Gemma’s research interests lie in desistance/rehabilitation, digital technology in desistance-orientated work, youth justice, evaluation methodology, & co-production. Gemma’s underpinning research ethos is collaborative, emphasising the importance of interdisciplinary and impactful work. She works closely with several public, private, and third-sector organisations to advance knowledge transfer between academia and practice.
Gemma's most recent work focuses on co-producing and implementing a range of digital technologies for people and organisations in the criminal justice system to support desistance and other positive outcomes. Gemma is the lead inventor of the innovative ‘My Journey’ app, which was developed in collaboration with the Legal Innovation Lab Wales and Include UK. The My Journey app is underpinned by evidence-based research and aims to help people on their journey to desist from crime and enable organisations to provide more effective support.
Gemma’s work also focuses on supporting criminal/social justice organisations to embed evidence-based practices into frontline service delivery via responsive evaluative research. Gemma has expertise in designing and conducting process and outcome evaluations, as well as innovative evaluative tools for organisations to monitor and enhance service delivery. Gemma’s evaluation research focuses on real-world impact and changes by identifying good practices and areas of improvement to enhance front-line practice and policy to produce positive outcomes for those at risk of (re)offending.
In recognition of Gemma’s innovative work, she was the winner of Swansea University’s Research & Innovation Rising Star Award 2022 and a finalist for Digital Leaders 100 - Young Digital Leader of the Year, 2021. She is an alumna of the EPSRC-funded UK Digital Economy Crucible 2021 and an associate member of the Correctional Services Advice & Accreditation Panel (CSAPP). Gemma is a member of several national/international research groups including CRIMVOL, YJB Cymru’s Hwb Doeth, ESC’s Working Group on Community Sanctions, CREDOS, and she is a Fellow of the HEA.