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Prisons Research Centre


Where possible, we will 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.


Dr 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.  To explore this she draws on diverse and creative methods (ethnography, discourse analysis, qualitative interviews, mental maps) and disciplines (criminology, human geography, creative arts). Through her work with often vulnerable groups as well as professionals she has experience in ethics processes on university level as well as with prisons and other institutions. She has engaged in various outreach work, collaborating closely with the Scottish Centre for Criminal Justice Research (SCCJR) and with services like Up-2-Us (third sector organisation that supports young people in prison and secure accommodation). Anna has been involved in report writing and policy development for Phase Three Consultancy and Up-2-Us in Scotland.

She has recently started working as a Marie Curie Fellow (in the Crime and Carcerality Research Group, at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Oldenburg), and as a Research Associate at the University of Bonn.

Anna will continue to collaborate with members of the Prisons Research Centre on the work she started when she was a Research Associate at the Institute of Criminology, on the ERC-funded research project: Penal policmaking and the prisoner experience: a comparative analysis.