Thais Portilho

Thais PortilhoContact Details

Personal Details

Thais joined the School of Criminology as a full-time PhD student following a 15-year career in journalism, public affairs and media relations. She moved to the UK in 2007 after a period working as junior crime reporter in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to do a Masters in Journalism at Kingston University. Thais gained experience of the UK criminal justice system through years of court reporting for local newspapers. She has also spent nearly a decade working in in-house PR and managing political campaigns, including the Hacked Off Campaign, and Justice Across Borders – a campaign to stop the UK from opting out of EU justice and home affairs measures. During that period, Thais also worked with health and mental health policy and she has recently contributed to the drafting of immigration and asylum policies for a major English political party. In 2017, Thais has learned to code in Python and trained in how to develop Machine Learning and Deep Learning algorithms.

PhD Research

Thais’ study, ‘Artificial Intelligence in prisons: exploring the potential use of learning algorithms in prison mental health care, the ethical and human rights implications’ is supervised by Dr Wendy Fitzgibbon and Professor Huiyu Zhou (Informatics). She aims to delve into a blossoming area of research, Artificial Intelligence, and its potential use in a prison setting to detect mental ill health in prisoners. Her research aims to determine whether AI can be applied in a prison setting to flag up mental ill health in a prison population, how effective it is likely to be and more profound questions of ethics and impact on human rights.

New paper piece

Since joining the school, Thais had an article published in the Independent which can be found here on the consequences of our blind faith in Artificial Intelligence which are catching up to us.

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Contact Details

The School of Criminology
152-154 Upper New Walk

T: +44 (0)116 252 2458


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