Dr Emma Burtt

Emma Burtt

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Lecturer in Women, Crime and Criminology

Emma is a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Birmingham. Her first book, entitled The Lived Experiences of Claiming Wrongful Conviction in Prison, will be published by Routledge Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2023.   

Emma’s research interests include wrongful conviction, the maintenance of innocence and the sociology of prison life. She draws on material from a range of disciplines, including criminology, sociology, law and psychology.


  • DPhil in Criminology, University of Oxford (2019)
  • MPhil in Criminological Research, University of Cambridge (2013)
  • LLB in Law, University of Bristol (2012)


  • Criminological Theory II
  • Punishment in a Global Context
  • Social Research I

Postgraduate supervision

Emma is interested in supervising doctoral students with an interest in wrongful conviction / miscarriages of justice, prisons and prison life.


Research interests

Emma is interested in the areas of wrongful conviction and the sociology of prison life.

Her doctoral work focussed on the maintenance of innocence within the prison. Based on the written accounts of sixty-four participants, she examined the coping mechanisms of prisoners in this situation, in addition to the relationships they formed and maintained with family, staff and other prisoners. A large part of the project involved examining the disparity between official guidance on how to progress these prisoners and the perceived difficulties that they had in practice.


Burtt, E. (forthcoming), ‘The Lived Experiences of Claiming Wrongful Conviction in Prison’, Routledge.

Burtt, E. (forthcoming), ‘Pressure, Risk, and Progression: Institutional Consequences of Maintaining Innocence in Prison’, Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Burtt, E.(2020), ‘When Access is Denied: Conducting an Interview Through Letter Writing’, Qualitative Research, doi:/10.1177/1468794120936123.

View all publications in research portal