Criminal Research: Writing wrongs in the creative arts in prisons — 22nd June 2016

This post comes from Ella Simpson at Bath Spa University 

Creative and autobiographical writing have existed in the modern prison since as early as Oscar Wilde’s penning of De Profundis and contemporary literature has more than a few shelves given over to the ‘nick lit’ of a more recent prison population.

The value of writing in prison is supported by a number of prisoners who have become professional writers and a number of professional writers who have facilitated prisoners’ creativity. This anecdotal evidence, however, is often lost in academic research that aims to evaluate the impact of the arts through ‘scientific’ measurement.

This day of workshops and discussions aims to bring together an array of academics from the humanities, social sciences and the arts with some of the most experienced prison writing practitioners in the UK and criminal justice professionals in a bid to move beyond the binary of reconviction studies and unearth the foundations of an alternative, writer-led approach to prison arts research.

Sessions will include:

The Art of Psychopathy – an exploration of the fact and fiction of the mentally disordered offender.

The Art of Empathy – the relational dimensions of creative arts in prisons.

The Art of Release – how probation might inform art and art, probation.

Prisoners’ Stories – Writers in Prison Foundation present a reading of writing by prisoners.

Confirmed speakers include:

Sharon Clarke (Literary Producer, Bristol Old Vic)

Michael Crowley (WIPF and Lecturer in Creative Writing, Sheffield Hallam University)

Clive Hopwood (Co-Director, Writers in Prisons Foundation)

Dr Alison Lee (Neuropsychologist, Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Psychology, BSU)

Dr Catherine Morgan (Course Leader, BSc Criminology, BSU)

Dr Agata Vitale (Senior Lecturer in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, BSU)

This is a free, pre-conference event leading into this year’s Captivating Criminality Conference at  Bath Spa University’s Corsham Court campus.

Details on how to Book here

For further details contact Ella Simpson –

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