Dr Ella Holdsworth LLB, MA, PhD

Dr Ella Holdsworth

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Ella Holdsworth is a research fellow in the Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology. She is currently part of the Trauma, Social Harm and Health research team, working on a study which seeking validate the Women’s Risk Need Assessment for use with criminalised women in England and Wales.

Her research focuses on experiences of the criminal justice process and community sentences specifically, and the impact of gender and diversity on these experiences. 


  • PhD (2020) in Criminology, University of Leeds
  • MA (2005) in Criminology, University of Leeds
  • LLB (2004) in Law, University of Leeds


Ella was awarded her PhD at the School of Law, University of Leeds in 2020. Her thesis explored women’s experiences of electronically monitored curfews which were imposed as a community sentence.

Ella has also undertaken a number of research posts. These include research associate on a project which explored police responses to child to parent violence (2019-20) and a European comparative project on the use of electronic monitoring on five EU Member States (2015-16).

Ella also has extensive experience of teaching in a higher education setting, having previously taught the areas of the criminal justice system, crime theory and concepts, penology and research methods and ethics. 


Research interests

  • Criminalised women
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Uses of technology within criminal justice
  • Criminal justice responses to domestic violence
  • Community sentences
  • Probation practice 

Current projects

Trauma, Social Harm and Health in Criminal Justice Involved Women: The Women’s Risk Needs Assessment Validation Research Study 


Holdsworth, E. (2020) “The Criminalisation of Poverty: A Focus on Women” Blog Post for the Women/Theatre/Justice research group. Available here: https://womentheatrejustice.org/research/research-blog/the-criminalisation-of-poverty/ (Date accessed: 12.5.21)

Hucklesby, A. and Holdsworth, E. (2020) “Creative and Effective Uses of Electronic Monitoring in Probation Practice” Manchester: HM Inspectorate of Probation. Available here:  https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2020/12/Academic-Insights-Hucklesby-and-Holdsworth-FINAL-1.pdf (Date accessed: 12.5.21)

Lewis, S., Holdsworth, E. and Pina-Sanchez, J. (2020) ‘Developing the Police Response to Child to Parent Violence, School of Law: University of Leeds. Available here: https://n8prp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/4-page-report-template-LEWIS_NOVEMBER2020_FINAL.pdf (Last accessed 12.5.21) 

Holdsworth, E (2017) “Researching women’s experiences of electronic monitoring” in Wincup, E. (ed.) Criminological Research: Understanding Qualitative Methods (2nd edn.) London: Sage. pp147-156.

Hucklesby, A. and Holdsworth, E. (2016). Electronic monitoring in England and Wales. Leeds: Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds. Available at: https://emeu.leeds.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/87/2016/06/EMEU-EM-in-England-and-Wales_Briefing-report.pdf (Last accessed 12.5.21) 

Hucklesby, A. and Holdsworth, E. (2016) “Electronic monitoring in England and Wales”, The Magistrate, pp16-18. 

Holdsworth, E. (2015). Feminist approaches to interviewing: Women's experiences of electronic monitoring. In SAGE Research Methods Cases. https://dx.doi.org/10.4135/978144627305014558246 (Last accessed 12.5.21) 

Holdsworth, E. and Hucklesby, A. (2014) “Designed for men, but also worn by women”, Criminal Justice Matters, 95(1) pp14-15.