Professor Coretta Phillips

Professor Coretta Phillips

Professor of Criminology and Social Policy

Department of Social Policy

Key Expertise
Race, Ethnicity, Crime, Criminal justice, Social policy

About me

Coretta Phillips is Professor of Criminology and Social Policy. She joined the Department of Social Policy in September 2001. She is involved in teaching both Social Policy and Criminology in the department at BSc and MSc level and is a member of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology.

Coretta's research interests lie in the field of race, ethnicity, crime, criminal justice and social policy. Beginning in 2020, her major research efforts will be on a multi-disciplinary project providing the first systematic, comprehensive and historically grounded account of the crime and criminal justice experiences of Gypsies and Travellers in England since the 1960s. It will comprise: a crime survey; oral histories with serving prisoners and community members; extensive archival research; and interviews with professionals in four diverse regions of England. It will fill an evidence gap by shedding light on the only statutorily-defined ethnic group for whom there are no national victimization, hate crime, or self-report offending data. More details about the project here.

Coretta is also involved in a study with minority ethnic young people in London, including those involved in crime but not detected by the police, those deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system, and those uninvolved in crime at all. It is particularly interested in why some ethnic groups are easily caught up in the criminal justice system while others are not. Coretta's previous research in the UK has included work on culture and 'doorstep fraud', ethnicity and social relations in men's prisons, institutional racism, reflexivity, epistemology and minority perspectives in criminology, and the role of minority ethnic professional associations in the criminal justice field. Her recent research has been entirely qualitative using ethnographic methods, life history and semi-structured interviews, photo-elicitation, and narrative methods.

Coretta's most recent book, The Multicultural Prison (2012) jointly won the Criminology Book Prize in 2013 and it was shortlisted for the BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed/British Sociological Association Award for Ethnography in 2014. Coretta has written reports and acted as a consultant for organisations such as the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, UK Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Judicial Studies Board, Clinks, Howard League for Penal Reform, and the Metropolitan Black Police Association. She serves as an Editor for Oxford University Press' Clarendon Studies in Criminology, is on the editorial boards of Punishment and Society, Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Race and Justice, and was previously on the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology.

Coretta welcomes enquiries from potential PhD students to work on topics and methods in her areas of interest including:
Ethnicity and race, particularly in the criminal justice system, ethnic inequalities, narrative research, modern slavery

Expertise Details

Crime; criminology; ethnic inequality; ethnicity and criminal justice; minority perspectives; racism; racial discrimination; criminal justice

My research