Neena Samota

Neena teaches Criminology at St. Mary’s University where she is the Programme Director for the BSc in Criminology and Sociology and the MA in Human Trafficking, Migration and Organised Crime. Prior to joining St. Mary’s, Neena taught Criminology at the University of Westminster. As an applied, critical criminologist, Neena is interested in researching how race, gender and age intersect to better understand the lived experience and outcomes for those involved in the criminal justice process. Her teaching and research interests include human rights, justice, punishment, race, gender and youth justice. She has worked in criminal justice research, evaluation and policy development for over 15 years. Her work has involved influencing criminal justice policy on policing, prisons, youth justice and probation at both local and national levels. She has experience of working with the Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Youth Justice Board and the National Offender Management Service.

Neena maintains extensive engagement with the voluntary sector through research, governance and campaigning work. She is Chair of Voice4Change England (V4CE), a national infrastructure body supporting the black and minority ethnic voluntary and community sector. She has been a member of StopWatch since it was formed in 2010 to campaign for effective, accountable and fair policing. Neena is also a steering group member of the Reclaim Justice Network which campaigns to promote alternatives to criminal justice. Through these activities Neena remains committed to promoting and strengthening the voluntary sector because of its ability to make positive and practical contributions to civil society.

As an applied criminologist, Neena also engages on a number of advisory groups to offer expertise on stop and search, black and minority ethnic prisoners and ethnic disproportionality in the criminal justice system. She sat on the Home Secretary’s Policing and Diversity group and the PEEL Effectiveness and Legitimacy Advisory Group on policing. Neena also contributed to the recent Lammy Review. She is a member of the Young Review which seeks to improve outcomes for young black and Muslim men involved in the criminal justice system. As an independent member, Neena also sits on the London CPS Scrutiny Panel to help scrutinise the work of the CPS decision-making process in relation to hate crime cases.

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