Kirsty Deacon

PhD Student


Working Title of PhD: Young people’s experiences of the imprisonment of a family member

Year commenced PhD study: 2015
Institution: University of Glasgow
Funding Source: What Works Scotland
PhD Supervisors: Prof Fergus McNeill and Dr Sarah Armstrong

Synopsis: My research will explore the issue of familial imprisonment for young people aged 13 to 25 who have, or have had, a parent or sibling in prison. Specifically it will consider what “family” means to these young people and how they experience family when a member is in prison. It will also consider how the young people deal with the effects of familial imprisonment and what services and supports are in place, or may be required, to help them manage this experience.

The first stage of my data collection has involved spending 16 months as part of an arts collective known as KIN which is formed of eight young people aged 16-25 who have experienced familial imprisonment, along with staff from a third-sector organisation Vox Liminis (partners in the KIN project along with Families Outside) and a range of artists. I am gathering data from in-depth semi-structured interviews with the young people as well as from discussions with the group where I have fed back initial thoughts and concepts arising from the existing academic literature and the young people have shared their thoughts and reflections around this.

The second stage of data collection is expected to involve young people aged 13-17 who work with a third-sector organisation which works with families affected by imprisonment.

Keywords: Familial imprisonment, Young people, Family

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