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Michelle Butler

Dr. Michelle Butler - Queen's University Belfast Research Portal - Research Directory & Institutional Repository for QUB
Michelle Butler

Direct phone: +44 (0)28 9097 3956

For media contact email
or call +44(0)2890 973091.


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, remand, fear of crime, criminological psychology, management of crime and how society reacts to criminal behaviour.

Research Statement

My interests include criminological psychology and prison practices. This involves understanding why people engage in crime, how society reacts to and manages criminal behaviour and how individuals began to leave behind a criminal career. In particular, I am interested in issues such as violence, identity, shame, masculinity, youth justice, remand, order and control in prison, prison regimes and relationships as well as reintegration/desistance. 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. 


Current PhD Students

Julie Harris – Initiations and Transitions into Injecting Drug Use and Heroin Use.

Lauren Belshaw – The Impact of State Intervention on the Work of Community-Based Restorative Justice Projects in Northern Ireland.

Sinead Meade – Exploring Irish Prison Officer Psychology and its Effect on Organisational Outcomes in the Irish Prison Service.

Keira Flanagan - Effect of Educational and Vociation Programmes on the Desistance Process in Imprisoned Young People.

Aimee Muirhead - Behind Closed Doors: A Microsociology of Cell-sharing and Coping in Prison.

Shane Bell - Doing Desistance in Divided Communities: The Role of Conflict Affected Communities.



BA (Hons) Psychology, University College Dublin.
MSc in Forensic Psychology, University of Kent at Canterbury.
PhD in Criminology, University of Cambridge.
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Educational Teaching, Queen's University Belfast


Frequent Journals

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Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

ID: 53364