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Deborah Kant

Deborah Kant

Ph.D Student

'Under threat? A social and occupational history of prison officers'


Deborah is currently working towards completing her PhD, titled ‘Under threat? A social and occupational history of prison officers’. Using qualitative methods, Deborah conducted fieldwork in two distinct local establishments in the North and South of England. Her research explores narratives of experience, change, and culture of officers who have joined the prison service at different points since the 1970s. Deborah’s research interests center on culture; nostalgia; generational values; space and place; and intersections of public and private in prison work.

Deborah previously worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Criminology Prisons Research Centre, and additionally served as editorial associate for the international penological journal Punishment and Society from 2009 until 2012.



  • PhD Candidate, Criminology, University of Cambridge
    Thesis: ‘Under threat? A social and occupational history of prison officers’
    Supervisor: Prof. Alison Liebling

  • MPhil, Criminology, University of Cambridge, 2008
    Thesis: 'Daisy Hopkins and the Proctors'
    Supervisor: Dr. Manuel Eisner

  • BA (Hons), Philosophy, Anglia Ruskin University, 2005


Key Publications

Liebling, A. and Kant, D. (forthcoming) ‘The Two Cultures: Correctional Officers and Key Differences in Institutional Climate’, in J. Wooldredge and P. Smith (eds.) The Oxford Handbook on Prisons and Imprisonment, Oxford: Oxford University Press.