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Alison Liebling

Alison Liebling

Alison Liebling is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Cambridge and the Director of the Institute of Criminology’s Prisons Research Centre. She has carried out research on life in prison for over 30 years. Her projects have included suicide and self-harm in prisons, close supervision centres for difficult prisoners, incentives and earned privileges, staff-prisoner relationships, the location and building of trust in high security prisons, the work of prison officers, and conceptualizing and measuring the moral quality of prison life, including comparisons between public and private sector prisons. She has evaluated shared reading programmes in Psychologically-Informed Planned Environments for prisoners with personality disorders, and is currently exploring the differences between survivable and unsurvivable prisons. Her books include Prisons and their Moral Performance: A Study of Values, Quality and Prison Life (2004), The Effects of Imprisonment (2005, with Shadd Maruna), Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: An International Exploration (2013, with Justice Tankebe); and The Prison Officer (2001, 2nd edition 2010). She has just completed a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, carrying out the project, ‘Moral rules, social science and forms of order in prison’. She is finishing a book arising from that project, tentatively called Aristotle’s Prison: A Search for Humanity and Justice. She argues that what keeps people alive in prison is feeling part of a moral universe. She was made a member of the British Academy in 2018. She is involved in an advisory capacity in projects on penal reform and evaluating prison quality in countries including Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany and Switzerland.

Upcoming events with Alison Liebling (1)

The Future Mind – A Conversation with Alison Liebling

August 21, 2024