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Dev Maitra

Dev Maitra

Ph.D Student

'Faith, race, gangs and ‘the street’ in prison: An inductive analysis'


Dev read Law at the University of Bristol, receiving his LL.B. (First Class Honours) in 2007. He spent much of the next five years teaching in London, primarily as a private tutor, but also undertaking one-to-one teaching in secondary schools. Dev was also a member of the Zahid Mubarek Trust (2010), conducting research on bullying and victimisation within Young Offenders' Institutes, and on deaths arising from cell-sharing. In 2012 he began his MPhil in Criminological Research at the Institute of Criminology on an ESRC 1+3 studentship; he completed his MPhil in 2013. Dev's MPhil thesis, titled 'Gangs Behind Bars: Fact or Fiction?', was a qualitative study of English prison gangs, exploring the links between gangs in prison and their street counterparts.

Dev's PhD research continues to study prison gangs in England, with a particular focus on how religious extremism and racial identity affect prison gang membership. This includes studying the development of street gang allegiances within prison, as well as the impact of religious extremism on prisoner groupings. Dev is supervised by Professor Alison Liebling at the Institute of Criminology Prisons Research Centre.

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.