National Teaching Fellow 2012
A former Prison Governor, Professor David Wilson’s expertise is related to serious, violent crime and he is regarded as one of the country’s leading experts on murder and serial murder. He has written extensively about this phenomenon from a structural perspective, rather than from within the medical-psychological tradition, in peer review articles, academic and true crime books. His most recent book is Looking for Laura: Public Criminology and Hot News (Winchester: Waterside Press).
David’s passion for teaching instills in his undergraduate, Masters and PhD students the importance of making connections between formal academic theory and the actual practice of crime and punishment.
David maintains an active interest in all aspects of imprisonment and he is the Vice Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform, the oldest penal reform organisation in the world, which has EU and UN consultative status. He is also Vice Chair of New Bridge, which was set up in 1956 by Lord Longford to create links between prisoners and the community and he is the Chair of the Friends of Grendon, the only prison in Europe to wholly operate as a therapeutic community. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, one of the pre-eminent criminology journals in the country.
David was the Chair of the independent Commission on English Prisons Today and their report Do Better, Do Less which was published in 2009 has had a major impact on shaping recent policy on imprisonment, rehabilitation and justice reinvestment.
Given this applied and academic background, David is much in demand by the print and broadcast media, both as a commentator and as a presenter. He writes regularly in most broadsheet papers and has been interviewed on every major news outlet. David presented Banged Up for Channel 5 which was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award in 2009, and also the recent Killers Behind Bars, again for Channel 5, as well as most notably Hard Cell for Channel 4 and Crime Squad for BBC1.
Photo provided courtesy of Channel 5.
Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology
Birmingham City University