Ella Simpson has taught at Bath Spa University since 2014 and has supported the development of the BSc Criminology programme at the University.
In 2017 Ella was awarded a (Rising Star) Teaching Fellowship by the University and has been nominated for a Student Union/Vice Chancellor Best Lecturer Award on four separate occasions. Ella’s teaching specialisms include narrative, cultural and convict criminology along with expertise in the the theory and practice of creative arts interventions in criminal justice settings.
Ella’s PhD research focuses on the role of creative writing practitioners in arts interventions with prisoners. She is particularly interested in how the life stories of practitioners may influence processes of change for both prisoners and practitioners, both in the arts and in the wider criminal justice sector.
Ella is a funded member of the University of Sheffield CRIMVOL international criminal justice voluntary sector research network, where she contributes specialist knowledge of arts organisations in the criminal justice sector. She has been part of research teams for an evaluation of a music programme run by Birmingham Youth Offending Service, and for a Ministry of Justice funded evaluation of a fashion project in the women’s estate.
Before joining Bath Spa, Ella worked for over a decade as a freelance creative writing facilitator in the prison estate in England and Wales and she brings this practical knowledge and expertise to her teaching and research.
- BA, Creative Writing and Publishing
- MA, Advanced Theatre Practice.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Other external roles
- British Academy/University of Sheffield funded member - CRIMVOL international criminal justice voluntary sector research network
- Member - National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance Research Committee
- Member - HMPPS/NCJAA Arts Practice Development Thematic Group
- Arts Interventions in Criminal Justice
- Narrative Criminology
- Cultural Criminology
- Convict Criminology.
- Radio Interview - A Brush With Nature, Prison Radio Association (October 2016)
- Conference Convenor: Criminal Research: Writing Wrongs in Creative Arts in Prisons (2016): a full-day conference bringing together creative arts practitioners, criminal justice workers and academics from a range of disciplines to discuss the future of the arts in prisons
- Simpson, E. (2016). ‘From Corrections to Connections: Understanding the Role of Creative Arts in Prison’, Bath Spa University Research Blog (6 September 2016).
Research and academic outputs
Simpson, E (2021) 'Starting at the end: a storyboard.' In: Fruish, A, ed. Tool box: red - ideas, inspirations, games. Arts Council England, pp. 101-103.
Caulfield, L.S and Simpson, E (2019) 'Arts-based interventions in the justice system.' In: Ugwudike, P, Graham, H, McNeill, F, Raynor, P, Taxman, F.S and Trotter, C, eds. The Routledge companion to rehabilitative work in criminal justice. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 396-408. ISBN 9781138103320
‘It’s not just music, it helps you from inside’: mixing methods to understand the impact of music on young people in contact with the criminal justice system
Caulfield, L.S, Jolly, A, Simpson, E and Devi-McGleish, Y (2020) '‘It’s not just music, it helps you from inside’: mixing methods to understand the impact of music on young people in contact with the criminal justice system.' Youth Justice. ISSN 1473-2254
From the outside in: narratives of creative arts practitioners working in the criminal justice system
Simpson, E, Morgan, C and Caulfield, L.S (2019) 'From the outside in: narratives of creative arts practitioners working in the criminal justice system.' The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 58 (3). pp. 384-403. ISSN 0265-5527
Soyinka, B and Simpson, E (2018) Story as refuge. In: George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling Annual Symposium: Storytelling and Refuge / Storytelling as Refuge, 6 - 7 April 2018, University of South Wales, Cardiff, Wales.
Being the change you want to see: the importance of frontline practitioners' stories in understanding the penal voluntary sector
Simpson, E (2018) Being the change you want to see: the importance of frontline practitioners' stories in understanding the penal voluntary sector. In: The Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector: Emerging Scholarship, 9 January 2018, British Academy, London, UK.
Simpson, E (2017) Authoring desistance: the role of practitioners in creative interventions. In: The Second Narrative Criminology Symposium, 14 - 15 June 2017, University of Oslo, Norway.
Improving resilience and well-being through the arts: exploring methodologies using an example of research in youth justice
Caulfield, L.S, Simpson, E and Jacobs, C (2017) Improving resilience and well-being through the arts: exploring methodologies using an example of research in youth justice. In: Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference, 19 - 21 June 2017, Bristol, UK.
Simpson, E (2017) Bad stories making good: creative writing in prison. In: Guest Lecture Series, 2017, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, UK.
Simpson, E (2016) Stories are good. In: Koestler Awards Prize Giving Ceremony, 5 December 2016, HMP Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK.
Morgan, C and Simpson, E (2015) Creative collaborations: a case study. In: Knowledge Exchange in University Prison Partnerships, 15 November 2015, Bath Spa University, UK.
Simpson, E (2015) The story of crime: offending scientific tradition and the role of crime fiction. In: Captivating Criminality: Crime Fiction, Traditions and Transgressions, 23 - 25 June 2015, Bath Spa University, UK.
An evaluation of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance’s Professional Mentoring Scheme 2020/21
Simpson, E (2021) An evaluation of the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance’s Professional Mentoring Scheme 2020/21. NCJAA.
Making for change - an independent evaluation of Making for Change: skills in a Fashion Training & Manufacturing Workshop
Caulfield, L.S, Curtis, K and Simpson, E (2018) Making for change - an independent evaluation of Making for Change: skills in a Fashion Training & Manufacturing Workshop. London College of Fashion, UAL.
McAleese, S, Simpson, E and Hughes, N (2017) The Voluntary Sector in Criminal Justice: Setting the Research Agenda: conference report. Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield.
An evaluation of the Birmingham Youth Offending Service Youth Music Project (Compliance, completion, and success)
Caulfield, L.S, Simpson, E and Jacobs, C (2016) An evaluation of the Birmingham Youth Offending Service Youth Music Project (Compliance, completion, and success). Youth Music.
Simpson, E (2021) Criminal Research: Creating Communities of Practice (2017-2020) [REF2021 collection].