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Prisons Research Centre

Developmental criminology; family factors related to criminal offending; child maltreatment; policy evaluation.


I joined the Institute of Criminology in 2012 after completing my PhD. I currently work in the Prisons Research Centre conducting mainly quantitative research and analysis. During my time as a Postdoctoral Research Associate I have specialised in capturing and evaluating aspects of prison life that are often very difficult to understand and measure reliably.

My current research (funded by HMPPS) involves exploring minimum or ‘good enough’ and other thresholds of prison quality, by analysing Measuring the Quality of Prison Life (MQPL) survey data and linking these analyses to relevant in-prison outcomes (such as homicide, self-inflicted death, self-harm requiring hospitalisation, and serious incidents of violence). The aim of this analysis is to test and revise existing frameworks, and to develop an improved empirically and theoretically derived conceptual model of prison quality, showing where upper and lower limits can be found and what combinations of dimensions constitute a ‘good enough’ prison.

Recently, I was part of a team that successfully bid for a jointly-funded (NHS & HMPPS) evaluation of the Shared Reading project in Psychologically Informed Planned Environments (PIPEs). Shared Reading groups, run by The Reader Organisation, are offered weekly in all PIPEs. The Reader Organisation has developed a distinctive model which differs from other reading groups in that literature is read aloud in the group session, rather than in advance. The value of shared reading groups for people with a range of mental health conditions have been demonstrated through existing research. However, the specific value of the groups within the Offender Personality Disorder pathway was not fully understood. The Reader Organisation has proposed a theory of change that models how literature, read aloud in a supportive environment, enables the articulation and integration of profound thought and feeling, and therefore leads to changes that include increased well-being. As well as investigating these outcomes, we explored the possible process through which Shared Reading supports change.

I have a strong commitment to evidence-based policies and have completed two systematic reviews and one meta-analysis of the efficacy of programmes to reduce prison violence and prison yoga and meditation programmes.

My PhD was completed at the Forensic Psychiatry Research Unit at Bart’s and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. I analysed data from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development to examine whether psychopathic personality disorder and criminal offending are transmitted intergenerationally and if this relationship still present after family and environmental risk factors are taken into account. I also have a bachelor’s degree in politics and a master’s degree in public policy,

Prior to my PhD, I worked at the UCL Institute of Child Health with a team of clinicians to evaluate the training of over 300 health care professionals in a conceptual framework to help them recognise emotional abuse in their professional practice. This project was funded by the Department of Health and the Department for Children Schools and Families. I also worked as a researcher on a Home Office funded evaluation of monitoring parolees in the community using Satellite tracking.

I teach and supervise on the MPhil and MSt programmes. I have also taught Factor Analysis to postgraduate social sciences students for the Social Sciences Research Methods Programme since 2014.


Key publications: 
  • Auty, K. M., Liebling, A., Schliehe, A., & Crewe, B. (2022). What is trauma-informed practice? Towards operationalisation of the concept in two prisons for women. Criminology & Criminal Justice.
  • Liebling, A., Auty, K. M., Gardom, J., Lieber, E. (2022). An evaluation of the meaning and impact of Shared Reading in Psychologically Informed Planned Environments in prisons. Ministry of Justice Analytical Series, Ministry of Justice: London.
  • Auty, K. M., Farrington, D.P., & Coid, J. W. (2022). Intergenerational transmission of personality disorder severity and the role of psychosocial risk factors. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health. 32 (1), 5-20.
  • Auty, K. M., Farrington, D.P., & Coid, J. W. (2021). Intergenerational transmission of personality disorder: general or disorder-specific?, Psychology, Crime & Law. Advance online publication.
  • Auty, K. M., Bergstrøm, H., & Farrington, D.P., (2021). Intergenerational Continuities in Imprisonment: Findings from The Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development in Gomes, S., Carvalho, M. J. L., & Duarte, V. (eds) Incarceration and Generation, Volume II. Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
  • Auty, K. M., (2021). Meditation in Prison in M. Farias, D. Brazier & M. Lalljee, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Meditation, Oxford: OUP.
  • Auty, K. M., & Liebling, A. (2020). Exploring the relationship between prison social climate and reoffending. Justice Quarterly, 37 (2), 358-381.
  • Auty K. M., (2020). Peer Review Report For: A systematic review of criminal recidivism rates worldwide: 3-year update [version 3; peer review: 2 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. Wellcome Open Research, 4:28
  • Flanagan, I. M. L., Auty, K. M., & Farrington, D. P. (2019). Parental supervision and later offending: A systematic review of longitudinal studies. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 47, 215-229.
  • Liebling, A., Laws, B., Lieber, E., Auty, K., Schmidt, B. E., Crewe, B., Gardom, J., Kant, D., Morey, M. (2019). Are hope and possibility achievable in prison? The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 58 (1), 104-126.
  • Auty, K. M., (2019). Mindfulness-Based Interventions in the Criminal Justice System in H. Graham, F. McNeill, P. Raynor, F. Taxman, C. Trotter, & P. Ugwudike. The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice. London: Routledge.
  • Auty, K. M., (2019). The Intergenerational Transmission of Psychopathy in M. DeLisi, ed., Routledge International Handbook of Psychopathy and Crime, New York: Routledge.
  • Auty, K. M., Cope, A. & Liebling, A. (2017) A systematic review and meta-analysis of yoga and mindfulness meditation in prison. Effects on psychological well-being and behavioural functioning. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. 61, 689-710.
  • Auty, K., Cope, A. & Liebling, A. (2017). Psychoeducational Programs to Reduce Prison Violence: A Systematic Review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 33, 126-143
  • Auty, K. M., Farrington, D. P. & Coid, J. W. (2017). The Intergenerational Transmission of Criminal Offending: Exploring Gender-Specific Mechanisms. British Journal of Criminology, 57 (1), 215-237.
  • Auty, K. M., Farrington, D. P., & Coid, J. W. (2015). Intergenerational transmission of psychopathy and mediation via psychosocial risk factors. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206 (1), 26-31.
  • Auty, K. M., Farrington, D. P., & Coid, J. W. (2015). The Validity of Self-Reported Convictions in a Community Sample: Findings from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. European Journal of Criminology, 12 (5), 562-580.
  • Liebling, A., Schmidt, B., Crewe, B., Auty, K., Armstrong, R., Akoensi, T., Kant, D., Ludlow, A., & Ievins, A. (2015). Birmingham prison: the transition from public to private sector and its impact on staff and prisoner quality of life – a three-year study. National Offender Management Service Analytical Summary 2015. Ministry of Justice: London.
  • Auty, K. M., Farrington, D. P. & Coid, J. W. (2015). Intergenerational Transmission of Psychopathy - Author’s reply. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 206 (4), 343.
  • Auty, K. M., Bennallick, M., Taylor, C., & Champion, N. (2015). Involve, Improve, Inspire: Evaluation of a Learner Voice programme piloted in eight prisons to develop rehabilitative cultures. Prisoners' Education Trust. Retrieved from ort%2005.04.16.pdf
  • Auty, K. M., & Maruna, S. (2015). Evaluation of Spark Inside’s Hero’s Journey Violence Reduction Coaching Programme Pilot. National Offender Management Service Analytical Summary 2015. Ministry of Justice: London.
  • Piquero, A. R., Farrington, D. P., Shepherd, J. P. & Auty, K. (2014). Offending and Early Death in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. Justice Quarterly, 31 (3), 445-472.
  • Farrington, D., Auty, K., Coid, J., & Turner, R. (2013). Self-Reported and Official Offending from Age 10 to Age 56. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 19 (2), 135-151.
  • Glaser, D., Prior, V., Auty, K. M., & Tilki, S. (2012). Does Training in a Systematic Approach to Emotional Abuse Improve the Quality of Children’s Services? Research Brief, Department for Education.
  • Glaser, D., Prior, V., Auty, K. M., & Tilki, S. (2012). Does Training and Consultation in a Systematic Approach to Emotional Abuse (FRAMEA) Improve the Quality of Children’s Services? (The Emotional Abuse Recognition Training Evaluation Study). In C. Davies & H. Ward, eds., Safeguarding Children Across Services: Messages from Research, pp. 179-180, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Senior Research Associate
Katherine Auty

Contact Details

+44 (0)1223 746515
Not available for consultancy