Deborah holds M.Phil in Criminology from the University of Cambridge in 2008, based on a historical analysis of prostitution in 19th Century Cambridge.
She has previously worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Criminology Prisons Research Centre, and additionally served as editorial associate for the international penological journal Punishment and Society from 2009 until 2012.
Her Ph.D project entitled 'Under threat? A social and occupational history of prison officers’ is supervised by Professor Alison Liebling. The current aim of her project is to explore prison officer experience and culture from the 1970s to the present.