Lecturer of Law and Criminology
School of Humanities - Law and Criminal Justice - Research Staff Forum
C213 (Telephone: 051-302265) Convent Building
Dr Geraldine Cleere is a lecturer in Law and Criminology at South East Technological University where she is also Programme Director of the B.A. (Hons) in Criminal Justice. She lectures modules in Prison Law, Criminal Law, Custodial Care, Human Rights and Research Methodology, among other subjects. Having completed her undergraduate degree in Law and Business, she studied an LL.B in Law and an LL.M in Law as a postgraduate in University College, Cork. Following on from this she carried out a PhD in the area of Criminology, from which she graduated in 2014.
Dr. Cleere has recently been appointed as a member of the UNESCO Chair of Applied Research on Education in Prisons Scientific Committee which acts in an advisory capacity to the Chair on current research developments and best practices in education in prisons. She is also an active member of the European Society of Criminology’s Working Group on Prison Life and the Effects of Imprisonment and the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development (ACJRD) Working Group on Education and the ACJRD Working Group on Rehabilitation.
Her recent book Prison Education and Desistance: Changing Perspectives (2021) presents her work with prisoners and ex-prisoners in Irish prisons that examined the impact of prison education on their efforts to rehabilitate and desist from crime, including the effect that undertaking education can have on increasing the prisoners levels of social capital, agency and social bonds.
In addition to lecturing at WIT, Dr. Cleere is currently supervising a PhD student who is examining the relationships between legal rights awareness among prisoners in Ireland and prisoners perceptions of the legitimacy of their sentences. She has also just been awarded a WIT PhD/Co-Fund Scholarship to recruit a Masters student to examine the impact of the establishment of a pilot Local Community Safety Partnership programme in Waterford, which replaced the previous Joint Policing Committee, with a view to taking a multi-agency approach to promoting community safety.
Geraldine is also a member of the WIT Academic Council, the Academic Quality Committee and the Academic Appeal Committee. Furthermore, she is the current external examiner for modules in law and criminal justice at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
In terms of her wider links to community and practice in the area of criminology, prisons, education and desistance, in 2016 she was part of a team of three WIT staff who successfully submitted and won a multi-million euro tender to develop and deliver a 2 year training programme for new Irish Prison Service Recruit prison officers. Since 2017 she has delivered modules on that programme on law, policy and practice in custodial care, criminology and penology. She also spent several years as a director for U-Casadh Waterford, an organisation supported by the Irish Probation Service that works to support ex-prisoners during their period of community reintegration and support their desistance from further criminal offending. As part of this role she and the other board members were recipients of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Social Impact Award 2016 and the Kilkenny Person of the Year Award (Community Impact category) 2016.
Dr. Cleere is an international expert in the field of prison education, with her PhD research deemed a ‘significant paradigm shift’. This research grounded her 2021 book, ‘Prison Education and Desistance: Changing Perspectives’ published by Routledge. In 2020 she was invited to join the UNESCO Chair for Applied Research on Education in Prisons Scientific Committee, a board of international experts in prison education that act in an advisory capacity to the Chair on contemporary research and best practice in the area. In 2017 she was awarded a University of Cambridge ‘Rising Star in Criminology’ bursary to support participation in their Learning Together programme. She is routinely invited to give guest lectures and talks, including the Liam Minihan Memorial Lecture. She also regularly reviews book proposals for the Routledge Criminology series and has recently been invited to write a book on ‘Prison Segregation’ for their Criminal Justice Series.
In 2014 she completed a doctoral thesis entitled ‘Prison Education, Social Capital and Desistance: An exploration of prisoners’ experiences in Ireland’, examined by Dr. Kevin Warner and Prof. Fergus McNeill. This research examined prison education in Ireland and found connections between prison education and desistance from criminal offending. Furthermore the research also measure social capital levels of prisoners for the first time and showed that prisoners were aware of a distinct ‘ecology’ within the prison, its own type of society with rules and norms which gave rise to a type of ‘prison-based social capital’.
In 2014 she was invited to deliver the Liam Minihan Memorial Lecture in Dublin, an annual lecture organised by the IPEA focusing on Prison Education related research on foot of her research. She delivered her first keynote at the King's College London, Center for Education in the Criminal Justice System Conference in July 2015.
She is an active member of the Crime and Justice Research Group at South East Technological University which brings together researchers in the areas of Law, Criminology, Sociology and Psychology.
Her main research interests are prison education, desistance, the sociology of the prison, prison-based social capital, legal rights of prisoners and legal rights awareness among prisoners.
Social capital and Prison-based social capital
Legal rights awareness among minority groups
Dr. Geraldine Cleere lecturers in Law and Criminology at South East Technological University, Ireland. In particular, she teaches Prison Law, Criminal Law, Criminology, Human Rights Law, Child Protection Law, Research Methodology, among other subjects. She also lectures modules in Custodial Care, Criminology and Penology on the Higher Certificate in Custodial Care delivered to Irish Prison Service recruit prison officers.
She is currently leading the development of a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, a Level 9 taught postgraduate degree in the area of criminal justice that is aimed at recent graduates of criminal justice and related degrees and practicioners working within the criminal justice sector. In the past she also led the developed the B.A. (Hons) in Applied Criminal Justice Studies and has been a key member of the devleopment team of the Higher Certificate in Custodial Care and the LL.M. of Law, both at South East Technological University.
She also played a leading role in the development and delivery of the Peer-2-Peer mentoring programme Special Purpose Award in Senior Mentoring. The Peer-2-Peer mentoring is a Student Life And Learning initative that trains current students to mentor the incoming first year students each year with a view to integration and retention of new students. This programme was further expanded in 2018 to include a Special Purpose Award in Senior Mentoring that could be undertaken by final year students who had previous experience volunteering with the initiative. She is the academic lead on this programme for the School of Humanites and delivers this unique programme to students within the School each year.
As part of her role as programme leader she organises various talks and workshops for students such as careers talks by various professionals and academic talks related to course material. One such talk was the 'Covid and Irish Prisons' talk which was held in March 2021 and featured Governor Eddie Mullins of Mountjoy Prison who spoke about the efforts of hte prison service to successfully keep Irish prisons Covid-free for the first year of the pandemic.
She is also currently supervising two postgraduate students.
Membership of Professional Bodies:
UNESCO Chair of Applied Research on Education in Prisons Scientific Committee member
Co-founding member of ACJRD Working Group on Education
Co-founding member of ACJRD Working Group on Rehabilitation
Co-founding member of the Prison Education Network (Europe)
Member of European Society of Criminology’s Working Group on Prison Life and the Effects of Imprisonment
Member of Irish Penal Reform Trust
Member of Irish Prison Education Association
Member of the European Prison Education Association (Europe)
Member of the Correctional Education Association (United States)
Member of the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development (Ireland)
Member of a European-wide research group developing collaborative research into prison education across Europe.