Neena Samota
programme director for criminology and sociology, St Mary's University; chair, Voice4Change England; member, Crown Prosecution Service Scrutiny panel on hate crime

Neena Samota is the programme director for criminology and sociology and for the MA human trafficking, migration and organised crime at St Mary’s University.

Trained originally in comparative politics Neena’s academic work focused on the politics of multiculturalism, communalism in India and the politics of religious fundamentalism. After leaving university in 2000, she worked as a policy and research manager at the national crime reduction charity Nacro. There, her work focused on criminal justice research, evaluation and policy development on race equality. Since 2014, Neena started teaching criminology, initially at the University of Westminster and since 2017 at St. Mary’s.

Neena’s research in relation to criminal justice has a strong legal and policy focus. As a critical criminologist she teaches on a range of subjects including policing, punishment, human rights and migration both at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Neena has authored a chapter on ‘Race, ethnicities, and the criminal justice system’ in the textbook Criminology published in 2017 by Oxford University Press. Her current and past research profile covers a range of topics: prisoner education outcomes; policing and stop and search; prisons and resettlement; probation and sentencing; women in prison; ethnic disproportionality in youth justice; disproportionate outcomes in mental health provision in criminal justice; equality impact assessments; refugee advice services. Neena has authored research and evaluation reports for the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and voluntary sector organisations. Her work also includes policy and organisational development for national infrastructure/umbrella organisations such as Clinks, Women’s Breakout, Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG), Action for Prisoners Families (APF) and Council for Somali Organisations (CSO).

Outside academia, Neena plays an active role in the voluntary sector. She chairs Voice4Change England (V4CE). As an active member of StopWatch, since it was founded in 2010, Neena campaigns for effective, accountable and fair policing. As part of the Reclaim Justice Network Neena campaigns to promote alternatives to criminal justice. In an advisory capacity, she has advised numerous government reviews and panels on race equality and criminal justice. Neena served on the Lola Young Review, gave evidence to the Lammy Review and the Home Secretary’s Policing and Diversity group. Neena is a member of the Crown Prosecution Service Scrutiny panel on hate crime for London.

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