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Institute of Criminology



I completed my BA in Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Leeds in 2019, before moving to Cambridge to start the MPhil in Criminological Research. I began my ESRC-funded PhD project in 2020, and am currently in my fourth year of study. I am supervised by both Professor Ben Crewe and Dr Susie Hulley.


My PhD employed a short-longitudinal approach to examine the release (and reintegration) of mandatory life-sentenced prisoners in England and Wales. The study utilises a set of two semi-structured interviews, focusing on the process of release through-the-gate by interviewing those serving a life sentence before and after their release from prison. This included men who are being released for the first time, as well as those who are being re-released after recall. The study worked with seven different prisons in England and Wales, six of which are open prisons and one which is a category C prison. Using different categorisations of prisons also draws attention to the varying preparation processes that occur prior to release. In particular, the PhD always intended to examine how lifers’ expectations of release compared to, or interacted with, their lived experience in the community. However, what have emerged as topics of interest include the important role that temporary releases play, the moral weight of murder on release trajectories, and the ways in which people attempt to (re)integrate relationally (i.e. with or away from other people).

Prisons, probation, long-term imprisonment, release.


Key publications: 
  • Rennie, A. and Crewe, B. (2022). ‘Tightness’, autonomy and release: The anticipated pains of release and life licencing. The British Journal of Criminology, 63(1), pp.1-17. 
  • Rennie, A. (2023). ‘It ain’t all doom and gloom with probation’: Life-sentenced probationers’ experiences with probation post-release. Probation Quarterly, 29.
  • Rennie, A. (2023). Book Review: Portable Prisons: Electronic Monitoring and the Creation of Carceral Territory by James Gacek. Theoretical Criminology, 0(0).  

Contact Details


St Catharine's College
Person keywords: 
Prisons Research Centre