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Juanjo Medina


Personal profile


PhD Supervision

I am particularly keen to supervise PhD research either:

  • on areas that overlap with my own research interests,
  • criminological or criminal justice analysis that relate to the Spanish, Latin American, or Hispanic experience,
  • or for students interested in applying quantitative work in criminological or socio-legal research.

In the past, however, I have been involved in the supervision of work such as: the role of academia in police training (using insights from Bordieu and the sociology of professions); street robbery in Nigeria; the prospects for community policing in South Arabia; Sure Start as a model for early intervention; or the organisation of illegal drug markets. Previous doctoral students now work in academic jobs, such as Hannah Smithson (Senior Lecturer at MMU), Katja Hallenberg (Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University), Michael Salinas (Lecturer at MMU), or government jobs, such as Maji Al-Harbi.

Currently I co-supervise the work of Ana Morales (multilevel analysis of recidivism in Chile); Hidetaka Koyama (case study of crime prevention policy in Japan); Po-Yuan Wu (study of transnational police coperation in Taiwan); David Buil Gill (use of small area estimation methods and spatial micro-simulation to study fear of crime); Emily Buehler (meta analysis of correctional programs for female offenders); Rebecca Kaur (qualitative analysis of responses to honour based violence); Christina Thorne (gang desistance); and Alasdair Robertson (data driven approach to model and simulate domestic abuse for policing purposes). Some of these students benefit from co-supervisors in the discipline area of social statistics (School of Social Science) or machine learning (School of Computer Science).

Although gradually I am going back to my number crunching roots in my own research, I am happy supervising qualitative work. However, if I had to do that, I would prefer  set-theoretic methods, qualitative comparative analysis or case-study designs and if you want to use particular qualitative analytical frameworks (social discourse, psychosocial, Foucaldian, etc) you will definetely need a second supervisor that is more familiar with those than I am. Epistemiologically you will find me closer to a critical realist perspective, so I would struggle with either pole in the epistemiological continuum.

Also traditionally I fit better what Garfield (2005) calls the “pastoral style” of supervision, though aspiring to be more “contractual”. So, as your second supervisor, you may want to choose somebody with a higher score in Garfield’s X axis, so that you get the best of two worlds (support and organisation).

Media contributions and coverage

I am generally available to (reasonable) media queries, particularly around my active research projects.


Teaching interests

My teaching has covered a variety of areas through his academic career and in areas overlapping with my research interests. I am particularly involved in (and almost foolishly passionate about) the teaching of research methods and quantitative applications. I contributed to the development of the Q-Step initiative at the University  of Manchester to improve the learning of quantitative methods. I am a keen advocate of problem-based learning and the flipped classroom model that aims to make the classroom into a more dynamic learning environment, leaving behind the passive and inefficient traditional lecture-based classes. We support this kind of learning through our own materials, but also using contents genereously provided for free by DataCamp, an organisation committed to encourage the learning of programming skills for data analysis.

I also believe in the benefits of open access to science and learning resources.You can find here some resources I have developed for learning/teaching the R programming language for data analysis and visualisation oriented to criminologists.   


I received my BA in Public Law and a Postgraduate Degree in Criminology from the University of Seville (Spain). In 1997 I graduated with an MA in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, receiving the Richard Hughes Award for topping my promotion. I obtained my first PhD from the Department of Criminal Law at the University of Seville in February of 2000 and a second (long story!) PhD in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University in January of 2002. Both thesis focused on gender violence. My Spanish dissertation was the first survey on intimate partner violence in Spain and my US-based dissertation, relying on GIS and spatial econometric tools, explored the social geography of gender violence in New York City.

I was born in Sevila (Spain), the most beautiful city in the world, where I worked as a research fellow of the Andalusian Institute of Criminology, before moving to the USA. I lived and worked in New York working as a research associate at Victim Services (now called Safe Horizon), where I was involved on elder abuse research, and as senior research associate at the Violence Institute of New Jersey (UMDNJ, now part of Rutgers), where I helped to implement public health epidemiological surveillance on violence. I was also a research fellow of the National Consortium on Violence Research (now defunct), as well as a visiting fellow at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (Brazil) and Heuni (Finland).

With all this travelling, it is little surprise I have a strong interest in comparative criminology and criminal justice. I retain an interest in crime and justice in Spain and the Americas. In particular, I am member of a research network based in Catalonya that studies crime and sentencing policy in Spain . I was also the Chief Editor of the official journal of the Spanish Society of Criminology from 2003 to 2005 and continue to collaborate with this journal as an assistant editor. In June 2016 I was elected president of the Spanish Society of Criminology.

Since 2000, however, Manchester is home. My work in the UK has covered domestic violence, homicide, stop and search, and gangs. For ongoing work, you can see details in the research tab of this profile.

Research interests

I am member of the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, and collaborate with both cities@manchester and methods@manchester.

I am particularly interested in five broad areas of research:

  • interpersonal violence (with a focus on gender and domestic abuse),
  • urban communities, space and the unequal geography of crime,
  • gangs and youth crime
  • comparative crime prevention practice and policy
  • quantitative modelling for crime research

Currently, I am leading a ESRC project to apply machine learning techniques to the prediction of domestic violence risk. I am also part of an interdisciplinary ESRC project aiming to develop an applied predictive model to identify vulnerable points in the food supply chain of meat distribution. Other minor projects I am involved in at the moment focus on the geography of disorder perceptions and the survey measurement of gangs. Increasingly I am fascinated by data science applications in the policing environment.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Institute for Data Science and AI


  • domestic abuse
  • gangs
  • geography of crime
  • environmental criminology
  • quantitative criminology
  • comparative criminology
  • interpersonal violence
  • data science and criminal justice


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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