Programme Director for Criminology and Sociology
Neena is Programme Director for Criminology and Sociology at St. Mary’s University. Before joining St Mary’s in January 2017 she was a visiting lecturer at Westminster University teaching Criminology since 2014. She has worked in criminal justice research, evaluation and policy development for 15 years. As Policy and Research Manager at Nacro (the crime reduction charity), Neena monitored ethnic disproportionality in the criminal justice process.
Neena maintains extensive engagement with the voluntary sector through research, governance and campaigning work. She is Chair of Voice4Change England (V4CE), a national infrastructure body supporting the black and minority ethnic voluntary and community sector. She has been a member of StopWatch since it was formed in 2010 to campaign for effective, accountable and fair policing. Neena is also a steering group member of the Reclaim Justice Network which campaigns to promote alternatives to criminal justice.
She actively contributes to policy development and sits on a number of advisory groups including the Lola Young Review, HMIC’s PEEL Effectiveness and Legitimacy Advisory Group and the Crown Prosecution Service Scrutiny Panel. She also sat on the Home Secretary’s Policing and Diversity Panel that worked to increase employment of ethnic minorities in the police. Her teaching is research and policy informed to ensure students critically evaluate crime and justice related issues in their current context.
Profile within the voluntary sector
Neena's engagement with the voluntary sector is largely through research, governance and campaigns. She is Chair of Voice4Change England (V4CE) and trustee of the Coalition for Racial Justice (UK); she contributes to governance and helps fulfil the vision and mission of these organisations. Neena has served as Chair of the London Transformative Justice Forum which had a role in promoting restorative approaches in criminal justice. She is an active member of StopWatch which campaigns to promote effective, accountable and fair policing. As part of the steering group for the Reclaim Justice
She is an active member of StopWatch which campaigns to promote effective, accountable and fair policing. As part of the steering group for the Reclaim Justice Network Neena has helped create and organise a network that campaigns to promote alternatives to criminal justice. Through the above, Neena remains committed to promoting and strengthening the voluntary sector because of its ability to make positive and practical contributions to civil society.
Publications and media profile
Neena has written articles and blogs on stop and search and on race and the criminal justice system. She has been interviewed for radio and television programmes on policing and ethnic disproportionality in stop and search. Neena has also given expert evidence to parliamentary committees, the GLA and other local authority committees on policing and race issues.
- Race Policy in Prisons A Critical Race Theory Analysis of Prison Service Order 2800 and Prison Service Instruction 32/2011 Research paper produced for the Zahid Mubarek Trust
- Briefing paper Pathways in and out of the criminal justice system for Black and minority ethnic young people: What does the data tell us? Produced for BTEG and Transition2Adulthood
- (Until present) Site lead for the national evaluation of the T2A projects led by Sheffield Hallam University – ongoing.
- Evaluation of the Feltham Community Chaplaincy Trust involving in-depth interviews with prisoners, their mentors, prison staff and trustees of the Feltham Community Chaplaincy Foundation
- Quantitative data analysis and report on the IMB survey for Karen Page Associates for the Ministry of Justice
- Survey and qualitative interviews undertaken with Board members and external stakeholders for Women’s Breakout
- Equality Impact assessment on Transforming Rehabilitation for Avon and Somerset Probation Trust
- Designing and delivering training to mentors working with offenders with mental health, PLIAS Resettlement
- Consultation on Stop and Search powers (Home Office and EHRC, 2013) bteg.co.uk
- Race and the criminal justice statistics, Eastern Eye
- Somali young people in the youth justice estate across London (Council of Somali Organisations and BTEG)
- Developing and embedding monitoring and evaluation (Khulisa mentoring project, 2013)
- Stop and Search: Can the Police Get It Right? huffingtonpost.co.uk/neena-samota/stop-and-search_b_3569576.html
- Developing through-the-gate resettlement and mentoring for offenders leaving prison for Active Listening (Clinks)
- Designing and delivering training for new futures case managers for the South West on working with offenders from ethnic minorities (Tribal)
- Roundtable report on ethnic minority women in the criminal justice system (BTEG)
- Policy development work for Action for Prisoners’ Families to strengthen ethnic minority engagement at all levels of the organisation.
- Article in Insidetime, the national newspaper for prisoners, on BAME prisoners’ families and resettlement, Issue July 2012 , What do prisoners’ families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups understand about resettlement? available at http://www.insidetime.org/
- Report produced for the City Bridge Trust analysing criminal justice trends for London and commenting on future developments.
- Briefing produced on the implications of elected police and crime commissioners for the Home Office Safer Future Communities project through Clinks. Briefing available at www.clinks.org/services/sfc/policy-briefings
- An overview of the implications of PCC's on organisations working with Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups
- Report on the co-ordination of engagement with the 41 SFC Networks
- Research report on inclusive commissioning for BTEG available at www.bteg.co.uk/index.php/Downloads/BAME-CJS-Network/Achieving-Better-Outcomes/Download.html
- Achieving better outcomes for BAME communities in Croydon
- Research and organisational development work produced with Jackie Lowthian for Women’s Breakout.
- Paper produced for BTEG on race issues in criminal justice
- Race Equality in the Criminal Justice System
- Research produced for Clinks under Tackling Race Inequality Fund, Communities and Local Government.
- Black, Asian and minority ethnic third-sector organisations supporting offenders
- Understanding Resettlement Provision for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Offenders: A Family Perspective.
- Beyond prison – a case study
- These reports were produced for the Equalities Group, Security Policy Unit and Violence Reduction Unit at NOMS.
- Prisoner Consultation Report on the Independent & Earned Privileges Scheme (I&EP)
- Prisoner Consultation Report on Adjudications
- <Prisoner Consultation Report on the National Security Framework
- Prisoner Consultation Report on Safer Custody
- A Good Practice Guide to Prisoner Consultation in Conducting Equality Impact Assessments on National Policies
- A Good Practice Guide to Prisoner Consultation for Prisons
- Evaluation of the Community Development Worker Service for Hammersmith and Fulham for Hestia Housing and Support
- Milestones mentoring project evaluation report for Nacro Services
Media and public affairs experience
- Russia TV live interview on HMIC report on Stop and Search – March 2016
- BBC radio interviews on Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme – 31st August, 2014 for 5 local stations
- BBC radio interviews on Stop and Search – 4th May, 2014 for 11 local stations
- BBC radio interview on black young people and stop and search – Feb, 2014
- ITV Television interview on Policing BME communities – Jul, 2013
- ITV Muslim Network, Lancashire interview on election of Police and Crime Commissioners – Oct 2012
Neena has also given expert evidence to parliamentary committees, European Human Rights Committee, Council of Europe, the GLA and other local authority committees on policing and the state of race issues in 2012 , 2013, 2014, 2015 and most recently to a delegation of Dutch politicians on race and policing in May 2016.