Associate Professor Catherine Cox, UCD Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland is Principal Investigator on a major, five-year project, funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award. Click here to go to the project's website.

 

‘Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000’ will undertake research into topics that resonate with current concerns in the prison service, including the very high incidence of mental health problems amongst prisoners, the health of women and maternity services in prison, and responses to addiction and HIV/AIDS. All the different strands of research will straddle the period from the start of the modern prison system in the mid-nineteenth century up to the current day, and compare the provision of medical services and notions of the entitlement of prisoners to health in both England and Ireland.

The team will seek to answer the overarching questions of who advocates for prisoners’ health; to what extent are prisoners deemed entitled to health care; how do debates on human rights influence the provision of medical care for prisoners; and to what extent are prison doctors constrained by dual loyalty to the prison service and to prisoners themselves, their patients? The project will engage with policy makers and prison reform organisations, and involve several policy workshops. It will also result in several public outreach projects, including a commissioned theatrical production and artwork. Click here for information on project activities and here for details on the project's advisory board.

 

The Project Team

Associate Professor Catherine Cox, University College Dublin, Principal Investigator, working on the relationship between the prison system and mental illness, considering the high levels of diagnosis of mental illness amongst prisoners and the impact of the prison system itself on mental health.Catherine will also examine the evolution of the separate system in Ireland and its impact on mental health.

Professor Hilary Marland, University of Warwick, Principal Investigator, working with Catherine on the relationship between the prison system and mental illness, considering the high levels of diagnosis of mental illness amongst prisoners and the impact of the prison system itself on mental health.Hilary will also focus on women and mental health in the prison system.

Dr Fiachra Byrne, University College Dublin, Postdoctoral Fellow (3 years), working on the mental health of juvenile prisoners in England and Ireland.

Dr Oisín Wall, University College Dublin, Postdoctoral Fellow (2 years), working on the instrumentalization of health by non-political prisoner activists and the prisoner rights movement in Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s.

Dr Will Murphy, Dublin City University, collaborator and researcher on the health of political prisoners and the impact they had in shaping attitudes and practices of health and medicine in Irish and English prisons.

Dr Rachel Bennett, University of Warwick, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (3 years), working on medical care, maternity and childbirth in prisons, 1850-2000.

Dr Margaret Charleroy, University of Warwick, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (3 years), working on the management of prisoner’s health, disease and chronic illness in institutions shaped by imperatives to punish, control and rehabilitate as well as efforts to improve conditions and prisoners’ wellbeing.

Dr Nicholas Duvall, University of Warwick (year 1), University College Dublin (year 2), Postdoctoral Fellow (2 years). Nicholas will be supporting Hilary and Catherine on their strand of work, and will also develop his own project over the two years on the health of prison officers.

Dr Janet Weston, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2 years) working on HIV/AIDS in English and Irish prisons, 1980-2000.

Professor Virgina Berridge, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, collaborator, with Dr Janet Weston.