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Working title of PhD: The impact of remand decision-making on the rights of women in Scotland

Year commenced PhD study: 2022

Institution/Organisation: University of Glasgow

Funding Source: CoSS 

Full or part-time: Full-time 

PhD Supervisors: Dr Marguerite Schinkel, Dr Oona Brooks-Hay (Glasgow), Professor Margaret Malloch (Stirling)

Synopsis of PhD:

The overuse of remand is a significant issue for women in many countries, including Scotland (Corston, 2007; Player, 2007; Justice Committee, 2018). Despite the punishing nature of the remand process, which ultimately pushes women further into the carceral net, judges continue to remand women for their ‘own protection’ using conceptions of ‘risk’ and ‘welfare’ as a justification (Player, 2007; Howard League Scotland (HLS), 2021). This is problematic given that prison is an infinitely more damaging place for vulnerable women (Corston, 2007; Ministry of Justice (MoJ), 2018). In Scotland the alternatives to remand such as electronic monitoring (EM) are poorly utilised (Nellis, 2015) and the availability of bail support and supervision schemes are patchy due to the precariousness of funding (Prison Reform Trust, (PRT) 2016). The lack of suitable alternatives increases the likelihood of criminalised women being remanded and puts them at serious risk from losing their home, job, incurring debt, and for mothers, having their children taken into care (Corston, 2007; Angiolini, 2012; MoJ, 2018; Booth, 2017; Baldwin, 2015; Baldwin and Epstein, 2017; Masson, 2019; Minson, 2020). The gendered pains of remand are therefore far reaching, long lasting and a significant barrier preventing women from moving forward with their lives.

The primary purpose of this qualitative study is to increase our understanding of women’s perspectives and experiences of the remand decision making process and its enduring effects on their lives. Pre pandemic the Scottish Government commissioned an independent study into the remand decision making process with legal actors (Scottish Government, 2022), however, relatively little is known about women’s experiences of the remand process. The proposed research will address a substantive gap as remand decision making is a poorly understood phenomenon. It aims to build on existing research by providing a more informed understanding of women’s perspectives and lived experience of the remand decision making process in Scotland using participatory and creative methods.

Recent Publications: 

Armstrong L.M. 2022. Remanding Women: Exploring the Scope for Using Therapeutic Jurisprudence in the Bail and Remand Decision Making Process In: Masson, I and Booth, N ed The Routledge Handbook of Women’s Experiences of Criminal Justice (1st ed.). Routledge. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781003202295-20/remanding-women-armstrong-lisa-mary

Armstrong, L.M. Is Restorative Justice an Effective Approach in Responding to Children and Young People Who Sexually Harm? Laws 202110, 86. https://doi.org/10.3390/laws10040086

Armstrong, L. M. (2021). Cara Jardine, Families, Imprisonment and Legitimacy: The Cost of Custodial Penalties. Punishment & Society, 24(2), 295–298. https://doi.org/10.1177/14624745211003278

Lisa is also a Research Associate on the Scottish Prisons Assessment and Review of Outcomes for Women (SPAROW) project.



University of Glasgow

No Publications Available

10th May 2023

Scottish Prisons Assessment and Review of Outcomes for Women (SPAROW)

SPAROW – Scottish Prisons Assessment and Review of Outcomes for Women is an evaluation of the new Community Custody Units (CCUs) […]

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