skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Julie Laursen

Dr Julie Laursen

Research Associate


Julie 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. She conducts 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.

Key Publications

  • Laursen, J (2016) Humour and the Limits of Soft Power in Prison. British Journal of Criminology, DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azw064.
  • Prieur, A, Jensen, SQ, Laursen, J & Pedersen, O (2016) "'Social Skills': Following a travelling concept from American academic discourse to contemporary Danish welfare institutions“. Minerva, DOI: 10.1007/s11024-016-9307-8.
  • Laursen, J & Laws, B (2016) ‘Honour and Respect in Danish Prisons – Contesting “Cognitive Distortions” in Cognitive-Behavioural Programmes’ Punishment & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474516649175.
  • Laursen, J (2015) "Man begynder jo ikke at smadre en købmand": Perspektiver på vold i vredeskontrolprogrammet "Anger Management" [“You Wouldn´t Beat up the Grocery Guy!” Perspectives on violence in the prison-based cognitive behavioural program “Anger Management”] In: Tidsskriftet Antropologi. 71, 69-91.

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.