Creators and authors

Kate Herrity

Kate completed her doctorate in 2019: “Rhythms and routines: sounding order and survival in a local men’s prison through aural ethnography“. She has a keen interest in incorporating inter-disciplinarity and creativity in to criminology, as well as the implications of closer attendance to sensory experience for knowledge. Kate is also particularly interested in music in prison and prison ethnomusicology. Currently part-time lecturer and module leader at De Montfort University, she has been elected to the Mellon-Kings Cambridge Junior Research Fellowship in Punishment from October 2020, when she hopes to revisit and expand her work on sound and emotion in prison.

Bethany Schmidt

Bethany Schmidt is Research Associate in the Prisons Research Centre, University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research explored the organisation User Voice and its ex-offender-led, prison-based deliberative democratic council model. She has conducted research for several complex, linked series’ of projects aimed at refining our understanding of ‘prisons in transition’ in a variety of different contexts, including longitudinal and international studies. She is particularly interested in what it means to democratise (socially, culturally, intellectually, politically) people, spaces, policies and practices and how this intersects with punishment and prisons. Bethany is currently a co-investigator on a long-term study of prisons and prison life in post-revolution Tunisia (in collaboration with Andrew Jefferson at the Danish Institute Against Torture).

Jason Warr

A VC2020 Lecturer in Criminology & Criminal Justice, and early career academic, at De Montfort University, Jason had a non-standard entrance into academia. Beginning as a mature student, he read Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics before making the move to Criminology.

Specialising in the philosophy of causation in criminological theory he secured an MPhil in Criminological Research at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge (ESRC funded) where he also conducted his doctoral research. This work later became the basis of the book: An Introduction to Criminological Theory and the Problem of Causation. His thesis was entitled: The Prison Based Forensic Psychologist: in Person and Practice, and is now published with Emerald: Forensic Psychologists: Prison, Power and Vulnerability.


Natalie Booth

Natalie completed her thesis at the University of Bath in 2017, entitled: “Prison and the family : an exploration of maternal imprisonment from a family-centred perspective”. She then spent three years at De Montfort University as a lecturer in Criminology before leaving to return to Bath, at Bath Spa University as Senior Lecturer. A passionate advocate of prisoner’s families her research interests include: Prisoners’ children and families; kin caregiving; women in prison; mothers in prison; qualitative research; reflexivity; penal policy; prison education.

A link to a more recent post on her work:

Annie Bunce

Annie’s PhD, entitled: ‘“What we’re saying makes sense so I’ve subscribed to it and I try to live by it.”: A qualitative exploration of prisoners’ motivation to participate in an innovative rehabilitation programme through the lens of Self-Determination Theory’, was completed at the University of Surrey in October 2019. My thesis is available to download here:

Annie’s PhD was part of a wider process and outcome evaluation of the rehabilitation programme in question. More information about the programme and the research can be found in the final evaluation report ( and several co-authored articles. She has also published a blogpost based on her PhD data which focuses on the role of autonomy in programme participation: find her on twitter @BunceAnnie

Janine Ewen

Janine Ewen is an aspiring Criminologist based in the North-East of Scotland. Her main areas of interest in the region are on future energy transition developments and how industry and inequalities have played out through drug use and the drug trade. Janine has academic, practitioner and lived experiences which have given her invaluable knowledge and insights. During her career, Janine has worked with police officers, the Scottish Government, practitioners in public health, young people, and key populations. She has helped to transform services as well as improve frontline support for marginalised people, for those who experience health and wellbeing exclusion, violence, and criminal justice outcomes. Such work has taken Janine on international trips to participate in consultations, research and conferences, and to support grassroots community projects. Janine is a co-convener for the Special Interest Group on Gender for the Global Law Enforcement and Public Health Association. Janine tweets @JanineEwen

Richard W. Ireland

Richard W. Ireland taught in the Department of Law at Aberystwyth for more than 40 years and remains an Emeritus member. His teaching centred on the history of law, crime and criminology as well as legal anthropology and philosophy. His books include A Want of Order and Good Discipline: Rules, Discretion and the Victorian Prison and Land of White Gloves? A History of Crime and Punishment in Wales, and he has also written many articles. A founder committee member of the Welsh Legal History Society ( Home ) he has also made a number of appearances on television and radio.

Francis Pakes

Francis is professor of criminology at the University of Portsmouth. He has written about prison policy in the Netherlands and more recently has studied Nordic prisons most particularly those in Iceland. He is a comparative criminologist with his book Comparative Criminal Justice being in its fourth edition. Forever fascinated and disturbed by the questions: ‘What is prison for?’ and ‘What is prison like?’.

Jake Phillips

Jake is Reader in Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University where he teaches modules on punishment, prison and probation. He also conducts research, primarily focused on the intersection between policy and practice in the field of probation and community sanctions. In recent years he has carried out research into the emotional labour of probation practice, people who die whilst under probation supervision and the impact of inspection on probation policy and practice. His twitter handle is @jakephillips and more information about his work can be found here.

Katy Roscoe

Katy Roscoe is a historian of crime and punishment in the British Empire in the nineteenth century at the University of Liverpool. To learn more about her research, visit her Cockatoo Island Convicts website. She tweets @katyaroscoe.

Michael Spurr

Michael Spurr was CEO of HM Prison and Probation Service 2010-2019 and is currently a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics.

Janani Umamaheswar

( is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Southern Connecticut State University. Her research interests are in the areas of gender, incarceration, the life course, and qualitative research methods. You can find her online at and on Twitter @jananiu.