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Prisons Research Centre



Daria holds a BSc in Forensic Science with Criminology (First class honours) from the University of South Wales. She completed the MPhil in Criminological Research (Distinction) in 2019-20; she was awarded the Institute of Criminology’s Manuel López-Rey Graduate Prize for best academic performance that year. Her MPhil dissertation looked at ‘soft power’ in a women’s English prison. Before starting her PhD in October 2022, Daria worked as a Research Assistant on the Comparative Penology project and the ‘Life imprisonment from young adulthood’ longitudinal follow-up study.


Daria’s doctoral research, funded by the ESRC and Pembroke College and supervised by Professor Ben Crewe, will adopt a semi-ethnographic approach to study women’s open prisons in England. Given how little is known about women’s open prisons, the study aims to explore the ‘objective characteristics’ and ‘subjective experiences’ of women’s open imprisonment in England. More specifically, it seeks to understand women’s interactions with(in) the institution and the ideology of open imprisonment, their day-to-day experiences, what they see as the purpose of open imprisonment, and to what extent they feel that their (gendered) needs are being met in this context. The following questions guide the study:

  1. How does penal power operate and is experienced in open prisons for women?

  2. How does it reflect discourses of rehabilitation, risk, and punishment?

  3. What are the main benefits and frustrations for women in open prisons?

  4. How does proximity to ‘freedom’ shape the dynamics and experiences in women’s open prisons?


Key publications: 


PhD Student
Not available for consultancy