Professor Neal Hazel

Neal has delivered more than 40 funded research projects, specialising in turning complex problems into policy and practice solutions for governmental and third sector organisations.  Much his research has focused on youth crime and justice, including the national evaluation of the main custodial order for children (for the Youth Justice Board [YJB]), the first study of children’s experiences throughout the criminal justice system (ESRC), and two cross-national comparisons of youth justice systems (Scottish Government, YJB].   His recent research on supporting young people leaving prison (, with Nacro) developed a model for practice that has since been adopted into government policy and national standards (as ‘Constructive Resettlement’).

Neal’s research on family support includes the first national study of the impact of poverty and disadvantage on parenting in Britain (Department of Health).  He also conducted Britain’s first national study of parental discipline (ESRC), which led to a NSPCC campaign against the physical punishment of children.

He has previously held posts as Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Director of the Centre for Social Research at the university.  In January 2018, Neal was appointed by the Secretary of State for Justice to the Youth Justice Board (YJB), which is responsible for overseeing the youth justice system across England and Wales.  He is also former HM Deputy Chief Inspector of Probation for England and Wales.

Postgraduate Research Supervision Interests

Topic areas of interest for supervision include:

Youth crime, youth justice, prisons and resettlement (reentry), probation, family support, family poverty, family violence, children’s rights, probation, identity, desistance, children and young people, criminal justice.

Find out more about my work

Open Access:



Criminal justice, Criminology, Children and Youth, Sociology, social policy, Family Support, Family Discipline, Youth Justice