skip to content

Prisons Research Centre


Where possible we consider applications from visiting scholars who wish to conduct research with the Prisons Research Centre.  Informal enquiries should be made in the first instance to Professor Alison Liebling or Professor Ben Crewe.

Information on the Institute of Criminology's visitor application process is available on the Institute of Criminology Visitors webpage.


Dr Kate Herrity was awarded her doctorate in Criminology in 2019 from the University of Leicester, for her PhD: ‘Rhythms and routines: sounding order in a local men’s prison using aural ethnography’. She was elected to the Mellon-King’s Junior Research Fellowship in Punishment (2020-24) in order to pursue her current research project – which extends ideas introduced in her thesis – exploring the relationship between sound and social emotion amongst different prison populations.



Dr Julie Laursen joined the PRC as a Research Associate in the ERC-funded research project Penal policymaking and the prisoner experience: a comparative analysis in June 2016. During this time she conducted fieldwork and interviews in Norwegian and English prisons while studying penal policymaking and the penal field, the experiences of mainstream, female prisoners, imprisoned sex offenders, and prisoners in the most secure parts of each jurisdiction's prison system. 

She is now employed by the University of Copenhagen in the Faculty of Law, and is currently a visiting scholar at the PRC continuing some of the work she started on the Penal policmaking and the prisoner experience: a comparative analysis research project.


Dr Kristian Mjåland joined the Prisons Research Centre in 2016, as a Senior Research Associate on the COMPEN project. He is now employed as an Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Agder, Norway, and is a Visiting scholar at the PRC. Kristian’s research interests include comparative penology, prison social life, offender rehabilitation, and drug use and drug economy in and beyond prisons.

While working on the COMPEN project, Kristian was mainly engaged in fieldwork within Norwegian prisons and interviews with key penal policymakers in Norway. Together with colleagues, he is currently writing up several articles, on topics such as ‘deep end confinement’, open prisons, egalitarian cultures within Norwegian prisons, and prison officer
perceptions of men convicted of sex offences.

Kristian has organised and hosted several public conversations in Kristiansand, Norway, through his role in a ‘public social science’ initiative at the University of Agder, Norway, on topics such as Climate change (November 2019), Drug reform (February 2020) and Artificial intelligence (June 2020). He also produced two podcasts for the same initiative during the lockdown.