School of Law

Contact Details

Dr Richard Peake

Lecturer in Criminology & Criminal Justice and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Following a 23 year career as an Intelligence Officer in the RAF, I attended Hull University from 1999, where I was awarded a BA (Hons) in Social Policy and Criminology (first class) and completed a PhD in 2008.

During this time, I taught at the Universities of Hull and Sunderland and took up my current post at Leeds in 2006. I worked as a research officer at Cardiff University in 2004, studying prisoner resettlement.

Research Interests

My research interests are in the prison system, particularly long-term prisoners and the private sector. 

I am one of the founding members of the new Centre for Innovation & Research in Legal Education (CIRLE) within the School of Law, which seeks to improve education in law, criminology and criminal justice.  I am currently researching how the transition from college to university can be improved for students who come to study at degree level from non-traditional A-level routes.


I teach Crime, Inequality and Social Issues in year one, which introduces students to the link between inequalities, social exclusion and crime.  At level two, I deliver Youth Crime and Justice and at level three Penology and Contemporary Imprisonment.

I also deliver a crime module at level zero, a foundation year for aspiring students in preparation for degree level study and an important part of the university's Widening Participation strategy.

Key Publications


  • Peake R, Clancy A, Hudson K, Maguire M, Raynor P, Vanstone M, Kynch J, Getting Out and Staying Out Results of the Prisoner Resettlement Pathfinders, Researching Criminal Justice series (Policy Press, 2006)

    Short-term prisoners have exceptionally high reconviction rates, fuelled by major social problems. Growing recognition of this, and of deficiencies in prison-probation coordination, has accelerated 'resettlement' of ex-prisoners up the penal agenda. The 'Resettlement Pathfinders' tested several new partnership-based approaches. This report evaluates three probation-led projects which combined practical assistance with interventions to improve motivation and capacity to change. Their key feature was the delivery of a cognitive-motivational programme ('FOR - A Change') specially designed for short-termers. The study found this produced significant changes in attitude, as well as greater 'continuity' (voluntary post-release contact between offenders and project staff) than previous approaches. It also found evidence of association between continuity and reduced reconviction. Overall, the findings support resettlement strategies based on fostering and nurturing offenders' motivation to change, facilitating access to services, and 'through the gate' contact with staff or volunteers with whom a relationship has already been built. The research offers findings and insights of practical value to probation and prison officers, as well as staff of other agencies that work with prisoners and ex-prisoners. The report should also be read by penal policy-makers, criminology/criminal justice academics and students, and those engaged in staff training.

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