Institute of Criminal Justice Studies


Photo of Mrs Kerry Ellis Devitt

Mrs Kerry Ellis Devitt

  • Qualifications: MSc Developmental Psychology; BA (Hons) English Literature
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: Ravelin House, Ravelin Park, Portsmouth, PO1 2QQ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5070
  • Email:
  • Department: Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
  • Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


I am a senior lecturer in Criminology, Psychology and Research Methods. I have been at the University of Portsmouth as a full-time lecturer since September 2013, though I have taught here part-time since 2011. My academic background has mainly been situated in the fields of psychology and criminal justice matters, though for the vast amount of my career I have worked as a professional researcher (1999-2010). My projects as a professional researcher have primarily been related to social policy issues concerning young people, such as homelessness; drugs and alcohol; criminal justice; teenage pregnancy; truants and school exclusions. I have held research and academic positions at The University of Melbourne, The University of Sussex, Young People in Focus (a former charity based in Brighton) and the National Centre for Social Research. 

Teaching Responsibilities

I am the course leader for the Criminology with Psychology degree programme. I am also the unit co-ordinator for Researching Criminology 1 (campus) and Introduction to Research Skills (DL). I teach across a range of units including:

  • Research Criminology 1 (Level 4)
  • Introduction to Psychology (Level 4)
  • Skills for Criminologists (Level 4) 
  • Questioning Criminology (Level 5)
  • Dissertation Supervision (Level 6)
  • Masters Supervision (Level 7) 
  • Research Methods and Research Management (Level 7)


  • Young adults in the criminal justice system
  • Youth justice policy
  • Education, health and welfare of young people
  • Post-structuralist qualitative research methodology

I am currently undertaking a PhD here at the University of Portsmouth. My research explores the lives of 18-24 year-olds in the Criminal Justice System. In the research, I have used narrative interviews and a newly developed free-association drawing task to investigate the ways in which these young people draw upon certain discourses to explain and make sense of their lives.

1st supervisor: Adrian James, ICJS; Karl Nunkoosing, Psychology


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile