The primary output of this project will be a book on prison education in nineteenth-century England. At present, the planned completion date for this book is late 2017. I will post further information on this website about the book as the project progresses.

I also plan to publish some of the research in other formats. One of these will be a finding aid for sources on the nineteenth-century local prison, in the hope of promoting further research in the rich and important area. I’ll post details of these publications below as and when they emerge.

And I’m looking forward to doing some co-writing with Prof Megan Sweeney (University of Michigan) and Dr Katie Halsey (University of Stirling) who have kindly agreed to collaborate with me on particular aspects of this project. Again, watch this space for details!


Project Outputs:

‘Great Expectations: The role of education in penal reform’, History & Policy, 27 May 2016 (read online)


Previous – but related – Publications:

Here is a list of articles and chapters I have already published as a result of research related to this project. (Details of other things I have published can be found on my Open University staff page:

‘Education in the working-class home: modes of learning as revealed by nineteenth-century criminal records’, Oxford Review of Education, August 2015.

‘The great “Reading” experiment: an examination of the role of education in the nineteenth-century gaol’, Crime, Histoire et Sociétés, 16 (2012), pp. 47-72.

‘Reappraising Victorian literacy through prison records’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 15 (2010), pp. 3-37.

‘Attempts to (re)shape common reading habits: Bible reading on the nineteenth-century convict ship’, in Beth Palmer and Adelene Buckland, eds. A Return to the Common Reader: Print Culture and the Novel, 1850-1900 (Ashgate, 2011).


Back to the Future?

Great Expectations for Prison Education

Conference on Defining Prison Education, June 2016

What is ‘prison education’?

‘Educating Criminals’ Site Goes Live

The Prison and Literacy in 19th Century England

Contact the Research Team