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How our academics are shining the light on systemic problems in UK Prisons

When you join Middlesex, you’ll be taught by academics at the cutting-edge of impactful research.

For instance, our academics within the department of Criminology have highlighted serious problems within the UK prison system that are leading to avoidable deaths and imprisonments in their most-recent groundbreaking research. These findings aim to drive and instigate political conversations on how we can turn the tide on this crisis and give prisoners fairer opportunity to turn their lives around.

Why has our Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (DARC) deemed Spice deaths ‘a crisis’?

A study has shown that Spice, sometimes referred to as a ‘Zombie Drug’, was involved in almost half of non-natural deaths across UK prisons.

These figures became more concerning when our research team established that 35% of those who died were imprisoned for property crime and other non-violent offences. Our researcher Karen Duke believes these individuals could have served a community sentence instead, which would have enabled them to receive better treatment and ultimately avoid drug related deaths in UK prisons.

DARC conduct vital research into drug and alcohol consumption and use, with academics from our law and social science subjects pioneering these findings.

Our research shows that offenders are ‘trapped’ in the revolving door of short prison sentences

New Middlesex research has identified that offenders are trapped in a “revolving door of prison sentences” after a change government legislation led to a massive rise in people serving short terms returning to custody. It is estimated that this change could impact around 50,000 offenders.

Dr Matt Cracknell, one of our Criminology lecturers who was responsible for these findings, explains why this issue “The type of people serving short sentences often have the most complex issues such as drug and alcohol addictions, homelessness and without employment and they’re coming out of probation and not getting the support which has been promised and reoffending.”

We are taking action to make the world a fairer place

At Middlesex, we take action on the issues that you care about through our teaching, research and what we do in the world. We make the world fairer, protect our planet and help people have healthier lives.

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