People who have been to prison die earlier from all causes than those who have not, and the reasons for this are not well understood. Ex-prisoners have higher mortality rates for causes of death due to suicide, homicide, accidental overdose, as well as higher all-cause mortality levels. Research to date has focused on the poor health and complex needs and issues of many people prior to or following time in prison, and only recently have researchers begun to set these issues in a wider context of deprivation and inequality and to consider the health effects of prison. This project will link a range of Scottish datasets including mortality, prison experience, health, education and neighbourhood to explore relationships between health, deprivation and imprisonment. The aggregate picture revealed in the data linkage project will allow for analyses that can enrich understanding of the interactions of imprisonment, mortality and inequality. Overall, the project aims to identify how particular contextual factors, such as living in poverty, poor housing conditions, lack of educational attainment, and poor health circumstances interact to produce the material consequences that result in a person ending up in prison; and secondly, to document how the nature and length of imprisonment impacts on risk of mortality and other health outcomes. A specific contribution of this research is in relating the analysis to an understanding of imprisonment as an aspect of inequality and social exclusion that can have lethal effects for individuals. This project thereby would significantly contribute to our understanding of the nature and profound effects of inequality in the prisoner journey and enable policy makers and practitioners to more effectively respond to these challenges and prevent early deaths.
Does Prison Kill? Using linked datasets to examine relationships between imprisonment, inequality and mortality
This studentship is funded by the ESRC through the Scottish Graduate School of the Social Sciences
Mode of study
Full time / Part time
About the institution
- A good first degree (at least 2:1), preferably with a social science component
- Demonstrate an interest in, and some knowledge of imprisonment issues including those relating to health and wellbeing
- Demonstrate an interest in, and potential aptitude for, analyzing and linking data related to health, criminal history, neighbourhood, census data and imprisonment
- The award may be applied for on a 1+3 (one year funded MRes plus 3 year funded PhD period) or a +3 (for candidates with an appropriate Masters) basis.
- The award can be available on a part-time or full-time basis
- An annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2019/20 rate £15,009 full-time)
- Fees at the standard Home rate
- Students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year
How to apply