Professor Alex Stevens

Professor in Criminal Justice
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Professor Alex Stevens


Professor Alex Stevens has worked on policy making and issues of drugs, crime and public health in the voluntary sector, as an academic researcher and as an adviser to the UK and other governments. He has published extensively on these issues, with a focus on policy making, the drug-crime link, risk behaviours by young people, and on criminal justice treatment and policy. His most recent book, on Drug Policy Constellations, explains the role of power and morality in the making of drug policy in the UK.  

Professor Stevens' interests in public policy and criminology date back to his time working with UK charity Prisoners Abroad, which provides advice and information to British prisoners held in foreign prisons, and as European project manager and coordinator of the European Network of Drug and HIV/AIDS Services in Prison for Cranstoun.

He was a member of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs from 2014 to 2019, and President of the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy from 2015 to 2019.  

Professor Stevens has a PhD in Social Policy from the University of Kent, an MA in Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Sheffield and a BA in French (in the School of European Studies) from the University of Sussex.

Professor Steven’s latest book was published by Bristol University Press: Drug Policy Constellations: The Role of Power and Morality in the Making of Drug Policy in the UK.

Research interests

Professor Stevens’ research interests focus on policy making, drug policy, crime, criminal justice, and public health. He also works on imprisonment, the reduction of youth risk behaviours, and social exclusion. He currently chairs Drug Science’s working group on enhanced harm reduction.

Professor Stevens has led several research projects, including: 

  • PDD, the evaluation of police drug diversion schemes in Thames Valley, West Midlands and Durham, funded by the Cabinet Office.
  • OPCPrep, a project to prepare for an evaluation of overdose prevention centres in the UK< funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research.
  • PLP, the evaluation of the Ministry of Justice’s Prison Leavers Project.
  • The development and evaluation of the RisKit programme, which work with vulnerable 14-16 year olds to reduce their risk-taking behaviours, with funding from Kent County Council and the National Institute of Health Research.
  • Connections, a project which promoted research and good practice in preventing drugs and related infections in European criminal justice systems.
  • Early Exit, a study of early retention in treatment for the Department of Health.
  • QCT Europe, a European-funded, six-country research project on treatment for drug dependent offenders.


Professor Stevens teaches modules on drugs, criminal justice and social research methods at undergraduate level.

At postgraduate level, Professor Stevens supervises MA dissertations and PhD theses.

He is also the external examiner for the MPhil programmes in Criminology and Criminological Research Methods at the University of Cambridge.


Professor Stevens is interested in supervising students focusing on issues of illicit drug use, drug policy, drug treatment, policing, and the use of evidence in policy-making.  


Board roles 


Videos (on YouTube & Facebook)

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