Ali Wigzell

Dr Ali Wigzell


  • Position Governing Body Fellows Junior Research Fellows
  • 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

Photograph by Hannah Lister

Art Exhibition: 'Signs for the Living'

04/02/2023 at 10.00

Visit Wolfson's latest exhibition 'Signs for the Living' featuring work by Hannah Lister, winner of this year's Wolfson Royal Academy Schools Graduate prize.


Lent Term College Service

07/02/2023 at 18.15

Wolfson's termly College Service led by our ecumenical Chaplaincy Team.

Old photograph album in the foreground; basket of old documents in the background

WolfWorks - Research data management for your dissertation or thesis

11/02/2023 at 10.00

A hands-on session to help you manage your data - whether copies of archival documents, interview transcripts, code or physical samples.

Photograph by Hannah Lister

Hannah Lister: Signs for the Living Exhibition Opening Event

14/02/2023 at 17.30

We warmly invite you to the opening night of Wolfson’s new exhibition: Hannah Lister - Signs for the Living.