Staff profile

Dr Emily Gray

Senior Lecturer Criminology

Emily is standing behind a lectern.




College of Business, Law and Social Sciences

Research centre

Social, Cultural and Legal Research Centre




One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus



I began my academic career in social policy before specialising in criminology. In the early 2000's I was employed by the University of Oxford to examine the impact of 'intensive supervision' on a cohort of persistent and serious young offenders in England and Wales. It was this subject that eventually became the focus of my doctoral thesis, which sought to identify the long-term effect of the disposal as the respective cohort entered adulthood. The study combined longitudinal statistical analyses on a national data-set with biographical interviews on a discrete regional sample.

Since then my work has diversified to examine the relationship between crime, social policy, and politics. I am particularly interested in how political leadership impacts our experience and attitudes toward crime and criminal justice. These projects have led to a series of interdisciplinary academic publications, as well as two short films.

My broader work (funded by the ESRC, the Youth Justice Board, The Police Knowledge Fund) has focused on emotional responses to crime, young people and organised crime, and restorative policing.

I joined the University of Derby in 2019, after holding posts at the University of Sheffield, Keele University, and the University of Oxford. 

Teaching responsibilities

I supervise PhD candidates and postgraduate dissertations on a variety of criminological and interdisciplinary topics, as well as teaching quantitative research methods, secondary analyses, research dissemination, politics and crime and youth justice.

Professional interests

I am interested in applying longitudinal frameworks to social questions and observing the regularity of individuals’ behaviour or attitudes over time. This includes investigating the long-term (and often unintended) impact of social and criminal justice policies; exploring how people are affected by social phenomena over the life course; the process by which young people might enter and exit persistent offending, and also the course of political socialisation. 

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies


Recent publications

Farrall, S., Hay, C. and Gray, E. (2020) Exploring Political Legacies, SPERI Pivot Series, Palgrave. 

Jennings, W., Farrall, S., Gray, E, and Hay, C. (2020) ‘Moral Panics and Punctuated Equilibrium in Public Policy: an analysis of the criminal justice policy agenda in Britain’, Policy Studies Journal, 48:1. 207-234.

Grasso, M., Farrall, S., Gray, E., Hay, C. and Jennings, W. (2019) ‘Thatcher’s Children, Blair’s Babies, political socialisation and trickle-down value-change: An age, period and cohort analysis’, British Journal of Political Science, 49(1):17-36.

Grasso, M., Farrall, S., Gray, E., Hay, C. and Jennings, W. (2019) ‘Socialisation and Generational Political Trajectories: An Age, Period and Cohort Analysis of Political Participation in Britain’, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 29:2199-221.

Gray, E., Grasso, M., Farrall, S., Jennings, W. and Hay, C. (2019) ‘Political Socialization, Worry about Crime and Antisocial Behaviour: An Analysis of Age, Period and Cohort Effects’, British Journal of Criminology, 59(2):435-460.

Farrall, S., Jennings, W., Gray, E. And Hay, C. (2017) ‘Thatcherism, Crime and the Legacy of the Social and Economic Storms of the 1980s, Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 56:2.220-243.

Jennings, W., Gray, E., Farrall, S. and Hay, C. (2017) Penal Populism and the Public Thermostat: Crime, Public Punitiveness and Public Policy, Governance, 30(3):463-481.

Gray, E. (2017) ‘The ebbs and flows of anxiety. How emotional responses to crime and disorder influenced social policy in the UK into the 21st century’. In M. Lee and G.Mythen (eds) The International Handbook on the Fear of Crime. London: Routledge.