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FAIR: The Families and Imprisonment Research Study


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We are pleased to announce further speakers for the upcoming Families and Imprisonment Research conference. In addition to our keynote speakers and the FAIR research team, we are delighted to be hosting:


Dr. Daniel McCarthy and Dr. Maria Adams, University of Surrey

Dr. Daniel McCarthy is currently a Reader in Criminology at the University of Surrey. He has conducted recent research in the area of longitudinal pathways of prisoner-family attachments, as well as assessment of relationship dynamics between juvenile male offenders and their primary caregivers during incarceration. He is currently writing a book (with Maria Adams) about the ways youth offending and imprisonment shape parenting and other life outcomes among primary caregivers.

Dr. Maria Adams is a lecturer in Criminology, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey. Her research interests are in the collateral consequences of punishment on families, race, ethnicity, and gender.



Professor Peter Scharff-Smith, University of Oslo

Professor Peter Scharff-Smith is a member of the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo. He has researched and published widely across the areas of punishment, prisons, human rights and criminal justice. His most recent book, entitled Prisons, Punishment, and the Family: Towards a New Sociology of Punishment (co-edited with Rachel Condry) brings together the latest thinking on the effects of imprisonment on families, including his own chapter adopting a human rights perspective on families and imprisonment. Professor Scharff-Smith also has extensive experience working with a combination of research, project work, dialogue, partnerships, awareness raising, and advocacy in an attempt to create concrete prison reforms in Scandinavia and internationally.



Dr. Susie Hulley, University of Cambridge

Dr Susie Hulley is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University. Susie’s PhD explored the perceptions and experiences of anti-social behaviour (ASB) amongst adults and young people, and police responses to ASB. Since joining the Institute of Criminology (in 2007) Susie’s work has primarily focused on the experience of imprisonment for prisoners and prison staff.  In her most recent research, Susie has been co-investigator on a major ESRC funded study of the experiences of prisoners serving very long sentences from a young age and is currently leading a large ESRC funded study of conceptions of friendship and violence and legal consciousness in the context of ‘joint enterprise’. She has published in national and international peer-review journals, on topics including anti-social behaviour, ‘respect’ in prison, and the problems of long-term imprisonment. The book ‘Life Imprisonment from Young Adulthood: Time, Identity and Adaptation’, co-authored with Ben Crewe and Serena Wright, is due to be published later this year.


Dr. Shona Minson, University of Oxford

Dr Shona Minson is a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. Her previous professional experience as a barrister led to her research interest in the points of intersection between family and criminal law. Her research has explored the place of children in maternal sentencing decisions in England and Wales, through engaging with children, their carers and members of the judiciary. In January 2018, funded by the ESRC and Prison Reform Trust,  she launched a series of short films entitled ‘Safeguarding children when sentencing mothers’,  which provide information to sentencers and legal professionals to aid consistency and understanding of the rights of children in maternal sentencing decisions. These have been embedded in the professional training of  Probation officers and the Judiciary. Her current project explores the experiences of children whose parents are under post-custodial and non-custodial supervision in the community.


Dr. Karen Souza, University of Cambridge

Karen holds a B.A. and M.A. in psychology from the University of Victoria, Canada. She undertook her Ph.D. in psychology at City, University of London, UK, in which she investigated youth bystander reporting of peer violence. Karen joined the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge in 2006. She worked as an RA for the first two waves of the Families and Imprisonment Research (FAIR) study and is currently an Affiliated Researcher on the project.


Dr. Kirsty Deacon, University of Glasgow

Kirsty Deacon gained her PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2019 with a thesis titled “Families – Inside Prison and Out: Young people’s experiences of having a family member in prison”. The thesis drew on qualitative research with two groups of young people with experience of a family member’s imprisonment – with a focus on parental and sibling imprisonment. The inclusion of participants who were currently serving a prison sentence themselves highlighted the experience of intra- and inter-prison family relationships, where both the young person and their parent or sibling were serving sentences simultaneously, in the same or different institutions. While working towards disseminating her PhD findings, Kirsty is currently employed as a research assistant/associate on two research projects, at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the West of Scotland, while also teaching on the Graduate Diploma course at the INTO Centre at the University of Stirling. She also holds one of the inaugural Scottish Justice Fellow positions, involving working to translate her PhD findings into outputs that can inform policy and practice.


There are only a few spaces left so register now! Email Sophie Ellis on


Institute of Criminology



Centre for Community, Gender & Social Justice


Economic and Social Research Council