Claire Lightowler, previously the lead for evidence-informed practice at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS), joined the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice (CYCJ) this month as Director.
CYCJ, funded by the Scottish Government and based at the award-winning University of Strathclyde, works with partners to ensure youth and criminal justice practice, policy and research is informed by the best possible knowledge.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill MSP said: “I would like to welcome Claire to her new role as Director of the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice. The facility has an important role as Scotland’s centre for excellence for youth justice and the new Director brings a wealth of experience with her. The Scottish Government looks forward to working with her and the centre in the future to help build better lives for our young people.”
Claire said: “I’m excited to be taking on this important role. There is a clear recognition that we need to do things differently if we are to make real progress towards a safe and fair Scotland for all.
“CYCJ has a significant role to play in supporting improvements across youth and criminal justice. Our multi-disciplinary team has expertise and knowledge which spans practice, policy, research and knowledge exchange.
“These strengths, combined with extensive connections with partner organisations, mean CYCJ is well placed to make an important contribution.”
Professor Sandy Cameron CBE, the independent Chair of CYCJ’s Executive Governance group, said: “Claire’s appointment is excellent news for CYCJ. As a professional of high calibre, she brings considerable experience and enthusiasm to this role.
“I look forward to working with her to make an impact and bring about significant changes to youth and criminal justice in Scotland.”
Claire’s previous roles have included Knowledge Exchange Coordinator for the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, Research Manager for the Improvement Service and Social Researcher within the Scottish Government.
She also undertakes research into issues around evidence use, research impact and knowledge brokerage and is passionate about using creative ways to share knowledge. Claire has completed a PhD about policy-making and devolution within Scotland and Wales.
Claire serves on the Board of the Life Changes Trust, established this year to invest £50million of Lottery money to improve the lives of both young care leavers and people with dementia as well as their carers. She is also a peer review member for the Economic and Social Research Council through which she is involved in decisions on future research work within universities.