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Care Leavers in Custody

Read on to find out more about our research on care leavers in custody.

A chain link fence
How do care leavers experience imprisonment? Image by J.yeh91

The Centre for Prisons Research represents the first attempt to critically explore the experience of care-experienced prisoners in custody. Ultimately, we seek to answer the question: How do care leavers experience imprisonment?

Project in Focus: Care-experienced Men and Women in Custody

The real numbers of care leavers in prison custody is as yet unknown, although earlier estimates put the number at about a third of prisoners. Thus, a disproportionate number of care-experienced people subsequently enter penal custody. This research seeks to understand how and why care-experienced men and women go on to enter penal custody, and how they experience the prison environment. The research draws on nearly 100 semi-structured interviews conducted across three sites, and draws on the narratives and experiences of men and women. This research is conducted with Professor Nathan Hughes (University of Sheffield) and Dr Isla Masson (University of Leicester), with support from research assistants Georgina Barkham and Kim Taylor.

Dr Kate Gooch has presented preliminary research findings at HMPPS’ Care Leavers Conference in 2018 and 2019. An article drawing on the research will be published in the Prison Service Journal in 2021, with further publications to follow.