Dr Marguerite Schinkel
I joined SCCJR in October 2013 as an ESRC Future Leader Research Fellow and became a lecturer in June 2017. My research focuses on the meaning of criminal justice sentences in the context of wider lives, the construction of narratives and the impact of this and criminal justice processes on journeys of desistance.
My post-doctoral project, Lives Sentenced, examined the experiences of men and women who experienced persistent punishment, including multiple short-term prison sentences. Through two life history interviews two years apart, changes in the meaning of punishment were examined. This is currently being followed up by a Community Justice Scotland-funded project, Escaping a Life Sentenced, which examines through a further round of interviews how these people manage and/or fail to leave offending and criminal justice punishment behind.
I am also involved in another project funded by Community Justice Scotland, along with two colleagues, Cyrus Tata and Beth Weaver at Strathclyde University. The Meaning of Sentences is a pilot project which looks at the meanings given to the sentence imposed by the different actors in the courtroom. What meaning does the judge want to communicate, what meaning does the person sentenced perceive and what role does the defence lawyer play in these processes of meaning making? This will be examined through courtroom observations and interviews.
I am passionate about contributing to the public debate about sentencing and criminal justice. To do so, I have developed a graphic novel based on the Lives Sentenced research and set up a website, my-sentence.com, as a place where people can contribute pieces on the meaning of their sentence.