Pamela Ugwudike is an Associate Professor of Criminology and the Director of Research at the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, University of Southampton. Prior to joining Southampton, she was at Swansea University where she completed her Masters Degree in Criminology (with Distinction) and her PhD. She held several academic posts at Swansea University over a period of ten years. First, she was a Research Officer, then a Lecturer in Criminology, and subsequently a Senior Lecturer in Criminology, in the College of Law and Criminology. She also led the Swansea Service Evaluation Team (SSET) which was an interdisciplinary team of researchers and one of the College’s criminal justice research teams from 2013-2017. Pamela is also Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK and a member of the Howard League for Penal Reform’ Research Advisory Group. She was a member of the British Society of Criminology’s Executive Committee (2015-2018).

Research interests

Pamela’s research interests include studying interactions between digital technology and criminal justice. She is currently working on the following projects: digital predictive technologies and conduits of algorithmic bias in policing and penal services; digital governance and regulatory systems for law enforcement agencies; and applications of digital technology in youth justice contexts. 

At the Turing, Pamela will work on an interdisciplinary project with experts in data science and mathematical sciences to explore the implications of operationalising predictive artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the criminal justice system. Her project will focus on the proactive or preventative policing phase when data-driven predictive algorithms are used for crime prevention purposes. There is growing interest in exploring the benefits and potential harms of predictive algorithms in criminal justice systems, but the extant empirical literature focuses mainly on policing and sentencing contexts in the US and other jurisdictions. Limited independent research exists on the nature and impact of the predictive algorithms employed by police services in the UK. The project seeks to address this gap in knowledge. Its main objective is to identify possible conduits of bias and corrective measures.