, W., Checchi, D, Marx, I., McKnight, A, Toth, I. G., van der Werfhorst, H (eds). Changing Inequalities & Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences. Oxford: Oxford University Press. , pp.346-368 Available Online [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2013) 'Solitary confinement' In: Richard Wright (eds). Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology. New York: Oxford University Press. [Details]
O'Donnell, I. ; (2011) 'Criminology, bureaucracy and unfinished business' In: Mary Bosworth and Carolyn Hoyle (eds). What is Criminology?. USA: OUP. , pp.488-501 Available Online [Details]
O¿Donnell, I.; (2010) 'The Republic of Ireland' In: Graeme R. Newman, General Editor (eds). Crime and Punishment around the World. Vol. 4. Westport: ABC-CLIO. Available Online [Details]
Breen, J., Manning, U., O¿Donnell, I., O¿Mahony, D. and Seymour, M.; (2009) 'The Republic of Ireland' In: Junger-Tas, J.; Marshall, I.H.; Enzmann, D.; Killias, M.; Steketee, M.; Gruszczynska, B (eds). Juvenile Delinquency in Europe and Beyond: An International Perspective on Key Issues and Causes. New York: Springer. Available Online [Details]
Ian O'Donnell; (2008) 'The Fall and Rise of Homicide in Ireland' In: Sophie Body-Gendrot, Pieter Spierenburg (eds). Violence in Europe Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. UK: Springer. , pp.79-92 Available Online [Details]
Edgar, K. Martin, C. and ODonnell, I ; (2003) 'Institutional violence: prison conflicts in context' In: Stanko, E (eds). The Meanings of Violence. London: Routledge. , pp.205-223 Available Online [Details]
Edgar, K., ODonnell, I and Martin, C. ; (2003) 'Tracking the pathways to violence in prison' In: Lee, R.M. and Stanko, E (eds). Researching Violence: Essays on Methodology and Measurement. London: Routledge. , pp.69-87 Available Online [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (2001) 'Sentencing and punishment in Ireland' In: Tonry, M (eds). Penal Reform in Overcrowded Times. USA: Oxford University Press. , pp.260-263 Available Online [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (1999) 'Criminal justice review' In: McCashin, A. and O'Sullivan, E (eds). Irish Social Policy Review. Dublin: IPA. , pp.175-211 Available Online [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (1998) 'Crime, punishment and poverty' In: Bacik, I and O'Connell, M (eds). Crime and Poverty in Ireland. Dublin: Sweet & Maxwell Ltd. , pp.134-151 Available Online [Details]
Morrison, S & O'Donnell, I; (1996) 'An analysis of the decision-making practices of armed robbers' In: Homel, R (eds). The Politics and Practice of Situational Crime Prevention. Crime Prevention Studies, Vol 5. UK: Willan. , pp.159-188 Available Online [Details]

Edited Books

O'Donnell, I., O'Sullivan, E. and Healy, D (Ed.). (2005) Crime and Punishment in Ireland 1922-2003: A Statistical Sourcebook. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. Available Online [Details]
Ian O'Donnell & Finbarr McAuley (Ed.). (2003) Criminal Justice History, Themes and Controversies from Pre-Independence Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Press. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Kilcommins, S and O'Donnell, I (Ed.). (2003) Alcohol, Society and Law. Chichester: Barry Rose Law Publishers. Available Online [Details]
O'Donnell, I, Farmer, RDT & Tranah, T (eds.) (Ed.). (1994) Suicide on Railways. Oxford: Pergamon Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

TJ McIntyre and Ian O'Donnell (2017) 'Criminals, data protection and the right to a second chance'. The Irish Jurist, 58 :27-55. [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2017) 'Ireland's shrinking prison population'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 27 (3):70-77. [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2016) 'The survival secrets of solitaries'. Psychologist, 29 (3):184-187. Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2014) 'Time and isolation as performance art'. Crime, Media, Culture, 10 (1):81-86. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell and David Doyle (2014) 'A family affair? English Hangmen and a Dublin jail, 1923-54'. New Hibernia Review, 18 (4):101-118. Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2013) 'Making progress with penal reform'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 23 (3):66-69. Link to full text [Details]
David M. Doyle and Ian O'Donnell; (2012) ''The Death Penalty in Post-Independence Ireland''. Journal of Legal History, 33 (1):65-91. Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Diarmuid Griffin and Ian O'Donnell; (2012) 'The Life Sentence and Parole'. British Journal of Criminology, Advance Access . Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell; (2011) 'Crime and punishment in the Republic of Ireland: A country profile'. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 35 (1):69-84. Link to full text [Details]
O'Donnell, I. and Jewkes, Y. ; (2011) 'Going home for Christmas: Prisoners, a taste of freedom and the press'. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 50 (1):75-91. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
O'Donnell, I. ; (2010) 'Killing in Ireland at the turn of the centuries: contexts, consequences and civilizing processes'. Irish Economic and Social History, 37 :53-74. Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell and Deirdre Healy; (2010) 'Crime, Consequences and Court Reports'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 20 (1):2-7. [Details]
Piers Beirne & Ian O'Donnell; (2010) 'Gallous stories or dirty deeds? Representing parricide in J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World'. Crime Media and Culture, 6 (1):27-48. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Baumer, EP,O'Donnell, I,Hughes, N; (2009) 'The Porous Prison A Note on the Rehabilitative Potential of Visits Home'. Prison Journal, 89 :119-126. [DOI] [Details]
Cormac Behan & Ian O'Donnell; (2008) 'Prisoners, Politics and the Polls Enfranchisement and the Burden of Responsibility'. British Journal of Criminology, 48 (3):319-336. Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell; (2008) 'Stagnation and Change in Irish Penal Policy'. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 47 (2):121-133. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Deirdre Healy & Ian O'Donnell; (2008) 'Calling time on crime: Motivation, generativity and agency in Irish probationers'. Probation Journal, 55 (1):25-38. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Ian O'Donnell, Eric P.Baumer and Nicola Hughes; (2008) 'Recidivism in the Republic of Ireland'. Criminology and Criminal justice, 8 (2):123-146. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Fazel, S,O'Donnell, I,Hope, T,Gulati, G,Jacoby, R; (2007) 'Frontal lobes and older sex offenders: a preliminary investigation'. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 22 :87-89. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
O'Donnell, I., Teljeur C, Hughes H., Baumer E., Kelly A.; (2007) 'Punishment, social deprivation and the geography of reintegration'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 17 (4):3-9. Available Online [Details]
O'Sullivan, E. and O'Donnell, I; (2007) 'Coercive confinement in the Republic of Ireland: The waning of a culture of control Punishment and Society'. Punishment and Society, 9 (1):27-48. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Seena Fazel, Mieko Bond, Guatam Gulati, Ian O'Donnell; (2007) 'Elderly Homicide in Chicago: A Research Note'. Behavioural Science and the Law, 25 (5):629-639. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Healy, D. and O'Donnell, I. ; (2006) '`Criminal thinking on probation: A perspective from Ireland'. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 33 (6):782-802. [Details]
O'Donnell, I.; (2005) 'Putting prison in its place'. Judicial Studies Institute Journal, 5 (2):54-68. [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (2005) 'Violence and social change in the Republic of Ireland'. International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 33 (2):101-117. [DOI] [Details]
Healy, D. and O'Donnell, I.; (2005) 'Probation in the Republic of Ireland: Context and challenges'. Probation Journal, 52 (1):56-68. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
O'Donnell, I.; (2005) 'Crime and Justice in the Republic of Ireland'. European Journal of Criminology, 2 (1):99-131. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
O'Donnell, I.; (2005) 'Lethal violence in Ireland, 1841 to 2003: Famine, celibacy and parental pacification'. British Journal of Criminology, 45 (5):671-695. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (2004) 'Patterns in crime'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 14 (2). [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (2004) 'Imprisonment and penal policy in Ireland'. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 43 (3):253-266. [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (2004) 'Prison rape in context'. British Journal of Criminology, 44 (2):241-255. [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (2004) 'Interpreting penal change: A research note Criminal Justice'. The International Journal of Policy and Practice, 4 (2):99-206. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Fazel, S,Hope, T,O'Donnell, I,Jacoby, R; (2004) 'Unmet treatment needs of older prisoners: a primary care survey'. Age and Ageing, 33 :396-398. [DOI] [Details]
Kilcommins, S. and ODonnell, I. ; (2003) 'Wiping the slate clean: rehabilitating offenders and protecting the public '. Administration, 51 (2):73-89. [Details]
ODonnell, I and OSullivan, E. ; (2003) 'The politics of intolerance Irish style '. British Journal of Criminology, 43 (1):41-62. [Details]
ODonnell, I.; (2003) 'Sex crime in Ireland: Extent and trends '. Judicial Studies Institute Journal, 3 (1):85-102. [Details]
ODonnell, I. ; (2003) 'Punishment and society '. Studies, 92 :258-265. [Details]
ODonnell, I.; (2003) 'A new paradigm for understanding violence? Testing the limits of Lonnie Athenss theory. '. British Journal of Criminology, 43 (4):750-771. [Details]
ODonnell, I. ; (2003) 'Preventing the ill-treatment of detainees'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 13 (3). [Details]
ODonnell, I. Fazel, S, Hope, T and Jacoby, R. ; (2002) 'The greying of the prison population'. Prison Service Journal, 141 :23-25. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (2002) 'Interpreting crime trends '. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 12 (1):10-16. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (2002) 'The re-integration of prisoners '. Administration, 50 (2):80-96. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (2002) 'Unlawful killing past and present '. The Irish Jurist, 37 :56-90. [Details]
Fazel, S; Hope, T; O'Donnell, I; Jacoby, R; ; (2002) 'Psychiatric, demographic and personality characteristics of elderly sex offenders'. Psychological Medicine, 32 (2):219-226. [Details]
Fazel, S; McMillan, J; O'Donnell, I; ; (2002) 'Dementia in prison: ethical and legal implications'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 28 (3):156-159. [Details]
Fazel, S,Hope, T,O'Donnell, I,Jacoby, R; (2001) 'Hidden psychiatric morbidity in elderly prisoners'. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179 :535-539. [Details]
OSullivan, E. and ODonnell, I.; (2001) 'Why is crime decreasing? '. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 11 (1):2-4. [Details]
ODonnell, I. ; (2001) 'Prison policy in Ireland '. Prison Service Journal, 135 :35-37. [Details]
ODonnell, I; (2001) 'The struggle for dominance: Prisons, power and sexual violence '. Criminal Law Forum, 12 (2):277-286. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (2001) 'Prison matters'. Irish Jurist, 36 :153-173. Available Online [Details]
Fazel, S,Hope, T,O'Donnell, I,Piper, M,Jacoby, R; (2001) 'Health of elderly male prisoners: worse than the general population, worse than younger prisoners'. Age and Ageing, 30 :403-407. [Details]
O'Donnell, I; (2001) 'Crime, punishment and penal policy'. Irish Journal of Apllied Social Science, 2 (3):91-103. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (2000) 'A comment on sentencing'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 10 (4):2-3. [Details]
ODonnell, I & Edgar, K; (1999) 'Fear in prison '. Prison Journal, 79 (1):90-99. [Details]
ODonnell, I; (1999) 'The prison officers '. Studies, 88 :181-186. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (1999) 'Criminal justice review 1998'. Administration, 47 (2):175-211. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (1999) 'Punishment and politics '. Doctrine and Life, 49 :581-587. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (1998) 'Challenging the punitive obsession. '. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 8 (1):51-66. [Details]
Edgar, K & ODonnell, I. ; (1998) 'The reluctant informer'. Prison Service Journal, 117 :44-46. [Details]
ODonnell, I & Edgar, K, ; (1998) 'Routine victimisation in prisons '. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 37 (3):266-279. [Details]
Edgar, K & ODonnell, I, ; (1998) 'Assault in prison: the victims contribution'. British Journal of Criminology, 38 (4):635-650. [Details]
ODonnell, I; (1997) 'Crime, punishment and poverty '. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 7 (2):134-151. [Details]
Edgar, K & ODonnell, I ; (1997) 'Responding to victimization. '. Prison Service Journal, 109 :15-19. [Details]
O'Donnell, I & Morrison, S ; (1997) 'Armed and dangerous? The use of firearms in robbery'. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 36 (3):305-320. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (1997) 'Prisons and penal purpose: Measuring performance in English jails. '. Criminal Law Forum, 8 (1):111-123. [Details]
ODonnell, I ; (1997) 'Sentencing and punishment in Ireland. '. Overcrowded Times, 8 (5):16-18. [Details]
O'Donnell, I, Farmer, R, & Catalan, J ; (1996) 'Explaining suicide: the views of survivors of serious suicide attempts'. British Journal of Psychiatry, 168 :780-786. [Details]
Kelleher, MJ, Corcoran, P, Keeley, HS, Dennehy, J, & O'Donnell, I ; (1996) 'Improving procedures for recording suicide statistics'. Irish Medical Journal, 89 (1):14-15. [Details]
O'Donnell, I & Farmer, RDT; (1995) 'The limitations of official suicide statistics. '. British Journal of Psychiatry, 166 :458-461. [Details]
Tranah, T, O'Donnell, I, Farmer, R & Catalan, J; (1995) 'Variations in stress responses. '. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 8 :157-162. [Details]
O'Donnell, I, Arthur, AJ & Farmer, RDT ; (1994) 'A follow-up study of attempted suicides. '. Social Science and Medicine, 38 (3):437-442. [Details]
O'Donnell, I & Farmer, RDT ; (1994) 'The epidemiology of suicide on the London Underground'. Social Science and Medicine, 38 (3):409-418. [Details]
O'Donnell, I, Farmer, RDT & Tranah, T ; (1994) 'Introduction to suicide on railways'. Social Science and Medicine, 38 (3):399-400. [Details]
O'Donnell, I, Farmer, RDT & Catalan, J; (1993) 'Suicide notes. '. British Journal of Psychiatry, 163 :45-48. [Details]
Pugh, K, O'Donnell, I & Catalan, J; (1993) 'Suicide and HIV disease'. Aids-Care, 5 (4):391-400. [Details]
Farmer, RDT, Tranah, T, O'Donnell, I & Catalan, J ; (1992) 'Railway suicide: The psychological effects on drivers'. Psychological Medicine, 22 :407-414. [Details]
O'Donnell, I, Catalan, J & Farmer, RDT ; (1992) 'Suicidal behaviour and HIV disease: a case report. '. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 5 :413-417. [Details]
O'Donnell, I & Farmer, RDT ; (1992) 'Suicidal acts on metro systems: an international perspective'. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 86 :60-63. [Details]
Farmer, RDT, O'Donnell, I & Tranah, T ; (1991) 'Suicide on the London Underground System'. International Journal of Epidemiology, 20 :707-711. [Details]

Other Journals

Ian O'Donnell (2013) 'Penal policy in Ireland: The malign effect of sustained neglect' Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review 102 (407) :315-323. Link to full text [Details]
Ian O'Donnell; (2008) 'The Harms of Prison' Studies, An Irish Quarterly Review 97 (388) :379. Available Online [Details]

Book Reviews

Ian O'Donnell (2014) Review of Seán McConville (2014) Irish Political Prisoners, 1920-1962: Pilgrimage of Desolation. London: Routledge. Book Reviews [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2015) Review of Richard McMahon (2013) Homicide in Famine and Pre-Famine Ireland. Liverpool University Press. Book Reviews [Details]
Ian O'Donnell (2015) Review of Dominique Moran (2015) Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration. Ashgate. Rutgers University, NJ: Book Reviews [Details]


Research Interests

Criminal Justice Policy, Sentencing, Penal Reform, Imprisonment, History of Crime and Punishment, Violence