Dr Kate Gooch

Dr Kate Gooch

Birmingham Law School

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 5659
+44 (0)121 414 3585
Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Kate Gooch is primarily interested in criminal law, criminal justice, child law and penology. Building upon her experience of working with young people in local authority care and the criminal justice system, her research is focused on the key issues concerning children and young people in the criminal justice system. To date, her work has focused on children's rights, physical restraint, gang injunctions, children in police detention and child imprisonment. Kate has considerable expertise in empirical research, particularly in ethnographic and qualitative research. She is currently undertaking a large prison ethnographic project concerning prison violence and bullying as well as a project that focuses on the legal and experiential issues facing child suspects in police detention.


  • LLB (Birmingham)
  • LLM(Birmingham)
  • PhD (Birmingham)


Kate Gooch graduated from the University of Birmingham with an LLB in Law and went on to complete a Masters degree in Criminal law and Criminal Justice. Throughout this time, Kate worked for CARE Remand Fostering Service and NACRO, working with young people in local authority care and those who were ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEET). In 2006, she returned to Birmingham Law School as a postgraduate teaching assistant and PhD candidate. During her postgraduate studies and whilst employed by Birmingham Youth Offending Service, she also worked with young people who were at risk of, or actually engaging in, crime and anti-social behaviour with particular responsibilities for child protection. In 2010, Kate became a Teaching Fellow before being appointed as a Lecturer in September 2011.


  • Criminal Law (LLB)
  • Youth Crime and Youth Justice (LLB) (Module leader)
  • Prison Studies (LLM) (Module leader)
  • Restorative Justice (LLM)
  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice (LLM)

Postgraduate supervision

Kate Gooch is happy to supervise postgraduate research students interested in the following areas:

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Justice
  • Imprisonment
  • Youth Justice
  • Child Protection

Potential students are invited to contact Dr Gooch via email to discuss their research proposals prior to submitting official applications.


Kate Gooch’s main research interests are criminal law, criminal justice and youth justice. Her doctoral research focused on the experience of imprisonment for teenage boys (aged 15-18 years old) and draws upon empirical prison research to explore coping strategies, victimisation and the use of disciplinary measures within a young offender institution. She is currently conducting prison ethnographic research, which focuses on the nature and prevalence of violence and bullying amongst young men in prison (aged 18-21 years old). Kate is also undertaking research regarding the experiences of child suspects in police detention.

Other activities

  • Director of Admissions
  • Member of the Standing Committee on Youth Justice (2014-)
  • Editorial Board for the Prison Service Journal (2014-)
  • Associate Editor of Law, Crime, Justice and Society Journal (2014-)
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Ethics Review Committee, University of Birmingham

Grant income:

  • North America Travel Fund (£2,600). Awarded in January 2015 to support a visit to Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
  • ESRC Impact Acceleration Urgency Fund  (£3,500). Awarded in December 2014 to maximise impact opportunities at a national and regional level, host knowledge exchange events and undertake follow up research.
  • University of Birmingham Special Fund (£2,000). Awarded in July 2013 to host a knowledge exchange event and undertake an empirical pilot study. (with Dr James Treadwell)
  • North America Travel Fund (£1,500). Awarded in August 2012 to facilitate the presentation of a conference paper at the American Society of Criminology Conference and associated networking opportunities.

Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement

  • Organiser of ‘Young Prisoners’ conference at University of Birmingham (2014)
  • Co-organiser of ‘Rehabilitation Revolution?’ conference at The Bond, Birmingham (2014) (with Dr Lindsey Appleyard)
  • Co-organiser of ‘Religion, Gangs, Community and Youth Detention’ colloquium (2013) (with Dr James Treadwell)


  • 'Staff trauma in youth justice: Experiences and responses from England and Australia' In: Reeves, C (ed) Experiencing Imprisonment (Routledge, in press) (with Dr Patricia McNamara)
  • ‘Who needs Restraining? Re-examining the Use of Restraint in an English Young Offender Institution’ (2015) 37(1) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 3
  • ‘Restraint’ in P Taylor et al (eds), Companion to Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk (Policy Press 2014)
  • ‘Treating 17 year olds in Police Custody as Children, not Adults’ (2013) 77(4) Journal of Criminal Law 281
  • ‘“Twisted Up”: Assessing the future of physical restraint in young offender institutions’ (2009) 183 Prison Service Journal 13

Stakeholder Reports

  • Bullying amongst Young Men in Prison (for NOMS and HM Prison Service)
  • Minimising and Managing Physical Restraint (for NTRG and YJB)

Consultation Responses

  • Transforming Youth Custody: Putting Education at the Heart of Detention