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 interdisciplinarity 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 a Junior Research Fellowship at Kings College Cambridge in October 2020.

Link to a guest blog post for the Cambridge Institute of Criminology’s comparative penology project blog:

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 in
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 is entitled: The Prison Based Forensic Psychologist: in Person and Practice.


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:

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?’.

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.