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Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000


Project Activities

Please also see the overall project website (Warwick and Dublin) here

November 2016

Dr Rachel Bennett started work on the project at Warwick, examining women, health care and maternity in English and Irish prisons.

February 2016
The first policy workshop on mental health in prisons took place on 12th February in London, at the Shard. Participants from academic, NGO, public and professional organisations took part in a series of presentations and discussions. It was a great success and has already led to further networking and opportunities for collaboration. Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, wrote a blog article on issues arising from discussions at the event.
The first Advisory Board meeting took place.
Dr Janet Weston was appointed as a Research Fellow to work with Professor Virginia Berridge at LSHTM looking at HIV/AIDS in prisons over the next two years.

January 2016
Nicholas Duvall completed his time at Warwick and moved to Dublin to become part of the project team there.
December 2015

A workshop with participants from this project and the Carceral Archipelagoes project took place on 7th December at the University of Warwick, in which members of each project team had the chance to interact and present their work.

May 2015

Dr Margaret Charleroy took up her three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (based at Warwick). Margaret will be working on health in prisons and the management of chronic conditions and infectious disease.

April 2015

Fiachra Byrne gave a public lecture, 'Punishment and Order: The Irish Prison System in 1915' as part of the RTE Road to the Rising series of public talks and events on the history of Irish independence, 6 April 2015.

The second project meeting took place at Warwick on 9-10 April.

March 2015

Fiachra Byrne presented 'Law in Context: Framing Child Mental Health in Medicine, Community and Education' at the Durham University, Law School symposium 'Young People and Mental Disorder: Is the Law Fit for Purpose', 19 March 2015. Convened by Dr Emma Cave, Director of Research, Durham Law School, this was a multidisciplinary symposium for 20 participants to discuss current laws governing compulsory treatment for mental disorder in children and young people and their effects. The event was co-funded by Durham CELLS and the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Well-being.

Hilary Marland presented at a seminar held on 17 March 2015, hosted by the History of Science, Medicine and Technology group at UCLA on 'Wandering Irish: Irish Migration, Mental Illness and Crime in Nineteenth-Century Lancashire'. The paper bridged the previous project led by Catherine Cox and Hilary Marland on Irish migration to Lancashire in the nineteenth century and high incidences of mental illness and asylum confinement with their new research on the association of the Irish with crime and the prison system in Lancashire, demonstrating the complex career pathways of asylum patients through other institutions, including prisons.

January 2015

Dr Nicholas Duvall joined the project as two-year Research Fellow and Dr Fiachra Byrne commnced in post in Dublin as three-year Postdoctoral Fellow, working on juvenille mental health.

Hilary Marland co-presented with Professor Clare Anderson at an IHR panel on 'New Directions in Penal History: Comparative and Global Perspectives' in the series 'Reconfiguring the British: Nation, Empire, World, 1600-2000 on 29 January 2015. Her talk on 'Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000' offered an introduction to the project and its team, focusing on the mental health strand and opening up a comparison of views on the operation of the separate system in England and Ireland and their association with the mental breakdown of prisoners. About 40 people attended what was a lively session and debate, and also led to plans for future collaboration between Clare Anderson (University of Leicester, convict prisons) and our project team.

The first project meeting took place in Dublin on 23 January 2015.

October 2014

Start of project.


black and white photo of young male prisoner in straightjacket

image from the archives of the
Howard League for Penal Reform,
Modern Records Centre,
University of Warwick.