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Dr Keir Irwin-Rogers

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Criminology
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Social Policy & Criminology
  • keir.irwin-rogers

Professional biography

Before joining The Open University, I spent 10 years with The University of Sheffield studying a BA in History, an MA in International Criminology, an MA in Law, and a PhD in Criminal Justice. I am currently studying for a BSc in Economics & Maths. 

During my PhD, I completed an internship with The Sentencing Council for England & Wales, supporting the creation of new sentencing guidelines and producing theoretical papers critiquing different approaches to structured sentencing.

For two years following the completion of my PhD, I managed and conducted a range of research projects for the social business, Catch22. 


Research interests

My main research interest focuses on the harm caused by prohibitionist drug policies. In particular, my work explores the links between socioeconomic inequality, drug markets, violence, and the harms of criminalising young people involved in drug distribution. 

I have a continued interest in alternatives to imprisonment, particularly in relation to community sanctions and the recent outsourcing of roles traditionally performed by the public sector probation service to private Community Rehabilitation Companies.

In addition, I have conducted research and published papers on the subjects of sentencing, deterrence, social media and alternative provision. 

Journal papers

Irwin-Rogers, K. (Forthcoming) Racism and Racial Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System: Exploring the views of men serving sentences of imprisonment. Justice, Power, Resistance. 

Irwin-Rogers, K. (2017) Legitimacy on licence: Why and how legitimacy matters. The Howard Journal of Crime & Justice. 56(1): 53-71. 

Irwin-Rogers, K. (2017) Staff-resident relationships in Approved Premises: What a difference a door makes. Probation Journal. 64(4): 388-404. 

Irwin-Rogers, K. and Harding, S. (In preparation) Challenging the orthodoxy on pupil gang involvement: When two social fields collide.

Gazal-Ayal, O., Irwin-Rogers, K. and Talmon, Y. (In preparation) Increasing the severity of fines: Specific deterrence and avoidance.

Irwin-Rogers, K. (In preparation) A toxic trap: Inequality, consumer capitalism and young people's involvement in drug distribution.

Roberts, J. V. and Irwin-Rogers, K. (In preparation) Swimming against the tide: The Suspended Sentence Order in England & Wales 2004-2018. 

Book Chapters

Irwin-Rogers, K., Densley, J. and Pinkney, C. (2018) Social media and Gang Violence. In J. L. Ireland, P. Birch and C. A. Ireland (Eds.) International Handbook on Aggression. Abingdon: Routledge.

Irwin-Rogers, K. and Perry, T. W. (2015) Sentencing Domestic Burglary. In J. V. Roberts (Ed.) Exploring Sentencing Practice in England and Wales. London: Palgrave.

Roberts, J. V. and Irwin-Rogers, K. (2015) Overview of sentencing patterns and historical trends in sentencing. In J. V. Roberts (Ed.) Exploring Sentencing Practice in England and Wales. London: Palgrave.

Irwin-Rogers, K., Decker, S., Stephenson, S., Rostami, A. and van Hellemont, E. (Forthcoming) Street gangs and urban violence in Europe. In Igor, V. (Ed.) International Handbook of Global Urban Health. Abingdon: Routledge. 

Irwin-Rogers, K. and Reeves, C. (In preparation) Post-prison Residential Supervision. 

Research reports

Irwin-Rogers, K. and Shuter, M. (2017) Fairness in the Criminal Justice System: What's race got to do with it? London, Catch22.

Irwin-Rogers, K. and Pinkney, C. (2017) Social Media as a Catalyst and Trigger for Youth Violence. London, Catch22.

Irwin-Rogers, K. (2016) Safer Schools: Keeping gang culture outside of the school gates. London, Catch22.

Conference Papers:

  • Serious youth violence and online social media, Youth Justice Board Forum (November 2016, Middlesex University)
  • Fairness and legitimacy across the criminal justice system, The Ministry of Justice (September 2016, Ministry of Justice, London)
  • Social Media and Serious Youth Violence, National Police Chiefs' Council, Open Source Conference (October 2016, Leicester)
  • Gang Violence and Child Sexual Exploitation, Home Office Quarterly Forum on Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation (July, 2016, Home Office, London)
  • Gangs and Social Media, Metropolitan Police, Trident Unit, National Gangs Policing Conference (October 2016, London)
  • Serious Youth Violence, County Lines and Online Social Media, European Society of Criminology Working Group on Gangs (June 2016, Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • Supporting care leavers involved in gangs, National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum (September 2015, Birmingham)
  • Legitimacy and community sanctions, European Society of Criminology Working Group on Community Sanctions (June 2015, The University of Sheffield)
  • Beyond the prison gate: Exploring licencees’ perceptions of legitimacy, Annual Criminology PhD conference (September, 2013, The University of Oxford). 



Impact and engagement

Based on the findings of my recent research on the links between young people’s activity on social media and serious youth violence, I have engaged in a range of impact and engagement activities, including:

  • A presentation to the Home Office’s Ending Gang Violence and Exploitation Quarterly Forum. The workshop was attended by delegates from a range of backgrounds across the state, VCSE and private sectors.
  • Invited to brief MPs Chuka Umunna, David Lammy and Vicky Foxcroft before a Parliamentary Chamber debate on Gangs and Serious Youth Violence.
  • A presentation at the annual Youth Justice Convention
  • A presentation at a Youth Justice Board Forum event on serious youth violence (University of Middlesex).  
  • Invited to meet with Google’s Public Affairs team to discuss appropriate responses from social media providers to breaches of their community guidelines.
  • A presentation at the National Police Chiefs’ Council conference on Open Source Data.
  • Invited to present and be a panel member at a Public Policy Exchange Event on Ending Gang Violence & Exploitation.
  • A presentation at Bristol City Hall for a Catch22 organised event on social media and youth violence.
  • Delivered a conference paper at the annual Eurogang conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, attended by academics from across Europe and the USA, as well as professionals in Sweden working with gang-involved young people.
  • A presentation at a MET police conference on gangs and serious youth violence.
  • Delivered training sessions on gangs and youth violence to social workers, independent reviewing officers, youth offending team workers and foster carers.

Based on the findings of my research on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic disproportionate representation in the criminal justice system:

  • Invited to run dissemination workshops in HMP Wandsworth and HMP Thameside, which involved presenting main findings to management-level staff, as well as prison officers and prison chaplains.
  • Presented at an interim workshop at the Ministry of Justice and coordinated a workshop on the subject of rehabilitation with people from a BAME background.

I am currently a supporting academic to the ongoing cross-party Commission on Youth Violence. 


Staff-resident relationships in Approved Premises: What a difference a door makes (2017-12-01)
Irwin-Rogers, Keir
Probation Journal, 64(4) (pp. 388-404)
Legitimacy on Licence: Why and How it Matters (2017)
Irwin-Rogers, Keir
The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 56(1) (pp. 53-71)
Sentencing Practices and Trends, 1999-2013 (2015)
Roberts, Julian V. and Irwin Rogers, Keir
In: Roberts, Julian V. ed. Exploring Sentencing Practice in England and Wales (pp. 35-60)
ISBN : 978-1-137-39039-4 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan
Exploring the Impact of Sentencing Factors on Sentencing Domestic Burglary (2015)
Irwin Rogers, Keir and Perry, Thomas W.
In: Roberts, Julian V. ed. Exploring Sentencing Practice in England and Wales (pp. 194-220)
ISBN : 978-1-137-39039-4 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan

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