Prison Research Network
- About the group
- Forthcoming Events
- Previous Events
- Joining and staying in touch
- Contact the Network
Convenor – Professor David Best, the University of Derby
Steering Group: Cormac Behan (University of Sheffield), Sacha Darke (University of Westminster), Bill Davies (Leeds Becket University), Laura Piacentini (University of Strathclyde), Serena Wright (Cambridge University).
Prison research has deep historical links with the development of British criminology. The dramatic and sustained growth of prison populations and the proliferation of penal regimes have fostered a corresponding growth within the BSC of prison research and critical engagement with penal affairs. The PRN offers a means for discussion, critical analysis and sharing perspectives or experience among diverse and dispersed BSC members.
- To provide a forum for prison researchers and other BSC members to share information and experience about prisons with a view to developing critical analysis and debate across research, policy and practice communities.
- To advance understandings and appreciation of the range of contemporary prison research in the four jurisdictions of the UK, the rest of Europe and the wider international environment.
- To foster opportunities for collaborative practice among prison researchers, criminologists, prisoners, prison staff and other ‘user groups’ in the penal and voluntary sector.
- To encourage networking between academics, researchers, practitioners and students interested in prison research and issues.
Where possible, three Network meetings a year are planned, usually around a theme of interest to members of the network. Activities may include small conferences, seminars and symposia with invited speakers external to the group or provided by group members.
Future events are announced in the bi-monthly BSC bulletin.
Recent online seminar: Insider Ethnography
Dr Jamie Bennett is a deputy director in HM Prisons and Probation Service in England and Wales, currently Head of Operational Security. His presentation explored the experience of conducting an ethnographic study of prison managers by a prison manager. The theoretical underpinnings discussed included the differences between insider and outsider research in locating a reflexive position that is both sufficiently intimate in order to capture the rich experience of those being studied whilst also having enough distance in order to be able to situate this within a wider social context. The presentation discussed insider ethnography as turbulent process with its emotional complexity and implications for identity and power. The presentation discussed the way that my role as researcher (and manager) was understood and perceived by research subjects, and how this role was viewed through lens of organisational culture and power. The presentation also discussed how undertaking research led to shifts in personal identity and generated discomfort about the implications of prison management and practice for social justice.
If you know anyone who would like to join or you have any ideas or suggestions, please let us know – BSCprisonresearchnetwork@gmail.com
Surviving Prison and Probation – November 7, 2019
This event was at De Montfort University (in association with the Prisons and Probation Research Hub).
Carl Cattermole, author of ‘Prison: A survival guide’, talked from a lived experience account of what life in a UK prison is really like, and Roz Morrison, talked about surviving probation from a professional perspective, reflecting on changes in recent years that have impacted on practice and influence our thinking about research.
Read the blog by David Best – Celebrating Survival
Joining and staying in touch
The network has a small steering group and a convenor that plan and co-ordinate meetings and other activity on an annual basis. A mailing list will assist in communication between members and interested parties.
Click here for a flyer of a new book Convict Criminology by former network chair Dr Rod Earle.
Contact the Network
Professor David Best – D.Best@derby.ac.uk
Twitter – @BSC_PN
If you would like to join or you have any ideas or suggestions, please let us know – BSCprisonresearchnetwork@gmail.com
Websites of interest
The Howard League for Penal Reform – http://www.howardleague.org/
Prison Reform Trust – http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk/