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Alice Ievins

Alice Ievins

ESRC Research Associate


Alice has a BA degree in English Literature and a Master's degree in Criminological Research, and has recently completed her PhD on the prison experiences of men convicted of sexual offences. She has worked for the Comparative Penology project, conducting ethnographic research in England & Wales and Norway in prisons holding women and prisons holding men convicted of sex offences. From October 2018, she will be an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, developing and publishing her work on the imprisonment of men convicted of sex offences. She will also co-convene a course on The Good Life and the Good Society at HMP Whitemoor, as part of the Learning Together network.


Alice has significant experience of ethnographic and qualitative research within prisons and is interested in how it feels to be punished, and on how prisoners individually and collectively adapt to their punishment. She has developed a particular interest in the moral connotations of punishment, including how prisoners react both to having done a bad thing, to being told they are bad people, and living with other people who are labelled as bad. She has published and presented on topics including moral community among sex offenders, lateral regulation, and closeness, distance and honesty in ethnographic research.


  • PhD, Criminology, University of Cambridge
    Thesis: Adaptation, Moral Community and Power in a Prison for Men Convicted of Sex Offences’
    Supervisor: Dr. Ben Crewe.  Passed without corrections
  • MPhil, Criminological Research, University of Cambridge
    Thesis: 'Living Among Sex Offenders: Identity, Safety and Relationships at HMP Whatton'
    Supervisor: Dr. Ben Crewe.  Grade: Distinction
  • BA (Hons), English, University of Cambridge
    Grade: 2:1

Prizes and Awards:

  • 2013 Winner of the John Sunley Prize, given by The Howard League for Penal Reform in recognition of outstanding Masters level research
  • 2013 Proxime Accesserunt in relation to the Lopez-Rey Prize, given by the Institute of Crimonology to award high performance at the MPhil
  • 2010 Foundation Scholarship, given by Pembroke College, Cambridge
  • 2009 College Scholarship, given by Pembroke College, Cambridge

Key Publications

Ievins, A (in press) Prison officers, professionalism and moral judgement. In N Blagden (ed) Sex Offenders in Prison. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ievins, A (in press) Power, shame and social relations in sex offender imprisonment. Prison Service Journal.

Crewe, B & Ievins, A (under review) The prison as a reinventive institution. Theoretical Criminology.

Ievins, A & Crewe, B (2015) ‘Nobody’s better than you, nobody’s worse than you’: Moral community among prisoners convicted of sexual offences. Punishment & Society, 17(4): 482-501.

Crewe, B & Ievins, A (2015) Closeness, distance and honesty in prison ethnography. In DH Drake, R Earle and J Sloan (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Ethnography. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 124-142.

Liebling, A, Schmidt, B, Crewe, B, Auty, K, Armstrong, R, Akoensi, T, Kant, D, Ludlow, A & Ievins, A (2015) Birmingham prison: The transition from public to private sector and its impact on staff and prisoner quality of life - a three year study. National Offender Management Service analytic summary.

Ievins, A (2014) Living among sex offenders: Identity, safety and relationships at HMP Whatton. London: The Howard League for Penal Reform.

Ievins, A (2013) ‘This isn’t a real prison’: Prisoner safety and relationships in HMP Whatton. Prison Service Journal, 208: 10-16.