Dr Ian D. Marder

Dr Ian D. Marder

Assistant Professor in Criminology
Maynooth University

Tell us about yourself

I am a criminologist and policing scholar whose work focuses on criminal justice reform, primarily through the development of restorative justice and restorative practices.

I obtained my PhD from the University of Leeds (2018) for research on the police’s use of restorative justice in two English forces. I then worked as a part-time Research Associate at the University of Liverpool on the N8 Policing Research Partnership’s Public Engagement Strand, and as a Scientific Expert for the Council of Europe, with whom I drafted a new European legal framework on restorative justice, before starting a lectureship at Maynooth University in Ireland in May 2018. Here, I am also Co-Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Criminology, Director of Outreach and Engagement and Deputy Director of Postgraduate Studies.

My policing research has continued in Ireland, focusing on using restorative practices to support police-minority ethnic community dialogue, as well as the police’s involvement in delivering diversionary restorative justice for young people and pre-sentence restorative justice for adults. I also developed and delivered training for the police on victims’ rights, and I am a Director of the NGO Victim Support at Court, which provides court accompaniment services.

Why did you want to become a Research Affiliate?

I would like to learn from, and contribute to, policing research, policy and practice development in England and Wales. I lead a project (Restorative Justice: Strategies for Change) that involves colleagues in Scotland, but I think there is much more that can be done to share learning between policing researchers, policymakers and practitioners in the Republic of Ireland and in the different parts of the UK.

Now is an exciting and crucial time to collaborate internationally on policing and vulnerability, given the increasing recognition of the need for police to, for example, build relationships with and protect minority ethnic communities, reduce the harm caused by drug law enforcement, and collaborate with researchers and the public to co-create these solutions. I also lead a new collaboration in Ireland to establish a national open research partnership on criminal justice, which means that I am keen to learn from Centre members’ experience of research partnership development.

How does your research connect to the Centre’s mission and values?

My policing research primarily explores the development of restorative justice and restorative practices. This can reduce harm to vulnerable people in several ways, on which two I primarily focus.

First, in both Ireland and England, restorative justice can be used as part of diversion. Ireland has a very high rate of diversion for young people, and a police-led juvenile diversion scheme that is held in high regard in terms of international children’s rights standards, and which will hopefully soon be extended to young adults. I have worked with colleagues in the police here and with other stakeholders to identify best practice for youth restorative justice, and I sit on a Department of Justice advisory board on implementing Ireland’s new youth justice strategy (which includes extending juvenile diversion to young adults and increasing the availability of diversionary restorative justice with young people).

Second, I have developed and researched the use of restorative practices to facilitate dialogue between police officers and minority ethnic communities (specifically, and in separate projects, involving refugees, Travellers and young Black adults). We have identified restorative and dialogic processes that can help build understanding and relationships between the police and minority ethnic communities and give those communities a voice in exploring how policing can reduce harm and understand and meet their needs. This is something that has enormous potential to be scaled up and replicated between police officers and various vulnerable communities around the world.