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Justice Focus - A podcast featuring Professor Alison Liebling

last modified Oct 15, 2020 08:23 AM
Appreciative Inquiry and the moral performance of prisons


Alison Liebling, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Institute of Criminology’s Prisons Research Centre, has recently been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to embark on significant further research and took a moment to reflect on her career-to-date with Omar. 


Alison's work includes a series of successful books and publications on several topics including suicides and suicide attempts among adult prisoners, public-private sector comparisons, the work and role of prison officers, and the nature and quality of staff-prisoner relationships.


As well as reflecting on her inspirations and how she came to 'appreciative inquiry' as a research method, Alison discusses three of her papers, including some past and some present work:


Paper 1: Women in our own Right or ‘Honorary Men’? Reflections on a Professional Life in Prisons Research


Paper 2: Finding George Eliot In Prison: Reflections On Its Moral Life


Paper 3: Moral performance, inhuman and degrading treatment and prison pain


Prof. Alison Liebling | @AlisonLiebling | @PrisonsResearch | 


Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |

Prisons Research at Cambridge University

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.