Skip navigation

UCD Search



UCD Working Papers in Law, Criminology & Socio-Legal Studies Research Paper Series
The series publishes work in progress from scholars associated with the School of Law at University College Dublin and cognate schools of the University, including visitors and research students, and reflecting a wide range of fields and methodological approaches to understanding legal norms and processes in Ireland, Europe and in international contexts.Subscribe to this Journal: here



Ian O’Donnell, Aogan Mulcahy (School of Sociology) and Deirdre Healy are members of the Social Impacts Theme of the GINI FP7 Project which is led by Brian Nolan (UCD Geary Institute) and Abigail Knight (London School of Economics).  This strand of the project examines the potential negative effects of increasing inequality on a range of social indicators including poverty, crime, family, health, and education (see for further information).   Their work focused on the relationship between income inequality, deprivation and crime.  In July 2011, they submitted (a) a discussion paper reviewing international evidence on the issue (b) a country report compiling knowledge about crime and punishment in Ireland. Aogan Mulcahy also presented a paper based on these findings at the GINI conference in Milan (4th-5th February 2011) on behalf of the team.

Capital Crime and Punishment in Post-independent Ireland - Dr David Doyle
Working under the mentorship of Professor Ian O’Donnell, the objective of this interdisciplinary project is to analyse capital punishment in post-partition Ireland, and investigate whether the progress to abolition in the respective jurisdictions of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic was territorially idiosyncratic or influenced by European values and international human rights law. His other research and teaching interests also include criminal justice history, sexual offences, coercive confinement, and the criminalization/decriminalization of suicide.

Crime, Desistance and Reintegration - Dr Deirdre Healy
The study will provide a detailed account of pathways to, and from, desistance and aims to identify the psychological and social processes involved in these transitions.  The project constitutes the second phase of the first prospective study of desistance in Ireland and will be one of a small number of international studies of this kind.Offender 

Recidivism in Ireland - Dr Nicola Hughes
This project was funded by a major grant from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. It involves collaboration between criminologists at University College Dublin and the University of Missouri–St Louis. It could be said that the successful reintegration of offenders is the most challenging criminal justice issue facing national governments. The release of increasing numbers of prisoners back into their communities not only represents a potential threat to public safety, but may also undermine efforts to promote equality and social inclusion. Despite the central importance of this matter, it has never been examined in Ireland.

Crime, Punishment and Politics in Ireland
- Dr Claire Hamilton
The research aims to explore the emergence of what has been termed a “new…penal, militant tendency” or “hard line consensus” in Irish society.  This has been reflected in political rhetoric and ultimately in criminal justice legislation but must be explored within a context of a low prison population by international standards.  The researcher hopes to examine the possibility that there has been a hardening of political attitudes towards the “front end” of the criminal justice system i.e. rights of the accused, while the “back end” i.e. prison population has remained relatively unaffected.  Can a distinction between front-end and back-end punitiveness be drawn in an Irish context?

Social Capital and Civic Engagement in the Irish Penal System - Dr Cormac Behan

This research will examine the social capital, civic engagement and political participation of prisoners. It will concentrate on one institution in the Irish penal system to explore the impact of imprisonment on the social capital of the incarcerated. An important part of this research will be an examination of the attempts by the prison to promote civic engagement of those we imprison and how the community is encouraged to maintain those links. As the 2007 election will be first in which prisoners can vote, a survey of the voting patterns of prisoners will form a central part of this research. 



Phd Scholarships Available