Professor James Treadwell

Professor In Criminology

School of Justice, Security and Sustain

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.

I have significant media experience and has offered media comment on a range of crime and criminal justice related matters. I have been contacted to provide recorded and live on air expert commentary on various crime matters for BBC News, BBC News 24 and BBC World News, the ITV news at 10 and Sky News, along with factual shows such as ‘The One Show’, BBC’s Ones 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 also regularly appear on local and national radio and have previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’ and ‘Today’, and on several news documentary programmes on crime, prisons and policing on BBC Radio 2, 4 and BBC Radio 5 live. I also recently featured on the BBC World Service documentary ‘Europe's drugs wars’ talking about drugs and organised crime within English prisons. I am always keen to hear from prospective PhD students looking to study any aspect of crime using ethnographic methods or who have an interest in a field connected to my expertise.

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



  • Gooch, K and Treadwell, J. (Forthcoming 2018). ‘Transforming the Violent Prison’ (Working Title), London: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Lynes, A and Treadwell, J (eds). (Forthcoming, 2018). 50 facts everyone should know about crime and punishment in Britain; The truth behind the myths Bristol, Policy Press
  • Treadwell, J. and Wakeman, S. (Forthcoming, 2017). Criminological Ethnography: An introduction, London: Sage
  • Winlow, S, Hall, S and Treadwell, J. (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. (2013). Criminology: The Essentials, London: Sage

Book Chapters and Content

  • 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

  • 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); 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
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