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Applied insights into criminal justice

Researchers

David Wilson, Michael Brookes

Summary

The Centre for Applied Criminology (CAC) has a particularly strong tradition of research relating to the penal system, which has grown from a long-standing relationship with HMP Grendon. This prison operates as a therapeutic community - a unique facility for prisoners who have demonstrated a genuine desire to change.

Research carried out has resulted in changes to policy and practice in HMP Grendon, amongst many other benefits.

Background

Professor David Wilson of the Centre for Applied Criminology (CAC) has been developing this research since 1997, and created a successful programme of enquiry through the formation of the Grendon Friends Trust (the first and only charity in the UK to support an individual prison). The partnership between the CAC and HMP Grendon was formalised in 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The applied research taking place in HMP Grendon has been needs-led, has generated new insights into prisoner and staff experiences, and also shed light on specific groups of offenders and their needs. Reports such as Do Better, Do Less: The report of the Commission on English Prisons Today.

Who benefits

This research had a great impact on the prisoners and staff at HMP Grendon. It has led to changes in policy and practice, reduction and prevention of harm to staff and prisoners, and benefits to opportunities available for staff and groups of prisoners within the prison.

The work has also raised awareness of penal issues amongst audiences of specific media.

Find out more

Download the full impact case study submitted to REF 2014

Research carried out has resulted in changes to policy and practice in HMP Grendon, amongst many other benefits.

"The publication of the report 'Do Better, Do Less' played an important role in influencing policy debate"

Howard League for Penal Reform