Jackie started at Essex University as an undergraduate in 1992 after a career in the health service. She has worked as an associate lecturer for the Open University in the Faculty of Health and Social Welfare and been teaching sociology and criminology since 1996. Jackie is an experienced qualitative researcher and has completed projects for both the Home Office and Department of Health and she tries to link her research and analysis with policy and practice. For example as a result of earlier research conducted on behalf of the Home Office, Jackie was invited to act as a consultant and co-authored a report on interpreting and translation services for minority groups for the Ministry of Integration, Ireland. This report was used by the Social Inclusion Unit in Ireland to develop the National Intercultural Heath Strategy (2007-12), as well as informing the Review of Migrant Education (2009) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Jackie's research with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (2004-5) considered the effect of complaints made against paediatricians in the cases of suspected child abuse. This work was used to inform the training manual for paediatricians and the Chief Medical Officer's proposals on expert evidence in family law cases, (see: 'Bearing Good Witness'). The report developed from this research is still being referenced in court cases see A v. Ward (2010) EWHC 16 (Family Division). During the last year she has taken part in discussions about female child abusers on Woman's (Radio 4) as well as Newstalk (Irish Radio).
Currently Jackie is working with a team from Sociology and Health & Human Sciences developing an evaluation of a community project that has been set up to support women who have 'repeat losses to care' - children removed because of child protection concerns.