Dr Doolin’s main areas of research are criminal law, criminal justice and criminology. She has particular expertise in the theory and practice of restorative justice as a response to offending. She has published in this area on a number of issues including definitional aspects of restorative justice, restorative justice for young offenders in England and Wales, family group conferences in New Zealand, and the concept of ‘community’ within restorative justice. She has given papers on restorative justice at international conferences and seminars, most recently in Leuven (with British Academy funding), Bilbao (with Society of Legal Scholars funding), Birmingham and Kent. She has considerable experience of restorative justice projects having worked as a researcher on Home Office and Youth Justice Board funded evaluations prior to taking up the lectureship at the University of Birmingham. She is the co-author of An Exploratory Evaluation of Restorative Justice Schemes, Crime Reduction Series 9 (Home Office, 2001) (with Miers, Maguire et al), which has been widely cited in literature on restorative justice.
During August-September 2008 and February 2009, Dr Doolin was a Visiting Scholar at the Leuven Institute of Criminology, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, funded by a British Academy grant. The Institute is a leading research institute in the field of restorative justice and houses the secretariat of the European Forum for Restorative Justice, of which Dr Doolin is a member. The purpose of the research was to compare and contrast the use of restorative responses to juvenile offending in Belgium with those used in New Zealand, and England and Wales. This is part of an ongoing larger project which compares the application of restorative values in selected civil and common law jurisdictions. She is currently engaged in research that examines the Coalition Government’s proposals for restorative justice in England and Wales, in particular Neighbourhood Resolution Panels and responses to youth offending.
Dr Doolin is a member of the Birmingham Community and Criminal Justice Group at the University of Birmingham. She is contributing editor (with Child, Raine and Beech) of their inaugural publication Whose Criminal Justice? State or Community? (Waterside Press, 2011). Drawing on the different disciplines of law, criminology, forensic psychology, social work and public management, the collection of papers explores the shifts and progress made in criminal justice in England and Wales over the past two decades and highlights the possibilities and pitfalls under the current Coalition Government.