Prisons, Probation and Community Justice
Campaign Calls for Scotland to Reduce Remand Prisoner Population
24th May 2021
The total number of people on remand in Scottish prisons has risen during the Covid-19 pandemic to 27% of the prison population prompting calls for action to be taken immediately. A collective of individuals, including members of The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and Howard League Scotland are leading on a week of social media...
New research will look at demise of Mother and Baby Homes & Magdalene Laundries
31st March 2021
Dr Louise Brangan, University of Stirling, has been awarded an ESRC New Investigator Grant for her new project ‘Mass Decarceration: A critical social history’. The three-year study will look at the demise of Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundries in the Republic of Ireland between 1970-1998. In 1950s Ireland, Magdalene Laundries...
A Life in Pieces – School Resource launched
10th March 2021
A graphic novel which aims to bring life to a Scottish woman’s story of trauma, substance abuse and prison has now been turned into a series of educational resources for Modern Studies students. ‘A Life in Pieces’ is the work of Dr Marguerite Schinkel, a lecturer in Sociology based at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research,...
Phil Crockett Thomas wins Fellowship Competition
6th January 2021
SCCJR’s Phil Crockett Thomas is among the winners of the seventh Political Economy Research Fellowship Competition awarded by the Independent Social Research Foundation’s Scholar Fellowship (ISRF). Phil won grant funding for her project which is called ‘Prison Break: Imagining Alternatives to Prison in the UK’. It invites...
Criminal Justice System is Failing Disabled People
11th June 2020
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published its findings from a recent inquiry into whether the criminal justice system treats disabled people fairly. The equality watchdog says the system is not systematically recognising the needs of disabled people, meaning defendants and accused people risk not being able to participate...
New research project to investigate impacts of Covid-19 on vulnerable groups
29th April 2020
The Scottish Government has awarded funding to a group of University of Glasgow researchers to look into the current and longer-term impact of social distancing and other behavioural measures on vulnerable groups. The research team, led by SCCJR’s Prof Sarah Armstrong with co-principal investigator Dr Lucy Pickering, will focus on four key...
Updated Learning Resource for Schools
29th October 2019
The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research has recently updated its Learning Resource for Schools. These briefings, which were originally prepared by Dr Rebecca Foster and Greg Duncan, have become a popular source of information for Modern Studies teachers and students alike. We have received numerous emails from teachers over the years to...
Scottish Parliament Justice Committee Consultation Responses on the Presumption Against Short Sentences (PASS)
28th May 2019
Colleagues from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) have responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee which is holding a consultation on the Presumption Against Short Sentences (PASS). The Scottish Government had stated that it would extend the presumption against short sentences to 12 months which will be...
Less isolation and more access to family crucial for young people’s wellbeing in custody
21st May 2019
An evidence review on mental health and wellbeing of young people in custody has identified that prisoners should not be isolated or denied access to family or support, and that time outside of their cells should be maximised. The review, which was co-written by Dr Sarah Armstrong, Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research...
Graphic Novel Brings Life to Prison Sentences
30th April 2019
A NEW graphic novel aims to bring life to a Scottish woman’s story of trauma, substance abuse and prison. ‘A Life in Pieces’ is the work of Dr Marguerite Schinkel, a lecturer in Sociology based at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow and illustrator Morag Kewell, and follows the story of ‘Alison’ as...
Study finds criminal record tick box failing employers and job applicants
4th January 2019
Criminal record declarations often do little to accurately predict the risk of re-offending among potential recruits, new research has found. But asking people to declare convictions upfront may put people off applying for jobs whilst offering employers a false sense of security. The Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research paper, Time for...
Offenders view short-term sentences as waste of time
28th November 2018
Unlike long-term prisoners, those with short, repeated sentences rarely view such prison terms as transformative or effective at rehabilitation or deterrence, says a recent study among prisoners themselves into the meaning of serving short-term prison sentences repeatedly and over a long period of time. In a three-year study, SCCJR’s Dr...
Scotland in Lockdown
The “Health and social impacts of Covid-19 in Scotland” study aims to understand how the response to Covid-19 including lockdown measures is affecting those who may already have been isolated or excluded. The research, commissioned by the Chief Scientist Office, is organised into four work streams for each of these isolated or excluded populations; 1. Disabilities and long-term health...
Concepts of Community: Exploring ‘Community’ in Theory, Policy and Practice Imaginaries
In this SCCJR funded project, researchers are exploring and developing concepts of community and how these are used in research, policy and practice. The conceptualisation and definition of community has been at the centre of ongoing discussion (Cohen, 1989; Day, 2006). The persistent question ‘what is community?’, or ‘how might a community differ from the community?’ have prompted many...
The Scottish Prisons Commission: Ten Years On
In July 2008 The Scottish Prisons Commission (also known as the McLeish Commission) published its report Scotland’s Choice. This report culminated an eight month investigation of how Scotland uses prison and the range of factors that drive this, from inequality in society to arrest and sentencing practices. The report contained 23 recommendations covering an almost unprecedented range of...
Punishing Spaces, Working Spaces: Artist in Residence at SCCJR
In this Leverhulme Trust funded residency (February – November 2012), photographer Jenny Wicks was in residence at SCCJR for ten months. This artistic-academic collaboration aims to bring into view the researcher rather than the sometimes sensational topics of their study. Placing the criminologist at the scene of the crime allows for the exploration of key boundaries: between innocent and...
Getting it right for families affected by imprisonment
Published: June 2021
Getting it right for families affected by imprisonment: Lessons from ten years of research This briefing paper draws on five PhD projects conducted in Scotland between 2011 and 2021, all of which explored how imprisonment impacts on families, mothers or children. PhD projects are unique in allowing researchers the luxury of time to form relationships with participants, arguably producing richer...
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. This research briefing outlines the experiences of young people in Scotland who have a family member in prison (a parent or sibling) while they are also serving a prison sentence themselves.
Family Learning Group HMP Kilmarnock
Published: April 2020
This exploratory research report from Dr Kirsty Deacon looks at a specific family visit provision for children and young people with parents in prison, known as a Family Learning Group and previously or sometimes referred to as the Homework Club or After School Club. It takes place in the prison gym and involves the family eating together, playing together and the children can bring in their...
Analysis of EuroPris Working Group Questionnaire on Prison Education in Europe
Published: January 2019
This report written by Dr Sarah Armstrong and James Reilly presents results of the European Prison Education Policy Review 2017-2019 Questionnaire carried out by a Working Group set up by EuroPris with support from the the European Prison Education Association. Of the 30 European countries invited to take part, 22 completed and returned a questionnaire for a response rate of 73%.
Mental Health and Wellbeing of Young People in Custody: Evidence Review
Published: May 2019
This document presents a review of evidence on mental health and wellbeing of young people in custody, focusing on suicide risk and prevention in custody. It organises evidence into different frames and factors, separating the diverse perspectives through which mental health issues are analysed. These can shape alternative and sometimes contradictory understandings of problems and what to do...
SCCJR Response to Scottish Government Consultation on Transforming Parole Scotland
Published: March 2019
SCCJR welcomes the opportunity to comment in response to this Scottish Government consultation. Our submission focuses on the following key points: 1. We advocate further consideration and discussion of the purpose of the parole system in Scotland. Its future development could formally encompass two purposes: (a) risk assessment and public safety, and (b) enabling desistance and...
Scottish Government Consultation on Prisoner Voting
Published: March 2019
Dr Hannah Graham, Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (SCCJR) at the University of Stirling, submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Prisoner Voting.
The Scottish Prisons Commission 10 Years On – A Briefing Paper
Published: July 2018
This briefing paper highlights the key issues that the Commission concerned itself with during its deliberations, quoting from its report and sketching how the landscape in these areas has developed since then. We hope it serves as a useful refresher for stimulating your participation at the conference on 29th June 2018. The presentations, lectures and discussion at this event will inform the...
Researching Inclusively With People With Learning Disabilities in Prisons
Published: June 2018
Very little is known about how people with learning disabilities symbolically engage with imprisonment and discursively account for it within their wider self-narratives. Although there is little published research on this, literature shows that this group are over-represented among prison populations worldwide and that their needs are simply not being met during their incarceration. My doctoral...
Professor Beth Weaver
Associate Director, SCCJR
Senior Lecturer in Social Work
University of Strathclyde