A brief biography
Born and bred in Coventry and with a degree in modern languages at Cambridge University behind him, Russell spent ten years working in the social care field. He qualified as a probation officer in the UK and worked with offenders in North and East London. He also worked for a range of voluntary sector organisations with homeless people, ex-offenders and young people at risk in both this country and the USA. Russell developed his consultancy skills through work with two national voluntary organisations, Drugscope and the DIVERT Trust.
Since 1996 Russell has worked full time as an independent consultant specialising in the fields of substance misuse and crime.
He is the author or co-author of over fifty national publications on issues relating to drugs, alcohol and offending. He is also a Health Education Authority certified trainer and is accredited in Data Journalism and Visualisation by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.
As an independent consultant and trainer, Russell seeks to keep at the forefront of policy and practice development while maintaining hands-on experience of work with the local voluntary sector. He balances a portfolio which includes international research studies, national policy advice and needs assessment and evaluation work with community organisations.
Russell continues to specialise in multi-agency partnership work and has recently developed expertise in both payment by results and digital engagement.
His current work includes:
- Evaluating a number of projects across the criminal justice, substance misuse and arts sectors.
- Research studies in the justice and substance misuse areas.
- Work on best commissioning practice.
- Communication work with a range of third sector and news media organisations.
- Editing and writing assignments for a range of organisations from small voluntary sector bodies to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Abuse.
- Cost Benefit Analyses of various services designed to reduce reoffending or prevent crime.
- Chairing online conferences and events
- Facilitating peer action research projects.
Russell is a member of the Advisory Group for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation.
Russell also plays tenor saxophone but falls a long way short of sounding like his namesake Ben, as you can tell from this clip (listener beware): How long has this been going on?
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