Leicester Prisons Research Network

Leicester Prisons Research Network

This network aims to deliver ambitious, transformative and innovative prisons research that crosses disciplinary boundaries.

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The Project:

The Leicester Prisons Research Network aims to:

  1. Undertake excellent, world-leading and interdisciplinary prisons research that advances academic knowledge.
  2. Develop effective, collaborative partnerships which ensure genuine and lasting impact beyond the academy.
  3. Recruit coach and mentor future research leaders.

Upcoming Events

To keep up to date via our newsletter and mailing list, please contact prisons.research@le.ac.uk

The LPRN have an exciting programme of free research seminars and masterclasses for the upcoming year. For more information, please register via Eventbrite: http://leicesterprisonsresearch.eventbrite.com

We are also hosting a number of knowledge exchange events. These cost a nominal fee of £10 to cover catering costs on the day. Past events have attracted audiences of academics, ECRs, practitioners, and colleagues in the third sector. For more information, visit: https://shop.le.ac.uk/product-catalogue/events-at-leicester/leicester-law-school

Three Core Network Themes

1) Health, Well-Being and Disease in Prisons

This network will strengthen the University’s world-leading expertise in health, well-being and disease, not only applying existing knowledge within a new context (‘the prison’), but also developing new knowledge. A key strand of our work will involve developing innovative research on infectious diseases (e.g. Hepatitis C) and global health challenges (e.g. antimicrobial resistance). Our collaboration includes Leicester Microbial Sciences and Infectious Disease Network (LeMID), the SAPPHIRE research group (Social Science Applied to Healthcare Improvement Research), University Hospitals Leicester, the Leicester Wellcome Trust ISSF and the NIHR Research Design Service. This theme will draw on expertise from Genetics and Genome Biology, Infection Immunity and Inflammation, Business, Criminology, Neuroscience Psychology and Behaviour, Law, and Sociology.

2) Prison Order, Control and Security

The network will draw together existing strengths in national security, international relations. in artificial intelligence, and in prison disorder, insecurity and organised crime. There is a growing concern regarding prison insecurity and disorder, and the new threats produced by drugs, drones, mobile phones, social media, cryptocurrencies, and the ‘dark web,’ and the ability to explore these problems through an inter-disciplinary lens will not only significantly advance academic knowledge, but also have a significant impact. Moreover, network members will explore the emerging problem of terrorism, radicalisation and extremism within the prison, drawing on existing and growing expertise within the Leicester Centre for Hate Studies. This theme will draw on expertise from History Politics and International Relations, Criminology, Law, Media and Communications, and Informatics.

3) Leadership, Environment and Organisational Culture

Across the University there is already considerable expertise in management studies, emotional labour, industrial relations, organisational culture, organisational resilience and public-sector leadership. However, to date, there has been little application of such theories within the prison environment. deliberate aim of the network is to explore the potential for new research projects that address the current leadership and organisational challenges across the prison sector. This theme will draw on expertise from Business, Law, Criminology, Neuroscience Psychology and Behaviour, and Law.

Team Members:

Dr Matt Tonkin – (Crim); Health Well-Being and Disease in Prisons Co-Lead (Theme 1)

Dr Emma Palmer – (Dept of NYPB) Core Network Member; Health Well-Being and Disease in Prisons Co-Lead (Theme 1)

Dr Ruth Hatcher – (Dept of NPB) Core Network Member; Health Well-Being and Disease in Prisons Co-Lead (Theme 1)


Dr Tammy Ayres – (Crim) Core Network Member; Prison Order, Control and Security Co-Lead (Theme 2)

Prof Mark Phythian – (Politics and International Relations Department);Prison Order, Control and Security Co-Lead (Theme 2)

Dr Benjamin Hopkins – University of Birmingham (Business School); Leadership, Environment, and Organisational Culture Co-Lead (Theme 3)

Dr Kellie Moss – History Department

Prof Panos Vostanis – Department of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Behaviour

Prof Martin Wiselka – University Hospitals Leicester

Kate Herrity – Department of Criminology; ECR Lead (with Georgina Barkham-Perry sub-lead)

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