Research publications

The Sentencing Academy is currently creating a series of Issues papers designed to provide state of the art summaries of policy, legal and research developments on key topics in the area of sentencing and parole. Papers will be authored by experts in the field and peer-reviewed by Sentencing Academy advisers and external experts. They will identify consensual findings as well as gaps in knowledge. In this way they will be of interest to policy-makers, researchers and special interest groups, among others. The focus is always upon sentencing in England and Wales, although where the literature is limited in this country the papers will provide insight from foreign jurisdictions. Each Issues paper will be updated periodically to reflect the latest developments and publications, and readers are encouraged to provide feedback to the Academy to assist in this process. We are also interested in receiving suggestions regarding future subjects to be covered.

Victim Personal Statements and Sentencing: A review of policy, operation and research by Elspeth Windsor and Julian V. Roberts (November 2020) is available here:

Sentence Reductions for Guilty Pleas: A review of policy, practice and research by Jay Gormley, Julian V. Roberts, Jonathan Bild and Lyndon Harris (December 2020) is available here:

The Effectiveness of Sentencing Options: A review of key research findings by Melissa Hamilton (January 2021) is available here:

Out of Court Disposals: A review of policy, operation and research evidence by Cerys Gibson (February 2021) is available here:

Community Orders: A review of the sanction, its use and operation and research evidence by Eoin Guilfoyle (March 2021) is available here:

Ethnicity and Custodial Sentencing: A review of the trends, 2009-2019 by Julian V. Roberts and Jonathan Bild (June 2021) is available here:

The Suspended Sentence Order in England and Wales by Eleanor Curzon and Julian V. Roberts (September 2021) is available here:

Defendants’ Understanding of Sentencing: A review of research by Jessica Goldring (November 2021) is available here:

Respect and Legitimacy at Sentencing: Current research and future priorities by Gabrielle Watson (November 2021) is available here:

Intoxication and Sentencing: A review of policy, practice and research by Carly Lightowlers (January 2022) is available here:

Pre-Sentence Reports: A review of policy, practice and research by Gwen Robinson (April 2022) is available here: