Tom’s research is primarily concerned with how the liberal democratic state seeks to justify, and in turn, administer an effective criminal justice system. This has generated an inter-disciplinary research agenda spanning the fields of criminology, political science and history.
Tom was awarded the LSE School of Social Policy ‘Titmus Prize for the Best Overall Thesis’ for the originality of his doctoral research, and his first book ‘Getting Out: Early Release in England and Wales, 1960–1995’, was published in 2018 by Oxford University Press (Clarendon Studies in Criminology). This book provides the first systematic history of 'early release' in England and Wales, offering an authoritative historical account of this little understood but hugely topical area of public policy.
His article An Idea Whose Time Had Come? was published in a special edition of the Prison Service Journal to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Parole Board and he has recently published the first detailed historical study of prison building programmes in England and Wales for the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.
Previously, Tom has written extensively about historical criminology and co-authored a discussion paper with Jenny Earle Fair Cop: Improving Outcomes for Women at the Point of Arrest’ which explored opportunities to intervene early with women who come into contact with the criminal justice system.