Birkbeck’s annual Public Engagement Awards recognise and celebrate researchers who have undertaken innovative and exemplary public engagement activities. ICPR has won this year’s Birkbeck Public Engagement award in the category of ‘public participation in research’. This category recognises projects in which the involvement of the public or various publics is an inherent part of the research process.
ICPR’s prisons researchers Catherine Heard, Helen Fair and Jessica Jacobson, worked on the project ‘Understanding and reducing the use of imprisonment in ten countries’ between 2017 and 2021. The research focused on a diverse group of ten jurisdictions: Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, the United States, India, Thailand, England & Wales, Hungary, the Netherlands and Australia.
Throughout the project, the ICPR team collaborated with a wide range of research and policy partners including criminal lawyers, academics, prisoners, ex-prisoners and civil society organisations, in the ten countries and beyond.
Catherine Heard, director of ICPR’s World Prison Research Programme, who led ICPR’s work on the project, said:
‘We are hugely grateful to the many individuals who shared their knowledge and experience with us over the course of this project. Strong engagement with many publics enabled us to use our findings to inform policy and practice, advance the field of research, give prisoners a voice on the mental and physical health impacts of imprisonment, and inform the public about the consequences of unchecked increases in prison populations.’