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Paul Biddle

Research Fellow

Department: Social Sciences

I am a Research Fellow in the Department of Social Sciences with research and teaching responsibilities. I have undertaken research and evaluation projects across a range of areas including children’s services, equality & diversity, culture & heritage, housing & homelessness, supported employment and welfare reform.  More recently, my research and publications have focused on offender-health, particularly mental health experiences, policy and practice in prisons. I am currently a member of a cross-faculty team researching the development and impact of a specialist prison mental health unit. I have taught on several modules including Prisons & Punishment and Research Methods and have been Module Leader for Explaining Crime since 2018. Prior to joining Northumbria University, in 2004, I was a researcher at Barnardo’s, evaluating several Sure Start Programmes. Before that (2001-2) I was a researcher at the Sustainable Cities Research Institute where I evaluated a partnership working initiative at a local authority.

Paul Biddle

Campus Address

Dept of Social Sciences, Northumbria University
Lipman Building
Newcastle upon Tyne

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My broad research interests are criminal justice, crime and punishment, with a particular focus on domestic abuse, older prisoners and mental health services in prisons and the wider criminal justice system. Reflecting this interest, I have undertaken research and published (jointly with university colleagues) on domestic abuse, prison healthcare pathways, Street Triage, criminal justice liaison & diversion services and mental health services for those in prison and those in contact with the wider criminal justice system.

I am particularly interested in sharing research findings with other academics and those commissioning, delivering and using services in order to contribute to debates and improve services. Reflecting this commitment, from 2015-19, I successfully bid to the ESRCs Festival of Social Sciences, receiving grants to organise four dissemination events focused on policing mental health, older prisoners, domestic abuse and mental health in prisons, where research findings were shared with practitioners, academics and commissioners.

I recently completed a research project with two colleagues in Northumbria Law School (Lyndsey Bengtsson and Aaron Amankwaa) exploring the delivery and impact of Out of Court Disposals. The project resulted in our jointly writing a book chapter that will be included in the forthcoming book ‘An Introduction to Criminology’ and the submission of a jointly written article ‘Conditional cautions are effective in tackling the root cause of recidivism: a preliminary study’.

I am currently part of a team of Northumbria staff, drawn from Social Sciences, Geography & Environmental Sciences and Health & Life Sciences, researching the development and impact of a specialist mental health unit in an English prison.  My role has been to develop, implement and analyse results from a specially developed data capture tool to identify prisoner needs, interventions and outcomes achieved.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • The Development of a Prison Mental Health Unit in England: Understanding Realist Context(s)., Dyer, W., Cassidy, K., Ridley, L., Biddle, P., McClelland, N., Brandon, T. 3 Apr 2021, In: International Journal of Forensic Mental Health
  • Understanding the status of evidence in policing research: reflections from a study of policing domestic abuse, Davies, P., Rowe, M., Brown, D., Biddle, P. 3 Jul 2021, In: Policing and Society
  • Making space for mental health care within the penal estate, Cassidy, K., Dyer, W., Biddle, P., Brandon, T., McClelland, N., Ridley, L. 1 Mar 2020, In: Health and Place
  • Out of Court Disposals and Diversion, Biddle, P., Bengtsson, L., Amankwaa, A. 9 Mar 2020, An introduction to criminology, London, SAGE
  • Pathways through Trusteeship: Responding to the Trustee Recruitment Crisis, Daly, S., Slack, R., Brandon, T., Biddle, P. 1 May 2020, In: International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
  • Dynamics of precarity among ‘new migrants’: exploring the worker-capital relation through mobilities and mobility power, Vickers, T., Clayton, J., Davison , H., Hudson, L., Cañadas, M., Biddle, P., Lilley, S. 3 Sep 2019, In: Mobilities
  • Implementing a perpetrator-focused partnership approach to tackling domestic abuse: The opportunities and challenges of criminal justice localism, Davies, P., Biddle, P. 1 Sep 2018, In: Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • ‘In whom we trust?’: the experiences of trustees in learning disability charities, Daly, S., Biddle, P., Brandon, T., Slack, R. Dec 2018, In: Voluntary Sector Review
  • Reflections on a Project to Prevent Suicide and Self-Harm among Prisoners Identified as High Risk in Two Prisons in Northern England, Biddle, P., Dyer, W., Hand, R., Strinati, C. 3 Dec 2018, In: Health and Justice

Professional Activity


  • Research Methods MA (Hons) June 30 1998
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice PG CAP 2019

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