Redmonds Building LJMU

Meet the Drug Use and Drug Policy Group

Centre for the Study of Crime, Criminalisation and Social Exclusion

Get in touch with the Research Group members

Dr Steve Wakeman

Steve Wakeman is a cultural criminologist who has been based in the Centre since 2014. His expertise surrounds heroin and other drugs of addiction, and the ways in which alternative policy/treatment models may or may not help problematic drug users.

Dr Helen Beckett Wilson

My main research interests are the social theorisation of, and responses to, drug use; critical research methods; the impact of social capital on social problems; and the ‘justice’ of community punishment interventions and drug policy.

I have worked at LJMU since 2007. Previously I was a Housing Support officer, working with at-risk populations and homeless people to secure tenancy, and a Hostel Worker with women leaving prison. My last practice role was as a Drug Worker in the Criminal Justice System, offering support to problematic drug users. I have undertaken Home Office research investigating young people’s drug use and service uptake. My PhD was about the justice implications of legal interventions for drug users who commit a crime. My more recent research has looked at contemporary changes in cannabis markets.

Stuart Taylor

Stuart Taylor is Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice. Stuart’s interest in substance use stems from his time in practice with the Probation Service where he specialised in supporting drug users. As an academic, Stuart’s work has followed three streams. Firstly, he has focussed on the processes of the criminal justice system, facilitating studies which have considered the role of drugs within prolific offender schemes, risk assessments, sentencing and resettlement. Secondly, he has focussed on the interconnection between the sociocultural construction of ‘drugs’ and prohibitionist drug policies. Thirdly, he has explored the role of alcohol (and indeed the alcohol industry) in relation to sexual offences occurring in the Night-Time Economy. Stuart’s most recent work focusses on the use of private drug testing kits by a collective of ecstasy users.

Stuart is a member of the European Society of Criminology, the Addiction Theory Network and North West: Drugs.

  • Carline A, Gunby C, Taylor S. (2018). Too Drunk to Consent? Exploring the Contestations and Disruptions in Male Focused Sexual Violence Prevention Interventions. Social and Legal Studies 27(3): 299-332.
  • Gunby C, Carline A, Taylor S. (2017). Location, Libation and Leisure: An examination of the use of licensed venues to help challenge sexual violence. Crime, Media, Culture 13(3): 315–333.
  • Taylor S. (2016). Moving beyond the other: The reductionist drugs discourse. Cultuur & Criminaliteit 6: 100-118
  • Taylor S, Buchanan J, Ayres TC. (2016). Prohibition, Privilege and the Drug Apartheid: The failure of drug policy reform to address the underlying fallacies of drug prohibition Criminology and Criminal Justice 16(4): 452-469
  • Taylor S. (2011). 'New Strategy, usual suspects': a critique of reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery. Criminal Justice Matters 84(1): 24-26.
  • Taylor S. (2008). Outside the Outsiders: Drugs, Drug Use and the Media. Probation Service Journal 55(4): 369-388.

Contact us

To find out more about our drug use and drug policy research please feel free to email the following members of the Research Group:


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