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Judith Gardom

Judith Gardom

PhD Student


Judith holds a First Class BA (Hons) in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Oxford, a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University of Cambridge, and a Masters in Education (with Distinction) from the University of Cambridge. She has many years' experience in education and educational research in the UK, Zimbabwe and Turkey, in Philosophy, Religion and English Literature. Her Masters dissertation, The significance of 'Recognition' in the life narratives of ex-offenders and former addicts in Higher Education', an ethnographic study at an educational project in South London', using life-narrative interviews, was supervised by Dr Philip Gardner. 



PhD student at the University Of Cambridge Institute Of Criminology from 2015

Supervised by Professor Loraine Gelsthorpe and Professor Alison Liebling

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Working thesis title: 'An exploratory study of the role and meaning of reading in prison.'

Reading in prison is a subject with a long and complex history, but little contemporary research exists on prisoners' experiences of reading. England and Wales' prison population has a low average level of literacy, but there are indications that many prisoners spend more time reading than they would were they not in prison. Access to books in prison is widely seen as essential, but reading for pleasure is notably absent from the most recent review of Prisoner Education.

This research will combine qualitative and quantitative methods at two prisons and aims to present a detailed account of the reading experiences of prisoners serving long sentences (over four years), and the relevance of these experiences for prisoner education, literacy and well-being. 

University of Cambridge Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) Student

Working thesis title: An exploratory study of the role and meaning of reading in prison.



Research Interests

Reading in Prison, Books in Prison, Reader-Response Theory, Recognition Theory, Prisoner Education, Literacy as Capability, Virtue Ethics, Prison Ethnography, Narrative Research.