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Research Team



Dr Ben Crewe

Dr Ben Crewe is Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre and Reader in Penology at the Institute of Criminology. He is the principal investigator of the research programme, and will be involved in all aspects of the research design and fieldwork. Dr Crewe has published widely on prisons and imprisonment. His book ‘The Prisoner Society: Power, Adaptation and Social Life in an English Prison’ was published by OUP in 2009. He is on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Criminology, Law and Social Inquiry and Punishment and Society. Alongside the current project, he is currently writing up an ESRC-funded study of prisoners serving very long sentences, with Susie Hulley and Serena Wright. For further details of his research profile and publications, click here.



Kristian.jpgDr Kristian Mjaland

Dr. Kristian Mjåland holds a Senior Research Associate post in the research project “Penal Policymaking and the Prisoner Experience: A Comparative Analysis”. Kristian earned his PhD in Sociology from the University of Bergen, Norway, in 2015. He has been involved in several large research projects, amongst others a study of compulsory care towards drug users, drug use, drug economy and offender rehabilitation in prisons, and an ongoing study of open-air drug markets. Kristian is an experienced qualitative researcher, using primarily ethnographic methods in his work. Theoretically, his research explores issues such as penal power, resistance, legitimacy and procedural justice. Kristian’s recent research has appeared in journals such as Punishment & Society and International Journal of Drug Policy.     



Julie2.jpgDr Julie Laursen

Julie Laursen holds a master’s degree in Educational Anthropology. She did her PhD research at the University of Aalborg, Denmark (2013-2016) where she examined prison-based cognitive behavioural programmes through participant observation and interviews. The main point of her research was to understand how prison-based cognitive behavioural programmes problem definitions of criminality and suggested solutions play out in concrete practice. She has extensive experience in conducting fieldwork and interviews in Danish prisons while she has also been a part of research teams in prisons in England & Wales. Her main research interests are sociology of prisons, prison cultures, comparative criminology, penology, and rehabilitation.




Anna.jpgAnna Schliehe

Anna Schliehe joined the Institute of Criminology and the PRC at the University of Cambridge as a post-doctoral researcher in June 2016. She was awarded a Diplom (Geography) from the University of Muenster, Germany, in 2011 and went on to do a MRes in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow. Anna completed her doctoral research project in 2013-2016 with the title ‘Tracing outsideness: young women’s institutional journeys and geographies of closed space’. Her research on the Scottish criminal justice system and its responses to young women in particular is informed by both carceral geography and criminological scholarship. Anna is interested in understanding the nature and experience of closed spaces, connecting empirical to conceptually challenging research. 



Alice.jpgAlice Ievins

Alice has a BA degree in English Literature and a Masters degree in Criminological Research, and is currently finishing her PhD on the prison experiences of men convicted of sexual offences. She will join the COMPEN team full time in March 2017. 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, class in prison, and closeness, distance and honesty in ethnographic research.




Eliza Preece

Eliza is the Comparative Penology research coordinator, and joined the team in July 2016.  She has several years of administrative experience within the University, and previously worked as a research manager within the Department of Public Health and Primary Care.  Eliza will support the research team in undertaking their extensive fieldwork on this project, alongside organising a variety of dissemination events, and creating an engaging and dynamic website in order to connect with, and feedback to, all those interested in this work.

If you have any questions about this research please do contact Eliza, who will be happy to help

The first Comparative Penology blog post will be online shortly...

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