Samantha Weston is a Senior Lecturer at Keele University. Before arriving at Keele in 2012 as a lecturer, she worked at the University of Manchester as a Research Associate. Here she was involved in a number of Home Office and Department of Health funded research projects covering various aspects of drug misuse treatment. Samantha is interested in the overarching themes of social inequality, and the exclusion, discrimination and injustice of marginalized communities. Her research can be consolidated under the overarching theme of ‘Risk Prevention’, particularly how risk prevention measures have been applied to the areas of substance misuse, but more recently this has expanded to include child sexual exploitation and ‘vulnerabilities’. She is the co-author of 'Mental Health and Offending: Care, Coercion and Control'.

Research and scholarship

Samantha's research focuses on the intersection between criminal justice and health, with a particular emphasis on how professionals implement criminal justice and health-related policy in practice settings. She is a steering group member of the British Society of Criminology's Vulnerability Research Network, which was established in 2020 and is currently working with Staffordshire Police on their Mental Health Street Triage and on the implementation of the National Vulnerability Action Plan. Samantha has drawn down funding from the ESRC (CASE studentships), central government (Home Office and Department of Health), the police and the third sector.

Samantha has supervised PGR projects on a number of topics including: military transitions, harmful sexual behaviour, and policing vulnerability.

Funded research projects have included:

  • Engage Communities - An evaluation of their Positive Futures Programme aimed at the prevention of youth crime. Value: £15k. April 2021 - July 2023
  • Staffordshire Police - An evaluation of their Mental Health Triage Service. Value: £15k. October 2020 - October 2021
  • UKRI - Enhancing Place-based Partnerships in Public Engagement Fund, with Professor Derek McGhee. Value: £39,866
  • ESRC CASE studentship - In investigation into how the police operationalise vulnerability.Police Knowledge Fund, Value: £290,541. 2015-2017
  • Stafforshire Police - An evaluation of their CSE Prevention Programme, Value: £30k.2015 - 2017
  • Re-Solv - An assessment of their community-based and schools prevention work on the use of solvents. Value: £10k. 2016-2017


Current courses:

  • Research Methods in Criminology
  • Mental Health and Offending
  • Drugs: High Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Criminology Work Placement
  • MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • MRes Social Science Research Methods


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Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734346

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