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Kirsty’s main research focus is on families and imprisonment and in particular the experiences of children and young people with a family member in prison. She completed her PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2019 titled, “Families – Inside Prison and Out: Young people’s experiences of having a family member in prison”. As part of her ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Strathclyde, completed in 2021, she looked at the experiences of prison staff in relation to families of prisoners, carrying out research investigating how prison service staff understand and operationalise the Scottish Prison Service Family Strategy.

Kirsty has also worked on research projects looking at desistance among ex-military personnel in custody, trauma-informed policing, and previously worked at CELCIS (the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection) on projects relating to care-experienced children and young people.

Kirsty is currently a Research Officer with the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, working on a two-year partnership project with Families Outside exploring care-experienced children and young people’s experiences of sibling imprisonment. This project is funded by The Promise Partnership – Getting it Right for Brothers and Sisters and will finish in December 2023.

Recent publications

Getting it Right for Families Affected by Imprisonment – https://www.sccjr.ac.uk/publications/getting-it-right-for-families-affected-by-imprisonment/

Imprisoned Families: Young people’s experiences of simultaneous family imprisonment – https://www.sccjr.ac.uk/publications/sjf-briefing-imprisoned-families-young-peoples-experiences-of-simultaneous-family-imprisonment/

Family Learning Group HMP Kilmarnock – https://www.sccjr.ac.uk/publications/family-learning-group-hmp-kilmarnock/

Contact

Institution:

Scottish Children's Reporter Administration

Research Themes

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions

March 2022

Prisons, Prison Officers and Prisoners’ Families – Full Report

The research aimed to understand the translation of the rhetoric around the importance of families of prisoners and their role, […]

March 2022

Prisons, Prison Officers and Prisoners’ Families – Briefing Paper

The current Scottish Prison Service (SPS) Family Strategy was published in 2017 and runs until 2022. During the four years […]

June 2021

Getting it right for families affected by imprisonment

Getting it right for families affected by imprisonment: Lessons from ten years of research This briefing paper draws on five […]

2021

SJF Briefing: Imprisoned Families: Young people’s experiences of simultaneous family imprisonment

Scottish Justice Fellowship Briefing Imprisoned Families: Young people’s experiences of simultaneous family imprisonment by Dr Kirsty Deacon, University of Glasgow. […]

April 2020

Family Learning Group HMP Kilmarnock

This exploratory research report from Dr Kirsty Deacon looks at a specific family visit provision for children and young people […]

19th November 2018

Scottish Justice Fellowships 2018

Scottish Justice Fellows is a new initiative putting research to work. In this scheme, the Scottish Government, SCCJR and SIPR […]

18th February 2021

Scottish Justice Fellows Put Research to Work

19th November 2018

Announcing the Scottish Justice Fellows