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Michelle Butler

Photo of Michelle Butler

Lecturer in Criminology
Room  2.03, 1 College Park
Tel: 0044 28 90963956
Twitter: @MichelleBQUB


B.A. (Hons) Psychology (University College Dublin)
MS.c Forensic Psychology (University of Kent at Canterbury)
PhD Criminology (University of Cambridge)


My interests include prison practices, the psychosocial dynamics involved in the occurrence of crime and how society reacts to and manages criminal behaviour. In particular, I am interested in issues such as violence, identity, shame, masculinity, youth justice, order and control in prison, prison regimes and relationships, reintegration/desistance and the management of crime. My PhD thesis was entitled “Prisoner Confrontations: The Role of Shame, Masculinity and Respect” and investigated why some prisoners were more likely to engage in prisoner-on-prisoner violence than others. I have also been involved in research projects examining the service and support needs of young people on remand, fear of crime, equality in prison, effectiveness of risk assessments and the rights of victims.


Please feel free to contact me to discuss possible research ideas. 



Introducing Criminology (CRM1001). 
Punishment, Penal Policy and Prisons (CRM3001).
Psychological Perspectives on Crime (CRM3005).

Research Interests

Identity, aggression, imprisonment, shame, masculinity, prison practices, reintegration, desistance, youth justice, fear of crime, criminological psychology, management of crime and how society reacts to criminal behaviour.

Recent Publications

Maruna, S. & Butler, M. (2013) Violence Self-Narrartives and the Hostile Attributional Bias. In D. Youngs (eds) The Behavioural Analysis of Crime: Studies in David Canter's Investigative Psychology. Aldershot: Ashgate (p27-48)

Butler, M. & Maruna, S. (2012) Discipline and Disparity: An Independent Report Prepared for the Northern Irish Prison Service. Cambridge: ARCS Ltd.

Butler, M. (2010) Behaving Aggressively: The Role of Shame in Prisoner Confrontations. In R. Jackson (eds) Psychology of Neuroticism and  Shame. New York: Nova Publications (p109-128).

Butler, M. & Cunningham, P. (2010) Fear of Crime in Ireland: Understanding its Origins and Consequences. In P. Knepper (eds) International Handbook of Victimology. Florida: Taylor & Francis Ltd (p429-457).

Butler, M. & Cunningham, P. (2009) Fear of Crime in Ireland and its Impact on Quality of Life. Dublin: The Stationary Office.

Butler, M. & Maruna, S. (2009) The Impact of Disrespect on Prisoners’ Aggression: Outcomes of Experimentally Inducing Violence Supportive Cognitions. Psychology, Crime and Law, 15 (2&3): 235-250.

Seymour, M. & Butler, M. (2008) Young People on Remand. Dublin: Office of the Minister for Children.

Butler, M. (2008) What are you looking at? Prisoner Confrontations and the Search for Respect. British Journal of Criminology, 48 (6): 856-873.

Butler, M. & Drake, D. (2007) Reconsidering Respect: Its Role in the British Prison Service. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 46(2):115-127.

Maruna, S. & Butler, M. (2005) Phenomenology. In K. Kempf-Leonard (Ed) Encyclopaedia of Social Measurement. Oxford: Elsevier.


PhD Supervison

Lauren Belshaw - Impact of state intervention on community-based restorative justice programmes.

Julie Harris - Initiations and transitions into injecting drug use and heroin use.

Sinead Meade - Exploring Prison Officer Psychology

Keira Flanagan - Impact of educational and vocational programmes on the process of desistance in imprisoned young offenders.