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Thinking Through Motherhood and Incarceration

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Birkbeck, University of London

Malet Street

Room 539

London

WC1E 7HX

United Kingdom

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MaMSIE (Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics) with support from Clinks, a membership organisation that supports voluntary organisations working in the Criminal Justice System, present an interdisciplinary panel on the situation of incarcerated mothers in the UK. The panel engages this issue from academic, practitioner, experiential and policy-based perspectives. The panel will discuss and consider the following broad questions.

  • What challenges are unique to mothers in prison?
  • What work is being done to support incarcerated mothers in the UK?
  • How can the struggles faced by incarcerated mothers be taken up as a significant and under-addressed interdisciplinary feminist issue?

The panel will also address the following specific concerns:

  • Are mother and baby prison units achieving their proposed goals?
  • What kinds of prenatal and postnatal care is offered to pregnant women in prison?

What impact does incarcerating mothers have on children and their communities?


Confirmed Speakers:

Lucy Baldwin- Senior Lecturer in Community and Criminal Justice at De Montfort University, editor of the Mothering Justice collection, and former social worker and probation officer. Lucy is also undertaking Doctoral research exploring the emotional impact of incarceration on mothers, and additionally researching the impact of short sentences on mothers with Rona Epstein, Research Fellow, Coventry University.

Naomi Delap- Director of Birth Companions, an organization that provides physical and emotional support to pregnant women and mothers in UK prisons

Laura Abbott- Undertaking a doctorate in health research at the University of Hertfordshire on the experience of being a pregnant woman in prison, teacher in midwifery care, and volunteer at Birth Companions and Hibiscus Initiatives

Shona Minson- Post-Doctoral Researcher with a DPhil in Criminology at Oxford University, studying the impact of maternal imprisonment on children, author of the “Motherhood as Mitigation” report published by the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Anastasia Chamberlen- Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick; researching in the fields of criminology, the sociology of punishment, feminist theory and women's experiences of imprisonment.

Karen Graham- Lecturer in working with children, young people, and families at Newman University, researcher on education systems and prison as sites of exclusion and control.

Additionally, we have now confirmed Anne Fox as the chair of the event, so it might be good to include the following as well:

Chair-Anne Fox is Clinks’ Chief Executive Officer and joined in October 2015. Her role is to provide inspirational leadership to the organisation and be an influential advocate on behalf of the voluntary sector working with offenders and their families. Previously the Director of The Communication Trust - a consortium of over 50 not-for-profit organisations working to support children and young people’s speech, language and communication in England - she has worked in the voluntary and community sector in the UK and Republic of Ireland in campaigning, policy, public affairs and communications roles for 16 years. With an educational background in social policy and postgraduate training in public relations she has led campaigning, communications and policy in national parenting and one-parent family organisations , including 5 years at NCT and managed high profile campaigns at Mencap - the UK’s leading learning disability charity.


The Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London convenes an annual Summer Programme of interdisciplinary events spanning the field of psychosocial studies. The Programme provides current and prospective students, staff and the general public with an opportunity to attend lectures, seminars and conferences with distinguished speakers from the UK and abroad, and to meet with lecturers and current students on our many academic and clinical programmes.


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Birkbeck, University of London

Malet Street

Room 539

London

WC1E 7HX

United Kingdom

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