Portrait of Professor Alex Stevens

Professor Alex Stevens

Professor in Criminal Justice
Director of Public Engagement, Faculty of Social Sciences


Professor Alex Stevens has worked on issues of drugs, crime and health in the voluntary sector, as an academic researcher and as an adviser to the UK government. He has published extensively on these issues, with a focus on the sociology of drugs and crime, on risk behaviours by young people, on the use of evidence in policy and on quasi-compulsory drug treatment. His published works include a book on 'Drugs, Crime and Public Health', studies of decriminalisation of drugs in Portugal, of the right to use drugs, on gangs and on the ethnography of policy making. 

Professor Stevens' interest in drugs and crime dates 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 Drugs Services. 

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. 

Research interests

Professor Stevens’ principal research interests focus on illicit drug policies and how they affect drug use, crime and public health. He has an on-going interest in how evidence is used in making policy and in the effects of drug treatment interventions. He also works on youth crime and the reduction of youth risk behaviours and has published peer-reviewed articles and policy reports on social exclusion and youth crime. 

Professor Stevens directed the 'Connections' project which promoted research and good practice in preventing drugs and related infections in European criminal justice systems. He also led the following projects: 

  • the development and evaluation of the RisKit project, which worked with vulnerable 14-16 year olds to reduce their risk-taking behaviours. 
  • QCT Europe, a European-funded, six-country research project on treatment for drug dependent offenders. 
  • Early Exit on early retention in treatment for the Department for Health. 


Professor Stevens teaches modules on criminal justice at undergraduate level.

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


Professor Stevens is interested in supervising students focusing on issues of illicit drug use, drug policy, drug treatment, drugs and crime and related policies.


Board roles 


Videos (on YouTube)

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