Martin Glynn's Story
Martin, a criminologist with over 30 years' experience working in prisons and schools, travelled to Baltimore in the USA in 2010 to research the impact of fatherlessness in anti-social behaviour.
His aim was to connect the findings to strategic concerns here in the UK, in relation to father absence and its impacts on the wider society. Coming from an inner city background himself, he wanted to seek ways to improve the problems faced by people within their own communities.
Martin observed local communities in Baltimore and their responses to adversity. The correlation between crime and fatherlessness is proven, and he noted that many communities in the UK face the same conditions as communities abroad, yet the approach to tackle their problems is based on statistics rather than being informed by the lived experiences of community members.
At the John Hopkins University, popular art forms were used to engage people and to promote health care messages. Spending time with various communities in Baltimore led Martin to learn the benefits of community-centred approaches versus government-centred initiatives. He learned that in the natural order of things, and in the face of limited resources, marginalised communities suffer the most, so need to have their voices heard.
Martin’s research during his Fellowship formed the basis of his PhD. Since concluding his doctorate Martin has set up a ‘Performing Research Initiative’, which enables marginalised community members to adapt and perform research findings. This led to the setting-up of ‘Breaking Free’, a performing health initiative which aims to give a platform to men in the community to voice their concerns about different health issues and to participate in the search for solutions, rather than being treated as another statistic.
Martin is committed to helping reformed offenders achieve higher education. As a criminologist, he works around matters of men’s health with a specific emphasis on ex-offenders on issues as diverse as mental health and prostate cancer. He is currently an external examiner at University College Birmingham, PHD supervisor, and external evaluator of offender health programs.
Regardless of your background, it’s possible to become a thought leader who can shape public opinion around important issues of the day.