Dr Alice Gerlach

Deputy Head for Education and Student Experience

School of Law and Social Sciences


Dr Gerlach is a lecturer in Criminology, in the School of Law and Social Sciences. She completed her DPhil (phd) at the Centre for Criminology, Oxford University, in 2018.

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

  • Crime in Theory and Practice
  • Globalisation and Crime 


Alice conducts research in the criminology sub-field of Border Criminologies, which is the intersection of immigration control and criminal justice. Her collaboratively funded ESRC and HMIP DPhil explored the experiences of women who had spent time in immigration detention in the UK. She used the concept of dignity to help explain the pains of immigration detention as described by the women who participated in the study. Alice is one of few academic researchers to have been given full access to an immigration removal centre to conduct this research. Alongside this access, she also visited women in the UK community who had been released from detention and visited Jamaica to speak with women who had been removed to this country after their incarceration.

Research group membership

Alice is a member of Border Criminologies, which is a global research group bringing together academics, practitioners and people who have experienced border control. 

Research projects

Alice collaborates with Professor Mary Bosworth (Oxford University) on the Measure of Quality of Life in Detention (MQLD), which is a survey conducted within immigration removal centres to assess the living conditions within these spaces.


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Further details

Areas of expertise

Alice has prior experience in the criminal justice detention estate as a researcher for HM Inspectorate for Prisons (HMIP), and further practical research experience as a researcher for the Office for National Statistics (ONS). She has professional expertise in both qualitative and quantitative research methods from these roles. 

Blog posts

Gerlach, A. (2017) The Pains of Detention: Exploring the Concepts of Justice, Legitimacy and Dignity. Border Criminologies Immigration Detention Blog Series.

Gerlach, A. (2017) Research in detention centres: The psychological challenges. Social Science Division Blog, Oxford University.

Gerlach, A. (2017) Current DPhil: Alice Gerlach.

Gerlach, A. (2016) Alice Gerlach: Research Update.

Gerlach, A. (2015) From the Field: Safety in Fieldwork for the Researcher and the Participants.

Gerlach, A (2014) Education in Immigration Detention

Gerlach, A. (2014) Thinking about Dignity and Immigration Detention.

Gerlach, A. (2013) Developing European Standards of Detention.