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Professor David Best BA Hons, MSc, PhD

Professor and Head of Criminology


David Best is a leading figure in the international research and policy movement around recovery from alcohol and drug problems. He is an experienced addictions and crime researcher and has published around 150 peer-reviewed papers, more than 50 policy and research reports and has authored three books on addiction recovery.

  • About

    In career terms, he has studied and researched at a range of academic institutions - Strathclyde University, London School of Economics, the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, Birmingham University, Griffith University (Queensland, Australia), University of the West of Scotland, Monash University (Victoria, Austrailia) and Sheffield Hallam University. He has also led Policy Research Teams at the Police Complaints Authority and the National Treatment Agency. He has also worked with the Prime Ministers Delivery Unit, the Scottish Government and the Victorian Government.

    David oversees the Criminology Subject Group within the department and contributes to the Masters in Applied Human Rights. He also co-chairs the Desistance and Recovery and Criminal Justice Expert clusters.

  • Teaching

    Department Of Law and Criminology

    Social Sciences and Humanities

    David's primary research interests are around recovery and social justice, including issues of stigma and inclusion for offenders and substance users. His research work is primarily around social inclusion and community connectedness and involves ongoing research partnerships with Deakin and Monash Universities in Victoria, Australia, the University of Queensland, Texas Christian University and Stirling University.

  • Other activities

    David is co-chair of the Sheffield Addiction Recovery Research Group; founder and co-chair of Recovery Academy Australia.

    David is a member of the Departmental Leadership Team in DLC and of the Research and Innovation Committee within the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities.

  • Media

    Professor David Best's key areas of expertise are the relationship between drugs and crime, and the area of desistance from offending and recovery from drug and alcohol problems. He also has considerable expertise around deaths in police custody.

    He has worked in academic research at Monash University in Australia, Strathclyde University in Glasgow, the Institute of Psychiatry in London, Birmingham University and the University of the West of Scotland. He has also worked in policy research at the Police Complaints Authority, the National Treatment Agency and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit.

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