Dr Gisella Hanley Santos

Dr Gisella Hanley Santos

Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

School of Law, Criminology and Government (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)


Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice 

Programme lead for CCJS / PCJS


2015 - Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, University of Plymouth

2003 - PhD Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles 

1997 - MA Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles 

1993 -  BSc (Hons) Anthropology, University College London 

Teaching interests

CRIM 741 - Vulnerability, Criminalisation, Inequality

CCJS 3158 - Drugs, Crime and Society

CCJS 2120 - Researching Crime and Criminal Justice

CCJS 1115 - Being a Criminologist

CCJS 1116 - Crime in Context  


Research interests

·         Drug use, drug policy, harm reduction and drug treatment

·         Social integration of street children and young offenders

·         Social construction of childhood, “at-risk” youth and “rehabilitation”  

·         Transition to adulthood

·         Desistance from crime

·         Community Justice and problem-solving courts


Other research

2016 to present                              Young Offenders in their Transition to Adulthood in Brazil: Pathways in and out of                                                            Drug Use and Crime

                                                                Plymouth University

2012 to 2014                         Plymouth Community Justice Court: A Case Study of Problem Solving 

                                            Interventions, Reducing Re-offending and Building Public Confidence

                                                Plymouth University

                                                Dr Tim Auburn; Dr Jill Annison; Dr Daniel Gilling

2011 to 2012                         An Exploration of Black Market Steroids - Access and Quality
                                                Plymouth University
                                                PI: Professor Ross Coomber

2009 to 2010                         Evaluation of three ‘ Transition to Adulthood’ (T2A) Pilots

                                                Projects for Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System.

                                                Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

                                                PI: Dr. Ros Burnett


Jan to March 2001                 Gangs in a Los Angeles Housing Project.     

                                                University of California Los Angeles

                                                PI: Professor Diego Vigil


1999 to 2000                         Street Children and Young Offenders in Drug Rehab in Brazil

                                                 University of California, Los Angeles   

Summers of 1998 & 1999       Street Youth in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico.

                                                University of California Los Angeles

                                                PI: Professor Diego Vigil


1997 to 1999                         The School Transition Study                                

                                                The Harvard Family Research Project, Harvard University

                                                PI: Dr. Heather Weiss

1992                                     Street children in Puebla, Mexico

                                                 University College London 

Key publications are highlighted

Hanley Santos G & Coomber R 2016 'The risk environment of anabolic–androgenic steroid users in the UK: Examining motivations, practices and accounts of use' International Journal of Drug Policy 40, 35-43 , DOI PEARL
Coomber R, Pavlidis A, Santos GH, Wilde M, Schmidt W & Redshaw C 2014 'The supply of steroids and other performance and image enhancing drugs (PIEDs) in one English city: Fakes, counterfeits, supplier trust, common beliefs and access' Performance Enhancement & Health 3, (3-4) 135-144 , DOI
Annison J, Auburn T, Gilling D & Santos GH 2017 'The ambiguity of therapeutic justice and women offenders in England and Wales' Evidence-Based Skills in Criminal Justice: International Research on Supporting Rehabilitation and Desistance 397-419
Auburn TC, Smart C, Hanley Santos G, Annison J & Gilling D 2016 'Discovering Mental Ill Health: 'Problem-Solving' in an English Magistrates' Court' in O'Reilly M; Lester J The Palgrave Handbook of Adult Mental Health: Discourse and Conversation Studies Basingstoke, UK Palgrave Macmillan 633-652 Publisher Site PEARL

Additional information

After I was awarded my doctorate in January 2003, I took a six-year break from academia and devoted my time to setting up and running a drug rehab centre for street children and young offenders near the city of Salvador, in northeast Brazil. Called Viva a Vida, the charity aimed to empower these young people by providing them with support to understand and address their drug use and equip them with the necessary skills to help them achieve their goals. Unfortunately, the global financial crisis hit our small charity and dwindling funds meant that we had to make the tough decision to close down the centre in October 2009 and to concentrate the funding we had on running our aftercare support service and our prevention project. 

The Viva a Vida Prevention Project is going from strength to strength. Please click on the following link to learn more about the fantastic work that is being done in Brazil.



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