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Jamie Irving

Dr Jamie Irving BA (Hons), MRes, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Criminology


Jamie is a senior lecturer in the Department of Law and Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University. My Doctoral thesis is entitled, How does AA’s 12 Steps and membership of the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous work for addressing drinking problems? Published work includes, researcher and co-author of the UK Life in Recovery Survey 2015, and an evaluation of Right Turn Veterans project (Addaction: Forces in Mind Trust). James co-authored of 'A Social Capital Approach to Assisting Veterans Through Recovery and Desistance Transitions in Civilian Life' 2015. Currently Jamie and SHU colleagues are engaged in evaluating the Intuitive Recovery programme for long-term opiate users. Currently managing a European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs (ERANID) study, Recovery Pathways (REC-PATH).


I studied criminology at Sheffield Hallam and graduated in 2007. From 2007-9 I attended the University of Manchester to study part-time for a Masters degree (MRes) in socio-legal and criminological research methods. During the period 2008-11 I was employed as a research assistance on a Nuffield funded research project that investigated medical-negligence claims. I also worked part-time for King's College London, investigating young people's pyscho-social function in young offender institutions. In 2009 I also began teaching criminology at SHU, as an associate lecturer, in addition, in a similar role I also taught at Leeds Metropolitan University.

In 2011 I won an ESRC scholarship to study for a PhD in criminology, focusing my doctoral research on desistance from criminality and recovery from alcoholism amongst a long-term abstinent cohort of members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Criminological theory
Research methods
Drugs and alcohol


College of Social Sciences and Arts

Managed a European Research Area Network on Illicit Drugs (ERANID) study, Recovery Pathways (REC-PATH).

Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction/problems. Desistance; factors associated with ending offending behaviour.

Course leader for Criminology and sociology combined Honours Degree


Research under taken in related fields of addiction and desistance.

ERANID, Professor Wouter Vanderplasschen of Belgium is a senior researcher in the field of substance abuse treatment and recovery. Dr Jessica De Maeyer is the director of the expertise centre on Quality of Life (E-QUAL) at Ghent University College since 2014.


Journal articles

Andersson, C., Wincup, E., Best, D., & Irving, J. (2020). Gender and recovery pathways in the UK. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

Best, D., Savic, M., Bathish, R., Edwards, M., Irving, J., Cano, I., & Albertson, K. (2018). Life in recovery in Australia and the United Kingdom : do stages of recovery differ across national boundaries? Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly.

Edwards, M., Best, D., Irving, J., & Andersson, C. (2018). Life in recovery: a families’ perspective. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 1-22.

Best, D., Vanderplasschen, W., Van de Mheen, D., De Maeyer, J., Colman, C., Vander Laenen, F., ... Nagelhout, G.E. (2018). REC-PATH (Recovery Pathways): overview of a four-country study of pathways to recovery from problematic drug use. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly.

Best, D., Irving, J., Andersson, C., & Edwards, M. (2017). Recovery identity and wellbeing: is it better to be 'recovered' or 'in recovery'? Journal of Groups in Addiction and Recovery, 12 (1), 27-36.

Best, D., Irving, J., Collinson, B., Andersson, C., & Edwards, M. (2016). Recovery networks and community connections: identifying connection needs and community linkage opportunities in early recovery populations. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 35 (1), 2-15.

Best, D., Irving, J., & Albertson, K. (2016). Recovery and desistance : what the emerging recovery movement in the alcohol and drug area can learn from models of desistance from offending. Addiction Theory and Research, 25 (1), 1-10.

Albertson, K., Irving, J., & Best, D. (2015). A Social Capital approach to assisting veterans through recovery and desistance transitions in civilian life. The Howard Journal Of Criminal Justice, 54 (4), 384-396.

Book chapters

Irving, J. (2016). Alcoholics anonymous: Sustaining behavioural change. In Robinson, A., & Hamilton, P. (Eds.) Moving on from crime and substance use: Transforming Identities. (pp. 195-228). Bristol: Policy Press:


Andersson, C., Best, D., Irving, J., Edwards, M., Banks, J., Mama-Rudd, A., & Hamer, R. (2018). Understanding recovery from a family perspective: a survey of life in recovery for families. Sheffield Hallam University for Alcohol Research UK.

Albertson, K., Best, D., Pinkney, A., Murphy, T., Irving, J., & Stevenson, J. (2017). "It’s not just about recovery": The Right Turn Veteran-Specific Recovery Service Evaluation, Final report. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University.

Albertson, K., Best, D., Irving, J., Murphy, T., Buckingham, S., Morton, G., ... Chaggar, A. (2016). Right Turn Veteran-Specific Recovery Service: 5 site evaluation pilot : Interim report. Sheffield: Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Sheffield Hallam University.

Best, D., Albertson, K., Irving, J., Lightowlers, C., Mama-Rudd, A., & Chaggar, A. (2015). The UK Life in Recovery Survey 2015 : the first national UK survey of addiction recovery experiences. Sheffield: Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice, Sheffield Hallam University.

Other activities

Member of Sheffield Addiction and Recovery Research Group (SARRG)
Trustee board member for Ben's Centre, a Third Sector organisation that supports Sheffield's street drinkers.

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