Ali Wigzell

Dr Ali Wigzell


  • Position Fellow Junior Research Fellow
  • Subject areas Criminology
  • School Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department Institute of Criminology
  • Email
  • Department link Institute of Criminology
  • Phone number 01223 767 276

Ali is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Criminology. Her research focuses on the emotional and ethical dimensions of youth justice intervention, with a particular interest in the place and effects of ‘professional love’ in such contexts.

Ali Wigzell

Ali completed her PhD at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge in 2020. Her PhD examined children’s and practitioners’ experiences and perceptions of court-ordered youth offending service supervision. Following her PhD, Ali became an Affiliated Lecturer at the Institute of Criminology, teaching and supervising undergraduate and graduate students. In October 2021, Ali began a three-year Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Criminology, which is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and Isaac Newton Trust.

Prior to and alongside her PhD, Ali worked as a Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer at the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR), Birkbeck, University of London. She remains an Associate Research Fellow there. Before joining the ICPR, Ali was a Senior Researcher at the Westminster think-tank the Centre for Social Justice.

In January 2021, Ali became Book Review Editor at the international journal Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Ali’s research interests include youth justice, the professional relationship, community supervision, and desistance from offending.  Ali’s current research project examines the contours of care and its ethical dimensions in the youth justice (child–worker) professional relationship, through an ethnographic and participatory approach. A particular interest is in the place and nature of professional love and ‘mutuality in caring’ in such relations, topics that have received scarce attention in the criminal justice literature but are emerging areas of scholarship across youth work, social work and psychotherapy.

The study will employ care ethics, a strand of moral philosophy, which prioritises caring relations and an appreciation of context in decision-making, but simultaneously advocates the ‘moral scrutiny’ and evaluation of ‘care’. In applying the lens of care ethics to youth justice for the first time, Ali hopes to deepen understanding of caring relations, their ethical complexities and effects in this involuntary context. In doing so, the project intends to deepen insight into the moral terrain of the youth justice realm, and the relationship between care, well-being and desistance.

In line with her interests, Ali is currently a Trustee of charity the National Association for Youth Justice and an Advisory Board Member of charity, Peer Power UK. She chaired the Standing Committee for Youth Justice (now the Alliance for Youth Justice) from 2016-2019, and remains an alliance member.

What's on

Professor Helle Porsdam

Humanities Society: Science as a Cultural Human Right

24/05/2022 at 17.45

Join Professor Helle Porsdam for an evening talk which focuses on the right to science – a little known but potentially powerful human right.

Ellie Bladon, PhD student in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Science Society: Parental care: an evolutionary case of “use it or lose it”

27/05/2022 at 17.45

Phenotypic plasticity enables animals to flexibly adjust their behaviour to their social environment – sometimes through the expression of adaptive traits that have not been exhibited for several generations. The ability to revive these ‘ghosts of adaptations past’ could prove beneficial for populations living in a changing world.

Decorative image.

Working on Your Dissertation

28/05/2022 at 10.00

This workshop will cover several aspects of formatting and proofreading a dissertation.

Kill or Cure poster

Art exhibition: 'Kill or Cure'

28/05/2022 at 10.00

Lethal or life-giving? Wolfson's exciting contemporary art exhibition explores the potential of animals, plants, and substances from the natural world to ‘Kill’ and/or ‘Cure’ (open to the public Saturday and Sundays, 10am - 5pm).

Daniel Phillips playing violin and Victor Wang playing Piano

Music Society Lunchtime Concert: Daniel Phillips & Victor Wang

28/05/2022 at 13.30

Join us live in the Lee Hall for an hour-long lunchtime concert of violin and piano, performed by Daniel Phillips and Victor Wang.