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Robina Institute Names Kieran McCartan as Visiting Scholar

NOVEMBER 15, 2012—The University of Minnesota Law School announced today that the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice has chosen Kieran McCartan, senior lecturer in criminology at the University of the West of England, as the Robina Visiting Scholar for spring 2013. McCartan will be at the Law School April 1-28.

The purpose of the Robina Visiting Scholars program is to help younger scholars to pursue research projects that connect with the Institute's work and purposes. Visiting Scholars engage with the Institute's activities; they have an office and access to the Institute's administrative resources and the libraries; and they are able to discuss their projects with the Institute's members and other scholars in the Law School and in other departments.

McCartan is also program manager in criminology and deputy director of the Criminal Justice Unit at the University of the West of England, in Bristol. He has a track record of public, academic and professional engagement on criminological issues, including the origins and causes of sex offending, and societal responses to sex offenders. He has developed a wide ranging, multidisciplinary network around sex offender management and reintegration.

While at the University of Minnesota, McCartan will conduct a number of focus groups of Twin Cities residents to investigate their knowledge of local sex offenders, their understandings of criminal justice responses to child sexual abusers, and their attitudes toward reintegration and rehabilitation efforts. He will also speak with local criminal justice officials about child protection and sex offender management.

"Sexual offenders, especially child sexual abusers, are among the most reviled and ostracized offenders in society," McCartan said. "The reintegration of sex offenders back into the community has always been a difficult balancing act between risk management and public protection. It is important to question whether communities realistically understand sexual offending, sex offenders or state responses to these offenders."

The Robina Institute, supported by a major long-term grant from the Robina Foundation, works with policy-makers, practitioners and a wide range of leading scholars to improve criminal justice systems that are widely recognized to be ineffective, overly costly, overly severe, and insufficiently attentive to the needs and interests of victims. The Institute engages in interdisciplinary, policy-oriented study of the criminal justice system.

The Minneapolis-based Robina Foundation was established by James H. Binger, a St. Paul native and 1941 graduate of the Minnesota Law School, shortly before his death in 2004. In creating the Foundation, Binger charged it to support projects with potential to transform existing institutions, policies and practices. The Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice aims to participate in the work of creating criminal justice systems fit for the 21st century and for the citizens of a contemporary democracy.

For more information about the Robina Institute for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, please contact David Hanbury, Robina Institute administrator, at (612) 625-8093 or dhanbury@umn.edu.


Robina Institute