Professor James Treadwell

Professor In Criminology

Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

I became a Professor in Criminology at Staffordshire University in 2017, having started my career as a Lecturer in Criminology in 2003 at the University of Central England. Before I moved into academia I had previously worked for NACRO and the National Probation Service. I have previously held academic posts at Birmingham Law School (University of Birmingham) the Centre for Applied Criminology (Birmingham City University) and the Department of Criminology (University of Leicester). I am currently a member of the executive with the British Society of Criminology (and act as Chair of the Prizes Committee). I was academic advisor on the Howard League Commission into Ex-Military Personnel in Prison (advising the inquiry chair Sir John Nutting QC). I was opening speaker at the launch of Secretary of State for Justice's Inquiry into Veterans within the Criminal Justice System in London in April 2014.

My research is largely based on ethnography and in depth interviewing. I undertook a long term ethnographic study of the English Defence League publishing material from that project (with Simon Winlow and Steve Hall) in the well-received book ‘Rise of the Right’. Prior to that, I used ethnographic methods to study the August 2011 English Riots and material generated from that project featured in ‘Riots and Political Protest’ (With Simon Winlow, Steve Hall and Dan Briggs). My Sage published textbook ‘Criminology’ (2013) is in its second edition and is used as an introduction to the subject of criminology at several universities. I have contributed to a number of criminology and sociology edited collections. I have published articles in international Journals such as the British Journal of Criminology, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Crime, Media, Culture and the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice.

I have recently been researching prison and criminal drugs markets, examining the cultivation of cannabis in economically deprived areas (with Craig Ancrum, Teesside University) and Prison based drug supply as part of a larger project on bullying, violence and victimisation in prison (with Dr Kate Gooch, Leicester Law School, University of Leicester). I am currently writing Criminological Ethnography: An Introduction’ for Sage with Dr Steve Wakeman and articles and a book on Prison Violence with Dr Gooch.

I am a member of the editorial board of The British Journal of Criminology, and have served on the editorial board of The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice and the Journal of Criminal Psychology. I served as an external examiner at Teesside University (Undergraduate) and Swansea (Postgraduate) and have recently acted as external examiner of PhDs at Aberystwyth, York and Keele and Goldsmiths as well as being an external reviewer for the Open University, Kingston University and the University of the West of England.


Professional memberships and activities

Executive: British Society of Criminology

Academic qualifications

  • BA Hons
  • PgDip
  • MA
  • DipPS
  • PhD


  • Violent, Professional Crime and Organised Crime

  • Prison and Imprisonment (Prison Violence and Victimisation)

  • Drugs and Crime

  • Theoretical Criminology

  • Sports Criminology (Football Violence and Combat Sports)

  • Criminological Ethnography (Qualitative Social Research Methods)

  • Crime and the Military and Ex-Armed Forces ‘Veterans’

Research interests

  • Ethnography and Qualitative Research

  • Violent Crime

  • Organised Crime

  • Illicit Drugs and Novel Psychoactive Substances

  • Prisons and Imprisonment

  • Criminological and Sociological Theory

Enterprise and commercial interests

Various experience, please contact


  • Global Sociology 1



  • Lynes, A, Kelly, C and Treadwell, J (Forthcoming, 2023) (eds) 50 Dark Destinations: Crime, Deviance and Contemporary Tourism, Bristol, Bristol University Press
  • Treadwell, J. (2019) Criminological Ethnography: An introduction, London: Sage
  • Lynes, A. and Treadwell, J. (eds) (2019) 50 facts everyone should know about crime and punishment in Britain: The truth behind the myths, Bristol: Policy Press
  • Winlow, S, Hall, S and Treadwell (2017) Rise of the Right, English Nationalism and the Transformation of Working-Class Politics Bristol, Policy Press
  • Winlow, S, Hall, S Briggs, D and Treadwell, J. (2015) Riots and Political Protest: Notes form the Post Political Present London: Routledge
  • Hopkins, M and Treadwell, J (2014) Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime: Contemporary Issues, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Treadwell, J (2012) Criminology: The Essentials, London: Sage
  • Treadwell, J (2006) Criminology, London: Sage (and revised Second Edition 2013)

Book Chapters and Content

  • Treadwell, J (2020) Gaming the System?’ The Merits, Myth and Realities in Understanding Prison Architect: Security, Rehabilitation and Violence as Represented in the World’s Bestselling Carceral Video Game, in Kelly, C, Lynes, A and Hoffin, K (eds) Video Games, Crime and Next-Gen Deviance: Reorienting the Debate, Emerald
  • Treadwell, J. (2019). Qualitative Research in Criminology. In P. Atkinson, S. Delamont, A. Cernat, J.W. Sakshaug, & R.A. Williams (Eds.), SAGE Research Methods Foundations. doi: 10.4135/9781526421036847209
  • Jewkes, Y., & Treadwell, J. (2019). Ethnography in Prisons. In P. Atkinson, S. Delamont, A. Cernat, J.W. Sakshaug, & R.A. Williams (Eds.), SAGE Research Methods Foundations. doi: 10.4135/9781526421036844190
  • Winlow, S, Hall, S and Treadwell, J (2018). Why the left must change: Right-wing populism in context, in DeKeseredy, W and Currie, E (eds.) Progressive Justice in an Age of Repression, Strategies for Challenging the Rise of the Right, London: Routledge
  • Treadwell, J (2018). Doing Ultrarealist Ethnography: Romanticism and Running with the Riotous While Buying Your Round, 289-301, in Criminology Rice, S K., Maltz, Michael D. (Eds.) Doing Ethnography in Criminology, Springer, Cham
  • Treadwell, J and Garland, J. (2016) ‘More than violent whites? From 'Paki Bashing' to the English Defence League’, in Hobbs, D (ed.) Mischief, Morality and Mobs: Essays in Honour of Geoff Pearson, London: Routledge
  • Treadwell, J. (2016) ‘Should the Forces be in the Firing Line? Social Policy, the Veteran and the ‘Acceptable Face’ of Violent Criminality’, in Walklate, S and McGarry, R (eds.) Palgrave Handbook on Criminology and War, London: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Treadwell, J. (2016) "If there is a god I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs" - Anders Behring Breivik and Religiously inspired 'Righteous Slaughter', in Sadique, K and Stanislas, P (eds.) Religion, Faith and Crime, London: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Treadwell, J. (2014) ‘Labelling Perspectives’, in Taylor, P, Corteen, K and Morley, S (eds.) A Companion to Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk, Bristol,: Policy Press
  • Treadwell, J. (2014) ‘Zemiology’, in Taylor, P, Corteen, K and Morley, S (eds.) A Companion to Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk Bristol: Policy Press
  • Treadwell, J (2014) ‘The lads Just playing away: An ethnography with England ‘s football hooligan fringe at the 2006 World Cup’ in Thurnell-Read, T and Casey, M (eds.) Men, Masculinities, Travel and Tourism, London: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Treadwell, J (2014) “Controlling the new far right on the streets: policing the English Defence League in policy and praxis”, in Chakraborti, N and Garland, J (eds.) Responding to Hate Crime: The Case for Connecting Policy and Research, Bristol: Policy Press
  • Treadwell, J (2014) 'Tattoos' in Atkinson, R (ed.) Shades of Deviance: A Primer on Crime, Deviance and Social Harm, London Routledge
  • Treadwell, J and Ayres, T (2014) 'Talking Prada and Powder: Cocaine Use and Supply Amongst the Football Hooligan Firm' in Hopkins, M and Treadwell, J (eds) Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime; Contemporary Issues, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan

Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

  • Gooch, K and Treadwell, J (2020) Prisoner Society in an Era of Psychoactive Substances, Organized Crime, New Drug Markets and Austerity, The British Journal of Criminology, Volume 60, Issue 5, September 2020, Pages 1260–1281,
  • Treadwell, J, Ancrum, C and Kelly, C (2018) Taxing Times: Inter-Criminal Victimization and Drug Robbery Amongst The English Professional Criminal Milieu, Deviant Behaviour Deviant Behavior, 41:1, 57-69, DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2018.1519136
  • Ancrum, C and Treadwell, J. (2016) ‘Beyond ghosts, gangs and good sorts: Commercial cannabis cultivation and illicit enterprise in England’s disadvantaged inner cities’, Crime, Media, Culture, first published doi:10.1177/1741659016646414
  • Treadwell, J and Gooch, K (2015) An ASBO for violent gangsters or just continuing criminalisation of young people? – Thinking about the value of “Gangbo”, Papers from the British Criminology Conference 2015, ISSN 1759-0043; Vol 15
  • Treadwell, J; Briggs, D, Winlow, S and Hall, S. (2013) 'Shopocalypse Now: Consumer Culture and the English Riots of 2011', British Journal of Criminology, Volume 53 (1); 1-17
  • Garland, J and Treadwell, J. (2012) The New Politics of Hate? An Assessment of the Appeal of the English Defence League Amongst Disadvantaged White Working- Class Communities in England, Journal of Hate Studies, 10 (1): 99-122
  • Treadwell, J. (2012) ‘From the Car Boot to Booting it Up? eBay, online counterfeit crime and the transformation of the criminal marketplace’, Criminology and Criminal Justice: An international Journal 12(2): 175-191
  • Ayres, T and Treadwell, J. (2012) ‘Bars, Drugs and Football Thugs: Alcohol, Cocaine Use and Violence in the Night-time Economy among English Football Firms’ Criminology and Criminal Justice: An International Journal 12 (1) pp. 83-100
  • Treadwell, J. and Garland, J. (2011) 'Masculinity, Marginalisation and Violence: A Case Study of the English Defence League', British Journal of Criminology, 51 (4): 621-634
  • Garland, J and Treadwell, J. (2010) 'No Surrender to the Taliban': Football Hooliganism, Islamophobia and the Rise of the English Defence League’, Papers from the British Criminology Conference, 10(1) 19–35.
  • Treadwell, J. (2008) 'Call the (Fashion) Police: How fashion becomes criminalised', Papers from the British criminology Conference, 8(1): 117-133
  • Williams, K and Treadwell, J. (2008) 'Similarity and Difference: The Ethnographer, the Subject, and Objectivity', Methodological Innovations Online, Vol. 3(1)
  • Treadwell, J and Mantle, G. (2007) 'Probation Education, Why the Hush? A Reply to Stout and Dominey's December 2006 Counterblast' Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 46(5): 500-511
  • Treadwell, J. (2006) 'Some personal reflections on Probation Training' Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 45(1): 1-13 (Winner of Wiley Blackwell prize for best journal article).

Invited Articles

  • Gooch, K and Treadwell, J (2001) ‘It Doesn’t stop at the Prison Gate: Understanding Organised Crime in Prison’, Prison Service Journal, 252; 15-30
  • Gooch, K., & Treadwell, J. (2019). The Illicit Economy and Recovery – What we need to understand. Prison Service Journal, 242, 56-63.
  • Gooch, K and Treadwell, J. and Trent, R. (2015) ‘Preventing and Reducing Prison Bullying’, Prison Service Journal 21: 25-29
  • Treadwell, J. (2013) 'The English Defence League and Counter Jihad', Criminal Justice Matters, 93 (1); 8-9
  • Treadwell, J. (2012) 'White Riot: the English Defence League and the 2011 English riots', Criminal Justice Matters, 87 (1): 36-37
  • Treadwell, J. (2010) 'COUNTERBLAST: More than Casualties of War?: Ex-military Personnel in the Criminal Justice System', The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol. 49 (1) pp. 73-77
  • Harper, C and Treadwell, J (2013) COUNTERBLAST: Punitative Payne, Justice Campaigns and Popular Punitiveness - Where Next for 'Public Criminology'?, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 52 (2): 216-222.

Reports Authored and Co-authored

  • Gooch, K and Treadwell, J (2015) Bullying amongst Young Men in Prison, Birmingham; Birmingham Law School IBSN: 978-0-7044-2859-1 available
  • Howard League (2011) Final report of the independent inquiry into former armed service personnel in prison, London: Howard League (ISBN 978-1-905994-36-6)
  • Howard League (2011) Leaving Forces Life: The issue of Transition, London: Howard League (ISBN 978-1-905994-27-4)


I have a significant media and social media profile. I have offered media comment on a range of crime and criminal justice related matters and given live and recorded commentary on BBC Breakfast, BBC News, BBC News 24 and BBC World News, the ITV news at 10 and Sky News, along with television factual shows such as ‘The One Show’, BBC1’s flagship moral and ethical debate programme the Big Questions and the BBC 2 award winning documentary ‘A History of Now: the Story of the Noughties’. I featured on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’ and ‘Today’, and on a number of programmes on BBC Radio 2, 4 and BBC Radio 5 live, for Russia Today and on BBC radio Documentaries such as Europe’s Drug Wars’.

I have also written for a range of media and newsprint outlets, for example, six articles for The Conversation. These have also been picked up and run by news agencies such as The Independent and Policing Insight. I am often contacted by local and national journalists for comment on crime related stories for RT, Vice News, The Economist, The Spectator, The Guardian, Independent and Telegraph.

I have given Conference Papers based on my current Research on Crime in Prison and Prison Violence at the European Society of Criminology in Sarajevo in 2018, The British Society of Criminology, The Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) in Perth in 2019, and the American Society of Criminology.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021