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Jason Warr

Jason Warr

Ph.D Student

Lecturer, College of Social and Political Sciences, Lincoln University


Although now a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, Jason has had a somewhat unusual pathway into academia. In April 2004, he was released from prison after having completed the twelve-year tariff aspect of his HMP sentence. The parole board released him on tariff recognising that he had made specific exceptional progress in educating himself whilst in custody. In the last few years of his incarceration he completed a number of Philosophy based Open University courses. Using the credits that had been earned with those courses as entry level qualifications, he was given an unconditional offer to study Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics.

Specialising in the philosophical justifications for punishment he gained a 2:1 degree from the LSE in 2007. That same year he was accepted onto the MPhil in Criminological Research at the Institute of Criminology, funded by an Economic and Social Research Council studentship. Focusing on the problems of causation in criminological theorising he passed the MPhil and was accepted onto the PhD programme where his thesis is concerned with those psychologists employed within British Prisons. His PhD Thesis is entitled: The prison Based Forensic Psychologist: in Person and Practice.

Between 2005 – 2008 Jason was a guest Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire presenting lectures to trainee probation officers in the London area on the life sentence, the parole process and the effects of long term imprisonment. He is currently a guest lecturer for DeMontford University presenting to first and third year undergraduates on the effects of long term imprisonment. In November of 2008 he was asked to participate as a panellist alongside Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Sir Ian Blair and Phil Wheatley at the Longford Memorial Debate.

Alongside his PhD Jason is also currently a Programme Manager and Research Co-ordinator with the third sector organisation User Voice.

Teaching Experience

2011 Training User Voice personnel in Research Methods. Especially qualitative methods including ethics, interviewing techniques, focus groups, participant observation, etc.
Also, in this capacity teach our clients (prisoners basic research skills, critical reading and reasoning, rhetoric and public speaking and the basics of democratic theory).
2010 Guest Lecturer at Leicester University (Undergraduate/Graduate). Lecture on the life sentence, an introduction to the effects of imprisonment and the misconceptions about imprisonment.
2008 Informal tutoring for Cambridge criminology students interested in scientific method, causal theory, the philosophy of punishment and theory construction.
2008 Guest Lecturer at DeMontford University. Lectures on the subject of the life sentence and the effects of imprisonment to first and third year criminology undergraduates.
2005 - 2008 Guest Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire. Lectures on the subject of the life sentence, effects of long term imprisonment and my experiences of internal and external probation officers to each cohort of trainee probation officers.

Seminars and Panels

2013. Jun. Presentation of a paper entitled 'Expansion in an Age of Contraction - Does Size Matter?' at the Prison Services annual Perrie Lecture, HMPS Training College, Newbold Revel.
2013. May. Presentation of a paper entitled 'Imagined Rehabilitation - the Seven Pathways Examined' at the London Practitioners Forum, London Metropolitan University. Panel included Fergus McNeil.
2012. Nov. Discussant at Durham University Union Society panel on the purpose and efficacy of imprisonment.
2012. Jul. Seminar for American Military Historians on prisoner deprivations and mortifications, legitimacy/illegitimacy and post-release effects. Imperial War Museum, Duxford.
2012. May. Panellist at the National Offender Learning Conference. Topic of discussion was on current and historical problems in prison based education.
2010. Jul. Panellist at the British Society of Criminology annual conference alongside Dr Ben Crewe, Peter Bennett and Alan Smith. The Topic of the panel was power, space and the experience of the modern prison.
2008. Nov. Panellist at the Longford Memorial Debate: 'We cannot build our way out of the prisons crisis'. Chaired by Jon Snow the other panellists were Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Sir Ian Blair and Phil Wheatley.
2005. Jan. Guest speaker at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. I was asked to take part in a panel discussion concerning the effects of the life sentence and long term imprisonment alongside Rex Bloomstein.

Key Publications

Book Chapters

Book Reviews

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.