A University of Central Lancashire academic has won an inaugural prize for her research with deaf prisoners.
Criminology lecturer Dr Laura Kelly received the Prison Service Journal Outstanding Article of the Year 2017 for her work Suffering in Silence: The unmet needs of d/Deaf prisoners.
It was based on her research into the experiences of both medically deaf and culturally and linguistically deaf prisoners.
Her article presented findings from her doctoral research, which explored the experiences of d/Deaf prisoners in England and Wales through interviews with prisoners and staff members from seven prisons in England.
It showed that the Prison Service is currently failing to meet the needs of d/Deaf people in prison in any consistent way, leaving them isolated.
The judges said: “This research focuses on people who are often overlooked and whose needs are not clearly understood.
“By giving voice to d/Deaf people in prison, Dr Kelly does much to build understanding, identify practical steps that might be taken to ameliorate the pains of imprisonment, and challenge the causes of cultural and social marginalisation.
“This article is a significant and important contribution that deserves to be read by those who are involved in prisons.”
Dr Kelly said: “The Prison Service Journal Editorial Board is made up of some of the most well-known and established prison researchers, and senior members of the Prison Service, so for them to choose me as the winner is fantastic.
“My work is the most in-depth research yet to be carried out about d/Deaf prisoners in England and Wales so it has provided a level of insight which has not been available previously.”