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Early Career Academics Network


The Howard League for Penal Reform’s early career academics network is an internet based network to help you keep in touch with each other, provide a regular channel of communication and information about research and promote closer working and an interface between academics and campaigners. You can link up with other ECAN members through our Facebook group.

The network members’ pages will aim to develop debate, include articles, letters and opinion pieces. There are also periodic events aimed at ECAN members.

You can register to join ECAN here.

Upcoming opportunities

We are pleased to announce two new opportunities to get involved with ECAN.

Early career RAG members

We are recruiting three early career Research Advisory Group members. You can find the job description and application information here. Please send your application to the Howard League’s Research Director, Anita Dockley ( by Monday 13 December. Candidates will be shortlisted and asked to attend a short interview in early January 2022 (date TBC).

2022 themed issue- Reuniting Probation

We are seeking abstracts for articles to appear in the ECAN bulletin themed issue: Reuniting Probation, guest edited by Professor Lol Burke. You can find the call for papers here. The deadline for abstracts is 7 January 2022 and the bulletin will be published in March 2022.

ECAN themed issue: 2020 – a year of crisis or Kairos

In March 2021, we published a themed double issue of the Howard League ECAN Bulletin.

Contributors were encouraged to reflect on 2020 – a year of crisis, and possibly of Kairos. A year in which novel issues have emerged, while other long-standing issues have re-emerged into public consciousness. COVID-19 has caused widespread death and ill health, forced dramatic changes to working practices, and concerns about ongoing wellbeing – not least in relation to those subject to, working within, or otherwise affected by the criminal justice system and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. At the same time, police brutality resulting in several deaths in the US once again highlighted systemic injustice and inequality and provoked widespread and vital self-reflection when thinking about race and privilege. This also inspired worldwide and consequential demonstrations. Structural inequalities have been laid bare by violence and injustice in the criminal justice system. Recognition of a global climate crisis rumbles on in the background. No one issue stands alone.

Contributors include early career academics, practitioners and people affected directly by criminal justice institutions. Written pieces are complemented by audio contributions.

You can find further details about this edition, and the submission process here. You can read part one and part two in our bulletin archive.

We plan to hold an event based around the themes raised in this themed double issue later in the Spring and will communicate details in due course.

ECAN members

The network is intended for academics in their first post or post graduate students aiming for academic or research post.  Anyone working in fields related to criminology, social policy, law, humanities or research interests related to these areas can join the network.

‘The Howard League’s Early Career Academic Network has provided me with a user-friendly and convenient way to develop my research ideas. I always find it constructive to explore other academics’ research interests to reflect and create my unique approach to research. The opportunity that ECAN provides for networking is invaluable, and usually one of the best ways to create opportunities is through meeting others. I will continue to use, and recommend the use of ECAN to others throughout my doctoral research and further into the development of my career as a social researcher.’ Claire de Motte, Nottingham Trent University

Members’ e-bulletin

All members will receive an e-bulletin three times a year providing information about policy developments, resources and campaigns.

ECAN Bulletin Issue 49, November 2021 

In this issue you will find:

  • How the criminal law has developed to reflect young adult immaturity in sentencing
    Molly Corlett, the Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Young people and online harms: Expanding digital safety educational interventions
    Emily Setty, University of Surrey
  • Sentencing explanations provided via judicial remarks made within the English magistrates’ youth court: Towards a better global understanding
  • Max Lowenstein, University of Bournemouth
  • Maternal imprisonment: An excessive price to pay?
    Sophie Mitchell, Northumbria University
  • Collaboration in conducting research: reflections on a mixed methods online data collection study with sentencers pertaining to their knowledge and experiences of sentencing those with gambling problems committed crimes
    Sarah Page et al, the University of Staffordshire

Previous bulletins can be found here.

Join the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Early Career Academics Network

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