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” which is now a book, and due for publication in January 2024. 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. Formerly a part-time lecturer and module leader at De Montfort University, she was elected to the Mellon-Kings Cambridge Junior Research Fellowship in Punishment 2020-2024, where 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.


Harry Annison

Dr Harry Annison is an Associate Professor at Southampton Law School. He has conducted many dozens of interviews with ‘elite’ penal policy participants; and also has conducted qualitative research with police officers, probation officers and families of people sentenced to indeterminate imprisonment. Recent publications include ‘The Role of Storylines in Penal Policy Change’ in Punishment & Society.


Beth is a doctoral researcher in the UK. Having experienced violence and abuse during her teenage years, she is now passionate about social justice and creating spaces for women and girls to speak their truth. As she wishes to remain anonymous we cannot currently share links to her profile or work. Instead, she asks that you visit The Survivors Trust website, the organisation which previously helped her, to learn about abuse and how you can support the survivors in your life:

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. Her 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

Danica J. M. Darley

Danica straddles the disciplines of criminology, sociology and social work. Her specific research interests are children in care who come into conflict with the law, the broader youth justice system, the experiences of women in the criminal justice system and interpretations and understandings of vulnerability.

She is in the early stages of her PhD at the University of Sheffield. Her research considers the experiences of children in care within organised crime. She is interested in participative and creative methods that place the voice of experience at their heart and is keen to ensure that we understand the value of different types of experience within research. Find her on twitter @danicagilland

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


Gemma is currently working towards her PhD at a University in the UK. Between the ages of 12-15 she was repeatedly held in police custody. As she wishes to remain anonymous we cannot currently share links to her profile or work projects, but she asks that we include a link to Agenda’s webpages as a means of heightening awareness of issues related to at risk women and girls coming in to contact with the criminal justice system:

Lizzie Hughes

Lizzie Hughes is a PhD student at Birkbeck whose ESRC funded work entitled Sensing Surveillance examines the interface of surveillance, sensory embodiment, and transness from the UK gender-segregated bathroom. Alongside the PhD, Lizzie works on a cross-institutional research project that explores the management of sex and intimacy as key techniques of governance in British prisons. Outside of academia, Lizzie is involved in befriending schemes across prison walls and runs a LGBTIQ+-only mental health project in North London for LGBTIQ+ Londoners and LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers and refugees. More information can be found at and they welcome contact at

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.

Anna Kotova

Anna in a Lecturer in Criminology in the Department of social policy, sociology and criminology at the University of Birmingham. Her teaching and research interests are in prison sociology and the collateral impact of imprisonment on families of prisoners. She has researched the impact of long sentences on partners of prisoners in the UK, the experiences of prisoners serving sentences for sex offences in a therapeutic community and the use of video-call technology in prisons. She teaches on Criminological Theory and Punishment in a Global Context and tweets @AnnaKotovaOx.

Ross Little

Following a research project in the late 1990s in a Young Offenders Institution with young adults of a similar age to him, Ross became increasingly aware of issues affecting people in the criminal justice system. Since then, he has spent almost 25 years working in relation to children, young people and/or imprisonment. For the past decade has been a trustee with The National Association for Youth Justice, an organisation that promotes the rights of, and justice for, children affected by the criminal justice system. The focus of this first piece for Sensory Criminology draws on a classroom space he co-facilitated in HMP Lifer in 2019, a prison for adult men sentenced to life imprisonment. He has enjoyed writing this piece even more than writing for academic journal publications, and thanks the editors for the opportunity.

If you’d like to get in touch, contact Ross by email or Twitter @VirtuallyRoss. He works as a senior lecturer in criminology and criminal justice at De Montfort University, where he leads a module focusing on young people and the criminal justice system

Eleanor March

Eleanor March is Research Fellow in Interdisciplinary Prison Research at the University of Birmingham, working across carceral geography, criminology, literary and cultural studies, and history. She researches cultural representations of the carceral, focusing on prisoner writing, literary and media representations of prisons, and prison history.

Her PhD thesis “Crossing the prison boundary: Prisoner writing as an act of translation” was an interdisciplinary study of contemporary writing by UK prisoners. She is currently working on the ESRC-funded Persistent Prisons project: She is on Twitter: @eleanor_march

Natasa Mavronicola

Natasa is Reader in Law at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham. She researches and teaches on human rights law, and the intersections between human rights and criminal justice. Her PhD, and recent monograph, focused on the interpretation and application of the right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in light of its absolute character. She is interested in the relationship between human rights and State penality, and the extent to which human rights enable or foreclose abolitionist idea(l)s. Find her on twitter @NMavronicola

Ian O’Donnell

Ian O’Donnell is a Professor of Criminology at University College Dublin and an adjunct fellow of Linacre College, Oxford. His most recent books are Justice, Mercy, and Caprice: Clemency and the Death Penalty in Ireland (Oxford, 2017) and Prisoners, Solitude, and Time (Oxford, 2014).

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.

Amy B. Smoyer

Amy is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University. Her programme of research examines women’s lived experience of incarceration and the impact of this experience on health outcomes including HIV care and prevention, food injustice, bladder health, housing stability, and psychosocial wellness (

Anna Souhami

Anna Souhami is an ethnographer and a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Law, University of Edinburgh. Her current research is a study of policing in the remote Northern islands of Scotland, which explores how order is maintained in small islands and the implications for our understanding of both policing and criminology more widely. She has previously conducted ethnographies of youth justice policy making; the formation and operation of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs); and (with Janet Foster and Tim Newburn) a Home Office research study of policing in England and Wales after the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. Anna is also interested in the culture of ethnographic research on policing, and has written about that here. Follow her on twitter @AnnaSouhami

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.

Benjamin Thorne

Benjamin (@benjamin-thorne) completed his PhD in 2020 Legal Witnessing and Mass Human Rights Violations: Remembering Atrocities. Benjamin is an interdisciplinary scholar with main areas of interest within socio-legal studies, transitional justice, and social and cultural theory. Currently a central focus is memory, transitional justice, and legal atrocity archives. More generally, Benjamin is interested in questions around visuals, sounds, as well as the broader sensory field, in how people experience crime, law and justice, particular in the international context; and the co-existence of spaces of law and faith in the aftermath of mass violence. Previously he was a Visiting Researcher at the University of Oxford Centre or Socio-Legal Studies, and the Aegis Trust Peace Education Team, Rwanda.

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.

Elaine Webster

Elaine is a Senior Lecturer at Strathclyde Law School and Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights Law, University of Strathclyde. She has a background in law, international politics, and multidisciplinary human rights research. Elaine’s interests are in interpretation of human rights by different actors and the concept of human dignity within human rights is a central theme in her work. She has a particular interest in the right not to be subjected to degrading treatment and its application across diverse contexts, explored in her monograph ‘Dignity, Degrading Treatment and Torture in Human Rights Law: The Ends of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights’.