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Liv S Gaborit


Liv S. Gaborit (cand.psych) is a PhD fellow at Roskilde University and DIGNITY – the Danish Institute Against Torture. She has been doing prison ethnography in the global south since 2013, working in places such as the Philippines, Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Kosovo. Her work connects individual experiences to institutional and societal structures.

Currently she is writing her PhD on experiences of imprisonment in Myanmar, as part of the project Legacies of Detention in Myanmar (www.legacies-of-detention-org). Her PhD builds on 15 months of fieldwork in Myanmar conducted from 2016 to 2018. During fieldwork she experimented with different methodological approaches such as how to do prison research from outside the prison and conducting a photo voice project with a group of former political prisoners.

During her stay at the Prison Research Centre she will be writing up articles for her dissertation on the topics of the importance of recognition for reintegration of political prisoners after release, and spiritual experiences in meditation and solitary confinement.

Prisons Research at Cambridge University

The Prisons Research Centre (PRC) was founded in 2000, under the Directorship of Professor Alison Liebling. The Centre has received funding from a wide range of sources, including the Prison Service/NOMS, the Nuffield Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the ESRC, KPMG, the Home Office and UKDS (now Kalyx).

The Cambridge Institute of Criminology Prisons Research Centre aims to provide a stimulating research environment in which a coherent strategy of high quality research can be pursued, and integration between funded and non-funded, and applied and theoretical projects can be facilitated. We investigate how prisons operate, socially, morally and operationally, how they are experienced, and the relationship between these moral and social qualities, and their effects.

Members of the PRC team carry out, individually and collectively, methodologically rigorous and theoretically relevant field-based studies addressing problems of human and social values, punishment practices, and the organisation and effects of aspects of prison life. We strive to forge links with other prisons researchers, scholars in the broader fields of criminology and sociology, and with practitioners. Our vision is to develop a rigorous and person-centred model of social inquiry.

You can read more about the latest projects in our Annual Reports.