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Dr Julienne Weegels


Julienne Weegels is a postdoctoral researcher with the Centre for Latin American Research at the University of Amsterdam. She is here to work on her book manuscript Performing Prison: Power, Agency and Co-Governance in Nicaraguan Prisons, which is based on her doctoral research. The book addresses the negotiation of state and prisoner power, and the politics of (dis)order writ large. It is based on long-term ethnographic research with (former) prisoners and takes an interdisciplinary approach, bridging debates in Latin American studies, critical criminology and the anthropology of the state, to understand not only everyday life inside Nicaragua's prisons, but also the evolution of its hybrid carceral state.


Julienne is a founding member of the Anthropology of Confinement Network, the Red de Investigación Penitenciaria de las Américas, and co-organizer of the Global Prisons Research Network.

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.