Professor Chris FoxDirector of PERU
Chris has led many evaluation and research projects in policy areas including criminal justice, public service reform and social investment. Much of his current research concentrates on innovation in the delivery of public services and the role of evidence in policy and practice. His recent books include 'An Introduction to Evaluation' (published by Sage) and 'Payment by results and social impact bonds: Outcome-based payment systems in the UK and US' (published by Policy Press). He was also lead author of a handbook on knowledge mobilisation: ‘Transforming Research and Policy: A Handbook to Connect Researchers with Policy-Makers’ (published by Metropolis).
Chris is also:
- A member of HM Inspectorate of Probation Advisory Board
- A Trustee of Coaching Inside and Out (CIAO)
- UK National Liaison Official for the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research (UN-affiliated body)
- Governor of a small primary school Federation (he was previously Chair of Governors)
He teaches on the following modules:
Policy (MA Applied Criminology)
Quantitative Impact Evaluation (MsC Applied Quantitative Methods)
Working with Offenders (BA Criminology)
He supervises PhDs in the following areas: offender rehabilitation, strengths-based approaches, social outcomes contracts (Social Impact Bonds) and public service reform.
Before joining MMU, Chris worked in the voluntary sector and then the private sector. Currently Chris is a:
- Member of the HM Inspectorate of Probation Advisory Board
- Trustee and non-executive Director of Coaching Inside and Out (CIAO), a charity and social enterprise that advocates for and delivers coaching in the criminal justice system
- Governor of a small primary school Federation
Previously he has been a member of the Governing Body Manchester Metropolitan University, Home Office Regional Advisor on Research and Analysis for the North of England, a member of the Greater Manchester Reducing Re-Offending Group and a Trustee of CSV (Community Service Volunteers).
Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a visiting Distinguished Fellow in the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation at the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy.
Chris's main research interests are:
Evaluation and evidence-based policy: Chris has directed or managed approximately £5 million of evaluation and applied research projects over the last 12 years. Chris recently wrote An Introduction to Evaluation published by Sage and co-authored with Robert Grimm and Rute Caldeira. He was a Member of the Ministry of Justice Evaluation Advisory Group (2012 – 2015) and Home Office Regional Advisor on Research and Analysis for the North of England (2008 – 2010).
Crime and criminal justice: Chris has led numerous evaluations in the criminal justice system. His books Economics and Crime: An Introduction (co-author: Kevin Albertson) and Justice Reinvestment: Can the Criminal Justice System Deliver More for Less (co-authors: Kevin Albertson and Kevin Wong) were both published by Routledge. He is currently leading a large, long-term research and evaluation programme on reducing re-offending (working in partnership with Interserve PLC) and a project to develop personalised approaches to managing offenders.
Social outcome contracts and innovation: Chris recently wrote a book on Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds for Policy Press. He was Director of a Horizon2020 project 'Innovative Social Investment: Strengthening communities in Europe' (InnoSI) that finished at the end of 2017. Currently he is part of the Horizon2020 project Co-creation of Service Innovations in Europe (CoSIE) and is undertaking research on personalisation in the criminal justice system and leading a programme of work to build the evidence base underpinning personalisation.
The Policy Evaluation and Research Unit has delivered projects for clients including the European Commission; the Prison Service, Probation Trusts, Local Authorities, Police Services, Third Sector, Ministry of Justice, London Criminal Justice Board and Legal Services Commission. Chris has directed or managed approximately £5 million of research and evaluation projects over the last 12 years.
Current and past projects that Chris has led or been involved in include:
- Director of a Rapid Evidence Assessment of to assess the outcomes of community and custody delivered vocational training and employment programs on re-offending (2020).
- Director of a Rapid Evidence Assessment of Probation Caseloads funded by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (2019-20). View project »
- Director of evaluation of RESCALED a project to promote the Detention House custody model to European policy-makers. Funded by Porticus (Belgium) (2019 – 22). View project »
- Director of evaluation of Macmillan Cancer Support’s Integrated Financial Services prototype. Funded by Macmillan (2019 – 20)
- Director of the UK element of a project to develop a longitudinal birth cohort survey of children and young people in Europe (the EuroCohort). Funded by DfE (2019 – 2023) View project »
- Director of an evaluation of the Cornwall Frequent A&E Attenders Social Impact Bond. This includes a process, impact and economic evaluation. Funded by Addaction (2019 – 2026) View project »
- Deputy Director of European Cohort Development Project Funded by the European Commission (2017 - 19) a pan-European, Horizon2020 project creating the specification and business case for a new Research Infrastructure on youth wellbeing. This follows on from MYWEB (see below). View project »
- Contributor to Co-Creation of Service Innovations in Europe (COSIE) a pan-European Horizon 2020 project looking at innovation in co-creation of servies. I am leading an evaluation of a co-creation pilot in the UK. Funded by the European Commission (2018 - 21). This follows on from INNOSI (see below). Value of overall project €5 million (value to MMU circa €350k) View project »
- Director of evaluation of Junior University - a widening participation programme targeting 14 and 15 year olds. Funded by Which? (2016). View project »
- Director of evaluation and research programme for Interserve Justice. Providing a range of evaluation and research services to support Interserve Justice’s management of five Community Rehabilitation Companies. Funded by Interserve Justice (2015 – 18). View project »
- Director of evaluation and research programme for Novus (The Manchester College). Providing a range of evaluation and research services to support the continued growth and development of the College’s criminal justice business. Funded by The Manchester College (2015 – 18). View project »
- Director of Innovative Social Investment: Strengthening communities in Europe (InnoSI). This Horizon2020 project started in May 2015 and deploys multidisciplinary research on innovative ways of implementing and financing social welfare that promise lasting benefits. Its aims are to identify and evaluate existing innovative and strategic approaches to social welfare reform at a regional and local level; explore social and psychological impact of these innovations on individuals and communities; and collate useful, practical learning from this new body of evidence and mobilise it to inform policy and practice across the EU. Funded by the European Commission (2015 – 18). View project »
- Director of evaluation of Intensive Community Order (ICO). The ICO is being implemented across Greater Manchester. Our evaluation looks at implementation and impact. Funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (2014 – 16). View project »
- Deputy Director of Measuring Youth Wellbeing (MYWEB). This FP7 project is examining the feasibility of a new pan-European, longitudinal survey on children and young people’s wellbeing. Funded by the European Commission (2013 – 16). View project »
- Director of a Cost Benefit Feasibility Study for HMP Grendon. Grendon is a unique prison in the UK being the only one to be run as a therapeutic community. Funded by HMP Grendon (2013). View project »
- Director of an evaluation of an Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP). The evaluation is using a mixed methodology including qualitative interviews with staff and offenders, a quantitative reconviction analysis and economic evaluation. Funded by London Probation Trust (2013). View project »
- Director of an evaluation of an offender mentoring programme run by London Probation Trust. The programme offers peer mentoring to male offenders aged 18 – 25 and mentoring to women offenders. The evaluation is using a mixed methodology including qualitative interviews with staff and offenders, a quantitative reconviction analysis and economic evaluation. Funded by London Probation Trust (2013 – 14). View project »
- Managing an evaluation of RECOOP’s project to build capacity to support older offenders. Funded by RECOOP (2013 – 14).
- Advisor to an evaluation of the impact of housing provision for offenders on reducing re-offending. The housing provision of Vision Housing in London was the subject of the evaluation. Funded by Interserve Ltd (2012)
- Director of an evaluation of Rochdale Connections Trust. Evaluation included a qualitative and quantitative element, including analysis of project case file data and an estimate of economic value. Commissioned by Rochdale Connections Trust (2011 – 12). View project »
- Advisor to an evaluation of housing provision for offenders who are part of the Integrated Offender Management programme in Cardiff. Funded by the Home Office. Commissioned by the Welsh Probation Trust (2012).
- Director of the evaluation of ‘My Square Mile’ a prisoner resettlement project at HMP Forest Bank. Commissioned by Khulisa (2011 – 14). View project »
- Managing MMU’s contribution to the Evaluation of the London Reducing Reoffending Programmes, led by GHK. The programme includes a number of interventions designed to rehabilitate young offenders leaving YOIs and serving sentences in the community. Project Commissioned by London Criminal Justice Partnership (2011 – 12). Value of overall project £120,000 (value to MMU £21,200). View project »
- Directing a project supporting Wigan Drug Action Team to develop a Payment by Results approach to commissioning drug treatment services. Commissioned by Wigan Drug Action Team (2011 – 12). View project »
- Director of the Greater Manchester Crime Futures project. The aim of the project is to make predictions about future crime trends in Greater Manchester. The project involves reviews of existing research literature, analysis of large quantitative data sets including the use of econometric analysis.
- Providing expert advice to an economic evaluation of Intensive Offender Management in West Yorkshire. I am a member of a team led by Sheffield Hallam University. Commissioned by Leeds City Council (2011).
- Providing expert advice to an economic evaluation of Intensive Offender Management in Sussex. I am a member of a team led by Sheffield Hallam University. Commissioned by Sussex Criminal Justice Board (2011).
- Director of an economic appraisal of the Alcohol Treatment Requirement for Acorn Treatment and Housing as part of a payment by results feasibility study. Commissioned by Acorn Treatment and Housing (2011).
- Director of an evaluation of Inside Out at HMP Preston. Inside Out is a ‘through-the-gate’ resettlement project for prisoner serving sentences of 12 months or less. The evaluation includes both qualitative, impact and economic elements. Jointly funded by Lancashire Criminal Justice Board and Manchester Metropolitan University (2011 – 12)
- Director of an evaluation of Nottingham Systems Thinking Pilot. This is a project to reconfigure the commissioning and delivery of legal advice services in Nottingham. Commissioned by AdviceUK (2010 – 2011).
- Contributed to a research project on the prevalence of gangs in Oldham. Commissioned by Oldham Borough Council (2010).
- Director of a Rapid Evidence Assessment of The Use of Technology in Offender Supervision funded by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation (2018)
- Director of an evaluation of the Grandmentors project. This is an intergenerational mentoring project and the evaluation includes an implementation evaluation and economic evaluation. Commissioned by CSV (2010 – 2013). View project »
- Managing MMU's contribution to the national evaluation of Intensive Alternatives to Custody. Led by Sheffield Hallam University and commissioned by the Ministry of Justice (2009 - 11). This involves an impact feasibility study, economic evaluation and implementation evaluation. View project »
- Director of a review and service reconfiguration of services that support substance misusing parents and their children as part of the Hidden Harm and Safeguarding Children agendas. Commissioned by Salford DAT (2009). View project »
- Director of a short evaluation of Respect Action Neighbourhoods. Commissioned by Manchester City Council (2009).
- Director of the Process Evaluation of Community Legal Advice Centres and Networks. The project is led by Manchester Metropolitan University, in partnership with the University of Cardiff. Commissioned by the Legal Services Commission (2009). View project »
- Managing MMU’s contribution to a study to investigate the costs and benefits of engaging volunteers from under-represented groups. Led by CSV Consulting and commissioned by the Commission for the Compact (2008 – 9).
- Director of an economic review of domestic violence services in Cheshire. Commissioned by Cheshire County Council (2008-9). View project »
- Director of Choose Change evaluation. Choose Change is a resettlement project for short-term offenders leaving HMP Manchester. Commissioned by Greater Manchester Probation Service (2008 – 10). View project »
- Director of an evaluation of Peer Courts pilot (a form of restorative justice) in Lancashire. Funded by HM Treasury, commissioned by Nacro (2008 – 10).
- Director of an economic appraisal of the long-term costs and benefits of Young Carers services. Commissioned by Crossroads and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers (2008). View project »
- Director of MMU’s contribution to a project to pilot a new Minimum Data Set for statistics relating to race in the Criminal Justice System. Led by The Matrix Knowledge Group. Commissioned by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (2007-8).
- Advisor to an evaluation of the Police Protective Services pilot programme. Commissioned by the Home Office (2008).
- Advisor to an ex poste evaluation of a European programme to strengthen Research Infrastructures (2007 – 9). Commissioned by the European Commission.
- Director of a Rapid Evidence Assessment on case management. Commissioned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (2007).
- Director of an economic appraisal of the long term costs and benefits of different sentencing options in the UK criminal justice sector. Commissioned by a group of Charitable Trusts.
- Director of an economic appraisal of the long-term costs and benefits of School Home Support. Funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, commissioned by School Home Support (2007).
- Director of a review of innovation in legal services, commissioned as part of a substantial report being written by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).
- Director of a project providing support to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit undertaking a strategic review of the Drug Interventions Programme (2006).
- Director of the evaluation of the Dedicated Drugs Court Pilot commissioned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (2006 – 7). Directing a team of 10 staff including colleagues from the Urban Institute, Washington. At the point Chris left Matrix the project was approximately 75% complete and direction was handed over to a colleague at Matrix
- Director of an evaluation of community safety projects in Hackney commissioned by the London Borough of Hackney (2006). Projects included Intensive Family Intervention projects and projects with a focus on domestic violence.
- Director of the team supporting the Statistics Commission to undertake a National Review of Crime Statistics (2005 – 6). Directing a team of 6 staff including colleagues from The University of Keele. Commissioned by the Statistics Commission.
- Director of the process evaluation of the National Offender Management Model Pathfinder commissioned by the Home Office. Directing a team of 9 staff including colleagues from the Jerry Lee Center, University of Pennsylvania (2005 – 6).
- Director of a RCT feasibility study for a number of criminal justice programmes commissioned by the Home Office. Directing a team of 5 staff including colleagues from the Jerry Lee Center, University of Pennsylvania (2005 – 6).
- Director of a 1 year research project to examine the size and nature of the civil legal advice sector (2005). Directing a team of 3 staff and working in partnership with The University of Sheffield. Commissioned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs.
- Directing Matrix’s contribution to a 1 year research project on the clustering of justiciable civil legal problems in partnership with Cardiff University, led by Professor Richard Moorhead (2005 – 6). Commissioned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs.
- Director of a 3 month research project on the substance misuse needs of young people in Bristol. Commissioned by Bristol DAT (2005).
- Director of an 18 month evaluation of the Young People's Drug Interventions Programme (2004 – 6). Commissioned by the Home Office
- Manager of the Independent Review of the Community Legal Service (2004). Managing a team of 5 staff. Partners included The University of Sheffield (led by Professor Joanna Shapland) and Professor Richard Moorhead from The University of Cardiff. Commissioned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs.
- Albertson, K., Fox, C, O’Leary, C., Painter, G., (2020) ‘Towards a Theoretical Framework for Social Impact Bonds’, Nonprofit Policy Forum, https://doi.org/10.1515/npf-2019-0056 View publication »
- Albertson, K. and Fox, C. (2020) ‘Outcomes-based Contracts in the UK Public Sector’, in Albertson, K., Corcoran, M. and Phillips, J. (Eds.) Marketisation and Privatisation in Criminal Justice, Bristol: Policy Press
- Albertson, K. and Fox, C. (2020) ‘The Progress of Marketisation: the prison and probation experience’, in Albertson, K., Corcoran, M. and Phillips, J. (Eds.) Marketisation and Privatisation in Criminal Justice, Bristol: Policy Press
- Fox, C. and Morris, S. (2020) ‘Evaluation Research’, in Ritzer, G. and Rojek, C. (Eds.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, John Wiley and Sons Ltd. DOI: 10.1002/9781405165518.wbeos1579 View publication »
- Fox, C. and O’Leary, C. (2020) ‘Commissioning and social determinants: evidence and opportunities’ in Bonner, A. (Ed.) Local Authorities and the Social Determinants of Health, Bristol: Policy Press
- Fox, C. and Morris, S. (2019) 'Evaluating outcome-based payment programmes: challenges for evidence-based policy,' Journal of Economic Policy Reform, DOI: 10.1080/17487870.2019.1575217
- Albertson, K. and Fox, C. (2019) 'The Marketisation of Rehabilitation: Some Economic Considerations', The Probation Journal Vol.66(1) pp.25–42
- Smith, A., Heyes, K., Fox, C., Harrison, J., Kiss, Z. and Bradbury, A. (2018) ‘The effectiveness of probation supervision towards reducing reoffending: a Rapid Evidence Assessment’, Probation Journal Vol.65(4) pp.407-428 View publication »
- Davies, P., Morris, S. and Fox, C. (2018) ‘The evaluation market and its industry in England’, New Directions for Evaluation Issue 160, pp.29 - 43 View publication »
- Szifris, K., Fox, C. And Bradbury, A (2018) ‘A Realist Model of Prison Education, Growth, and Desistance: A New Theory’, Journal of Prison Education and Reentry Vol. 5(1), pp.41 – 61 View publication »
- Albertson, K., Fox, C, O’Leary, C., Painter, G., Bailey, K and LaBarbera, J. (2018) Payment by Results and Social Impact Bonds: Outcome-based payment systems in the UK and US, Bristol: Policy Press View publication »
- Fox, C., Harrison, J., Marsh, C. and Smith, A. (2018) 'Piloting different approaches to personalised offender management in the English criminal justice system', European Sociological Review. Vol.28(1) pp.35-61 View publication »
- Fox, C., Marsh, C. and Thornden-Edwards, K. (2017) 'Innovation in Community Rehabilitation - Desistance through Personalization: Early Findings', Advancing Corrections: Journal of the International Corrections and Prisons Association Vol.4(1)
- Ellison, M., Fox, C., Horan, R. and Szifris, K. (2017) 'A Rapid Evidence Assessment of the effectiveness of prison education in reducing recidivism and increasing employment', Probation Journal View publication »
- Fox, C. (2017) 'English and Welsh experience of marketisation, payment by results and justice devolution in the probation sector', Proces Vol.96(2) pp.119 – 130 View publication »
- Fox, C. and Marsh, C (2016) ‘Operationalising Desistance through Personalisation’ European Probation Journal Vol.8(3) pp.185-206 View publication »
- Fox, C. and Marsh, C (2016) ‘‘Personalisation’: Is social innovation possible under transforming rehabilitation?’ Probation Journal Vol.63(2) pp.169-181 View publication »
- Fox, C., Bannister, Jon. and Miszczak, P. (2016) 'The 2010-2015 coalition and criminal justice: continuities and contradictions', Safer Communities, Vol. 15(2) pp.110 – 120 View publication »
- Goswami, H., Fox, C. and Pollock, G. (2015) ‘The current evidence base and future needs in improving children's well-being across Europe: is there a case for a comparative longitudinal survey?’ Child Indicators Research pp.1-18 View publication »
- Fox, C. and Grimm, R. (2015) ‘The role of social innovation in criminal justice reform and the risk posed by proposed reforms in England and Wales’, Criminology and Criminal Justice Vol.15(1) 63–82 View publication »
- Wong, K., Fox, C. and Albertson, K. (2014) ‘Justice Reinvestment in an “Age of Austerity”: Developments in the United Kingdom’, Victims & Offenders: An International Journal of Evidence-based Research, Policy, and Practice, Vol.9(1) pp.76-99
- Grimm, R., Fox, C., Baines, S. and Albertson, K. (2013) ‘Social innovation, an answer to contemporary societal challenges? Locating the concept in theory and practice’, Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research. Vol.26(4) pp.436-455
- Fox, C., Alberton, K. and Wong, K. (2013) Justice Reinvestment: Can the Criminal Justice System Deliver More for Less. London: Routledge View publication »
- Ellison, M., Fox, C., Gains, A. & Pollock, G. (2013) "An evaluation of the effect of housing provision on re-offending", Safer Communities, Vol. 12 Iss: 1, pp.27 - 37 View publication »
- Fox, C. and Albertson, K. (2012) ‘Is ‘Payment by Results’ the most efficient way to address the challenges faced by the criminal justice sector?’ The Probation Journal Vol.59(4) 355–373
- Fox, C. and Albertson, K. (2012) ‘Is ‘Payment by Results’ the most efficient way to address the challenges faced by the criminal justice sector?’ The Probation Journal Vol.59(4) 355–373
- Albertson, K. and Fox, C (2011) Crime and Economics: An Introduction, London: Routledge View publication »
- Fox, C., Albertson, K., Williams, K. and Ellison, M. (2011) ‘Estimating the costs and benefits of an Alcohol Treatment Requirement’, Drugs and Alcohol Today Vol. 11(3), pp.147 - 155 View publication »
- Fox, C. and Albertson, A. (2011) ‘Payment by results and social impact bonds in the criminal justice sector: new challenges for the concept of evidence-based policy?’ Criminology and Criminal Justice, Vol.11(5) pp.395–413
- Fox, C., Albertson, A., Ellison, M. and Martin, T. (2011) ‘How will the recession affect crime rates in Greater Manchester?’ Safer Communities Vol.10(3) pp.17 - 30 View publication »
- Fox, C., Moorhead, R., Sefton, M. and Wong, K. (2011) ‘Community Legal Advice Centres and Networks: A Process Evaluation’ Civil Justice Quarterly, Vol.30(2) pp. 204 - 22 View publication »
- Fox, C., Albertson, K. and Warburton, F. (2011) ‘Justice Reinvestment: can it deliver more for less?’ Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Vol. 50(2) pp. 119-136 View publication »
- Fox, C. and Albertson, A (2010) ‘Could economics solve the prison crisis?’ The Probation Journal, Vol. 57(3) pp.263-280
- Fox, C. (2010) ‘Developing an offender problem profile’ Safer Communities Vol. 9(3) pp.17 - 27