Dr Andrew Jefferson

Senior Researcher



Since 2000 I have been working on issues related to prisons ‘beyond the west’ with a focus on penal practice and the dynamics and consequences of reform interventions targeting prisons in the global south. Situated as an academic researcher within an activist organisation my work is situated at the intersection between theory and practice and aims to bring ethnographic insights into dialogue with interventionist agendas. I have an avowed transdisciplinary stance and seek, through my work, to develop critical understandings of changing (criminal justice and reform) practices and to facilitate dialogue between academics, practitioners and policy-makers. I am especially interested in the relationship between confinement and subjectivity and in the methodological challenges associated with generating knowledge in sites of confinement while maintaining a critical stance. I am currently directly involved in projects in Sierra Leone, Tunisia and Myanmar. I co-convene the Global Prisons Research Network.

I have good relations with prison scholars in Scotland and have enjoyed interactions with Sarah Armstrong at conferences and during a visit she paid to DIGNITY. We have also published together. I appreciate the breadth of scholarship at SCCJR including that represented by other associate members and I am looking for an opportunity for mutual benefit based on peer interaction and exposure.

Keywords: Prison, confinement, global south, ethnography, governance, Jeffersonity, survival, torture, torture prevention, human rights, punishment
“Disavowing ‘the’ prison” with Sarah Armstrong, in Carceral Spatialities edited by D. Moran and A. Schliehe. Palgrave.
“Exacerbating deprivation: trajectories of confinement in Sierra Leone” forthcoming in Supervised Freedom: International Perspectives of Life on Parole edited by R. Armstrong and I. Durnesu. Palgrave.
“Performing Ethnography: Infiltrating Prison Spaces” in Palgrave Handbook of Prison Ethnography. Eds. Deborah Drake, Rode Earle and Jennifer Sloan. Forthcoming. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Prisons and Human Rights: Comparing Institutional Encounters, co-authored with Liv S. Gaborit. 2015, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
“The Situated Production of Legitimacy: Perspectives from the Global South” In Legitimacy and Criminal Justice. An International Exploration edited by J. Tankebe and A. Liebling 2014. Oxford University Press.
“Everyday Governance in African Prisons”. Prison Service Journal, Special Issue, 212, 2014. Edited with Tomas Martin
“Sensing Prison Climates: Governance, survival, and transition. Focaal, 2014(68), pp.3–17. With T. M. Martin, and M. Bandyopadhyay
“Performances of Victimhood, Allegation and Disavowal in Sierra Leone”. In Histories of Victimhood. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania press, pp. 218–238. 2014
“Conceptualising Confinement: Prisons and Poverty in Sierra Leone” Criminology and Criminal Justice 2013
“Traversing sites of confinement: post prison survival in Sierra Leone” Theoretical Criminology ; vol. 14, no. 4 : Sage, 2010. p. 387-406


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DIGNITY: Bryggervangen 55, 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark

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