Dr Cara Jardine

Research Associate
University of Strathclyde
16 Richmond Street
G1 1XQ
External web page:

Cara completed her PhD – Constructing Family in the Context of Imprisonment: a study of prisoners and their families in Scotland – in 2015.

Drawing on qualitative interviews with men and women in custody, family members in the community and relevant professionals this research found just as there is no single model of the family in contemporary Scotland, the family relationships affected by imprisonment are many and varied. These relationships are maintained by doing “family things” such as sharing time together, meals, memories and other family traditions. Yet this requires considerable effort on the part of the family and much of this caring work is done by women, who are very often already experiencing social marginalisation. Imprisonment can therefore serve not only to entrench gendered caring roles and social marginality, but also risks creating or exacerbating negative interactions between families and the criminal justice system, raising questions about how fair and legitimate it is perceived to be by some of Scotland’s poorest communities.

Cara is currently a Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde, working on an ESRC funded information poverty study exploring how public information providers can better support young first time mothers from marginalised communities.


Jardine, C. (2015) ‘Book Review: Peter Scharff Smith, When the Innocent Are Punished: The Children of Imprisoned Parents (Palgrave Macmillan: Hampshire)’, Punishment and Society

Jardine, C. (2014), ‘The Role of Family Ties in Desistance from Crime’, Families Outside: Edinburgh

Jardine, C. (2013), ‘Putting the Pieces Together: Prisoners, Family and Desistance’, Scottish Justice Matters vol 1:2 pp 15-17

Jardine, C. and Whyte, B. (2013) ‘Valuing Desistence? A Social Return on Investment Case Study of a Throughcare Project for Short-Term Prisoners’, Social and Environmental Accountability Journal 33(1): 20-32.  Winner of the Reg Mathews Memorial Prize for most significant contribution to the Journal

Keywords: Prison, Families, Scotland