Research

British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award: Understanding Prison Life: New Research Frontiers The Team

In 2016, with the support of Professor Tony Bottoms, Dr Amy Ludlow received funding from the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Awards to bring together 10 early career researchers whose work focuses on the internal aspects of prison life. In light of the strength of the applications received, the team has grown from 10 to 18. The group is meeting at two funded events - the first, a conference in Cambridge on 19 and 20 October 2016 and the second, a roundtable in HMP Low Moss on 27 February 2017. Together they will produce a podcast series and an edited collection that charts the new substantive, methodological and ethical frontiers in understanding prison life.

Dr Ruth Armstrong is a British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Criminology and St John's College, University of Cambridge. She has published on the role of trust in desistance from crime and on the role of faith communities working alongside people released from prison. Her current research, involves the implementation and evaluation of 'Learning Together' and explores the individual and social consequences of curating spaces of connection through learning within secure environments and beyond. Ruth is on twitter @cambridgecrim and @JustisTogether.

Dr Katherine Auty is a Research Associate at the Prisons Research Centre at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology. Katherine's principal research interests are measuring prison culture, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies to improve prisoner well-being, quantitative criminology, and forensic psychiatry. She has published recently with David Farrington about the intergenerational transmission of criminal offending and with Alison Liebling about the effects of yoga and mindfulness meditation in prison. Her current projects include the development of measures of learning cultures in prisons and an exploration of the relationship between Measuring the Quality of Life data and success post-release from prison.

Ana Ballesteros Pena is a PhD candidate at the University of Barcelona in Spain. Her research examines female incarceration in the Spanish penitentiary system with specific focus on the analysis of prison policies implemented over the past decade. Ana holds a BA in Political Science and Public Administration (Complutense University of Madrid), an Expert's Degree in Evaluation of Programs and Politics (Complutense University of Madrid), an MA in Participatory Research for Local Development (Complutense University of Madrid) and an MA in Gender and Equal Opportunities, in the specialty of feminist and gender research (Jaume I University, Castellón). She is member of Border Criminologies international network. Her research interests include punishment and social control, gender, prisons and migration control. Ana is on twitter @anabales.

Dr Geraldine Cleere is a lecturer of Criminology and Law at Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. She has recently completed a doctoral thesis entitled 'Prison Education, Social Capital and Desistance: An exploration of prisoners' experiences in Ireland'. This research examined prison education in Ireland and found connections between prison education and desistance from criminal offending. Furthermore, the research also measured prisoners' social capital levels and showed that prisoners were aware of a distinct 'ecology' within the prison, its own type of society with rules and norms which gave rise to a type of 'prison-based social capital'. Geraldine's main research interests are prison education, desistance, the sociology of the prison, prison-based social capital, legal rights of prisoners and legal rights awareness among prisoners. She is currently working on a book proposal with a view to publishing her doctoral research in the coming year.

Dr Esther van Ginneken is Assistant Professor in Criminology at Leiden University. Her research interests include the experience of imprisonment and the process of desistance. Recent articles explored posttraumatic growth among prisoners, the subjective experience of punishment, patterns of adjustment among prisoners, and prison suicides in England and Wales. She is currently involved in qualitative and quantitative research on imprisonment and desistance in the Netherlands.

Dr Kate Gooch is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Birmingham. Kate's research and teaching interests lie primarily in penology, youth justice and criminal law. Her doctoral research focused on the experiences of child prisoners (aged 15-17 years old) and since then, her research has continued to focus on prison ethnographic research (including young adult, adult male and dedicated sex offender prisons) as well as emerging legal issues (such as the questioning of child suspects in the police station). From January 2017, Kate will be at the University of Leicester. Kate is on twitter on @drkate_gooch.

Alice Ievins is a member of the Prisons Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, and she is in the last year of her PhD, which is an ethnographic study of an English prison for men convicted of sexual offences. She has focused in particular on how sex offenders manage their identities, form relationships with other prisoners, and envision legitimacy. From early 2017, she will be working as a research assistant on the Cambridge-based project 'Penal policymaking and the prisoner experience: A comparative analysis'; this project is led by Dr Ben Crewe, and will be based in England and Wales and Norway.'

Dr Victoria Knight is a Senior Research Fellow in Criminal Justice at De Montfort University. She has expertise and research experience across three core areas: 1) digital technologies use in prisons, 2) emotion and criminal justice and 3) young offenders and education. She is convenor of the Emotion and Criminal Justice Cluster at De Montfort University which brings together academics and practitioners to reflect and research on emotion within the criminal justice context. In 2016, she published a monograph entitled Remote Control: Television in Prison.

Dr Julie Laursen is a Research Associate at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. Her main research interests are sociology of prisons, methodology, prison cultures, comparative penology, and rehabilitation. Julie's research has appeared in journals such as Punishment & Society and The British Journal of Criminology.




Dr Amy Ludlow is a Fellow and College Lecturer at Gonville and Caius College and an Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Law in Cambridge. Amy's work focuses especially upon prison staff, management and leadership and how the ways in which prison services are commissioned and contracted shape quality of life and prison culture. She has published especially on prison privatisation, marketization and prison staff employment relations, but also on suicide and self-harm prevention in prisons. Amy is currently working with Ruth Armstrong to implement and evaluate 'Learning Together', an educational initiative that creates mixed learning communities of students in prison and students at university who study together in the prison environment. She is also co-investigator on an ESRC funded research project on migration, social security and Brexit. Amy is on twitter @ACLudlow and @JustisTogether.

Jo Noblett is in the final year of her PhD at the University of Strathclyde, researching prison custody officers' perceptions of their role in respect of prisoners' rehabilitation and desistance. Her fieldwork was undertaken in HMP Addiewell, a private prison managed by Sodexo Justice Services. Jo has a varied professional background, including working for the Scottish Government and Scottish Prison Service. Her principal academic interests centre on the theory and scientific study of rehabilitation and desistance in a prison environment. In particular, Jo is interested in how rehabilitation and desistance are integrated and implemented in the everyday planning and running of a highly complex and hierarchical organisation, and how prison personnel are trained to motivate and encourage prisoners to consider an alternative lifestyle post-release. http://www.strath.ac.uk/clcj/post-graduate/researchstudents/

Konstantinos Panagos studied law at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He continued his studies as a postgraduate student at the LSE (MSc in Criminal Justice Policy) and later studied Sociology of Law at the Postgraduate Program of the School of Law, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Criminology and Penology at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He has been a Visiting Scholar at University of Cambridge (Institute of Criminology), University of Oxford (Centre for Socio-Legal Studies) and the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. His main research interests include the socio-legal aspects of prison life, the social control of sexual violence among prisoners in the USA and Europe, and the implementation of restorative justice in juvenile justice systems.

Dr Lizzie Richardson is a human geographer whose interest in prisons arises from a concern with the relationships between spaces of incarceration, work and technology. This forms part of a wider interest in cities as shared yet contested spaces, research that has been published or is forthcoming in the following journals: Social and Cultural Geography, Geoforum, Environment and Planning A and Progress in Human Geography. After completing her PhD at Durham University in 2014, she held a lectureship in the Department of Geography at the University of Cambridge and is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Department of Geography at Durham University.

Dr Martí Rovira is a lecturer in the Department of Law at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. In July 2016 he was awarded a PhD in Criminology with a thesis on the effects of criminal records in the labour market. His current research focuses on the quality of life in prison settings and the collateral consequences of convictions.




Dr Marguerite Schinkel is ESRC Future Leaders Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on the meaning of sentences to those who experience them. Her PhD, completed in 2013, examined the meaning of long-term prison sentences (published as Being Imprisoned: Punishment, Adaptation and Desistance), while her current post-doctoral project Lives Sentenced uses repeated life history interviews to examine the meaning of repeated short-term imprisonment in the context of wider lives.

Bethany Schmidt is a finishing PhD student and postdoctoral researcher in the Prisons Research Centre, Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge. She is the lead on several complex, linked series of research projects aimed at refining our understanding of 'prisons in transition' in a variety of different contexts, including in longitudinal and international studies. Underpinning her work is the pursuit to conceptualise and authentically describe what it means to democratise (socially, culturally, intellectually and politically) people, spaces, policies, and practices within a penal context.

Dr David Vig is a Senior Lecturer in criminology and penology at the Department of Criminology at the Eotvos Lorand University Budapest, Hungary. In his doctoral research project he focused on the marginalising effects of imprisonment and he looked at the situation of Roma, juvenile, women and LGBTQ prisoners as well as prisoners with disability and analysed how their incarceration contributes to social exclusion. In his research David also looks at the legal factors that hinder the re-entry of released prisoners as well as the prevalence and prevention of grave human rights violations in places of detention. David has several years of experience working with criminal justice reform and prison reform NGOs in Europe and South East Asia.

George Walters-Sleyon is a second year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, School of Divinity with a background in philosophy, theology and social ethics. His research focuses on the intersections between theology and criminal justice reform with his present research focused on comparative analysis between US and UK penal systems of mass incarceration and death through the experiences of jail and prison chaplains. Publications include: Locked Up and Locked Down: Multitude Lingers in Limbo Revised Edition.