Professor Laura Caulfield

Founding Chair, Institute for Community Research and Development

Laura Caulfield
Email address: Phone number: 01902 325228 Location: Mary Seacole Building Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences School/Institute: Institute for Community Research and Development Areas of expertise: Criminal justice, social justice, research methods, programme evaluation.


I am the Founding Chair of the Institute for Community Research and Development at the University of Wolverhampton.

I am an experienced and skilled research leader and my own research and teaching interests sit within criminal justice, the Arts, and wellbeing.

I am currently Principal Investigator on two evaluations of programmes in the criminal justice system:

  • A music project funded by Youth Music for Birmingham Youth Offending Service.
  • A fashion skills and manufacturing programme at HMP Downview, with London College of Fashion and funded by the Ministry of Justice.

I publish widely in academic and professional arenas, and serve on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals:

  • Forensic Update
  • Journal of Social Criminology
  • Journal of Criminal Psychology

Research interests

I specialise in evaluating the impact of programmes designed for challenging and vulnerable groups. Much of my work involves the evaluation of creative programmes in the criminal justice system, and I have received funding from the Home Office, Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts Alliance (now the NAACJ), the NHS, and several third-sector organisations.

In 2011 my research was highlighted in Research Councils UK Big Ideas for the Future report, and my methodological approach to evidencing the impact of the arts was cited as an example of good practice by the Charities Evaluation Service. In that year I was also presented with a commendation award from the Howard League for Penal Reform for my research on the arts in prisons and this work formed the basis of a successful a REF 2014 impact case study.

In November 2016 I was invited to speak about my research at the House of Lords.

Current PhD students:

Ella Simpson - The arts and redemption narratives of women in prison
Amina El-Warari - The employment needs of refugee men

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology



PG Cert



2016 onwards

Caulfield, L.S. (2016). Counterintuitive findings from a qualitative study of mental health in English women’s prisons. International Journal of Prisoner Health, 12 (4), 216-229.

Caulfield, L.S., Curtis, K. & Simpson, E. (2017). An independent evaluation of Making for Change: skills in a Fashion Training & Manufacturing Workshop. Grant report to London College of Fashion.

Caulfield, L. S. and Hill, J. (2018, forthcoming). Criminological skills and research for beginners: a student’s guide. London: Routledge.

Caulfield, L.S., Simpson, E. & Jacobs, C. (2016). An evaluation of the Youth Offending Service Youth Music Project. Final grant report to Birmingham Youth Offending Service.

Caulfield, L.S., and Wilkinson, D.J., & Wilson, D. (2016). Exploring alternative terrain in the rehabilitation and treatment of offenders: findings from a prison-based music project. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 55(6), 396-418.

Wilkinson, D. J. & Caulfield, L. S. (2017). The perceived benefits of an arts project for health and wellbeing of older offenders. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 13, 16-27.

Wilkinson, D. J., Caulfield, L. S. (2017). Delusional Ideation, Cognitive Processes and Crime Based Reasoning. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 13, 503-518.

Further information

Teaching interests

  • Social research methods
  • Criminological psychology

External academic roles

  • Editorial board, Journal of Criminal Psychology
  • Editorial board, Forensic Update
  • Editorial board, Journal of Social Criminology
  • Peer reviewer for numerous journals and publishing houses
  • ESRC reviewer
  • External consultant, BSc Psychology, International University of Malaya-Wales (2014-present)