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.


An assessment of the soft outcomes achieved by the Exodus programme

  • Author(s) Jacobson, J. and Chenery, S.
  • SubjectCrime and the community
  • Year2008
  • LocationLondon
  • Publisher/PublicationMeganexus

No One Knows: Police responses to suspects with learning disabilities and learning difficulties

Creating a Sentencing Commission for England and Wales: an opportunity to address the prisons crisis

  • Author(s) Hough, M. and Jacobson, J.
  • SubjectCourts, sentencing and attitudes to justice
  • Year2008
  • LocationLondon
  • Publisher/PublicationPrison Reform Trust
  • Misc infoAn opportunity to address the prison crisis

Towards more consistent and predicatable sentencing in England and Wales

  • Author(s) Jacobson, J., Roberts, J. and Hough, M.
  • SubjectCourts, sentencing and attitudes to justice
  • Year2008
  • LocationBristol
  • Publisher/PublicationPolicy Press
  • Misc infoIn M. Hough, R. Allen and E. Solomon (eds.) Tackling Prison Overcrowding

Attitudes to the sentencing of offences involving death by driving

Public attitudes to sentencing offences involving death by driving

  • Author(s) Roberts, J. V., Hough, M., Jacobson, J., Bredee, A. and Moon, N.
  • SubjectCourts, sentencing and attitudes to justice
  • Year2008
  • LocationUK
  • Publisher/PublicationCriminal Law Review, 7: 525-538

The impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on levels of crime and disorder

There when you need them most: pact's first night in custody service

Mitigation: the role of personal factors in sentencing

Anti-Social Behaviour Strategies: Finding a balance