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2015 Annual Conference Agenda

PRC Annual Research Meeting

Rooms B3 and B4 - Institute of Criminology

Sidgwick Site, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA


Thursday 1 October


10.15 - 10.30


10.30 - 11.00

Achievements and activities: making a case for person-centred social science, Alison Liebling 

11.00 - 12.30

Trust, risk, faith and political charge in high security prisons, Alison Liebling 

12.30 - 1.15

Lunch and posters 

1.15 - 2.45

Revisiting the problems of long-term imprisonment, Ben Crewe

2.45 - 3.45

Learning from MQPL +: prisons in transition and the redistribution of power, Bethany Schmidt 

3.45 - 4.00


4.00 - 5.15

Discussion: the state and nature of prisons research. Invited contributions from Professor Sir Anthony Bottoms, Professor Yvonne Jewkes, Professor Dirk Van Zyl Smit, and Professor Roy King. 

5.30 - 6.30

Business meeting (Steering group only) 


Followed by a drinks reception and dinner at Trinity Hall

Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TJ
19.00 onwards


Friday 2 October

Current prisons research, its role and impact


10.30 - 12.30

Panel: The relationship between research, reform, advocacy and activism.

 -          Challenging Assumptions: law, criminology and the university, Professor Noel Whitty

-          Research and Reform – The best and the worst of two worlds, Professor Sonja Snacken

-          Research and reform – re-connecting prison and society in the 21st century, Dr Peter Scharff Smith

-          Working with but not for – on ambivalent engagements between local NGOs and prison authorities in the South, Dr Andrew Jefferson

12.30 - 1.15


1.15 - 2.45

Current research and its relationship to practice, I 


-          Keeping it impersonal: Developing perspectives through philosophical dialogue with prisoners, Kirstine Szifris

-          Democratizing prisons: An ethnographic exploration of politics, resistance, and civility behind bars, Bethany Schmidt

-          Learning together, Ruth Armstrong and Amy Ludlow

-          Exploring the relationship between MQPL and recidivism, Katherine Auty

2.45 - 3.00 


3.00 - 4.15

Current research and its relationship to practice, II


-          Academic research in a politicized time? Working on immigration detention, Mary Bosworth

-          Prison officers: Space and place, Borah Kant

-          A DCC Perspective, Alan Scott

 4.15 - 4.20

Thanks and closure

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.