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Assessing the Harms of Crime: Rationale, Methodology, Findings & Policy Uses

Starts: 16:30 20 February 2018
Ends: 17:30 20 February 2018
What is it: Seminar
Organiser: School of Law
Who is it for: University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public
Speaker: Letizia Paoli

CCCJ Seminar Programme 2017/18 (in collaboration with Methods@Manchester)

No concept, other than that of crime itself, arguably plays such a central role in so many realms of

penal policy as harm. For most criminal lawyers, harm constitutes a, if not the, reason why most

actions we now call ‘crimes’ have been criminalised. Although not always explicit, considerations

about the harms of crime have also an important place in theories and policy decisions on

sentencing, priority-setting in crime control, victim assistance, and restorative justice. Despite the

centrality of harm to crime and crime control policy, the empirical, systematic assessment of the

harms of crime has long remained a lacuna within criminology and the public debate on crime


Against this background, my lecture will

- Strengthen the case for “harm,” by demonstrating its centrality to crime, criminal justice

and security policies

- Present ‘The Harm Assessment Framework’, the methodology I have developed with Dr

Victoria Greenfield to operationalize harms and the first, promising applications of such

methodology, and

- Discuss the policy uses of this new strand of research, showing that it can contribute to

development of better—i.e., more humane, accountable and (cost)-effective—crime

control policies.


Letizia Paoli

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