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My teaching interests include user informed services, criminal justice, critical approaches to practice, theories of human interaction and research methods.

I am Module Leader for SW4008 Human Growth and Development, SW5008 Social Work Theory and Methods, SW6017 Approaches to Research and SW7021 Human Growth and Development.

I supervise postgraduate student dissertations in Social Work and PhD student theses in Health and Social Care


My research interests include user informed criminal justice and social work services and the voluntary sector in criminal justice. Research projects include:

·         UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) prison regulation for safer prisons and societies (Co-investigator, 2020 – 2022)

·         Manchester Active Voices – Female Focus mentoring evaluation (Principal Investigator, 2015 – 2016)

·         ESRC and CLINKS funded PhD studentship – Peer mentoring in Criminal Justice (2011 – 2014)

Recent knowledge transfer work includes:

Buck, G. (November 2019). Women, Social Work and Activism. Invited speaker at Liverpool Hope University Distinguished Lecture Series.

Buck, G., Ryan, K. & Ryan, N. (September 2019). All our justice: people with convictions and ‘participatory’ criminal justice. Invited speaker at: Cheshire and Merseyside Social Work Teaching Partnership – Practitioner Research Conference.

Buck, G. (September 2019). Theorising Peer Mentoring in Criminal Justice as a Critical Relational Practice. UK Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference, University of Manchester.

Buck, G. & Tomczak, P. (April 2019) A Sociology of the Penal Voluntary Sector. British Sociological Association. University of Glasgow.  

Jump, D., Buck, G. & Tomczak, P. (October 2018). Theorising Girls in Gangs “New worlds of welfare services: The intertwinement of organizations, professions, users and the state” European Sociological Association. University of Catania, Italy.

Buck, G. (April 2018) User involvement in criminal justice. 8th European conference for social work research, University of Edinburgh.

Buck, G. (March 2018) Peer Mentoring as an innovative response to child sexual exploitation. Redesigning Justice Conference, University of Oxford, Keble College.

Buck, G. (January 2018) Divergent aims within voluntary sector peer mentoring. CRIMVOL European research network, British Academy, London.

Buck, G. (October 2016) The Core Conditions of Peer Mentoring, Speaker by invitation at the international workshop “Desistance from Crime”. Kuopio Welfare Research Centre (KWRC), University of Eastern Finland.

Buck, G. (March 2016) The Core Conditions of Peer Mentoring by Ex-offenders. Paper presented at Justice and Penal Reform: Re-shaping the penal landscape, Oxford University, UK.

Buck, G. (August 2015) Politicisation or professionalization: Exploring divergent aims within the practice of ex-offender peer mentoring. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Conference of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control. University of Tartu, Tallinn, Estonia.

Published Work

Authored Books

Buck, G. (2020) Peer Mentoring in Criminal Justice. Oxon: Routledge.

"Peer mentoring in criminal justice has a long history, but a remarkably thin theoretical and research base, considering the rich potential of this work to transform our ideas about criminality and the justice process. Buck’s comprehensive treatment of the subject is exactly what is needed, therefore -- a genuine breakthrough that will become a sort of ‘bible’ for future research in this area." (Shadd Maruna, Professor of Criminology, Queen’s University Belfast).

Journal Articles

Buck, G. (2019a). Politicisation or Professionalisation? Exploring Divergent Aims Within UK Voluntary Sector Peer Mentoring. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 58(3), 349-365.

Buck, G. (2019b). ‘It’s a tug of war between the person I used to be and the person I want to be’: The terror, complexity and limits of leaving crime behind. Illness, Crisis and Loss. 27(2) 101–118.

Tomczak, P., & Buck, G. (2019a). The Criminal Justice Voluntary Sector: Concepts and an Agenda for an Emerging Field. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 58(3), 276-297.

margin-right:0px">Tomczak, P., & Buck, G. (2019b). The Penal Voluntary Sector: A Hybrid Sociology. The British Journal of Criminology, 59(4), 898-918.

Buck, G. (2018). The core conditions of peer mentoring. Criminology & Criminal Justice, 18(2), 190-206.

Buck, G., Lawrence, A., & Ragonese, E. (2017). Exploring peer mentoring as a form of innovative practice with young people at risk of child sexual exploitation. British Journal of Social Work, 47(6), 1745-1763.

Buck, G. (2017). “I Wanted to Feel the way they did��: Mimesis as a Situational Dynamic of Peer Mentoring by Ex-Offenders. Deviant Behavior, 38(9), 1027-1041.


Buck, G., Harriott, P., Ryan, K., Ryan, N., Tomczak, P. (forthcoming 2020, invited) ‘All our justice: People with convictions and ‘participatory’ criminal justice’ in Duffy, J. and Beresford, P. (Eds.) Handbook of Service User Involvement in Human Services Research and Education. Oxon: Routledge.

Buck, G. & Creaney, S. (forthcoming 2020, invited). Mental Health, Young People and Punishments. In Mental health and punishments: Critical perspectives in theory and practice. Oxon: Routledge. In press.

Buck, G. (2019, invited) ‘Mentoring’, in Graham, H., McNeill, F., Raynor, P., Taxman, F., Trotter, C. & Ugwudike, P. (Eds). Routledge companion to rehabilitative work in criminal justice. Oxon: Routledge. ​

Website links

Scholar    ORCID


  • PhD Criminology (2016) Keele University.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2015).
  • Certificate of Professional Development, (2009) Planning for Work based Learning and Assessment (Social Work Student Supervision). Liverpool John Moores University.
  • Professional Certificate in Effective Practice (Youth Justice) (2006) Nottingham Trent University.
  • MA/Professional Diploma in Social Work, and The Frances Peck Memorial Award for ‘outstanding contribution to service users’ (2003) University of Liverpool.
  • BA Literature, Life and Thought (First Class Honours) (2001) Liverpool John Moore’s University.  
  • Member of the National Association for Youth Justice (2015 – present).
  • Member of the British Society of Criminology (2011 – present).
  • Member of the Howard League for Penal Reform (2011 – present).
  • Registered social worker with the General Social Care Council (2004 – 2012).