Publications & Team

Current Research

Jessica is engaged in a range of research activities. Her role includes overseeing the development of the World Prison Research Programme: this is a new programme of international comparative research on prisons and imprisonment. The programme will build on the work of the World Prison Brief, which is an online database providing details on the prison systems of over 220 independent countries and dependent territories. Much of Jessica's other work focuses on the criminal courts. Among her recently completed projects is a study on the on the application of the doctrine of 'joint enterprise' in the prosecution of serious offences.

Background and Expertise

Jessica has a BA degree in sociology from Trinity College Dublin and a PhD in sociology from the London School of Economics. Her thesis was on the subject of ethnic and religious identities among second-generation British Pakistanis (published by Routledge as Islam in Transition in 1998).

Jessica has developed her expertise in criminal justice research since working as a Research Officer, and then Senior Research Officer, for the Home Office from 1997 to 2000. She has experience of researching many different aspects of the criminal justice system; particular interests include prisons; sentencing and the work of the criminal courts more broadly; and youth justice. Her recent publications include Inside Crown Court (with Gillian Hunter and Amy Kirby), published by Policy Press in 2015, which discusses the experiences of victims, witnesses and defendants at court.


Punishing Disadvantage: A profile of children in custody

Unjust deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

Adult defendants with learning disabilities and the criminal courts

  • Author(s) Talbot, J. and Jacobson, J.
  • SubjectCourts, sentencing and attitudes to justice
  • Year2010
  • Publisher/PublicationJournal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 1(2): 16-26

Remanded in Custody: An analysis of recent trends in England and Wales

  • Author(s) Player, E., Roberts, J., Jacobson, J.,  Hough, M. and Robottom, J.
  • SubjectCourts, sentencing and attitudes to justice
  • Year2010
  • LocationLondon
  • Publisher/PublicationHoward Journal, 49(3): 231-251

'Double Trouble’? Black, Asian and minority ethnic offenders’ experiences of resettlement

  • Author(s) Jacobson, J., Phillips, C. and Edgar, K.
  • SubjectEthnicity, religion and identity
  • Year2010
  • LocationLondon
  • Publisher/PublicationClinks
  • Misc infoBlack, Asian and minority ethnic offenders' experiences of resettlement
  • Downloads'Double Trouble'.pdf

Making Amends: Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland

Accident and emergency data-sharing in London: early lessons for policy and practice

  • Author(s) Jacobson, J. and Broadhurst, K.
  • SubjectCriminal justice agencies and services
  • Year2009
  • LocationLondon
  • Publisher/Publicationa report by Perpetuity Research, commissioned and funded by the Government Office for London
  • DownloadsAandEDataSharingLondon.pdf

A Sentencing Council for England and Wales

  • Author(s) Hough, M. and Jacobson, J.
  • SubjectCourts, sentencing and attitudes to justice
  • Year2009
  • LocationLondon
  • Publisher/PublicationCriminal Justice Alliance
  • Misc infoin J. Collins and S. Siddiqui (eds.) Transforming Justice
  • Downloadstransformingjustice.pdf

Vulnerable defendants in the criminal courts: a review of provision for adults and children

  • Author(s) Jacobson, J. with Talbot, J.
  • SubjectCourts, sentencing and attitudes to justice
  • Year2009
  • LocationLondon
  • Publisher/PublicationPrison Reform Trust
  • Misc infoA review of provision for adults and children
  • Downloadsvulnerable defendants.pdf

Public Attitudes to the Principles of Sentencing