Dr. Jarrod Gilbert

PhD, BA (hons), Dip Ad
Research Director
Dr Jarrod Gilbert is a New Zealand sociologist and Director of Criminal Justice at the University of Canterbury. He is the author of Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand, an award winning and bestselling book, and the co-editor of Criminal Justice: a New Zealand Introduction. He advises a number of government agencies on policy matters and he sits on the Academic Advisory Panel to the Department of Corrections, the advisory group of the cross sector High Impact and Innovation Team and he was a member of the Justice Advisory Group that investigated changes to the criminal justice system in New Zealand.

Ben Elley

MA, BA (hons)
Lead Researcher
Ben has a Masters Degree with Distinction in Sociology, a First Class Honour’s Degree in English literature and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Media & Communication. Ben’s academic expertise is in semiotics, youth culture, and digital radicalism, and he is currently pursuing a PhD looking at radicalisation among alt-right communities online. Ben’s contemporary outlook adds an important dynamic to the work undertaken by Independent Research Solutions. His skill as a writer, in both natural and academic forms, helps to ensure that every report is technically excellent, efficiently written and easily understood.

Irina Golda Lamadrid

Research and Administrative Assistant
Irina has practiced law for many years in Argentina. Irina is interested in gender and feminist studies, with a focus on legal analysis and in international politics. She has completed numerous research projects New Zealand, Canada, and Brazil, and is pursuing a PhD in International Law. Irina works behind the scenes to keep our research projects running efficiently, and she also undertakes much of the background research that informs our research methodologies.

Beck Eleven

BA, Dip J.
Interviewer and writer
Beck was an award-winning journalist, feature writer and columnist at The Press newspaper for more than a decade before beginning a career in freelance and contract work. Her areas of research and writing expertise include human interest stories, crime, people and pets (for television and print publications).
She focuses on trauma-informed interviewing and writing the narratives for our Section 27 cultural background reports – and proofreading the final package so you don’t have to worry about missing full stops.

Donna Chisholm

Cert J.
Interviewer and writer
Donna Chisholm is an award-winning journalist and editor who has worked in newspapers and magazines for more than 40 years. She has specialised in feature writing in science, health, crime and social justice and will be interviewing and writing for our Section 27 cultural background reports.

Danielle Moore

BA (hons), BCJ
Research Assistant
Danielle has a First-Class Honour’s Degree in Sociology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. She has a particular interest in youth justice, and mentors with the organisation Pillars. As part of her studies Danielle has researched the reciprocal mentoring relationship, and is now researching the retention of youth in addiction treatment programmes. In her role Danielle undertakes a variety of tasks of which include transcribing and background research.

Jess Maclean

BSc and BA Hons
Jessica Maclean is a lecturer at Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury, with an interest in Criminal Justice and in particular the over-representation of Māori in the justice system. She has previously been involved in research projects supporting Te Pūtahitanga o Te Wai Pounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, and will begin a PhD in Māori and Indigenous Studies this year.

Laura Johnstone

Research Assistant
Laura is a former public sector lawyer and public servant. She has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Human Services, and is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Laura has particular research interests in violent crime, prisons, and crimes against animals. In her role, Laura carries out background research and assists in writing s27 cultural reports.

Professor Chris Gallavin

Ph.D LLB(hons)
Chris is the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. Chris is recognised nationally and internationally as an expert in the area of criminal justice. He has presented at more than 35 conferences, and has in excess of 1000 media citations. Chris’ contribution to Independent Research Solutions is highly valuable and ensures complex legal policy concerns are considered. Chris offers legal consultancy services of the highest standard.

Emeritus Professor Greg Newbold

Peer Reviewer
Greg is one of New Zealand’s leading sociologists with expertise around many elements of criminal justice. He is widely published including authoring seven books. He speaks regularly at overseas conferences and has published more than fifty articles and book chapters in New Zealand and internationally. He frequently acts as a consultant to the government on matters of criminal justice policy. His methodological understandings, his eye for detail and his demands for excellence help to ensure the highest possible quality of work.

Additional staff

With our close links throughout the academic and research communities, we are capable of sourcing relevant experts and other staff on a contractual basis. This means that each project has specific expertise and staffing levels as required.