Jessica Bird

'Segregation arrangements in Scottish prisons: a socio-spatial history'

BA (Hons) Philosophy, MA Human Rights, MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice

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  • Principal Supervisor: Professor Richard Sparks
  • Assistant Supervisor: Professor Christine Bell


'Segregation arrangements' is an umbrella term that refers to a spectrum of sites, practices and rules that are used to divide-up and separate-out particular prisoners. This sub-system creates a complex internal geography within prisons justified by the pursuit of administrative, punitive and protective goals. The primary aims of this project are to describe and explain the development of segregation arrangements across the Scottish prison estate from the 1960s until the present day. Viewing this history through a socio-spatial lens takes account of the mutually constitutive dynamic between space and social life, which, it is argued, both reflects and determines the evolution of organisational approaches. While segregation is used ostensibly as a means to manage and control 'difficult', 'dangerous' and/or 'vulnerable' prisoners, the ways in which this sub-system has impacted upon the wider administration of imprisonment is critically examined. 

Funding Awards

2010 - 2014: Economic and Social Research Council Scholarship

Teaching and other Academic Responsibilities

2012: Tutor, Introduction to Criminology

2012: Co-convenor of the PhD Criminology Reading Group