ethical ● value based ● professional

Higher Plain Research & Education is a value driven practice supporting organisations to meet their aims through research, education, consultation & co-production, policy writing, supervision and training. We are passionate and believe in the power of education and evidence informed practice and have the expertise to support you to reach your goals whether they are personal, team, or organisational.

We are also experienced in working in a multi-stakeholder environment and so are happy to work in partnership with other organisations in research, education or training projects.

We provide support on a range of areas including:


  • Reflective Practice and Professional Development
  • Unconscious Bias and Cultural Competency
  • Policy and Practice Analysis & Writing
  • Stakeholder Engagement & Co-Production
  • Horizon Scanning & Systems Analysis
  • Research Project Management & Impact Assessment
  • Research Expertise including writing Literature Reviews, Reports, & innovative qualitative research methodologies
  • Reflective Supervision
  • Value and Human Focused Leadership
  • Anti-Oppressive Practice


I am an academic and community practitioner with over 25 years’ experience working alongside and supporting people in the community. In the last 15 years’ I have worked within the Higher Education sector specialising in youth and community work, education and desistance, reflective practice, and anti-oppressive practice whilst using inclusive research and engagement approaches to support his work.

I am currently working with partners in the Criminal Justice System through the Criminal Justice Board for Wales and in 2022 was the lead author for the new Anti-Racist Action plan for the Criminal Justice System in Wales. I am the Research, Policy, and Practice lead for the anti-racism action plan for the Criminal Justice Board in Wales.  I also work alongside partners in the Ministry of Justice, HMPPS, Youth Justice, Public Health Wales, Community projects, and the wider Higher Education sector exploring and better understanding a range of areas including; anti-racist practice, adult education, child and young people’s experiences, desistance and education, and developing public Criminology. The other work I am undertaking is exploring experiences and impact of services with a number of partners including Surfability CIC UK and Mr and Mrs Clark.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and professionally qualified youth and community practitioner. I am a member of the British Society of Criminology and the Social Research Association.

I started off my career as a youth worker supporting young people so that they could reach their full potential and I have undertaken a variety of roles within youth and community practice including; youth service manager, national charity director, and senior lecturer and programme lead in youth and community practice at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Previously I was Associate Professor in Education and head of department for adult learning at Swansea University. Whilst at Swansea University I was in the leadership team that developed equality and diversity and was the deputy director of race equality at Swansea University between 2017-2019 and Organisation and Culture lead for gender equality with Athena Swan from 2016-2018 accumulating in the university achieving a silver award in 2018, the first university in Wales to achieve this status. I was also a Director of Employability at Swansea University from 2016-2018.

In my spare time I am a passionate family person and so I can be found mostly with my family in the outdoors enjoying surfing, swimming, climbing, walking the hills and mountains, and exploring the beautiful Welsh landscape and further afield in our campervan Pedro.


Testimonies & Current Partners

Higher Plain Research & Education is currently working with:

●   The Criminal Justice Board for Wales

● Fully Dedicated

● Surfability UK CIC

● Mr & Mrs Clark

● HMPPS / Youth Justice

● Ministry of Justice

●   G4S UK

●   Professor Debbie Jones of Swansea University

●   CUBE Centre

●   Welsh Government

●   Clinks

Mark supports us as Co-founders of a youth organisation predominantly working with vulnerable young people, through reflective supervision. He is an effective listener, who is very non judgemental in his approach. Through our sessions, we found clarity, and the impact it continues to have on us has been game changing, personally and professionally.

Karen Carswell & Jake Henry

Chief Executive Officers & Founders , VIBE YOUTH CIC

Our experience of working with Mark from Higher Planes Research and Education has been overwhelmingly positive. The work covered sensitive and challenging social issues and Mark’s approach was always delivered in a sensitive, constructive and considered way. Mark uses his expertise presenting brilliantly researched evidence with integrity and personal authenticity, he is always inclusive, highly engaging and adaptable with the varying audiences. Mark has been able to extend meaningful reach, enabling genuine discussions and collaborations between different partner groups that have included all aspects of the Welsh Justice system alongside key Community leaders. Mark backs up his professional excellence with a sincere commitment that has enhances the value he has added throughout.

Mags Flanagan

Organisational Design & Development

Organisational Effectiveness, People Group


If you would like to start a discussion on working together or simply finding out more about what support we could offer then please contact us below


Mark Jones – Director 

Higher Plain Research & Education


T: +44 (0) 7967839933


Jones, M. (2024). Understanding the issues which may be contributing to racial disparity within Pre-court diversionary approaches in Wales for all groups of people, with a focus on Women and Children: A Review of the Literature. Executive Summary. A publication for Criminal Justice in Wales & Public Health Wales NHS Trust. ISBN: 978-1-83766-340-8. Available at:

Jones, M. (2024). Understanding the issues which may be contributing to racial disparity within Pre-court diversionary approaches in Wales for all groups of people, with a focus on Women and Children: A Review of the Literature. A publication for Criminal Justice in Wales & Public Health Wales NHS Trust. ISBN: 978-1-83766-339-2. Available at:

Jones, M. (2024). UNDERSTANDING AND RESPONDING TO RACIAL TRAUMA. A publication for Criminal Justice in Wales & ACE Hub Wales. Available at:


Jones, D., Jones, M., Strudwick, K., Charles, A., (eds). (2023). Public Criminology: Reimagining Public Education and Research Practice. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Charles, A., Strudwick, K., Jones, M., Jones, D. (2023). Conclusion. In: Jones, D., Jones, M., Strudwick, K., Charles, A. (eds) Public Criminology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Henry, J., Jones, M. (2023). Using Lived Experiences of the Criminal Justice System to Educate and Train Criminal Justice Practitioners in Anti-Racism and Cultural Competency: A Conversation with Jacob Henry facilitated by Mark Jones. In: Jones, D., Jones, M., Strudwick, K., Charles, A. (eds) Public Criminology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Strudwick, K., Jones, D., Jones, M., Charles, A. (2023). Introduction. In: Jones, D., Jones, M., Strudwick, K., Charles, A. (eds) Public Criminology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Jones, M. (2023). CREATIVE ROOTS Project Report. OCTOBER 2023. An Arts in Criminal Justice Case Study. Available at:

 Jones, M., Vigar, M., Watkins, C., Clifford, J. (2023). I’ve been there too: Employing mentors who are experts through experience for those using substances in prison. Presentation at the X International Conference on Novel Psychoactive Substances 2023, Nov 6th – 8th. Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Jones, M. (2023). Creating Roots for well-being through art. Blog for the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance, 5th of September 2023. Available at:

Jones, M. (2022). Criminal Justice Anti-Racism Action Plan for Wales. Criminal Justice in Wales. Developed by Criminal Justice in Wales and lead author Mark Jones. Available at: c22-0119_criminal-justice-anti-racism-action-plan-for-wales_report_criminal-justice-in-wales_interactive.pdf (

Jones, D. & Jones, M. (2021). Picturing Aspiration: Empowering Methodologies that Seek to Understand the Role of Higher Education in Facilitating Desistance, presented at the ‘Supporting Desistance and Building Social Capital: Multifaceted Perspectives and Approaches’ conference on Wednesday 30th June 2021. Hosted by the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law at Swansea University.

Jones, M. & Jones, D. (2021). Starting the Conversation: Higher Education and Desistance, presented at the ‘Public Criminology Through Public Education’ conference on Monday 29th March 2021. Hosted by the Department of Criminology, Swansea University in Collaboration with the British Society of Criminology, Learning and Teaching Network.

Jones, M. & Jones, D. (2021). Understanding Aspiration and Education Towards Desistance from Offending: The Role of Higher Education in Wales. In the Journal of Prison Education and Reentry, Vol. 7 No. 1, 2021.×33 Available at:

 Jones, M. (2021) Adult Learning in Wales – motivated and aspiring for better futures but still there are barriers to further and higher education. Learning & Work Institute Blog at:

Jones, M. (2021) Motivations, Aspirations & Barriers to Adult Learning: A Further & Higher Education perspective in Wales. Report for the Learning & work Institute. Available at:

Geuens, Sam; Dams, Heleen; Jones, Mark; and Lefevere, Geert (2020) “Back to Basics: A Solution Focused Take on Using and Teaching Basic Communication Skills for Health Care Professionals,” Journal of Solution Focused Practices: Vol. 4 : Iss. 2 , Article 6. Available at:

 Jones, M. & Jones, D. (2020) A picture says a 1000 words: Using inclusive methodologies with those at risk of offending. SRA Blog at:

Jones, M. & Jones, D. (2020) Research that works for everyone: using inclusive methodologies to understand aspirations of higher education towards desistance from offending. SRHE Blog at:

Jones, D. & Jones, M. (2020) Higher Education and Desistance from Offending. SRHE Blog at:

Jones, D. & Jones, M. (2020) Understanding Aspiration and Education towards Diversion and Desistance from Offending: The Role of Higher Education in Wales. SRHE Report. Available at:

Jones, M. & Jones, D. (2020) Higher Education and Desistance from Offending. British Society Criminology Blog & Learning & Teaching Network. Available at:

Jones, D. & Jones, M. (2019) Using a Pictorial Narrative Approach to Understand Aspirations of Higher Education Towards Diversion and Desistance from Offending, presented at the SRHE International Conference on Research into Higher Education: Creativity, Criticality and Conformity in Higher Education, 11-13th December, Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales.

Jones, M. & Child, K. (2019) Disrupting Cultures: Everyone is a leader, presented at the International Post Graduate Bio Ethics Conference, 9-10th September, 2019, Swansea University.

Jones, M. (2019) Motivations, Aspirations and Barriers to Adult Learning: An FE and HE perspective from south Wales, presented at the 2019 Adult Learning Conference: Developing a right to lifelong learning, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff.

Jones, M. & Jones, D. (2019) Higher Education & Diversion & Desistance from offending: A Boulevard of broken dreams, presented at the BSC Annual Conference, Public Criminologies: Communities, Conflict and Justice, Tue 2nd – Fri 5th July 2019, Lincoln University.

Jones, M. & Thyer, D. (2018) It’s all about culture: Challenges and successes in developing a framework for employability, presented at the 25th Annual Conference ASET Annual Conference, 4th – 6th September 2018, University of Nottingham.

Geuens, S., Willems, L., Jones, M., Nuyts, E. (2018) On the meaning of sex. Young adult’s ideas about having sex and the impact of ideas on sexual risk-behaviour, presented at 14th congress of the European Federation of Sexology (EFS), May 2018, Albufeira, Portugal.

Jones, M., Thyer, D., and Vaughan, R. (2017) Employability: Creating a collaborative framework for Success, presented at 2017 HEA National Conference, Generation TEF: Teaching in the spotlight, 4-6 July 2017 at the University of Manchester.