Professor Frances Heidensohn

Professor Frances Heidensohn

Department: Department: sociology| ;Mannheim centre for criminology| ;British journal of sociology| ; Contact details:|

Frances Heidensohn is Visiting Professor in the Sociology Dept at LSE and Emeritus Professor of Social Policy,University of London.She is the General Editor of the British Journal of Sociology.She graduated in Sociology from LSE,gaining the Hobhouse Memorial Prize,and studied and taught at the School until 1974.She then moved to the Civil Service College,where she was Director of Studies in Social Policy,and thence to Goldsmiths',University of London.At Goldsmiths she held the Chair of Social Policy from 1994-2004.

She was Ginsberg Fellow in the Sociology Dept in 1991 and has been a visiting professor at Queen's University ,Belfast,the University of Montreal and Macgill University. In 2000 she received the Book Award of the International Division of the American Society of Criminology and in 2004 she was awarded the Sellin Glueck Award of the ASC for her contributions to international criminology.

Research interests

She is best known for her work on gender and crime and as a pioneer of feminist perspectives in criminology and has published several studies in this area. She has also developed work on gender and law enforcement and on international and comparative perspectives. Current projects include a review of penal policy for women in the UK and studies of the current and future position of feminist criminology.

External activities

She chaired the NHS Health Authority for the East End of London from 1992-1999.From 1999-2010 she was a member of the Sentencing Advisory Panel and from 2001-2006 a Commissioner for Judicial Appointments. At present she acts as a Lay Chair for the NHS University of London Post graduate Deanery and as a Lay Committee member for the General Social Care Council. She is also a Patron of the Griffins Society, a charity for women offenders.



  • Gender and Justice, ed. (Willan : 2006)

    Questions about gender, justice and crime are constantly in the public arena, whether they focus on young women getting drunk or taking drugs, or the rising numbers of women going to prison or committing violent crimes - or reports of macho behaviour on the part of men in the military, law enforcement or professional sport. This book provides a key text for students seeking to understand feminist and gendered perspectives on criminology and criminal justice, bringing together the most innovative research and work which has taken the study of the relationship between gender and justice into the twenty-first century. 

    The book addresses many of the issues of concern to the established feminist agenda (such as the gender gap, equity in the criminal justice system, penal regimes and their impact on women), but also shows the ways in which these themes have been extended, reinterpreted and answered in new and distinctive ways.

publisher's site|

  • Sexual Politics and Social Control (Open University Press : 2000)
  • Gender and Policing (with Jennifer Brown) (Palgrave Macmillan : 2000)

This is the first book to offer a comprehensive and wide-ranging survey of women's role in policing, drawing both on the authors' original comparative research and on the questions, theories and findings raised by the existing literature.

Within a global and historically sensitive framework, the book explores such themes as the gender dimension of policing, the representation of policewomen, the extent to which different national traditions diverge or converge, the strategies adopted by policewomen and their colleagues or organizations in order to address the particular problems and challenges that their roles raise.

  • Women and Crime 2nd edn (Palgrave Macmillan : 2006)


  • 'The British Journal of Sociology at 60' with R.Wright, 2010 The British Journal of Sociology - Shaping Sociology Over 60 Years (virtual Issue - click here for online access)
  • 'The British Journal of Sociology in the 1950s':firm foundations', 2010 The British Journal of Sociology - Shaping Sociology Over 60 Years (virtual Issue - click here for online access)
  • 'Gender and Policing' in Tim Newburn ed Handbook of Policing 2nd edn (Willan : 2008)
  • 'International Comparative Research in Criminology' in R King & E Wincup eds Doing Research on Crime and Justice  (Oxford Univ Press : 2007)
  • 'Gender and Crime' (with L Gelsthorpe ) in Maguire et al eds The Oxford Handbook of Criminology 4th edn (2007)
  • 'Contrasts and Concepts:Considering the  Development of Comparative Criminology' in T Newburn & P Rock eds The Politics of Crime Control:Essays in Honour of David Downes (2006)