Research Team


Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Sidgwick Ave, Cambridge CB3 9DA

Prof. Loraine gelsthorpe

Loraine Gelsthorpe is Director and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.  She is also a Fellow at Pembroke College.  In addition to the above roles, Loraine sits on various University Committees including the General Board Education Committee and the Board of Graduate Studies (from 1 October 2020, the BGS will be replaced by the University Post-Graduate Research Committee, and Loraine will be Chair of this committee). Loraine has wide interests in the links between criminal justice and social justice, looking at race, gender and social exclusion, women and sentencing, and women, crime and criminal justice more generally.  Her research includes a focus on the effectiveness of youth and community penalties and on pre-sentence reports.  She also has a strong interest in research methodologies and research ethics; human trafficking and the criminalisation of migrants.

Loraine has lived in Cambridge since the early 1980’s when she came to do an MPhil in Criminology, though the call of a PhD was stronger than a return to a social work career.  After the PhD she had a number of post-doc appointments at Lancaster, UCNW (Bangor) and at the LSE, which involved work with the Metropolitan Police and London boroughs on diversion from prosecution; men’s prisons in the Midlands; and race and gender issues in pre-sentence reports respectively.  She began working for the University of Cambridge in 1991.  Professor Gelsthorpe sits on various government Advisory Committees (including HM Chief Inspector of Probation’s Advisory Committee) and is one of two Deputy Chairs of the 2021 REF exercise (Social Policy/Social Work sub-panel 20).  She was President of the British Society of Criminology 2011 – 2015.  With Professor Michele Burman (University of Glasgow) she chairs the European Society of Criminology’s Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice Working Group.

Professor Gelsthorpe is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was an 11+ failure and increasingly sees a need to speak out about this – to encourage others whose own routes in higher education may not be traditional. Loraine is a psychoanalytical psychotherapist in her ‘spare time’, and a trustee of Pembroke House, a community centre in Walworth, South London.